ampeg ba115 owners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by .-.LeX.-., May 21, 2008.

  1. .-.LeX.-.

    .-.LeX.-. Guest

    Mar 3, 2002
    Colonia, New Jeresy
    hey guys, i just picked up a brand new ampeg ba115 combo amp, the sound is decent, but my main concern is the volume, it doesnt seem like im getting loud enough?

    i really cant notice any audible diffrence between 6 thru 10 on the master volume knob ( the reg. volume is maxed )

    also noticing when the treble is turned up past 5 or so, there is a bad ground somewhere, ( i touch the plug and the hiss goes away , let go it starts again )

    also, are there any other fixes to get rid of this damn tweeter hiss besides un plugging it? is there a higher quality replacement?
  2. BillyRay


    Jan 20, 2008
    Here is my experience with this, imho, passable amp:

    a) It lacks power. Badly. I don't know if it's from the inefficient speaker or the head itself, but there's not much juice on tap, especially if you boost the bass at all. You shouldn't have to though, since it's boomy as hell. And the gain structure is not linear: small adjustements go a long way before it hits halfway on the gain and 3/4 on the master. But not many amps continue to get loud until the knob is maxed out due to speaker/cab/gain design.

    If you don't know how to EQ for volume instead of tone, you'll learn fast enough ;) I usually don't fiddle with the tone selector and instead go for the second position. I then boots my mids to taste.

    b) Disconnecting the tweeter is probably your best option. Replacing it with another will be more of an hassle than anything: the amp itself, minus the tweet, is still voiced bright enough.

    But that thing is a dinosaur. A relic of the past. New combos leave it in the dust in tone, power and weight, but it deos look cool and gives a semi-accurate reproduction of the ampeg SS tone that the bigger heads produce.
  3. .-.LeX.-.

    .-.LeX.-. Guest

    Mar 3, 2002
    Colonia, New Jeresy
    thanks for the feedback, i dont needed to have it blow my away, but i thought it was packing a little more juice( home/practice use ).

    this tweeter is unbelievable e though, i love the ampeg sound, so i opted for this combo.

    ( i've been using a ampeg b2r with a sunn 2x15 cab for the past 5 years or so, and it's been great )

    will disconnecting the tweeter screw with the ohms or impedance of the amp?
  4. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    You nailed it. 6 to 10 on the master makes no difference. I don't have the same grounding problem with mine and you have to use the treble control to help control the tweeter output. I usually run mine close to flat with the mid selector on number 3. I definitely don't use mine for any loud applications, because there is just no way it can make it. I will say I don't mind the sound of it though.
  5. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Amazing to hear that's still an issue even with the new BA115's. I had one a couple years ago and found another music forum where a few guys apparently had been in touch with someone in the know at Ampeg and Ampeg was aware of the issue and, reportedly, acknolwedged it as a design flaw. Of course, I have no direct knowledge of what Ampeg insiders may have said, if anything, but the lack of volume increase past 6 i clearly a long standing problem and Ampeg clearly is not interested in addressing it after all these years. Same goes for the tweeter hiss. It's totally unacceptable as it, too, has been a problem for years. Shame on Ampeg!
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You're surprised that you can't get enough volume out of a 100w amp? Where the volume stops increasing is really immaterial, isn't it? Once you get past 100w you can't get anymore out of it anyway. What's the difference if it happens at 6 or at 10? As for tweeter hiss, at that price point I haven't seen a tweeter that didn't hiss at least a little.
  7. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Yeah, if an amp is built correctly, volume should incrementally increase the entire rotation of the pot -whether it's 15 watts or 1500 watts. As for hiss, I guess you haven't heard the hiss of the BA115. It's totally out of line with what's acceptable - even at that price point. Ampeg is negligent to continue making the BA115 like this, knowing it's faults, as it seems many who buy it end up taking issue with these two points in particular. Aside from these design flaws, it's a pretty decent little practice amp.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Well the tweeter hiss is legit, but I just tried a BA115 at a local GC and din't notice any hiss in it. I did notice it was way overly bright, though. I much preferred the B100R.
  9. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    The hiss on the one you tried was probably drowned out by the noise of the store. Get a BA115 in a room by itself and it sounds like there's an angry snake in that cab. Actually, as long as you're playing it's hard to hear. But, between songs or sets it can be surprisingly noticeable. Certainly not what one would expect from a company as reputable as Ampeg.
  10. .-.LeX.-.

