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Ampeg SVT classic (gain settings)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by torza, Sep 20, 2005.


  1. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    hello. i'm new to the board. i have a couple of quick questions about my new svt head. i use it with an american standard p bass and an 8x10 cab. i'm happy with my eq settings, but i'm unsure about both the mid selector and the gain/master controls.
    1: for the mid selector, if i have the mid knob at around 8... which is the best mid selection out of the 5? and what is the actual difference between them?
    2: it says in the manual to set the gain according to the instrument. which is the best gain/master volume setting for a p bass?
    any help would be appreciated! thanks
     
  2. the mid selector will be the same as on my SVT, it changed what mid freqency is affected by the mid control, if its right to the left, then its the lowest mids, if its right to the right its the highest mids, and the rest are inbetween, i have mine on the second from the left (second lowest mid), which i think sounds the best

    gain is up to you, its one thing i wish my SVT had, but what id recommend, well, what i'd do, is turning the master all the way up, and control the volume from the gain :)
     
  3. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    The mid selector frequencies are (L to R) 200hz, 400, 800, 1.6khz, 3khz if memory serves. So once you set it to a frequency you use the mid tone knob to cut or boost at that frequency. 12 o'clock on the tone knobs = flat ie no cut or boost. There is no 'best' setting, you just use it to get a tone that's pleasing to you with your gear. As for the gain, same thing, set it so that it sounds good to you. If you use a high gain setting with a low master volume it will sound dirtier. I'm with i_gotta_mowhawk, I like the sound of the master on full and just use the gain knob to set the overall volume.
     
  4. torza

    torza

    Sep 20, 2005
    thanks guys! so far i think i like the mid selector in the middle (3). it has the roundest sound to me. and i put the gain and master at the same volume (5). i'm gonna try what you both said about setting the master on "full" though. wouldn't that leave almost no gain growl though?
     
  5. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    +1.

    Whatever eq settings give you the sound(s) you like are fine.

    I also recommend that you run it's "Master Gain" all the way up and control your overall volume with it's "Gain" control. I know it sounds backwards to Ampeg's manual, but this is how I kept my SVT-CL from sounding too raspy.
     
  6. You get a more of an authentic SVT sound by cranking the gain and adjusting overall volume with the master. You also get better S/N ratio, but it's certainly not as clean as cranking the master. Old SVTs don't have a master.
     
  7. Were they just a single "volume" dial too? (thats what mine is like)
     

  8. Yup. :D
     
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Mark,
    this was what I tried initially with my SLM/Ampegs and for whatever reason my sound had too much distortion (front end overload, maybe?) and not enough overall volume.

    I tried passive and active basses and every EQ setting that I could come up with without any success. Running the gains like you posted, which is also exactly the same thing the manual recommends, gave me way too much distortion. And when I say distortion, I mean like a Marshall's "crunch".

    The sound I got right before the massive distortion stage kicked was killer, though.

    The SLM/Ampeg head is a mystery to me. I absolutely love how they sound, especially cranked up, -until I play through one :confused: .

    Don't you own a mid-70's SVT? If so, do you notice more headroom, volume, and a cleaner tone at high volume from your SVT compared to today's model?

    Thanks,
    -Art
     

  10. The old ones are just plain louder than the new ones. The preamps are actually a fair bit different. I've ABed mine with a CL on stage and the difference is quite noticeable. Substantially more clean volume from mine. But in terms of tone, the closest match I could get was by setting the CL up the way I mentioned previously. Have you tried an SVT2 or a 2-Pro? I've found the 2-pro to be cleaner than the CL, despite them them being practically the same amp. Tube selection can have a fairly drastic effect as well. JJ KT-88s would give you more clean gain than the stock 6550s, for instance. I'd like to AB mine with a CL using the same power tubes.

    Mine seems to be more sensitive to dynamics than the CLs I've tried too.
     
  11. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Mark, thanks for the reply,
    I did have an SVT 2-Pro. I agree with you on all points. The 2-Pro did have a cleaner tone compared to the SVT-CL that I owned, but neither had the overall volume and clean tone of an early 70's SVT that I used to borrow from a friend.

    Thanks again,
    -Art