Ampeg SVT-CL DI/Balanced Out

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by andykeating, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. andykeating

    andykeating Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    Following on from a thread I posted very recently about purchasing an Ampeg SVT-CL, I'm thinking ahead to when the band is back out playing again in August.

    From speaking to a friend who works as a backline tech for some really established artists, he thinks the way to go is a DI box between amp and speaker, and potentially a DI box before the amp in case the amp fails during a show. Countryman 85 and Radial JDI's have been suggested due to their capability to switch to "speaker" mode.

    Then there's the DI/balanced out option, but on amps I've previously owned, I've never rated the built-in XLR's and find the quality to FOH can be hit and miss, unless there's a pre/post switch and a pre signal is sent, but even then the output isn't amazing. I don't know how good the balanced out from an SVT is, having never gigged one before.

    If it helps, I have an AKGD112 on my cab so there's a mic signal going to the board too.

    Any information, opions and experience is very welcome. :headphone:
  2. Kriegs


    Feb 14, 2018
    If your amp is working properly the Balanced Out on the back of your SVT will do what you're asking. If you are looking for redundancy, then add in SVT heads or DI boxes until you feel that you've squashed the concern about failing hardware.
    At some point, you'll realize that you're either carrying too much hardware or not enough :thumbsup:
  3. andykeating

    andykeating Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    I don't necessarily have concerns about the hardware as such, they're built like tanks, the only reason for suggesting a DI before the amp is as back up - would want the ground to swallow me up if my signal completely went. My concern with the balanced out on the Ampeg isn't really the quality of it, but XLR outputs are usually controlled by the gain and/or master, whereas I like to give the soundman a decent signal and not be asked to turn up or down and affect the stage sound. I assume amp > DI > speaker/board would solve that and the signal level would remain constant because its via a DI box?
  4. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    No a speaker level DI would still have that issue. Think through the signal flow and you'll understand why.

    The DI on the SVT-CL is post-EQ/master, I think the VR and the II-Pro had pre/post switching options. There are a ton of DI options out there that sound great, I'd say find a used ampeg SVT-DI or a Khan Audio VTDI. Those are nice tube DIs with some of that SVT warmth.
    Korladis and JGbassman like this.
  5. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    Another good speaker level DI to consider is the Rupert Neve RNDI.
    Manny Bernardez and andykeating like this.
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Why would the sound guy ask you to turn up or down the DI level? Consoles have these tools built in for this reason.

    Now if you find that YOU need to turn up and down affecting the sound guy's feed, that's a different problem.
    Kriegs likes this.
  7. andykeating

    andykeating Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    Because it’s coming in too hot, can turn the volume down on the desk but it doesn’t make the source any less hot. When I’ve used an amp XLR I’ve been asked plenty of times to bring the level down.
    JulienP. likes this.
  8. andykeating

    andykeating Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    Heard very good things about the Neve. Then again I’ve never heard bad things about Neve studio gear, so that figures.
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    This is why consoles have gain controls and input pads.

    You have been working with sound guys who do not understand how their gear works.

    (I spent 35 years at the national/international touring level in pro audio, can only think of one or two times where my console couldn't handle a bass signal because it was too hot)
    mmon77, Korladis, Selta and 1 other person like this.
  10. andykeating

    andykeating Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    I’ve been working with a sound guy who get us an great live sound, of which the bass presence is incredible. But thanks for your concern.
  11. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Oy vey ...
  12. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    There are plenty of cheaparse consoles in use around here that require you to move the signal from the XLR mic level input to the TRS line level input as your "pad" - and even if the the sound dood knows about it they probably don't have an XLRF to TRS patch cord handy (or it's too much like work).
    Korladis likes this.
  13. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine

    If you guys can’t talk tech here peaceably, keep it to yourselves. There’s just no need for personal sniping on anyone’s part here; we’re here sharing a hobby, and technstuff and whatnot.
    Chill out.
  14. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Personally I wouldn't use a kick drum mic on a bass cab. They're usually very mid scooped.
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  15. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    I think you're overthinking it a bit. The DI from the SVT-CL sounds fine in my experience. And unless you're pushing your amp really hard (in which case, why would you need to be in FOH?), it's unlikely to fail in the middle of a show.
  16. I have had the absolute privilege to work with sound engineers @agedhorse level and believe me, they can quickly dial in an amazing mix. I have also worked with others at various levels, and that can be great or taxing based on the experience.

    At the higher levels I've worked, everyone is pretty flexible, as they were all Pros. There was a mutual respect on both sides. Gone are the days of wedge and side fill monitors, and getting a good in ear mix is pretty easy. As far as foh, well, I've never gave it a second thought. I always ran a mic on the cab or post eq and a pre eq. They never asked for me to give or take out anything, but I also gave them a good signal to work with as well.

    These days Im out of that rat race, but I still play and have good experiences with sound engineers. I've never been asked to alter my send to the desk, so either I've sent a good signal, or they were on top of their boards.

    I didn't take anything @agedhorse said as condencending, he was just stating valid facts using his knowledge and experience. Based on my experience, he is pretty much dead on 99.9% of the time. ( I'd say 100%, but I don't want to feed that ego too much, lol)

    Having been mixed by some serious Pro's, I'd be suprised if it took longer than a minute to dial in a great bass mix, everytime regardless of the signal given.
    LiquidMidnight and Selta like this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I always gotta come in and straighten out these threads...geez, you kids...

    OK, so here's why this sound tech suggested a DI between amp and cab...because it gives you the sound of the entire SVT, including the power section. The built in DI does give you the preamp and it sounds great, but the power amp really ups the tubey quotient to another level. One difference between the two is that you can make volume adjustments using the master knob when you use the built in DI, whereas it all gets sent to the board with the speaker DI. Not the way to go if you do a lot of knob adjusting, but usually works great. I would at least try it before going with a lesser sounding DI.

    As for all this redundancy, I find it redundant. The chances of your amp going down are small as long as you take reasonable care when moving it, and it's just plain not that hard to unplug the speaker DI and use it as a regular DI if the need arises.
  18. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Yeah, it really isn't that big a deal.

    In my experience, though, if something is going to stop working at the show, it's usually happened immediately, as soon as I've tried to plug in and turn on.
    JimmyM likes this.
  19. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    The only issued I’ve had withe the DI from any amp I’ve owned (including SVT-CL) is that they are usually noisy. I use a Tech 21 VT Bass Deluxe before the amp and have never had any issues.
    andykeating likes this.
  20. andykeating

    andykeating Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2016
    That’s my worry - that it’s noisy. Ideally a DI between amp and cab wouldn’t be, but there’s only one way to find out. I have a Tech 21 Bass VT DI which I’ve been using live, but now I’ve got the real thing I’d like to get as much of that SVT sound out front. The Tech 21 stuff is great but now I’ve played my SVT, I’ve realised nothing can emulate that.