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Confession: Afraid of Ampeg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flipper43, Mar 18, 2010.


  1. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    Hi guys. Where do i start.. hmm.

    Well, like anyone else, when i started off playing bass, i immediately noticed Ampeg as the industry standard for bass amps. I always meant to buy one eventually, but the only thing "Ampeg" i ever owned was an Ampeg 8x10 cab. I've owned GK things, Mesa things, Acoustic things, Tech 21 things, but never a head from Ampeg. One thing kept me away; EVERYONE in all of the mainstream bands uses one these days. Along with an 8x10 cabinet. I just didn't like the idea of having the same sound as everyone else. Lately, though, i've been really digging the all tube Ampeg "grind" sound. I also like the clean sounds.
    I like my Mesa stuff that i'm currently using, i just think that it's time for a different sound, and i want to go all tube. i've been strongly debating buying an SVT-II (pro or non pro. Is there a difference?), but i've heard that they constantly break down, are unrelyable, and cost a lot to maintain. DO you have to switch the tubes often?
    I realize that Ampegs have a slightly slower attack because of the tubes, but i don't really play fast music so that's not a problem. I just don't know if buying one is worth it in the end, because it costs so much money, i can't just go and pick one up on the spot. I have to be sure.

    Any comments about this or advice is nice. Thanks guys.
     
  2. you can get A LOT of sounds out of an Ampeg, so you're not going to sound the same as everyone else.
     
  3. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    Do the newer ones really crap out as much as everyone claims they do? Or are they reliable?
     
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    A slow attack is something you feel when you play a note; it isn't necessarily related to the speed of your song.

    That's like having a car that sputters every time you press the accelerator. It doesn't matter that you don't drive fast, you'll still feel it every time.

    Tube amps cost more to maintain than solid-state ones: tubes wear and they're fragile. Replacing them usually should be done by a tech in case there's a need to rebias the amp. That costs money.

    Since you're unsure about everything related to Ampeg amps, perhaps your best bet is to just not bother right now.
     
  5. VT Bass.... ampeg on.... ampeg off.
     
  6. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
    I would just use a VT to drive a power amp, but i don't think it can capture the feel of a real one. I've only heard demos on youtube of it, but everyone seems to really like it, can it really cop ampeg tones that well?
     
  7. Flipper43

    Flipper43

    Sep 7, 2009
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, tubes having a 'slow attack' is a myth, or at best, is a result of poor design. for me, a tube amp seems to have actually a faster attack, especially in the preamp stage. i think that often, the sometimes 'more sterile' (or less 'colored') tone of a solid state amp, makes people think that they respond faster, but it never has been the case for me. as an example, its hard to imagine any amp having much faster of an attack than a Fender Dual showman or a Twin Reverb.

    and comparing two of my somewhat 'high-end' channel strips, my UA 6176's (tube) attack is just as fast as my Focusrite ISA430 MKII (SS).
     
  9. CapnSev

    CapnSev

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I like the sound of an Ampeg. My problem with them though is everything I plug into an Ampeg sounds like an Ampeg, and I get tired of it.
     
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    you could say that they have a certain tone, but i actually find the original SVT and old V4's to have quite a bit of flexibilty in shaping their sound.
     
  11. The only problem we ever had with our Ampeg SVT is that it blew fuses on occasion. Carry spare fuses, and as far as I know you should be fine. An extra set of power tubes isn't a bad idea either.
     
  12. it's a sound you either like or you don't... for me personally, I find tube amps to have a looser fuller low end. while this may be perfect for a certain sound, it's just not mine... I prefer lots of tight ss watts to get my bottom :)

    I do still however appreciate it for what it is but unfortunately it's not what I'm looking for in most of my situations at the moment... one day my love affair with tubes will reignite I'm sure...
     
