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Ampeg SVT-100 vs. Traynor YBA-3...?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zartalexander, Sep 2, 2016.


  1. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California
    So I'm trying to start a drum and bass band with my friend and I'm trying to run a bi-amp setup for a huge, full sound.

    I already have a Traynor YBA-3 (which is great) and I wanted to get another tube bass amp to pair it with. Coincidentely, I found a seemingly rare Ampeg SVT-100. There's not a lot of information on it (only about 100 were made...?), but I thought the specs would probably be pretty close to my Traynor and the price was good so I went for it.

    I just A/B'ed the two amps, and the Traynor is WAY louder. The Ampeg isn't quiet or wimpy by any means, but you have to get past the halfway point on both the gain and master volume knobs to get into what I consider somewhat acceptable territory. The Traynor gets just as loud, if not louder at like 1-2 (7:00-8:00). At the halfway position for the same knobs its REALLY REALLY loud...which is good ;)

    I guess what I'm trying to figure out is: is this normal/expected? From what I understand they are both supposed to be around 100-ish watts, but are there other factors that would contribute to volume? Part of the problem is I can't find the specs for the Ampeg, but based on what I found I thought they would be pretty close in the volume dept. (if anyone can find specs or a manual that would be great)

    I'll start there, but assuming there is nothing wrong with my amp the next question will probably be how can I make it louder...

    ;)

    Also just for reference I was using a Bergantino NV610 for the A/B test.
     
  2. The positions of the knobs tell you nothing about how much power is actually being delivered. The amps have differing gain structures is all. Balance the volumes as best you can.

    By "bi-amp" are you meaning two amplifiers running in parallel or one for highs and one for lows?
     
  3. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California
    Right. I just thought they were similar enough with gain structure, etc. that they would hit the same volumes AROUND the same position. But yeah, good point. It also helps I don't know very much about the Ampeg.

    The plan is to have each amp on a separate cab (one on my 6x10, and the other on my friend's 2x15), and I'll probably my A/B pedal or something similar to send my bass signal to both. As for highs and lows I'm probably just going to experiment as to which amp does what best for my purposes. Haven't had the chance yet...
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Traynor is 120w while the SVT-100 is 100w. I have no experience with the SVT-100, but the only way to compare volumes honestly is to dime the master in each and turn up the gain to see how loud they get before you hear distortion setting in. They should be fairly close in volume since an extra 20w shouldn't make too much of a difference, and if they're not, I'd be suspicious of how good the tubes are in the one that's not as loud.
     
    spankdaplank likes this.
  5. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California
    So I'm starting to get suspicious after using it tonight. I had the master dimed and it took me until about 3:00-3:00 ("7" on the knob) until I could keep up with the drummer and guitarist who was using a Fender 4x10 bassman combo. Again, I feel like it should be much louder especially comparing it to my Traynor which is only 20W more and at setting like that it would be ABSURDLY loud. Like totally overpowering everything else.

    Is there anything else I should look at before the tubes? They all light up and seem find just by looking at them, but I would also have no other way of knowing.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't know. I'm not a tech, and I wouldn't want to tell you that you should replace tubes if they're fine. They're not prohibitively expensive, but it could run you $150-200 to retube it fully, and no sense spending money if you don't need to. Plus I'm completely unfamiliar with the SVT-100 other than seeing pics of it. But it's been my experience that weak tubes can give you reduced output, yes. The thing is, it could just be one tube that's bad. I've had a weak preamp tube reduce output, and I've had weak power tubes do it.

    I would have a tech look at it if I were you. If it needs a full retube, you should have it biased, and if it's not the tubes or only one or two tubes, it'll cost less in the long run than a full retube that may or may not be the problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  7. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California


    That's probably what I'll end up doing. Hopefully it solves the issue. I wish there were more SVT-100 users so I could get some sort of confirmation. I can hardly find any info on this amp.
     
  8. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Ozarks
    Maybe a stupid question but do you have the impedence slider on the back of the amp in the correct position to match the cab? 16, 8, or 4 ohms.
     
