Geddy's Ashly Preamp Setup Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by showergasm, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. showergasm


    Dec 24, 2012
    Hi everyone, quick question about Geddy Lee's Ashly setup. I just bought an old blackface SC-40 to possibly run my Rickenbacker stereo. (pictured below) [DEL]The unit has 2 inputs (hi and lo) which I suppose I could run each pickup through, but I don't see how that would give each signal an independent EQ/drive/etc. since there aren't 2 sets of each parameter on the unit. Other people around talkbass talk about getting Ashlys to do the same thing but never mention needing 2 SC40s (as far as I've seen). Is there something I'm missing? or would you need 2, separate SC40s to run this type of setup?[/DEL] Also, can anyone reccomend a stereo power amp to pair with such a unit? Thanks in advance.

    P.S. On a side note, I haven't recieved the preamp yet, so I haven't had a chance to test it. But does anyone have any experience running this as a preamp to another full amp instead of the stereo setup mentioned before? (say, an SVT?) I have an SVT and I'm not sure if I should run instrument -> SC40 -> Ampeg or run the SC40 through the preamp out in the back.

  2. I used one of those for years. No, you can't run stereo with only one. You will need two, and a stereo power amp. Sorry, but I'm not familiar with Geddy's setup. I ran mine to a QSC power amp.
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    if you don't run it first, then it's not a preamp but just another EQ. you would likely get the most useful results running it into the power amp in of the SVT, bypassing the internal pre.

    and no, the two inputs won't work for two pickups. they're the same input, just with the second jack a little quieter. it would be like just running the bass in mono, except not as good.

    either way, i can't imagine it's as good as the all-tube SVT preamp!
  4. showergasm


    Dec 24, 2012
    Oh, I see. yeah, I just wanted something more solid-state and compressed to track alongside my SVT in the studio for blending and just experimenting. (I got a really good deal on it) I'm pretty new to solid state setups like this so bare with me.. Would increasing the gain level on the SC-40 overdrive an internal transistor to create distortion? I've heard people mention getting a grind out of the Ashlys but I don't see how that could be done without pairing it with a tube power section unless, like I suggested, it was using a transistor like a distortion pedal would.
  5. Turning up the stage level will over drive the pre amp, but to me it wasn't a very good distortion. You might be better off using a tube driven pedal maybe a tonebone or simular to get some overdrive.
  6. I'm kind of going off topic, but Geddy's setup these days is a bit more involved. He runs 3 DI signals. One signal is a SansAmp RPM, one is an Avalon U5, and third is signal to an Orange AD2000 (I think) into a Palmer Speaker Sim for the tubey goodness. Sound man mixes the 3 signals to taste.

    The Ashly is a really nice pre, btw!
  7. Well who really wants Geddy's sound from these days anyway?:p;)

    Anyhow, OP, I'd love it if you could post sound clips when you get the Ashly. I've always been curious about it. I considered getting one, but ended up getting an RPM instead.
  8. The Ashley was a good pre for it's time, I was using it in the early eighties, but my Carvin BX500 has way more tone shaping capibilities. I don't miss the Ashley at all.
  9. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Ha! (coming from the biggest Geddy fan in the world). His recorded tones are good but his live tone stinks IMHO.
  10. He used to have two BGW 750C power amps, two Ashley SC-40 preamps and ran two cabs that were 2X15's. Stereo all the way. In the photo below, there are also two other Ashley units of which I cannot identify.
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  11. showergasm


    Dec 24, 2012
    Awesome! Where is this photo from? and I'm guessing the other two ashlys are compressors.
  12. showergasm


    Dec 24, 2012

    still wondering what type of power amp to pair with this guy.. Was considering getting a vintage BGW Model 200 Stereo power amp (for the hell of it, mine as well complete the setup I had in mind) in case I decide to get another preamp to go stereo or a BGW 750c for the single ashly. Can anyone testify on the reliability on these guys despite their age?
  13. Wow, great pic!
  14. I used a BGW 6000 power amp back in the 80's. I retired it from my bass rig and used it to power monitors. Ran like a champ for about 15 years until I traded it.
  15. JaseyT

    JaseyT Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    Minor note: the preamps he used weren't the SC-40 preamps, but atcually the BP-41 preamps.
  16. Really??

    He had mentioned them by name in tourbooks and looking at the faceplates and comparing them to an old Ashley brochure I have, they sure look like SC-40's....

  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    so which is more outdated: geddy's actual backline bass rigs from the last time he bothered to use any, or this thread? ;)
    Passinwind likes this.
  18. JaseyT

    JaseyT Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    As far as what I've seen from the tourbooks, they say BP-41.
  19. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Still have my '80's SC40 , used it with a Bryston 4B and a JBL cab , sounded good !
    Check page 3 "other hookups" #3 , they explain how to get distortion with an insert diode.

    Use this with the gain full and adjust output master.
    Gives that Geddy "gritty" sound but you loose all the lowend , that's when the Ric-O-Sound comes in handy :)
    Bridge pickup on that channel and with the neck pickup on a more Lowend friendly chanel , you're good to Rush !

    BTW; on that photo , it's definitely SC40 , BP41 doesn't have that knob configuration.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015