    .-.LeX.-. Guest

    Mar 3, 2002
    Colonia, New Jeresy

    your exactly right, hiss didnt seem to bad in store.. but once i got it home in my bed room, as soon as i click the power on ( no bass plugged in even ) *SSSSSSSSSSSSSS*

    tommorow after work i am going to disconnect the leads to the tweeter, hopefully that completely eliminates all extra noise.

    otherwise, this seems like a great little practice amp, hell - might even be good enough for a light gig if they are throwing it in with the house PA system.

    - alec
  11. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    the answer to this is: Return this thing.

    Ba-115s are worthwhile for 200 on the used market, but the new price is ridiculous. You can get a lot more combo for the bucks. (Backline 115 would be a good bet).
  12. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Huh Huh.....anybody ever notice BA115 looks like B A l l S .....?


    Yes, unplug the tweeter. Don't replace it because the hiss comes from the CD input.
  13. Aaron Mc

    Aaron Mc

    Jul 28, 2006
    Avondale, AZ
    I agree, there are so many better combo amps.
  14. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    +1 No one should have to be hacking a brand new piece of equipment just to overcome a design flaw. I like Ampeg tone and they are a great company, an icon in the industry, but they don't deserve to be making money off the BA115.
  15. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The thing is, people are still buying them, so Ampeg keeps selling them. To the OP, first off, turn the treble knob down, at least to noon if not lower. Disconnect the tweeter, and you've got a decent "practice amp". And sure, there's plenty of better combos, but the price point goes way up on many of them. Best of luck.
  16. Haha! A guy I work with was looking to buy an amp and I told him I might sell him mine. Here's how the convo went:

    Me: "I could potentially sell my BA115 for less than $350"

    Him: "Is that legal?"

    At first I didn't get it.

    Anyway, back on topic. I hear a lot of bad things about the BA115. Wish I would've heard them before I bought one, cause when I was researching them they seemed like really good amps for the price. True, they are a bit underpowered. Ampeg could've easily put a better speaker in there and made it a 200+W combo (Anyone know of a way to upgrade the amp to do this?). That said, I'm happy with mine. The tweeter hiss was insane when I first got it, but then I unplugged the tweeter and haven't had a problem since. The tone and 3-band eq controls let you get a pretty good variety of sound, and even without the tweeter you can get some good high end. It definitely doesn't have the nice low growl you can get with higher power bass rigs, but it still has a solid low and and mids that cut through the guitars in my band. You can't expect much else from a combo amp.

    We practice in the basement of a dorm, in a production studio owned by the radio station in said dorm. The BA115 is plenty loud when we practice there, we've even had people on the 3rd floor tell us to turn down the bass. At shows, it can be a bit lacking, but normally if I run DI to the PAs there is no problem. I use a SansAmp Bass Driver DI as a preamp to the Ampeg and it definitely helps boost the volume and overall fullness of the sound.

    Its a nice amp for the price. Some people dont like them for their tone or their lack of power, but if you can find one for <$300 its a deal, IMO. Personally, I'm looking to sell mine soon and upgrade to a real rig with some serious power.
  17. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I still argue that having to make physical changes to a new piece of equipment is not a reasonable solution. I would also contend that likely the reason Ampeg can get away with selling them is because the folks that buy them do so because they can't afford something more expensive and feel the Ampeg name will bring them some credibility and respect among their peers. I've played for enough years to know there is an underlying school of thought that owning a particular brand brings the owner a certain amount of respect.

    OP, take it back. There are better choices that won't require you disconnecting wires. Here's a better combo that is more powerful and I think you may find more satisfying for $50 more
  18. Krispy

    Krispy Guest

    May 21, 2007
    NJ USA
    I had a new BA115 in 2001 and it too had a lack of volume. I sold it. Under-powered, muddy at anything more than conversation level volumes and too big and heavy for what it offered.

    Another POS from the good folks at St. Louis Music.
  19. Different amp...but I had a B2R rated at 350 Watts. I found it to be rather underpowered so tested it [I repair amps] and found it to be putting out 220 Watts into 4 Ohms. Otherwise, it worked fine so I sold it. I wonder if Ampeg is bloating their wattage ratings on the smaller amps.
  20. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    Well, for a 100w bass amp, mine is pretty darn loud. I crank the bass, mids, and treble to max, with the mid freq switch on four. It is an entry level bass amp, folks. Even Ampeg markets it as such, so why expect more?

    I bought mine for jamming around the house, and to be used as a part-time lamp stand. It has found it's way to rehearsals, but will never go to another gig. It makes for a better lamp stand than a stage amp.