  9. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California

    The switch is/was at 4 ohms to match my Berg 610 which is 4 ohms.
     
    cb56 likes this.
  10. jastacey

    jastacey

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    I have several Traynor YBA-3's and they are pretty nice amps, they are rated at 8 ohms for power output. also I have run my amps into a 4 ohm load for hours on end, with no issues, a properly set up YBA-s will start to break-up at around 2-2:30 on the volume pot, when contrasted to a 100 watt Ampeg (V4-B) which starts to break-up at around 10-10:30, on the volume pot, as BassmanPaul said, 2 different amps, means, two different gain structures, as to the SVT-100, I believe they were leftover guitar amps, that SLM converted to bass amps, when they purchased the assets from the previous owners, as has been said before, servicing an old amp is key to getting good performance, I too, have a Berg NV610, and the YBA-3 really sounds good through it

    Here is some additional reading on the Traynor YBA-3 ... Velvet Black - Models

    Here is an old thread on the SVT-100 ... SVT100 - any info?

    4671529451_555e7da230_b.jpg P1010836 by Jessica Stacey, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
    jwindham likes this.
  11. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California
    I understand that they are going to break up at different points, but would you say that the volume output is comparable? Like the max volume is going to be about equally as loud? I don't have the V4, but it seems that the SVT-100 is pretty similar. The issue for me is that the gap between my Traynor and Ampeg seems pretty huge in terms of the volume dept.

    Regardless, I left it with a tech and he's going to try to take a look at it. The only problem is he said he's never seen or worked on one of these before...haha.
     
  12. jastacey

    jastacey

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    To answer your question, the YBA-3 is noticeably louder
     
  13. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California
    Hmm, that's what I was kind of afraid of. I guess I just wasn't expecting that because I thought two 100-ish watt tube heads would be about the same. Or at least pretty close. These two don't seem very close at all.

    This question might be beyond this thread and it is certainly beyond me (clearly), but what else contributes to volume output? The type of transformer? Is there anything that can be done to modify an amp to make it louder? (besides adding more speakers...?)

    I don't know if that will be the remedy to my issue, but I'm just trying to think of possibilities.
     
  14. jastacey

    jastacey

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    The YBA-3, has huge Hammond transformers and the plate voltage is set pretty high, also the amp isn't a a "100" watt amp, it really isn't worth the trouble in trying to get an amp to produce more watts, than it was designed for. Money is better spent in making/ keeping a amp reliable
    ... IMHO
     
  15. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California
    The YBA-3 is supposed to be around 120 watts, yeah? I thought the extra 20w wouldn't make THAT much of a difference, but I guess other components certainly could. Again, shows how little I know about the technical aspects of amps. I guess I should just wait for my tech to get back to me and I'll have to go from there. I hope it's just worn out tubes or something.
     
  16. jastacey

    jastacey

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    More like 130-135 watts RMS, at today's input voltages (120/121 volts) that's with JJ's 6CA7's in a 70's transition YBA-3, and my other YBA-3, is a late 60's amp loaded with EH 6CA7's, the other tube I would load into those amps is the JJ EL 34L ..... I may do that when I need to retube, as of now, the power tubes are holding up
     
  17. zartalexander

    zartalexander

    Mar 17, 2012
    California

    Mine has always had JJ El34's and they sound great :D
     
  18. jastacey

    jastacey

    Feb 8, 2009
    Houston,Tx
    There is nothing wrong in using JJ's EL34's .... just make sure you get tubes that are burned in at the voltages the amp runs on/at, the YBA-3, runs at close to 540 volts ..... I have been getting my power tubes at T&C Tubes, they burn in at what ever voltage you tell them and there prices a reasonable, retubed a SVT Classic with Sovtek 6550's, and have been happy with their service & pricing and packaging/shipping
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  19. Special Peter Traynor trick with the 6CA7 which is supposed to output up to 160 watts (80 w. / pair), I mesured it.
     

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