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Arkham bullet vs Ampeg SVT DI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheMaynorD, May 12, 2020.


  1. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    Help me make a decision please

    Looking to get a tube preamp to warm up my signal to my aguilar ag700.

    Based on the pricepoint of around 400 i have narrowed it down to Arkham sounds bullet ( on reverb) and the Ampeg SVT DI ( also reverb)
    I am also considering tube rolling either one with a NOS so any input on that would be helpful as well.

    I have heard great things from @JimmyM about the SVTDI. Anyone want to weight in on the Bullet?

    NOTE: the oracle is too exoensive at $600 with an amperex or Mullard, and has a 5 to 6 week lead time.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh, you want to warm up an Aggie micro? Hmmm...well the SVT-DI does allow you to do that and it works pretty well, but when you set it to do that, it dumps in a whole lot of 800 hz-centered mids into it. I was able to dial it out easily enough with the 800 hz Ampeg mid setting, though. Just thought I'd let you know about that.
     
  3. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    The ag700 has 4 band eq. Im nit sure where the hi mids are set at but i can lower those a bit if need be.

    Bullet has a 2 band eq so a little mire tweakable than the DI
     
  4. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Have not used the SVTDI or the Bullet, but I do have experience with the Arkham Zephyr (both the older, two tube and newer one-tube versions) which, as far as I know, should sound and respond similarly to the Bullet (though the Zephyr has more features/controls). The Zephyr was fairly responsive to tube rolling -- works well with a plain old JJ but was quite nice with an old Hammond tube and an old EI -- tighter and more focused with the Hammond, bigger and more raw (as well as louder) with the EI.
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hi mids are set at 800 on the AG700. Not surprised...Dave's a closet Ampeg fan :D
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  6. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    How is the zephyr? I hear people love it but there are only a few youtube demos and most of them are garbage.
     
  7. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Well, I can't say what you'll think of the demos therein, but perhaps you'll find this post interesting:
    Zephyr's a quality piece. Well made, with pretty flexible tone controls (James stack with some extras), even though they don't fit into the traditional BMT mold. Not as chewy as Monique or as sweet up top as the Demmie, but strikes a nice balance while being its own thing. Articulation is pretty good and Gain affects feel and thickens up sound but would not be my choice for an overdriven tone, if that's what you're going for (though you can get some hair on the notes, certainly).

    Don't know if you've scoped the big thread on the Zephyr.
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  8. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    Thanks that is a very helpful bunch of recordings.

    I have been surfing the zephyr thread for a while. Some good info
     
  9. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Ampeg SVP-CL in the classifieds right now for $350. (no affiliation)
    Highly recommended as a great tube pre or DI, IMO.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  10. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    Ended up going with the Bullet.
    If it doesn't blow me away (pun intended) i can flip it oretty easily on here and upgrade to an oracle or try out the SVT DI.

    Also picked up an NOS RCA black panel 12AX7 to try out with it. Ill do some A/B recordings and post them.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  11. Raw N Low

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

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I would go with both -- they are two very different things. The SVT-DI is a studio-grade DI and is fantastic for recording. I even use mine for gigs when I piggyback off my amp going into the mixing board. Arkham is going to give you the flexibility you need to make adjustments.

    Sorry if I missed this in an earlier post but, what is going to be the intended use? If your focus is strictly on recording songs, I'd say the outcome is 50/50. I have a few DI's and the Ampeg is one of my favorites.
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  12. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    Main purpose is to add some tubey warmth to my tone both live and on recirdings. I record flat bass straight through a scarlett 2i2 and then we use a reamp box to add the FX, amp tones etc once we have the base track we want.
     
    dirkcalloway and Raw N Low like this.
  13. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    Live it will likely sit on top of my. Aguilar AG700 and serve as a preamp into the amp and I will DI from the aG700 to house.
     
  14. Raw N Low

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

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    That's a unique situation and tough to say. It's possible that the Arkham will suit your needs. My only concern would be the pre/post-processing of the DI coming from the Aggie. In a perfect world, I would run Arkham into a nice power amp and run its preamp out into the Ampeg SVT-DI input and run the DI out the house.

    I'm probably overthinking it. I'd like to know how you like the preamp when it arrives.
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  15. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    That may end up being an alternative. I could sell my AG700 and spend 300 or so on a QSC power amp and the rest on a SVT DI
     
    Raw N Low likes this.
  16. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I would try running the Bullet into the effects return of the Aggie and try the DI from the Aggie both pre- and post-EQ to see how it works (and to see whether or not the EQ on the Aggie functions when running post-EQ, this way).

    I've not played the AG700 (though I have played through the older AG500) but, if you like the feel and response of it in general, doing the above should let you use it as a compact poweramp (more or less, depending on exactly where the effects return is in the circuit, relative to everything else).

    You could also try running the Bullet into the front end of the Aggie (the effects return is likely to require a hotter signal, but I don't know for sure)... you might like it, though, without hearing the pieces together, my inclination would be to have less stuff in the signal path and not stack preamps and EQs.
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  17. labeledbass

    labeledbass

    May 24, 2015
    Have you changed your tube yet? I recently bought a zephyr and am astonished at what tones I'm getting from it, especially when mixed. But I am curious how different tubes will effect the thumpy warmth I already have. At first I was worried about articulation but after learning this mid range dial its very punchy and clear. My very quietest preamp as well, no noise, not even with my houses old wiring. I wouldn't want to add any noise to the current setup. Here's what settings work well right now.

    20200523_183110.jpg
     
    TheMaynorD likes this.
  18. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    I literally just finished the demo vid in the studio
    Once it is edited and mixed with the audio ill put it up here on TB

    Bottom line: the RCA blackplate made a MASSIVE difference compared to the JJ

    Huge low end and much punchier. I cannot recommend it enough.
     
    JimmyM and labeledbass like this.
  19. labeledbass

    labeledbass

    May 24, 2015
    Awesome, where will you post it up? This thread?
     
  20. TheMaynorD

    TheMaynorD Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Oklahoma City
    Probably in the zeohyr thread or as a standalone poat in amps and cabs
     
    labeledbass likes this.

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