Ampeg Gain Setting Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kdogg, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    I just got my new Ampeg SVT-4Pro today! I'm really excited about the prospect of seeing what this baby can do. My question is, I come from using an SWR SM-500, on that amp, I would set the gain by striking my loudest notes on the bass, and turning the gain knob until the peak light would blink occasionally. I would then set my master knob to get the appropriate volume. The gain was usually set around 9 o'clock. The Ampeg seems to require a higher gain setting, say almost 11 o'clock, before the volume can be set at an appropriate level. Doing this causes the peak light to stay lit for brief periods of time during the lowest notes, not just a brief blink. The sound doesn't seem to be distorting though, so I'm not sure this isn't normal for this amplifier.

    So, you Ampeg users, where do you set your gain?
  2. specplyrz

    specplyrz Inactive

    Nov 11, 2005

    I just got the svt 6 pro today...that gain setting is about right...however...if I boost my mids a such...the peak light comes on earlier
  3. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR

    Are you running the amp in stereo or mono-bridged mode? The mono-bridged mode will produce more power (assuming your cab is rated to work with that much power). When I had my SVT4 I always had the gain at around 1 o'clock, even mono-bridged and then just adjusted the master volume. I don't think it's unusual to have the gain set high. Just watch the peak and limiter lights and if they come on too much you may consider backing down the gain some. Just my $0.02. Good luck!

  4. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Just realized that your bass could be part of the issue. If you have a hot preamp or pickups in your bass it can push the preamp in the SVT at lower gain settings. My Stingray used to peak my 4pro fairly quickly if I played hard and had too much EQ boost coming from the bass. As far as I know (and I'm no expert so take this with a grain of salt), since the preamp of the 4pro is tube you can push it some without a problem. I would say if the light isn't on all the time it probably won't be a problem. Hopefully someone else will have some more insight.

  5. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    Thanks guys! I am running the amplifier bridged mono. So StingrayKid21, you used to set your gain at 1 o'clock? That's reassuring, because I just got this amplifier used on Ebay, so I wanted to make sure that setting the gain that high is normal. My old SWR never had the gain set past about 9 o'clock. The amplifier is in amazingly clean shape, and sounds awesome, I might add.
  6. hombrelobo

    hombrelobo Guest

    Sep 28, 2005
    I believe you bought that amp from me, what do you think of it?
  7. LowB44

    LowB44 Guest

    Feb 8, 2012
    Depending on the input signal coming from the bass and / pedals ect.. The gain setting will be different it is not unusual for your gain setting to be at 3 o clock but if the -15 Db lift is set off then the gain setting will obviously be lower. Rule of thumb:
    When slapping on lower strings the red light should blink on harder hits but not stay in with every pluck or light to medium finger styles.
    Keep in mind that every change you make to eq or tone will effect the peak. Example: low boost button will drive amp harder and activate the light faster at higher gain. At higher gains it is recommended to use the limiter and you may see yellow light activate. This is ok occationally also.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    When I use a 4 Pro or any other hybrid or SS Ampeg, I set the gain as high as I can possibly get it before I hear distortion, and I completely ignore the light. Other than in the micro amps, the light is really there to indicate input levels, and not really to indicate clipping. So crank away if it sounds good to you.
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Ditto. Crank it up to where you like the sound and don't worry about the light.