  13. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    ""One thing kept me away; EVERYONE in all of the mainstream bands uses one these days. Along with an 8x10 cabinet. I just didn't like the idea of having the same sound as everyone else. ""

    Your rig on stage is a monitor cabinet for your self and bandmates. The 810e is used a lot because of it's size, punchy midrange, overall thick tone, and lack of a tweeter. It works for a lot of bass styles and is plenty loud on stage. You can mic an 810e an infinite number of ways, with an infinite amount of mics. You will not have the same sound as everyone else - it will be similar, but if you like the tone, who cares?


    I like my Mesa stuff that i'm currently using, i just think that it's time for a different sound, and i want to go all tube. i've been strongly debating buying an SVT-II (pro or non pro. Is there a difference?), but i've heard that they constantly break down, are unrelyable, and cost a lot to maintain. Do you have to switch the tubes often?

    Do some more searches on this site (yeah, a lot of reading), and you will get all of your quesitons answered. They are reliable pieces of gear - it would not be on almost every stage in the world if it was grade F garbage. The most expensive tubes are the power tubes - preamp tubes are much cheaper. Only you can decide if you want to buy new tubes at certain times - I can't give you a time frame on how long they last. I say at least five years for the pre and power tubes, but it is all dependent on how loud you play the head, how often, and how well you take care of it. You can self-bias the tubes and replace all of them yourself with the Ampeg SVT CL, VR, and 2PRO

    I realize that Ampegs have a slightly slower attack because of the tubes, but i don't really play fast music so that's not a problem. I just don't know if buying one is worth it in the end, because it costs so much money, i can't just go and pick one up on the spot. I have to be sure.

    Slightly slower attack rate? Machine Head, Pantera, Slayer, Fear Factory, Cannibal Corpse....all fast and heavy music. All of these guys use the Ampeg 810e and some sort of Ampeg tube amp on stage. Trust your ears, not that attack rate mumbo jumbo. Guitar Center usually has the 810e and the Ampeg tube amps hanging around - try one and see what happens. It's the only way to know for sure. Don't be scared and forget the outside world. You play better if you get gear you like.
     
  14. Vanceman

    Vanceman

    Feb 14, 2007
    So. Cal.
    Only if you have FOH support, otherwise that's THE bass sound. Every band that plays the local bar scene around here, with a few exceptions, does not have FOH support for bass. We're small time...
     
  15. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Good point! The OP should just get 2 810's & 2 tube amps with no PA support!
     
  16. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    If you don't like Ampeg then I can understand that but I find that any amp I plug into adds something to the overall sound. Some more than others. However as long as you aren't overdriving it's not like it changes your sound so much that it becomes indistinct or generic.

    Tube amps having a slow attack is a myth.
     
  17. DanRJBrasil

    DanRJBrasil

    Jun 10, 2007
    but a all tube amp last a lifetime if not more if well cared, a ss don't in the road maybe in a 10 or 20 years( or less) they will crap out and then trash bin, is pita to service complex ss heads, try to find matched mosfets
     
  18. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I play a 100 watt v4 through an 810. Volume has never beej an issue. Past what a 100 watt tube head can push through an 810 you need FOH support IMO.

    tubes are not as fragile as people like to say they are. I replaced my last set of power tubes after a steady 2 years of gigging and rehearsals. I have 40 year old preamp tubes in my B15 that still sound flawless.
     
  19. +1 to all of this!!! The 100w all tube thru an efficient cab with plenty of drivers-6x10, 8x10, even a good 4x10" will give a damn lotta sound & volume.
    I've use all tube amps all my life & apart from when a beer got tipped INTO the amp, I've NEVER had a problem-NEVER in 30+yrs of gigging:bassist: Even back when I didn't know squat about tube amps- I'd plug 'em in w/out knowing the impedance of the cab, plug the cab in after it was on, wasn't 'careful' re handling the amps - all sorts of things I take care about today. But I KNOW the amps are far more robust than many think. My SVT2 (which is a fair bit different to the later SVT2PRO) even got tipped over- cab & amp went to the floor!!! Still all worked with NO probs- still does- & although it's been checked over by a tech- nothing needed doing .
    AFAIK & according to MANY on here that HAVE experience w/ the later Asian made SVT's - they seem to be generally very reliable too
     
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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