Ampeg-yep, I'm still pissed!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davidoc, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. I just took my bass out for the first time in a while, and I was just reminded about how upset I am at the performance of my Ampeg SVP-Pro. I'm a college student without much money, but I need a new preamp if I'm going to start playing bass again.

    I have an SVP, and it #1: sounds great, #2: emits a huge ammount of static noise (don't even think about trying to record with it, or staying sane sitting anywhere near the amp when it's on.) and #3: stops working properly periodically, and just emits an extremely weak, crackling signal. For some really weird reason, adjusting the tension of the screws on the rackmount makes this come and go away. I know, it makes no sense, but I am not making this up.

    I've replaced every tube, and taken it to the shop (they said it was one of the tubes and they replaced it, but it still suffers from these 2 problems.
  2. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    That happens to me on my Gallien head. I think I have heard the answer lies in the input jack.. But it hasn't happened to my head in a while so I haven't gotten a chance to get it fixed. I know someone here on this forum knows what it is.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Almost sounds like you have a bad ground, to say the least. But what I would do if I were you is take it back to your tech and tell them they didn't fix it, and you want it fixed, AND since you already paid the bench fee that you want it waived etc. etc. Good luck though,

  4. Thanks for the info! :) It might be the input jack for the weak/crackily issue; that's not unreasonable at all. I actually didn't pay anything for the tech, as it was under warranty. (One thing about Ampeg: They have a truly great warranty; it's 5 years transferrable.) I think when I go home for the summer I wil give this another go, assuming I can find the receipt.
  5. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I have an SVP-Pro (for sale, I might add, in a shameless act of prostitution) and I've never come across any of the issues people have said it has. It's been dead silent for me, never once so much as hiccuped, and is in general a great piece.

    Maybe I got a good one, or something, I don't know. All I know is that mine's quiet, no static or hiss, and sounds great.

    If all they did was replace a tube when it's swealing and hissing, I'd definitely think about taking it to a new tech. Though, I have heard re-tubing them with new tubes can quiet them down. Obviously not on yours, but it's been said.

    Hell, I'm only selling mine because I'm moving in a different direction with my entire rig.

    And Ray has himself a point. Don't let someone get away with not fixing something.
  6. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    If you take it back to the same place, they should be able to service it without a receipt. If you showed them once, they should have it on record. Also, Ampeg may (should) have a system that recalls date of purchase info. I'm (unfortunately) in the appliance business, and I can make a quick phone call to verify DOP if the product has been worked on under warranty, or if the customer registered the warranty.

    It'd be worth trying so you don't have to wait. Intermittent issues are notoriusly hard to track down, so try not to go too overboard. It's frustrating for everyone involved, I'm sure.
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    You might consider PMing Jerrold Tiers (Did I spell that right?) He works for Ampeg and would probably be willing to help.
  8. I'm just so glad it's still under warranty. I've had these issues for a long time, but havn't addressed them in nearly a year. All the info here has been good, and I appreciate it. Checking to see if the place has it on file would work too. I'm hoping that when I go home from college I'll be able to find the receipt.

    Brendan, I guess it's a quality control issue here. I assume that the issues I'm experiencing are not universal to the preamp, and besides them it's a fine amp, and it does sound good. I guess I just got a bad one.
  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Ain't that the breaks? I've never had a "bad one" anything yet, but I'm waiting for my turn in the barrel.
  10. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I'm guessing there is a bad solder joint somewhere.
  11. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    Then I must be getting it all for you :rollno:
  12. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    My advice exactly.

    In college, my roommate had an Ampeg rig, and one day it randomly stopped acknowledging the bass signal to the input jack, despite everything else apparently working. We noticed that if we stood close to it and spoke out loud, we could hear ourselves through his cab. The problem was eventually traced to a bad solder joint somewhere near the input jack. The problem is, unless it's obvious, bad solder joints can be a doozy to hunt down... might be worth the loss in shipping fees to have Ampeg do the dirty work for you.
  13. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Sounds like you have a grounding problem.. Especially about the whole screw thing.
  14. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    OK, first, WHICH SVP?...there are two pre's, SVP-CL and SVP-PRO. I assume you have the SVP-PRO....

    Yours is still under warranty, evidently, so we will be happy to fix it. What you need is a tech who can find the problem.

    But, if for some reason the problem is a "system" issue, that involves more than one unit, he'll never find it, and won't know who to file the claim with if he does.

    So. Yes, I too suspect a bad solder joint or the like in the unit. It sounds like a very typical solder joint or connection problem. Maybe a funky tube happens.

    But it *could* be something to do with the rack and connection to power amp. There are some very unlikely but still possible other causes.

    What amp is it used with?

    What type cable is connecting them?

    Does it do the same thing if it is NOT bolted into the rack, (maybe laying on top of rack, etc) but still hooked up the same way with same cables?

    While it is out of the rack, does tapping on it cause the problem to show up (or go away)?

    Does it have the problem when plugged into different outlets?

    Does it have the problem with different cables to instrument and power amp?

    I hate to pepper you with questions, but if it has been in once and the problem wasn't found, more info may be needed.

    One other point. You are in the US, so as a last resort, you can send it back to us for factory warranty service.

    If you do end up doing that, just make sure you give a very complete description of the problem and what conditions are when it messes up, so that they know what to look for.

  15. Thanks for the very detailed and informative reply! :) The amp is indeed still under warranty despite how long I've had the amp/problems, and there's a good possibility that I have the receipt. I forgot to clarify the exact model- It's an SVP-Pro.

    As for it being a "system" issue, I of course experimented for a very large ammount of time when I first noticed the 2 issues, shortly after I bought the preamp. It is definitely the preamp, and no other components or cables. I've done many different types of tests to confirm this, involving substituting other preamp sections in its place, and using the SVP preamp connected to other systems. I am certain that both of these problems are being caused by the preamp. (For the noise issue, I was blaming it on the bass for a long time, then cables, but then I narrowed it down to the preamp.)

    What amp is it used with?

    I am using QSC USA-850. However, the two issues are also present when it is connected into the power section of a Carvin PB-200 combo.

    What type cable is connecting them?

    A short generic patch cable. I have however substituted several instrument cables here, and the issues are still present.

    Does it do the same thing if it is NOT bolted into the rack, (maybe laying on top of rack, etc) but still hooked up the same way with same cables?

    This is an interesting question. I actually have done alot of experimenting with this, but it's been a while so I can't give exact details. The general answer however is "usually not". It would at times, but picking it up and moving it would quickly remedy this, iirc. Isn't that really, really odd?

    While it is out of the rack, does tapping on it cause the problem to show up (or go away)?

    I don't know, I'll have to try that.

    Does it have the problem when plugged into different outlets?


    Does it have the problem with different cables to instrument and power amp?


    This most definitely does sound like some internal connection issue rather than a component issue, like you mentioned about cold solder joints. Besides the two problems I have, the amp sounds great, and everything functions properly. If I have to send it to the factory and they do indeed fix it, I'd say it would be worth the shipping and time without the preamp. I'm definitely not waiting any longer on this.
  16. Washishimi

    Washishimi Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    New York
    Aren't speakers cables a no-no for amp to preamp connections? (not sure if this is what you were talking about though)
  17. Woops! You're absolutely correct. Instrument cables are what I meant.
  18. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    Actually, theres three. You're forgetting the svp-bsp :)
  19. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Since it's under warranty, you should just take it into the shop everyday until it's fixed or they give you a new one. Ampeg has a great warranty. use it!
  20. I dont think that has preamp tubes tho, isnt it solid state, however, that could have been the problem if the tech replaced a tube in a solidstate amp :eyebrow: