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My Ampeg B2R sounds dull

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazzmonk, May 10, 2005.


  1. jazzmonk

    jazzmonk

    Feb 24, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    I got it used off of ebay a month ago. I KNOW it was heavily used because when I opened it up, there were alot of dust buildup in and near the fan. I demo'd a new one (not the B2RE) through a SVT-15E (1x15) at GC and it sounded warm and lively. I use an Avatar 2x12 and I thought the missing ingredient was the SVT-15E, so I got one and paired it up with the used B2R and it still sounds dull although better than the Avatar.

    Do I have an amp head that's nearing the end of it's life? Is it possible to for a SS amp to lose it's tone after heavy use? Does freshness really count - should I look for a born on date? :)
     
  2. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I was going to suggest trying a different cab too. That is something guys should always do before buying new heads. hhmmmm. Maybe try spraying down the input jack with electrical cleaner as well as the pots inside the amp.
     
  3. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    I thought the same when I got mine. That's why 8 months later I bought my M-Pulse 600.
     
  4. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    This might not help at all, but it's worth a try...

    Take two short shielded cables...plug one in the effects send and effects return and the other in the preamp output and poweramp input.

    If the jacks are dirty, chances are that they could affect your tone.

    Are you using your regular cable? If so, try cleaning the input jack with either contact cleaner on a Q tip or using a pencil eraser on the tip.

    Let me know if any of these things help.

    Good luck!!!

    Hopefully Jerrold will join in with some other suggestions.
     
  5. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm no amp guru, but IME, I don't think it could be physical dirt causing lifelessness or having the tone be dull. Especially a solid state amp? It's possible, but I would look for a more likely answer.

    Maybe a problem on the circuit that is restricting the gain? What happens when you take the gain all the way up? Still cold and dull? Dumb question for me but, you did do some extreme EQ and setting testing just to see if extreme sounds were possible, right?

    If you tried all that is possible with the settings, and tried different cabs and cables with YOUR B2R, then it could be an internal thing. And cleaning it wouldn't hurt either hehe...

    Best of luck...
     
  6. ndjx

    ndjx

    Oct 26, 2001
    MN
    Personally although they sound good in the store, my Ampeg B2R never sounded that great in the live situation. It was "dull" as you described.
     
  7. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Yup. Very quiet for it's rating, as well.
     
  8. jazzmonk

    jazzmonk

    Feb 24, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    I had already cleaned out all the dust. And the cable and input contacts are clean. I have also tried to work the EQ to compensate for its dullness. The fundamental Ampeg tone is there, it's just not jumping out like the demo did.

    One change I made recently was to turn the volume up because I read that it warmed the sound up, but I don't play loud so I turned the gain down. I haven't touched the gain since, I need to revisit this to see if it makes a difference (as Transverz suggested).

    It's good to know that other people have had similar experiences and I'm not just imagining it.
     
  9. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    People hate these amps here.

    It's an article of the TalkBass faith that the B-2R/SVT-350H is junk.

    Are they? I don't know. I have one I've never used.
     
  10. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've had a differente experience so I apologize.

    My first "real" amp was an Ampeg B5R. Not too much different, just a bit simpler and had crazy overdrive. Really had that nice Ampeg tone but in 350w@4ohms or 500w@2ohms. Really cool little amp. Sounded pretty good to me. True, couldn't get that loud. But it was loud enough for me to play small to medium sized venues with no problem. I ended up selling it because I wanted something in the 600w and up range, but not because I thought it sounded horrid.

    Maybe the B2R is a total opposite, but from the ones I heard, they weren't that bad. The SVT-350H seems to be the same but in head form.

    And about the gain, yeah, you may want to crank that up. If you don't like that Ampeg sound to begin with, you won't like it no matter where the gain is. But especially if the gain is low, I can understand where you would think "dull". But try everything on flat and pointing straight up at 12:00 position. I believe that's a good place to start. Then start with the EQ tweaking. If after all that, maybe it's just not you.

    I've recently gotten an appreciation for GK heads. Try one out! The 400RB might be up your alley...

    -T
     
  11. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I bought a B2r as a backup head and started using it exclusively for my clubdates. I was punishing my SWR 350X for breaking. I found the volume to be the equal of the SWR if not a little more pant flapping. I was never in love with the tone but I think any brute power into my Goliath IIIjr and I'll find my tone and my many band mates agree. I continue using the B2r for one stupid reason ( as its clear ( or clearer) to me that the SWR has more tone options) and that is its sturdiness. Built like a tank. Its so strong that unlike every rackmountable head out there, you can actually sit on it. The metal on the top doesn't move. I am in the process of revamping my setup and thanks to a deal on a Carver power amp, I'm beginning to look and gas for some preamps.
     
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    They aren't junk, they're just overpriced and overrated for what they are.
     
  13. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Hey Ox,
    The B2r is rated at 350 watts. How many watts do you think it's putting out instead of 350?
     
  14. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    No idea, but when a company like Behringer's 300 watt head is significantly louder than a company like Ampeg's 350 watt head, you know something is wrong.
     
  15. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Well, that's been kind of a common discrepancy with Ampeg heads. Sometimes they just dont live up to what you really want. Particularly with the B2R and SVT 3Pro. Their solidstate ratings are ones that you think would be enough to rely on, but they just dont compete with other amps in their price/power range at times.
     
  16. jazzmonk

    jazzmonk

    Feb 24, 2004
    Dallas, TX
    Upping the gain helped and playing much louder than I'm used to also helps. I'm going to have to do a side by side comparison of the GK, Behringer, and another Ampeg then I'll probrably bring one home and hope for the best.
     
  17. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Overpriced, yes, they're Ampeg...but overrated? By whom? I scarcely hear a good word for them. :confused:
     
  18. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    By ampeg... the power rating, that is. It's a very overrated 350 watts.
     
  19. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Nov 9, 2001
    California
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Funny you should mention this, as this came up about a year or two ago and after some technical posts from people who worked on them, it was determined that they actually do meet their advertised output specs.

    Anyone remember this?

    I still can't quite understand this amp's reputation for gutlessness, which was my first impression as well.
     
  20. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Jazzmonk: Glad raising the gain helped out. And yup, increasing volume is what most of the Ampegs I've met always seemed to like. :bassist:

    Certain opinions seem to flow harder than others here on TB but I think they are all valid and should be realistically and individually validated if someone has the desire and curiousity to do so, and of course with an open mind. If I listened without question to every "majority" opinion on the internet, I'd be one very misinformed person.