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Stupid ampeg head question. Don't hate me

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lousybassplayer, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. OK, I am not an amp guru by any stretch, so bear with me. I jsut bought a new cab, tried it at the store with another Ampeg SVT-3PRO, sounded fine. Got it home, it sounds very distorted. I know there is a number of things that could be wrong here, but I am seeing this as an amp problem. What should I look for first? Sorry I didn't read through thousands of ancient posts looking for answers. I figure anyone who knows anything will spout of one quick answer of the top of their head and I'll be in business. Thanks
  2. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    Check that 9 volt in your active guitar!
  3. Actually, I must bring this one back from death. So it distorts when the graphic EQ is switched on, but not as much when its off. Also if the 15db cut is on the the EQ is off, it sounds more or less fine. The gain knobs seem not do do anything. What gives?
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    2 stoopid questions:

    Did the gain knobs do things before?

    Do they do things again with a different cabinet?
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    As the signal passes through successive stages of an amp, any stage is potentially capable of boosting the signal to a level that causes the next stage to distort. What's happening simply that the graphic has a relatively low distortion threshold compared to the stage after it.

    Keep reducing the input gain and see if the distortion goes away. It should be possible to push an amp to its full output without distorting, i.e., distortion is an optional effect on most amps.

    If the distortion is present at any signal level, a trip to the tech is in order.
  6. The gain knobs did do stuff before, and did with the amp I tried at the store. I guess what should say is adjusting the gains doesnt seem to help the distortion IT is changing the volume. I wasjust screwing with it and keeping the input gain nearly off and maxing the master volume with the eq off caused a small amount of distortion, but at anywhere near playable volumes it gets pretty noticable and seems to get worse as I play.

    Fdeck, starting to think that the trip to the tech is in fact in order. IF so, what kindof work do you think will be needed? What should I expect to be paying here (I am an easy target for getting ripped off, as this is the only head I have ever had a problem with)
  7. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    OK, your amp is a 3PRO?

    Did it work OK before this cabinet?

    What is the cabinet impedance?

    Where is the tube drive knob set?

    Where is the ultra-low switch set?
  8. The amp was in storage (in a house) for about a year, worked before it went back. The cab is 8 ohms. I can set the tube drive anywhere and it still distorts. The more volume, the worse it gets, but it starts at pretty low volumes and is not just from cranking all the gains up. I have neither the high nor low switch engaged. Like I said, I tried the cab with an identical (if a bit newer) 3 Pro at the store and it sounded fine with the tube gain cranked, input gain at about half and about half volume, which I can't even get close to with mine.

    I bought this head in high school and nothing has been done to it, so its not outside of hterealm of possibility that it needs some kind of normal maintenance, I just am not sure what.
  9. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Did you change the battery in the bass yet?
  10. I can't find a battery. Do you know where Rickenbacker puts them?

  11. basspro


    Mar 10, 2009
    Las Vegas,NV
    Have your preamp tubes checked.
  12. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    The 8 ohms will probably sound a bit lame, but you already know that from the store......

    Yeah, tubes, dirty contacts, etc. Try plugging into the line-in/line-out jacks several times... they tend to get dirty and have poor contact if not used for a long time, and the signal to the power amp goes through the "normaled" contact in the jack.
  13. Thanks guys, I'll take a look at whats been recommend and see where that gets me. I was hoping not to have to replace tubes, but I figured this was a possibility.