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So I went and tried the SVP-Pro...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Frank Martin, May 7, 2004.

  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    So, after a bit of searching and researching (thanks again to everyone who helped in the previous thread!!! :D ), as it is written in the older thread, I've found a used Ampeg SVP-Pro, and this afternoon, I went to try it.

    Hmm... The beginning was funny... There was no poweramp nearby, so I suggested running this through the FX return of another amp - the first one was a cheap Yorkville combo 210 which sounded a bit lacking in bottom end, so then we put it through a Carvin combo that had something like 2*10 + 12 :meh: yep. no better solutions just then, so we went this way.
    And those holes on the top - I thought they were for the vent, but why so small then? So when I plugged in, and saw the tubes glowing, I couldnt help smiling - "so that's why the holes are there, heh?" :smug: And the smell... hehehe

    So I plug in and start playing, and notice that the led next to the Gain is constantly lighting up....
    I am so much of a SS guy that I though it was clipping due to the active electronics of my Corvette (even though I run it mostly passive, its got a very hot output), so I turned it down :oops: ... But it was still flashing... so I turned it even more down, waaay down, till it stopped. Then I turn up the Master, listen to the tone, and it is clear and punchy - but the trademark Ampeg tone is nowhere! First I thought that there was a problem with the Gain stage - the led was constantly flashing if I turned it past 9:00. Oh well, maybe thats why it was sold and is so cheap...
    Then I stared experimenting with the drive - but nothing! I started to think there was something wrong with the tubes, but the guy there told me that it was sold quite new, with new tubes...
    So what then?
    Then I thought - "wait a minute, when the gain was higher, and the led was lighting up, there was no clipping! Could this be..."
    Gain up.
    Drive up.
    gzhztzdrz - oh yeah! :cool: :D

    Actually, i realized that I liked it this way - with this od/dist/fuzz/whatever Ampeg tone! I still like clear, punchy, full tone, but I like this too - unlike the od/dist/fuzz pedals

    As for the rest, I have no clear idea - I was competing against three VERY LOUD guitarists! :mad: - so I could barely hear myself, I had to sit right next to the cab to hear something. By the time i have finished trying the pre, the shop was getting near to closing - so I had no time to run home for money, and I'll be buying it only tomorrow, when they reopen.

    Sorry for the lenghty post, I hope those who read it had some fun and laughed their a**es off with that story of my encounter with the Gain knob... ;-)
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    *side note*

    Hmm let me see, seven smilies were allowed? :cool:
    :D :D :D :D ;) :hyper:

    It worked! :D
  3. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Alright! Congrats on finding a great deal on a SVP-PRO...certainly hope you get back there with the funds and give it a great home! I am :D with envy!

    Great story. I hope to try out an SVP-PRO or SVP-BSP sometime soon as well. Currently being a SS guy too, I'm hoping that the tubes aren't too much to deal with. Are they?

    Anyway, let us know how it sounds on your own rig, where it belongs!

  4. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ah ,yes ...the Drive on the SVP-PRO does add a touch of distortion .
    i like it on mine , but not too heavy . i keep it at about 3 o'clock with the Gain at about 6 o'clock . this is supposed to be the same pre used in the SVT-2 PRO . i bought mine { a demo unit } for about $380.00 here in San Antonio , and have been very happy with it , so far . :cool:

    edit : sorry !! what i meant to say was , i keep Drive set on number 3 { not 3 o'clock } and Gain set at straight up { number 5 - ?? } :oops:
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yeah, and I hope it works out well for me...
    As for the tubes, I dont really know, I was rather looking for a SS pre or one with only one tube, but this was a good deal... here, at least... $620~€520 wile the list here is around €900 and the lowest retail prices I've seen were €730.
    I'll read more about these tubes here, as I dont know muh of them right now - but they sounded good! :D
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Heh, I'm smiling with you my friend! I've been tinkering with my SVP-Pro recently. As you discovered, the Drive and Gain controls do work together. When you crank 'em both way up, you get lots of fuzzzzzzz! If you prefer to keep your tone as clean as possible, keep Drive off and Gain way down so that the clip light never comes on. If the output of your bass is very hot, you might have to push in the -15dB switch to reduce gain even further. Good luck... I hope the SVP-Pro works out for you.

    P.S. I never use the graphic EQ because that section is easy to clip and the resulting solid-state distortion is unpleasant to my ears. Even without the graphic EQ the SVP has amazing tone-shaping capability. Have fun tweaking!
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well I've had just a short time trying it, so I was happy when I found out how this tube dist works :oops: :smug: :D and kept it where I put it first. And those stupid guitarists were real loud :mad: , so I couldnt dial in a good tone with all that noise going on.
    I'll do check out your settings when I get it home ;)
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :D :D

    After some od/dist/fuzz pedals, the tone of which didnt really appeal to me, I didnt think that real tubes can sound so much better - I was happy to find out I was wrong :cool:
    Didnt have much time to meddle with the eq though - it sounded good as it was - of course with the right buttons pushed in and the proper technique ;)

    So there is a peak clip/dist after all, so I was just half wrong with the gain! :D
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Now that we are here, I will start asking about tubes. :cool:

    So I've read in a thread that the SVP is prone to some noise with some types of tubes, but that can be cured with another tube in the right place - which is it and what should it be replaced with?

