Battle of the pre-amp: SVP-pro vs. RBI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Schwinn, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Ampeg SVP-Pro

    46 vote(s)
  2. SansAmp RBI

    51 vote(s)
  3. something else entirely

    12 vote(s)
  1. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I'm looking to spend around $300 on a pre-amp and I've narrowed it down to two contenders:

    Ampeg SVP-Pro and the SansAmp RBI

    In one corner, Allan Grossman chooses the Ampeg. Yes, how can I go wrong with Ampeg and it's classic tone?

    In the other, Bonafide endorses the Sansamp. Maybe more tone versatility here?

    I like the Ampeg sound but I want a "complete package" preamp so I can play everything from slow ballads to corpse-grinding metal. I'm definitely an all-around rock bassist.

    I've never done a poll before, so I couldn't resist.
  2. i own both, and I can't decide which one is better, the svp is a little noisy, so i use the RBI most of the time since its more quiet. But ill use the svp on live gigs and the RBI as a backup.
  3. I played an RBI last week at a country jam and I was impressed....Sounded good.
  4. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    Which ever you decide on, I'd recommend getting it from some place where you can return it before 30 days are up. In this way you can try them both out in the comfort of your own home and on gigs and thus make an informed decision on which to keep permanently.

    This is such a subjective decision, which sounds better, that I don't know that I'd leave it up to what a bunch of other people prefer. It's nice to have some opinions, but yours is the only one that counts in the end. :)
  5. Gee - I don't even have to vote :)

    I've played both and prefer the Ampeg - but then I own one. The RBI is no slouch, though.
  6. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Right you are. This is a good point because many of the threads on this board are completely subjective, with no right or wrong answers. But I'd still like to draw on the experience of fellow TB members on this one. I will try to buy somewhere where returns are possible, if I can.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    IMO, the RBI does a very nice SVT, plus a whole boatload of other tubey tones and a great modern clean.
  8. lol, the SVP-BSP!!!

    2 channels...ahhh i'll let you look it
  9. Where did you find a new Ampeg SVP-Pro for $300.00:confused:
  10. BASSnSAX said...

    lol, the SVP-BSP!!!

    2 channels...ahhh i'll let you look it

    Had one. Sold it and bought an SVP-PRO.

    If you like that "sand in a blender" sound the distortion channel on the BSP is probably right up your alley. I didn't use the distortion channel at all and the SVP-PRO is a better match for me.
  11. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    It was a used one that I spotted for around that price.

    This is just what I am hoping for with the RBI!

    Thanks guys.
  12. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I had an SVP-PRO and it was very noisy. The DI was useless due to the noise. The tone was great and lots of EQ options. I sold it because of the noise.

    I recently got an RBI and it is the very best SS preamp that I've tried. Sounds a lot like a tube preamp and is a bargain at $299.

  13. SVPs shouldn't be noisy - mine isn't. The DI is quiet as can be. Sounds like something was wrong with the amp.
  14. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i got mine for $350 new :D
  15. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    The poll is basically split.

    I think I found a store that has both in stock. Unfortunately, I couldn't get over there in time today, but tomorrow I sure will.:cool:
  16. Yeah, i tend to only use the clean channel, although last night i believe i stumbled across a good o.d. sound....
  17. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    All right guys.

    I skipped work today to try both the Ampeg and the SansAmp RBI, side-by-side, with the same Ken Smith and the same 2x10 cab.

    Whew...both of these pre-amps KICK ASS. But I'm going to go with the Ampeg SVP-Pro.

    I got a tone I loved (not liked) out of each. The difference? The RBI was better able to get what I would call a "modern tone" and the Ampeg had a warmness that I liked. IMO, the SansAmp sounded great but couldn't quite get that characteristic tone that I think I'll only get from a tube amp. I also like the better EQ of the Ampeg. Either one of these would do the job for me, but I'm leaning, by a hair, toward the Ampeg and that is the one I think I'm going to buy.

    Thanks for your help with my poll (although it was basically a 50/50 split so it didn't really help TOO much :D ). I'll let you know what kind of price I can get on this for others that may want to grab the SVP.
  18. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Yarg - lots o RBI talk today... I love mine, I will take it to the grave... But I did just buy an awesome Peavey Rockmaster tube preamp (four 12ax7's)... I use the RBI for the phatness / tone factor, and the Peavey for the crunch / tube compression...


    ps. I know I have been talking about the Peavey too much today, but it is too cool...
  19. ashton


    Jan 4, 2001
    what exactly does a preamp do, how can it help me?