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Ampeg tube amp for home recording

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bantopodu, Jun 29, 2020.


  1. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    Hi Everyone

    I've got a question. I'm looking to do some home recording and I want the Ampeg tube sound. I play punk with a pick and I already own an SVT CL but it's impossible to get that driven sound at home, without my neighbour complaining his glasses are rattling in his glass cabinet. I need something which will achieve a similar sound but not blow the windows out. I'm considering the PF20t and a flip top cabinet - either a 1X15 or a 2X10. Does anyone have any experience of this amp or for that matter, had to solve this problem in the past?

    Sam
     
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  2. I've recorded with an SVT head and a 70's B-15 bottom and the same 70's B-15, both sounded great but don't usually try to get a driven sound, if I had with the SVT the speaker would have been history in about a minute. I don't own a PF20 though but that seems like it would be a good choice if you want to crank an amp. I've always gotten enough treble out of most Ampeg speakers.
     
    Bantopodu likes this.
  3. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    It's going to be difficult to emulate the overdriven sound of an SVT. If you need an amp, (keeping in mind you play punk) I would recommend a V4 non-bass model or the older B-25. If you're looking for a flip-top, I'd say go for a mid to late 70's B-15S.

    For practical home recording, you could get away with murder if you're not opposed to using an SVP-Pro or SVP-BSP preamp. Both can get a grind (the BSP has a distortion channel that can be blended) with the SVP being all tube and the BSP leaning on hybrid design. You could run a dirt pedal to get the kind of grit you're looking for.

    If you're not mic'ing a cab, then you have a ton of options at your disposal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
    getbent, Slough Feg Bass and iiipopes like this.
  4. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    In the context of a mix, you can absolutely get away with a decent plugin to reamp your clean/di signal.
     
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  5. Ed Byrnes

    Ed Byrnes

    Feb 13, 2015
    I've recorded at home with a V4-b and a SVT212av. At 100w you can overdrive the gain stage without getting too loud.
     
    Shpigel, mikewalker and Bantopodu like this.
  6. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I have no first-hand experience with these amps, but the PF20T and PF50T have built in dummy loads and transformer driven DIs; so you can safely use them for silent recording.

    Depending on your situation, even driving a PF20T to distortion into a live speaker may be too loud for a home environment. It would definitely be too loud for an apartment.

    You could use a variable attenuator so soak up some of the amp's power so the volume is reduced to a minimum, but in my experience applying more than 4-6dB of attenuation has a noticeable impact on the sound and feel. I own a pretty high end attenuator called the ARACOM PRX150-DAG that has some really nice features, but it cost more than a new PF20T, and it can only handle 150W. Aracom Amplifiers Crank it up! Power Rox PRX150-DAG Power Attenuator

    Two Notes Audio Engineering also makes some pretty cool attenuators in their Torpedo series Two notes Official Website - Home of Torpedo Hardware and Software.

    There are also companies that make silent speaker chambers that can handle a low powered amp. But these tend to require a bit of EQ to get a natural sound. From the research I have done the Rivera Silent Sister is probably the best, but it is huge, expensive, and you would need to load it with a driver that can handle bass. Silent Sister | Rivera Amplification The Silent Sister is also a bit louder than some other silent speakers.

    Another option I was interested in specifically for its small size and portability is the AxeTrackBass. I thought this might be cool for bands who run ampless IEM systems who want a bit more organic sound. The bass specific model is rated for a 75W...so it should handle either a PF20T of PF50T pushed into OD fine. AxeTrakBass | AxeTrak Isolation Cabinets and Devices No idea how transparent or voiced the AxetrakBass is. AxeTrakBass has a small removable port cover that varies the amount of isolation provided and tunes the low end.
     
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  7. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    Are those software plugs?
     
  8. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    So am I trying to do the impossible? I've got some software plugins - the UA Ampeg collection - and I've got a sansamp BDDI. I've spent hours trying to get it to sound like a mic'd cab but no real satisfactory outcome when recording Direct with it - I've tried to use the XLR and the line out, so I get a crafted DI and a non crafted DI but I don't find either sound as good as putting a mic in front of a cab. I'm not opposed to using an amp sim on a DI track to mix with the Mic sound but I really want to get that Mic'd tube sound into the DAW somehow. I would also like to use whatever I end up buying as a home practice amp.
     
  9. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Your question is a bit ambiguous, but I will assume you are asking about the Two Notes Torpedo products. I don't have a great deal of knowledge on the Torpedo line, but it appears to use both attenuation and digital cab sims. The ones I have read about use (Impulse Response) IRs. So to answer the question in this context, various Torpedo products do have "software patches" that can be downloaded and installed into the product. For example: Two notes Store
     
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  10. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    Apologies I was referring to the SVP Pro and SVP Bsp.
     