    Another - which tubes give more of this fuzzy distorted overdriven growly Ampeg tone? :cool: :ninja:

    Just that I will know later, not yet going to make all these changes now...

    I think I will also take this to rehearsal tomorrow. Plug it in the same way (to fx return). The overdriven Ampeg tone should sound good in a ... CHURCH! :eek: :rolleyes: :D
  10. Thumpinthenight

    Thumpinthenight Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I too, am getting familiar with my new setup - SVP-PRO and Carvin DCM1500 set-up. I am also finding a big tonal change with an increase in drive. With the drive very hi, My amp was getting extremely distorted and lopped off my mids-almost to the point of pharting. Backing off that drive and keeping the gain in check seemed to tame the growl to a modest typical Ampeg-sound. Still experimenting, I don't hear a big difference in - Carvin gain up, SVP-volume down, vs. Carvin full clockwise, and SVP-PRO master down. I'm watching clip lights, and not too much going on there either. I still have to play around and get familiar. One Question comes to mind- Why do the DB numbers decrease as you turn the gain clockwise (up) on the Carvin poweramp? I would think the opposite?? :meh:
  11. modflea


    Apr 26, 2004
    Lafayette, LA
    As another SVP-Pro user I defintely agree with Fuzzbass. I do not use the graphic eq for the same reason. I definitely takes away from the tube sound. Makes the pre sound very sterile. Otherwise I am non stop happy with it. I've been experimenting for a long time from all-in-one amps to an 8 space rack full of gear. With the SVP, I'm down to it and my Crest amp. Great purchase.

    As for care of tubes, I treat this no different than any of my SS preamps. You just need to have the tubes changed every few years or so. I've had mine over a year (I got mine used off ebay) and the tubes have been untouched. These things are built to last.
  12. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    So now I got back - and my first thing was to plug it in... well, ok, I had a drink beforehand, as I was thirsty, ;)

    MMmm good. I think I will miss the GK sound with this, though, but it still sounds good.
    The tubes are 1*Groove tubes 12AX7 and the rest is Sovteks - so this set, you say, would hold out for a couple of years?
    Another thing: what are the frequencies of the para mids?
    I will continue to experiment, but i'm on the run, I will have a quick lunch and run to rehearsal, so thats why this post was so short ;) :D
  13. Yes. Preamp tubes have very long life compared to power amp tubes. I've changed mine just because of the sound (and they were in more than 5 years). The first need of changing preamp tube is when you start hearing feedback (microphonic).
    And it's not such a big expense either. I beleive there's more problems with string, pots, cables, than with preamp tubes.

    Glad to hear, you're enjoing it, so congratulations.

  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I'm no techie but I believe this is because the volume control on a poweramp *reduces* signal (turning CCW) rather than increasing signal as on a preamp. The dB numbers indicate how much the signal is reduced... they should be indicated as negative dB. When the knob is fully clockwise, there is no signal reduction.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Aha, found my manual! Frequencies in Hertz are 220, 450, 800, 1.6k, and 3k (+12dB, -15dB)
  16. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Strings, pots cables - funny you mentioned. I just (well ok it was tuesday) gave out €50~$70 for a set of DR LR6s. I was were happy to get the - they are unavailabe here, so my aunt, who lives in Austria, got me the set. :cool: . The iroonic part is that I asked the local dealer to get it, and when I asked again a motnh later, why he didnt call me, he said there are no strings; however, I e-mailed my aunt and next week, she already brough it :rolleyes: . Heh. stupid local dealers.

    As for the strings, i will only put them on on monday - I1m having a church gig tomorrow, so the fresh Lo Riders and the SVP would be a bit toooo much... :eek: :D
    (Not to mention setup of neck...)

    So back to topic - Im glad to hear that, before I bought it I was afraid of this retubing issue, but now that you say it hold out for years, I'm glad I got it.
  17. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU

    I've been experimenting with it and found them to be quite useable for some tones.

    Also, as I presume, the 12:00 position of the knobs is the 0, and the less is -, clockwise is + , even though they wrote 0 at 8:00 and 10 at 16:00 - or is it really 0 to +10db?
  18. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I think I should spend a bit less time with amps now: this whole week i've been hunting amps, and havent practiced enough for tomorrow's gig :eek: :( - and that was heard at rehearsal :( :rolleyes: I missed out some beats and was lost at some changes :oops:
    So tomorrow morning, I'm gonna go find a useable tone and do the good ole traditional way of tone-improving: practising... :smug: :cool:
  19. My bass in your

    My bass in your

    Nov 1, 2003
  20. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    http://www.basstasters.com ;)

    So, took it to the gig at church last evening...
    Me wild beast takes Warwick Corvette 6 and Svp-Pro :eek: :rolleyes: :D
    One thing that was bad was the Bright that I left on while experimenting at home, so it sounded a bit harsh and clankity-clang-clang at church even at softer playing - which didnt fit well in a church ... :rolleyes: but after the third or fourth song I realized this and turned it off.
    It went really well - we had so much clapping in the end that we had to play some more songs :D
    And I got lotsa compliments :hyper: