Behringer Ultrabass BVT5500H 550W Bass Amp Head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eraserhead0508, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Eraserhead0508


    Jul 8, 2011
  2. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I've never used one, but it's probably a perfectly fine head if you can get a decent sound you like out of it. That being said Behringers perception of being cheap crap would keep me from throwing my money away on a new one.
  3. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    A friend of mine at work has a Behringer amp. My summary (and his):

    MUCH less power than advertised, but good sound. Almost unsellable on the used market.
  4. I have used one and it sounded fine - you are bound to get a pile of strong anti-behringer replies and a few defenders.. Their stuff tends to sound fine, durability has been an issue for some in the past. They do have a new improved warranty (iirc)

    I would also look for a used Hartke LH500 - they go pretty cheap and sound great (imho, imd)
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  6. vickde


    Jul 23, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I have a BVT4500H (the earlier version of the BVT5500H) that I use as a practice amp through a 210 cab. I have had no problems with it in the 2+ years I've had it. It gets played a lot. It does not get moved around much - it is housed in a needlessly heavy, mostly empty, particle board (or whatever they're calling that stuff these days) box. Inside the empty box I have mounted a power strip that feeds both the amp and an inexpensive starved-tube mic preamp, which I have semi-permanently installed in the effects loop. Between the "toob," Behringer's tube emulation, and some careful eq'ing, I get a pretty fair rendition of the Ampeg that it looks like. I'm quite happy with the sound; it's bright, articulate, with just enough tube grit to be convincing.

    After a quick look at the schematic, it's pretty obvious why they can sell these so cheaply - apparently they take their off-the-shelf tube-emulation preamp and mate it with their off-the-shelf power amp. I haven't analyzed the preamp circuit all that deeply, but on the face of it, it appears to be a pretty typical asymmetrical-clipping opamp-driven distortion box. It's somewhat tubey, but more convincing with an actual tube in the loop. Unlike the Ampeg that it apes, the power amp is driven by three pairs of bipolar (PNP/NPN) transistors. The output devices used are commonly used to produce ~100W/pair. The suspected 300W output of these devices is in line with Behringer's 450W "peak" rating. The use of bipolars eliminates the possibility of any useful poweramp breakup - any grit must be in the preamp.

    IIRC, I bought this creature for about $200 to replace an SWR Workingman's 2004 in which the power amp died a slow, painful (not to mention noisy) death. All in all, the Behringer was a decent purchase for my intended use as a bedroom practice amp. It may well also be giggable - I never opened up the chassis to look at construction. I wouldn't carry it around in that box.

    IME, IMO, etc, etc. It may be useful when reading these posts to distinguish between those who actually have experience to post and those who just want to bash Behringer.
  7. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
  8. For that money I would look at a more sell-on-able brand... I struggled to get a sound that carried enough when faced with a behringer head at a gig, and what worked wasn't the most inspiring sound... Keep hunting and look at good used gear ;)
  9. Sean Fairchild

    Sean Fairchild

    Nov 15, 2013
    Specialist, Product Support: BEHRINGER
    Dear all,

    I'm a product specialist for MUSIC Group (which includes Behringer, Bugera, Midas, Klark Teknik, and Turbosound) as well as a bassist myself, and I'd be happy to answer any questions on the new Behringer or Bugera bass amps. I've personally played through one of the new Bugera Veyron heads at the NAMM show, and I was pretty impressed with it. I'm excited to get more time on it - I don't believe they're available just yet, but when they are I should be able to get a sample and set up a webinar to go over features and functions.

    Feel free to reply here or PM me with any questions. Thanks!

    Best regards,
    Sean Fairchild
    Specialist, Channel Marketing Prosumer Division
    MUSIC Group
    elkkid2 likes this.
  10. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    I have the Behringer BX4500H, which I use as a backup to my Carvin BX1200 for gigs. The Carvin puts out 275w into each of my 8 ohms cabs in bi-amp mode for a total of 550w.

    The Behringer is rated at 450 watts RMS at 4 ohms. I feel this rating is accurate because when I plug it into the same cabs, I do not notice any big drop in volume at all, very little as a matter of fact. The GAIN stays around 50 percent and so does the MASTER, which attains fairly loud stage volume.

    Their built-in compressor is quite good and allows for extra volume without clipping. I pretty much avoid the DEEP (sub lows) and ULTRABASS since these can punish speakers if not used carefully. The SHAPE filter is very cool for modern rock and metal tones.

    It's been a solid head. Well worth the money.
  11. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I have the Behringer BXR1800H Ultrabass head. When I bought it, I asked the rep at Thomann (German music equipment seller) about it, because I'd never heard of them before. He quite honestly told me that they are made with the cheapest components available, that's why they can be sold so cheaply. Due to my budget, I had not other choice, and I bought it.

    I've had it for close to 1 year now. It is my daily practice amp. I have no complaints. It sounds really good, no noise issues, it has 2 channels, the second providing a dirty sound, with a footswitch. I love it. Glad I bought it.

    As mentioned above, I haven't moved it around much, so I can't vouch for durability.

    One of the rehearsal studios I use has several Behringer items (mixing board, P.A. monitors) and they told me that they've had them for a few years, and no problems.
  12. vickde


    Jul 23, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    If you're truly running the Carvin amp in bi-amp mode, then I'd think you're getting about 300W of sound out of it. Where do you have the crossover set? If it's about equal to the Behringer head in volume in that mode, that pretty much confirms how hard I'm guessing they're driving those bipolars.
  13. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    Behringer heads sometimes unjustifiably get the hate that their speakers deserve. That head's not awful, you could probably do better for the price, but it's not an awful buy in that category. You'll get better bang for your buck going used though.
  14. SBsoundguy


    Sep 2, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Very cool, Sean. I look forward to your future posts. Do you think you could review some of the power amps too?
  15. Sean Fairchild

    Sean Fairchild

    Nov 15, 2013
    Specialist, Product Support: BEHRINGER
    Thank you, SB.
    Power amp reviews (by me) seem a little less likely than bass, guitar, and recording gear ones, but anything is possible. I'm looking forward to reviewing some more gear, myself!

    Best regards,
    Sean Fairchild
    Specialist, Channel Marketing Prosumer Division
    MUSIC Group
  16. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    It's true the amp isn't as loud in bi-amp mode as it is in dual amp mode. I set the crossover FREQ at 9:00. Still the point is the Behringer gets plenty loud at half-gain and half master. I'd say similar to my previous GK700RB, which was 380w + 50 for the tweeter. It's a bit louder than my Carvin BX250, which is 250w at 4 ohms. Whether that means the Behringer puts out a legit 450w RMS or not, I'm not quite sure but nothing about it's performance suggests (to me) that it's a lot less. In the manual it clearly says 450w RMS, not program or peak.
  17. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    As for the BVT5500H, I've read quite a few reviews on it and most say they like the "vintagey" tone and it gets plenty loud. It sure looks cool, like an old SVT which it, shall we say, paid tribute to in style. It's got some nice features like a style selector, defeatable (I think) graphic EQ, overdrive, effects and limiter. For 299.00, I'm sure it would sound good on say, a 4 ohm Avatar B212 or B410.