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  11. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I am assuming this is why you are interested in a low powered tube amp that you can drive into distortion. Then you don't have to rely on modeling for the distortion, because you have the real deal. But if you go with silent recording, you may still benefit from an IR to model the combined response of the cab and mic.
     
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  12. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    Exactly this.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  13. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    I'm basically trying to find something which I can drive but not deafen my neighbours, for home use but which can be driven to sound like a 300W SVT but without the volume. I've thought about an SVT3 Pro and V4B and I came across the low powered all tube Ampegs and it got me thinking. The trouble is 2 fold. Firstly, nowhere near me has a PF20t and the PF50t is even harder to find in the UK generally. The V4B I could probably find somewhere within a few hundred miles. The second problem is the COVID pandemic and the shops rules on testing stuff.
     
    SidNitzerglobin likes this.
  14. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    The V4B does not have a built in dummy load and will be pretty darn loud into a speaker by the time you start hitting output distortion.

    You could use a PF20T or PF50T with the built in dummy load, and then use a cab simulator like a Two Notes CABM or an DSM OmniCabSIM to get more of a mic'ed speaker sound. You would need an XLR to 1/4" adapter since the PF20T and PF50T have XLR outs.

    The OmniCab is analog, the CABM is digital and uses IRs. Different philosophy but both appear to be highly regarded.

    Two notes Audio Engineering - Torpedo C.A.B. M+
    https://www.dsmnoisemaker.com/omnicabsim-deluxe/yh0m9

    Neither of these are loadboxes. The CABM works at instrument, line or speaker level, but does not provide a load for the amp. So if you use it at speaker level, a speaker or loadbox must be used as well.

    The OmniCabSIM works at mic, instrument, or line level. Do not connect between the amp and speakers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  15. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    My PF50T has worked pretty darn well in this regard taking the post-OT balanced out > DAW w/ a VST cab sim for a mini-fridge/full fridge. Honestly re-amping a straight DI signal w/ the Amplitube SVT & cab sims has worked great for me if I'm willing to put in a little more time tweaking in the mix.
     
    DrMole likes this.
  16. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    Does the P50t get dirty if you crank it a bit?
     
  17. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    Oh yes! I usually like to dial it ~10:30-noon on the gain knob & goose it w/ a boost for the much hairier stuff, but straight in it's got plenty of dirt on tap w/ any of my passive basses. It's not quite exactly the same as the VT type preamp & power section drive, but it seems to live right next door to my ears & is almost equally as cool in my book.

    My mid 70s master volumed VT-22 head does a good job copping this type of driven sound too, but is way less practical for recording or in a band setting IMO. Might be able to pick one up slightly cheaper than a PF50T or a V4/V4B though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
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  18. Bantopodu

    Bantopodu

    Jan 10, 2020
    What cab do you run it through?
     
  19. SidNitzerglobin

    SidNitzerglobin

    Feb 12, 2019
    fROMOHIO
    As of a little over a week ago I think it will be the Epifani UL210 + a PF115-HE. I'm fairly convinced the PF cabs (started out using a PF210 + the PF115) have been the limiting factor in my satisfaction w/ my aggressive driven sounds so far, but they sound nice to me for a more mellow, older school sound. I think I'd go for one/a couple of the SVT cabs if I was optimizing for all out heavy drive in a band setting, but for recording at the house, I'd just use the post power direct out + a good cab sim plug in in the DAW.
     
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  20. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Sam,
    I was a recording engineer for many years before we used computers to emulate sounds.
    Ampeg and others offer a number of good ways to accomplish your goal.

    I'm assuming you are recording digitally and by far the easiest way to accomplish this is with a good plug in.
    Don't know what to recommend but know that hit records are made this way for many artists.
    For old school:
    * One of my favorite bass tones is Fender bass through a V4B head with a dummy load on the outputs. I know it's non linear load but that amp sounds great when you take the pre-amp out right into the console. I never tried for distorted tone with this. They do make 300 watt (and greater) dummy loads but have never tried this with an SVT.
    * Ampeg SVP-CL or SVT IIP tube preamps; I have one of each and they sound awesome either straight to tape or through a power amp and cabinet with a mic.
    * Of course the B-15 size rig for when you want clean and fat. No experience with the PF series tube amps so no idea about distortion.
    * For light overdrive consider an overdrive pedal or just a booster to push a smaller bass amp. I like one called a Ginger that is available on Reverb.
    * A B25 or VT40 though a bass cabinet would do nicely for medium distortion as a small amp
    * Once the distortion gets medium high, I don't think the the brand makes as much difference. Not so sure I could tell a 50 watt tube Ampeg vs. a 50 watt Fender. You're buddy got a small head kicking around to use with your cabinet?
    * Get creative. I had a session once where the player needed a distorted tone and all the studio had was a B-15, DI Box, and a twin reverb. He didn't like the B-15 distorted but he loved a little bit of bass through a master volume twin reverb and some straight DI.
    Let us know how how it worked out.
     
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