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Ampeg Preamps-Which one sounds better for you?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MotorTed, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. MotorTed


    Apr 16, 2006
    CT, USA
    Has anyone had any experience with

    Ampeg SVP-Pro
    Ampeg BSP billy sheehan model
    Ampeg SVP-CL the classic preamp

    What were your opinions on each?
    Have you compared them against one another?
    What other Preamps would you compare them to?
    Your opinions both good or worse are most welcomed.
    I would appreciate a little background as to what style of music you predominately play as well in your response.
    Thank you
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Just played my first gig with a Ampeg BSP. Dug it. I've been looking around for awhile. Played a few Pro's (this was my first choice - but out of my price range). The SVP-CL was cool, but lacked an effect loop. I thought this might be better for a recording type of situation. Not for live. Although some people play them live, so what do I know? Anyway, I like the BSP. Two channels, clean and overdrive. You can play each one seperately (I'm able to access them via an old Carvin footswitch I had laying around). Clean channel has lots of options for creating that warm tone that makes you happy. Great for slapping, heavy reggae, or clear punchy notes. The Overdrive channel allows you to get some nice distorted fuzz. I even dialed it to the point where I was getting playful feedback on sustained notes. You can also play a blend of both by combining both channels. This also comes in handy when running an effects loop, because, if you're like me, you can run the loop in the overdrive channel while simultaneously playing a clean channel. Cool stuff. Suddenly I found my SYB-5 synth pedal could be used for more than a doorstop. Still, not really sure what kind of stuff you play, but I play mostly clean, funk, reggae, bluegrass, hippie jamband ****. Still mastering it, but I will tell you this. I switched over from a solid state setup with a compressor, and there's no comparison. However, there is one downside. Now EVERYTHING comes through loud and clear. Flubs, whiffs, and flat out wrong notes. The clarity will make you a better player in the end. Hope this helps.
  3. MotorTed


    Apr 16, 2006
    CT, USA
    Good review of the BSP
    It sounds like I should find one somewhere to try out. I know the SVP-Pro has 5 12ax7 tubes and the CL has 2 12ax7 and 2 12au7's. I wonder what tube combination the BSP has and how many per channel. It would be cool to A/B between the two preamps for a comparison. Has anyone done this yet and would like to express their opinions?
  4. 8mmOD


    Mar 20, 2005
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    The BSP has one tube. If you want specs on all three preamps, CLICK HERE

    My fave out of all mentioned is the SVP CL. I dont care about an fx loop. Ths SVP CL is easy to dial in and to me sounds very much like the "clean" vintage SVT type tone. i would add a varidrive distortion pedal to the front end of mine for a little extra growl. I have also used it for direct recording with excellent results (SVP CL>Focusrite voicemaster>Pro Tools). Previously I had used my 3 pro for direct recording (3 pro>Focusrite voicemaster>Pro Tools) & the SVP CL had much more clarity than the 3, no matter how I turned the knobs on the 3. This is essentialy the front end of a vintage SVT, so if you like that sound you should like this pre.

    The SVP Pro would be my second choice, but I dont have a ton of experience with it. I have used it live a few times & I was able to dial in my sound pretty easy, but I think the SVP CL has more clarity. I think with the graphic eq, you should be able to get a wider variety of tones with it (compared to the SVP CL) & it also has the "drive" knob for more grit. The guys I know that use them always sound good to me live, but as I said, I dont have a ton of experience with the it. Its the front end of the 2 pro, so if you like that tone you should like this pre.

    I have even less experience with the BSP. I tried it in Guitar Center for about 10 minutes and could not get a good sound to save my life. I usually move on if it takes me too long to even get in the ballpark. I didnt really care for the distortion, it sounded a bit sterile to me, kind of buzzy. But I know guys that swear by theirs, so I guess the good sound is there if you spend the time dialing it in. But I honestly have never heard it live so I have to take their word for it. Apparently Billy Sheehan like it too. :smug: This is the front end of the 5 pro, so if you like that sound, you should like this pre.

    I predominately play metal, but I wouldn't really classify any of those pre's as being specifically "Metal Preamps".
  5. SVP-CL for me too
  6. MotorTed


    Apr 16, 2006
    CT, USA
    Great information. Thank You!
    I found a used SVP-BSP and I looking forward to trying it out with my rig.I found another thread about the Trace V-type preamp. does anyone have a comparison to the ampeg?
  7. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have a V-Type and I'm looking to add a Pro... so hopefully I'll find out the difference between those two at least.

    The Pro has a bunch of tubes (4+1) in it, which I have never tried out a pre with more than 2 12AX7's in it before. The one that I might buy is nearly 10 years old... have they changed a bunch about that model of pre, other than the look in the last 10 years?

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