SVP-Pro vs SWR Interstellar Overdrive

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bgavin, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. Can anybody out there offer a comparison between the SVP and IOD? I have an Alembic F-1X that I am very satisfied with, but I'm mulling over a second preamp with a very different tone.

    Any takers?
  2. Or how about an Interstellar overdrive and an Ampeg SVP-BSP preamp.
  3. Robot-trashcan

    Robot-trashcan Guest

    Mar 5, 2001
    Minnesota, USA
    The SVP is more versitile w/its 7-band equalizer and has a more grittier sound. If you like the Ampeg sound, this is probably what you want. The SWR IOD sounds great too. It has basic equalizing, but they are effective. I like the IOD better becuase its a mix between the SWR sound and tube grit. Either would be a good choice. I think the IOD would be a good idea if it were used in conjunction w/the Alembic preamp.
  4. I agree with Sapo, try the Svp-BSP, it's the Billy Sheean pre and features a very nice distortion.
  5. I'm bumping this back to the front as a companion to the SWR vs HiFi thread that I have going.

    Q: does anybody out there own both the IOD and the SVP, or has done an A/B comparision?

    I'm curious about how close the IOD can get to the SVP when the IOD grind is turned up.
  6. BigBohn

    BigBohn Guest

    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
  7. You got in before I could bump the second one.

    I've got GAS awful bad for an IOD, and really want to know if anybody has A/B'ed the IOD and SVP.
  8. BigBohn

    BigBohn Guest

    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    bgavin, you have started to make me doubt my decision with my Eden Navigator over the SWR IOD. Argggh...decisions, decisions. Please give me some advice.

    The situation is that I bought the Eden Navigator preamp over the SWR IOD because the IOD would be in for another 2 weeks. Now, that doesn't mean I can never get the IOD. I still have it on order at the same store I purchased the Navigator from, so they allowed me to "demo" the Navigator. With all the recent commotion about the IOD and all that, buried feelings have been stirred up about the IOD and me. Poop, you make me feel insecure, bgavin.

    Help please. :(
  9. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I would suggest that you try Ashdowns preamp bgavin.
    I would put it´s sound right between the swr and the Ampeg. It can do the really clean Marcus Miller slap sound and the really dirty overdriven Ampeg sound (even better than Ampeg IMO;) ).
    I also read in another thread that you wanted a straight frequency response and to my ears you can get that with the Ashdown with the Eq bypassed.
  10. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    i just recorded about 5 different sample tones and sent them to bgavin for hosting - i'd think he should have 'em up here soon...

    i'd have recorded more, but at the end of the 5th one, you can hear my B string break, and i don't have another one :(

  11. Actually I've found the sound and production quality of SWR to be allot better then Ampeg, the major beef I have with the IOD preamp is the mid control. One mid control set at 220Hz is hardly useful for shaping tone. I guess it was origionally setup for use as a distortion effect rather then a preamp.
  12. Nope. You got da GAS, not my fault.


    I got da GAS for the IOD, but the cheapest I can find a new one is $560 and another $115 for the pedal. 'Grind' is the only thing the IOD is going to get me that I don't have with my current Alembic+EQ. I have a BOSS ODB-3 pedal I've never used on a gig, perhaps that might be enough... and it's paid for.
  13. FalsehoodBass

    FalsehoodBass Guest

    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    hey allow me to throw in my opinion...

    I have an SVP. So know that i'm biased, but here goes..
    The cool thing about the IOD is that you can get a good distortion and a good clean sound out of it. IMO the Ampeg does distortion in all its forms (grit, grind, fuzz, etc) better than the IOD, but it isn't capable of going clean as well as the IOD.

    If this is true, it would seem overkill to get an amp that can go clean when you already have your alembic set up and ready to go. If the alembic does clean well, let it do that, and use the ampeg for distorted tones.

    Just my thoughts.

    EDIT: Hey i just read your posts in the SWR vs. HIFI thread and changed my mind... if you're not going to use the alembic anymore, i think you should go IOD. It has, IMO, just what you're looking for in one preamp.
  14. Problem is, the Alembic is paid for.

    Best I can find new on the IOD is $560, add another $115 for the pedal. The F-1X is worth $380 on eBay. I figure I'll try the BOSS ODB-3 that is gathering dust on the top shelf first.
  15. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    bgavin - maybe you could do what I've done. It's a bit clunky but works for me. I've got an F2-B and a SansAmp. I split the signal from the bass to the Alembic and the BDDI. I mix the outputs of the Alembic (two channels, one clean one slightly dirty, but you get the idea) with that of the SansAmp (which gives plenty of grind) using a fairly cheap Behringer mixer.

    NOw, I've been tempted to just clean this all up and get an IOD, but then I thought about it, and this is more versitile and I can change sounds pretty quickly.
  16. Sammy


    Aug 31, 2000
    If you don't mind, I'll throw in another opinion / option;

    I've been "surfing" and A/B testing as much as I can. (my wife gave me the green light to buy my next amp, the GAS pains are killing me!)

    There is a review of the IOD on the Bass Gear Review website that really biased my opition. Even through he liked his IOD, he said it changed "grind" levels through the night. Has any one else noticed this?

    I tried the Ampeg and it's good, but I currently own Ampeg and don't want Ampeg sound any more. I'm currently looking into the Warwick Quad pre-amp hoping it can dial up both a minimal tube warmth at one setting and big-tube-amp feel at another. The only place I've heard (maybe) this is on the Wayne Jones website. Bass Northwest (Chad) said Thursday that they just received (that day) the Quad and were testing it out prior to shipping it out. The Quad runs about $700.

    My two cents,
  17. The wandering grind of the IOD sounds more and more like a heat issue over time. The two EL84 power tubes in the IOD are part of the grind generation, and the unit is acknowledged by SWR to run hot and need adequate ventilation. I'm thinking a quiet chassis fan such as a Panaflo is in order for temperature stability.

    One of the other posters (Tapp?) mentioned a resistor mod or ??? that might be done to the IOD for increased stability. I'm not a tube amp guy, so the details are over my head.
  18. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    yes it definitely runs warm, and i do think that the "wandering grind" is justthe tubes getting hot, and i've often thought about getting a little clip fan to clip to my rack and point it at the tubes.

    i set the drive control low enough. and let it warm up long enough, that it's not really an issue. but still - the drive pedal would be a good thing to have (if we could figure out if a regular expression pedal worked instead of the 150 dollar swr one)

  19. mthoople


    Nov 1, 2001
    Denver, CO
    It should be easy to modify a volume pedal to be a drive control pedal. The pedal's pot replaces the the pot in the IOD, so it should follow the same wiring. However, the pedal will need a stereo jack added.

    If you want a copy of the schematic for the IOD, let me know.
  20. Thanks. I've got a reasonably good scan of the schematic now. If you have a real high quality one, please email to: [email protected]

    The variable foot pedal appears to use a TRS type 1/4" jack according to my schematic. What I don't know is, the configuration of the pedal itself. Type of pot, resistance, etc.

    In another thread, I'm talking about the differences of XLR Out vs Unbalanced Out loudness. Spacegoat pointed out that many preamps with an XLR out are actually lesser power to avoid overloading mixers. When I built an Unbalanced to Balanced cable for my Alembic F-1X to my Rane signal processing, I noticed a distinct and substantial increase in loudness (and hum). Evidently the F-1X XLR Out is not a true Line Out level output.

    The IOD offers two XLR out, one for DI the other a pure Balanced Out capable of +24dB output.