New Ampeg B100R - My impressions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fourstringdrums, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I just got my Ampeb B100R yesterday :) First off, I'm pretty impressed by how well it's built. Kind of heavy, but I got the casters, so that's not really a big deal (and I don't need to move it anyway most of the time). It also just looks plain old school cool, I'm really diggin' it.

    The tone is nice. Very warm and compliments my precision well. I can get a nice round too, which if I want it to, can be alittle aggressive. The slap tone is better with this amp than my 2x10 as well IMO. I also enjoy have the low & high mid controls as opposed to just a single mid control. Volume wise, I don't notice too much of a difference between it and my SWR (only a 65W difference), which is just fine by me.

    There are only a few areas where I think things could be alittle better.

    -Location of controls. Having them in the back, while it looks good, is alittle irritating. I'm used to be able to just adjust things from my seat, now I have to stand over it to see what I'm doing. With that, the numbers are alittle hard to see.

    -Speaker "off" pop. When I turn the amp off, a few seconds after the light goes out, I get two quick pops even though the volume is all the way down. Is this normal?

    -Headphone volume. The volume of the headphone jack is lousy. It's way too quiet and distorts when I put the volume up to 4 or 5. My headphones are the "big eared" type, not the cheapo walkman headphones. But maybe that has something to do with it, that they can't take it?

    -No mute switch. I'm used to have a mute switch from my SWR, but this isn't really that big of a deal.
  2. I spoke with a tech at Ampeg about the pop, and he assured me that it is normal. Has to do with a discharge of some kind IIRC. When I posted on TB about it a while back there were several owners who experience the pop. I've owned two B100Rs that pop (still own one of them), though my brother's doesn't make a noise when it's shut off.

    The B100R certainly has its idiosyncrasies. I find the headphone jack and line out useless. That said it is probably my favorite piece of gear. Simple to use, reliable, great tone. . . Enjoy the amp.
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    What do you use for your personal settings? The dual mids is both good and bad. Good for the versatility, bad because I'm having trouble finding where they sound best.
  4. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I really dig mine ( pops too).
    All my basses sound good through it, but my Rickenbacker 4003 simply shines through it!
    The more I play this amp at home (it's my dedicated practice/chill jam amp) I appreciate the simplicity of the controls more & more. I love my Yorkville head/cab combo that I use as my main gigging/rehearsal amp, but it's much easier to dial up a tone from the Ampeg.

    Plus it may be the coolest looking bass amp on the market today...
  5. I set all of the tone controls at 5 and add low and/or high mids to help cut through in certain situations. At home I sometimes engage the Ultra Mid button because it smooths out the sound when I'm playing alone. My strategy with pretty much any amp is to start with a flat EQ and add mids to cut through a loud band or a boomy room. That may not be the best strategy but it seems to work for me.

    The B100R and Read P have got to sound great together. That is a match made in heaven.
  6. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    The BA115 I returned popped when powering down also. But I liked how it was instantly on when powering up (I get sound right away).
  7. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    I love my B100R. I find it to be loud for a 100 watt amp. It's great with my G&L, especially with the front pickup only.

    My settings are bass 5 low mid 5 high mid 7 treble 5 with no "ultra" buttons pushed in. It's a great amp. Heavy, though.
  8. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    I love mine too. The tone controls are very versatile. I will sometimes push in the ultra bass button. Otherwise, Bass 7, Low mid 3-4, High mid 4-7 and Treble 5-7. The headphone amp sucks. Mine pops when I turn it off. Of all the gear I've owned over 25+ years, it is my favorite.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    I'd like to get one someday. I think the "pop" sounds kind of cool when it shuts off. The funny thing about it though is that it always scares me when it "pops", even though I know it is coming.

  10. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Yea it startled me too because I didn't expect it. I had a Laney that always popped when you turned it on even if the volume was down, and it could never be fixed. As long as it doesn't hurt the speaker, I'm all set.

    So is 5 considered flat? I'm used to seeing 0 (center) as flat so I wasn't sure.

    How do you all handle the gain? It says that the signal light should be on and the clip light should flash ocassionally. I can get it where it doesn't really flash if play fingerstyle unless I dig in, but when I slap, mainly on lower notes (E - B on the E string) it lights up. Is this alright and I really just want it to not come on ALL the time on every note?
  11. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    fourstringdrums: Yes, 5 is flat. If you look at the numbers, 5 is at 12 o'clock, so that is flat.

    You don't want the clip light to flash everytime you play a note. When I first got mine, I was freaked out by the clip light flashing, so I just stopped watching it. Listen for distortion. That will be more usefull for figuring out a proper gain level. At least that's what I do.
  12. I own a B100R as well, and it's served me reliably for years... great sounding amp, and very reliable.

    Now... I've been thinking about upgrading to something 200-300W recently, as I'm not sure the 100W are enough to really gig with. I'd love to hear from my fellow B100R owners about gigging experiences. Have you found it to be powerful enough? I've been ok in every gig I've done, but I've had to run to a DI box into the house on at least half the gigs I've played. I haven't run into a club yet that hasn't had a decent PA, but maybe it'll happen someday...!

    So what do you all think? Can one gig with a 100W amp? (albeit a great one!) Or does one need the mega-power for a stack with enough wattage to light up a small New Hampshire town?
  13. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I think the B100-R is a fine amp as long as you are looking for a dark/vintage tone. I don't think it would be much of a slap and pop system.

    IMO, it's a big enough amp for anything. If you need more volume, it should be coming out of the PA. In that case, the problem isn't too small an amp, it's too small a PA. However, guitar players don't seem to understand that logic.
  14. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I used to have a 100R myself. It was good, but wayyy overpriced considering what it gave you. Not a whole lot of features considering those things retail for $500. I've found plenty of combos better at the price.

    The thing that really got me about that amp was the fact that it didn't have a horn. That's a HUGE part of the tone in slap and it just couldn't cut it, IMHO.

  15. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I actually like the slap tone. Then again, I like the slap tone on a p-bass with flats, so that's not really helping anything either :)
  16. I'd rather have tone than "features" any day, and the B100R has one of the best I've ever heard.

    That said, if you're a slapper, you're definitely barking up the wrong tree with a 15" combo and no horn. I don't know why you'd consider this amp in the first place. It's like bringing a hammer to a ditch-digging contest. Wrong tool!

    But if you're like me and never slap, this is by far the best amp in its class.
  17. Room with a PA for bass: absolutely.
    Small room (i.e. house show, or coffeehouse): should be fine as long as your band isn't extremely loud.
    Larger room, no PA for bass: probably not enough. But I'd think the main problem would be not moving enough air with only one speaker.
  18. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Then you'll feel even worse about it when you discover that its MSRP is actually US$749.00. :rolleyes:

    Only the BA-112 comes in under US$500, at US$499.00 (it's a fantastic little amp, too, though insanely overpriced).

    I got a stone mint B-100R at Guitar Center for $269.99, out the door, earlier this year. It had been bought new by a guy who traded it back in a few weeks later because he needed a bigger amp. It still has the protective slimecoat over the panel.

    Nice enough amp, but for around the house I prefer the BA-112, which is probably the most underrated and overpriced amp in the Ampeg catalog (got mine at GC brand new for US$158.99 on sale, so I can live with that).
  19. Scottie Johnson

    Scottie Johnson

    Sep 8, 2004
    My B100R was $225 used five years ago, but without casters. Whoever traded it in kept them. Still had the plastic on the control panel and not a blemish anywhere on the entire amp. Best deal I've had.

    Used is the way to go.
  20. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    *slaps self for paying full price*