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Ampeg Svt-3 Pro or ADA MB-1

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Hamrat, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    Hey everyone, I feel a bit stuck in my amp buying decision, and thought I'd get some opinions.

    Long story short, I need a bass amp that will help out my tone as much as possible. Most of the time what will be getting fed into it is a crossover'ed low guitar signal (<~500hz) that has a subharmonic synthesizer on it.

    Here are the reasons that I've narrowed my choices to between the Ampeg and ADA.

    Recently I was playing through a Ampeg B2 Combo and was able to get a super boomy "that sounds just like a bass" sound from it with minimal tweaking, although it was regularly clipping when I'd try and get it to band level. My thinking is Ampeg electronics+?-band eq+more watts=what I'm looking for.

    On the other hand I've been reading that the ADA is super tweakable, with tons of eq options to really sculpt the frequencies and everything else about the tone. I can also throw a 1000 watt power amp behind it if I want to make sure I have the headroom for any situation.

    This is all going through a Hartke 410xl(400 watts?).

    So yeah, any thoughts, opinions, caveats, etc. would be appreciated.

    I obviously will be playing bass through this amp too so any thoughts on the overall pros and cons would be cool to know too.

  2. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    Bump... I'll settle for a description of the ADA MB-1. More versatile than Ampeg? Does it have a balanced DI out? Most everything I can find online about them praise them, but there's not much mention on the actual quality of sound.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The ADA is a preamp only while the 3 Pro is a preamp AND power amp. If you get the ADA, you will need a separate power amp.
  4. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    Yes that is something I've taken into account.

    I'm actually leaning towards ADA now, as the combined price of the MB-1 and either a b500b or the 1000watt power amp I've had my eye on is comparable to the Ampeg.

    I realize that I can always add a power amp to the Ampeg if I ever need to, but 4 rack spaces(and weight) opposed to 3 is something to think about.

    I'm just really worried that the ADA is going to sound like a cheap cheesy '80s solid state.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The ADA was pretty popular in its day. I never got to play one but a lot of big name folks used them...the most prominent one I can think of is Les Claypool, who, coincidentally, uses a 3 Pro now ;)
  6. No personal experience, but "word on the street" is that the ADA is noisy.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I've had an MB-1 for about 20 years that I still sometimes use. Here are the upsides as I see them:
    • Capable of offering a lot of really solid tones.
    • More presets and user patches than you're likely to ever need.
    • Super flexible routing.
    • The preamp can power the original ADA footswitch via its MIDI cable.
    • Good user-support community (patches, manuals, mods, etc)
    • Blendable tube and SS preamp stages.
    • Two FX loops (patches can be saved with FX loop A, B, A&B, or none as part of the patch).
    • Can be noisy if you want a lot of treble.
    • ADA is no longer in business.
    • The compressor, while useable, isn't great.
    • The chorus is very 80's. (Can be a good thing if that's your cuppa tea.)
  8. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    So maybe I should just skip the 20 year career equipment growth and go with the Ampeg :p

    Thanks a bunch for this info! That's very cool that it has 2 FX loops, the idea of being able to punch in my subharmonic synthesizer by switching patches is very appealing.

    Other than the whole no more ADA or adadepot.com(wish I had saved the forum posts about fixing my ADA Microtube 200 while it was still around), the other downsides you listed don't bother me too much. I never turn the treble up much, already have a couple chorus pedals, and the fact that it even has a compressor is kinda cool because I've never used anything other than my Boss CS-2 for compression, so could probably figure out if I would want a legit one or not by tinkering with it.

    I also just noticed from looking at pictures that it has a built in crossover. They sure went all out with the features it seems. If only it had stereo inputs :cool:

    Probably going to try for the MB-1, if anything it's different, versatile and sounds like at least equal quality to the 3-Pro. A bit scarce though, here's hoping the shop I called that supposedly has one gets back to me.

  9. Hamrat


    Feb 3, 2012
    So I thought I'd update this, I hate seeing threads that don't offer closure :)

    I went with a Ampeg SVP-Pro.

    I had decided to try and find an ADA MB-1, Yamaha PB-1 or Ampeg SVP-Pro(which was sort of an afterthought). I pretty much said to myself, "ok, whichever one pops up on eBay first, that's the one I'll get". After a month or two of waiting, all 3 pop up within 24 hours of each other. The Ampeg had a buy-it-now at a pretty low price and had upgraded tubes so even though it was the most expensive of the 3 I pulled the trigger.

    I gotta say, I read a lot about it before/after I bought it, and was pretty worried about the noise issue that seems to plague these. The seller said that he had done a bit of work on it to quite it down, fixed soldering, tubes, some HumX power cable thing so I was hopeful. It is not the quietest amp. At first I was pretty perturbed, but after a while I didn't notice it at all.

    The amp itself sounds really great, exactly what I wanted. Boomy, lush and sweet. I doubt I'd have been as happy with the either of the others.

    I'd still like to try the other two one day...