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Suggestions Needed for Ampeg SVT CL Weak tone... doesnt sound right

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by snaverb, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. snaverb


    Feb 19, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    I purchased a floor model / demo USA Ampeg SVT Classic from GC. While the head is PLENTY loud and powerful, it seems the tone is very weak, and it just doesnt have that thunderous thump Ampegs are known to have, especially the CL.

    I have decided to buy new pre-amp tubes for my SVT CL in hopes that will corrrect the problem with my amp.

    They take some 12AX7's and a 12AU7
    So I go online to buy some tubes, and I had NO IDEA there were so many different kinds and brands of 12ax7 tubes, so can you guys give me your suggestions and what tubes you prefer?

  2. I have always used the EH tubes, they seem to be a good balance between affordability and tone.

    I recommend thetubestore.com, they often have reviews and write ups about different tubes that can help sway your opinion.

    IMHO, tubes are but a small part of the over-all sound, so I would probably look at EQ, cabs, basses, and rooms sounds as well as tubes in the over all quest for tone.

    Good luck!
  3. Much more likely to be something in the signal chain or the EQ than the tubes. Also much cheaper to fix.
  4. snaverb


    Feb 19, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    hmm, so you think my head sounding weak in tone, and lacking that huge Ampeg sound has nothing to do with my tubes?

    When I push in the Ultra HI/Low, it seems to do nothing to the sound.

    I play Ernie Ball basses, and here is my SVT CL settings

    Gain 12 o'clock
    Ultra HI/LOW are OFF
    Bass 2 o'clock
    Midrange 12 o'clock
    Freq position 3
    Treble 10 o'clock
    Master 12 o'clock

    Basically, everything is FLAT, except the bass is boosted, and Treble is cut
  5. AndyMan

    AndyMan Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 17, 2000
    Columbus, Ohio
    Crank the master and back off the pre. The magic is in where you select the mids and overdriving the power tubes.
  6. Hoss


    Jan 9, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Can you specify what you mean with "weak tone"?

    I had rather good results with my CL with:

    Ultra High and Ultra low ALWAYS off - they SUCK the tone.

    Master 3:00
    Volume to your needs
    Treble rolled back a little just like you at 10:00
    Bass flat 12:00

    The Mid Control works active and is the "filet piece" of the amp.

    If you keep the Midrange flat at 12:00, the frequency change will NOT affect the tone at all. Try to boost the mids all the way and then you will hear the frequency change within the selections.

    As you speak of "thump": Switch Frequency selector to the very "counterclockwise", then boost the Midrange to 3 o┬┤clock. If thats too dark, then use the next frequ. If not enough thump, turn it even up.

    Its all about the low mids with this amp/cabinet.

    If that does not get you there, than see if you can return the head and maybe shop for a vintage svt or VR.

    I dont think that there is something wrong with the tubes as it is a new, but demoed amp, isnt it? Rolling tubes just gives a fine-tuning anyway.
  7. snaverb


    Feb 19, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    It was a floor model, demo head, it's a 2001 model, according to the serial #, but Im not sure if its been on the floor since 2001 or what.... but thats what makes me think the tubes needs replaced, because its been used for over 7 years.
  8. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    It is possible you could have even one power tube that needs replacing. I trust you've turned knobs til your fingers were numb. Either way you saved money and in the end you'll get it.
  9. Id let a tech look at it.

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