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That Ampeg sound

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skyvalley, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Skyvalley


    Nov 4, 2009
    I've got a Ampeg BA-108 practice amp that sounds great for practicing at home, I'm chasing that same tone on my gigging rig. I have a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 with a Barefaced 2x12 cab. It's very loud but lacks the character of the Ampeg. Seems to bark out the notes at volume rather than the Ampeg what seems to be more the sound of the bass. EQ wise I play both setups pretty much flat. Use a compressor with the Genz Benz. I'm wondering how much of a difference getting another pre-amp and plugging it into the effects return would make? I realize as well the room I'm playing in is going to make quite a difference also but I did read on these forums there is an "Ampeg sound" that is in all the Ampeg gear regardless of solid state / tube. Not really after a tube or overdriven tone, just something I seem to be missing on the Genz Benz.
    Ellery, basscapes, dralionux and 2 others like this.
  2. I know what you're talking about. I have had GenzBenz, Quilter BassBlock800, Phil Jones Bass and AI Clarus. Also Barefaced and Greenboy cabs. All of them were lovely but not doing it for me. On a whim I bought an Ampeg rig and "Bam!" there it is. My sound. If only I'd known that before......
    chaosMK, Lorenzo V, dbsfgyd1 and 11 others like this.
  3. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I had a GB Shuttle 9.2.
    Great amp but I could not get that close to an Ampeg tone.
    I have an SVT so was pretty easy to A/B them.
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    One quick option is an Ampeg Scrambler. Even though I use an Ampeg pf800 and portabass 1x12 I wanted a bit of Ampeg overdrive and the Scrambler allows for that and also cuts thru the mix like a chainsaw.
  5. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    To me the "Ampeg sound" will always be about tubes, and specifically an SVT into a fridge. Having owned a huge variety of Ampeg gear I am not sure that there is an inherent tone that is baked into all their gear, from basic solid state through to all tube, but there is a common midrange punch. What I can say is that in my experience most of it is dependable and sounds good in a mix. Currently I am very happy with my V4B into a variety of Barefaced 10s, but prior to that I was using it with a pair of 210 avs which was also very satisfying. That head does have a character of its own with which I am very happy, not quite the SVT but clearly from the same family. I still lean towards tube heads ( and probably have too many in the stable for my stage of life) and I think most share a common characteristic of heft and a lovely harmonious overdrive which I can never quite find in solid state. I see you have a Barefaced 212 cab, and it may well be that the Barefaced 10s would fit in more with your tastes as they are designed with a specific and vintage coloration in mind. They are very different to the BF twelves.
    SactoBass, jnsnj, Skyvalley and 2 others like this.
  6. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    OP, the Shuttle + BF is likely just too clean on its own, and needs a footpedal or two to get you that mojo. I mostly use clean amps, and often full range cabs; one setup that works well is the Ampeg Optocomp + Fairfield Barbershop. Can't say if it sounds like an SVT, but sounds great to my ears. There's also the VT Bass, the Ampeg Classic, Catalinbread SFT which are all footpedals designed to sound like an Ampeg.
  7. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    I have three Ampeg tube heads (two through Ampeg cabs), and a BA 112. One option might be a Sansamp VT Bass pedal. Some don't like them, but to those of us who do, they work some magic on a solid state amp tone. In my experience it does the great job of sweetening the tone of a solid state amp and makes all of them sound better--if you like something of the Ampeg/tube sound. Replicate? No. Make a SS tone better? Yes, IMO. Other things may work better, but it has helped me when all I had was a SS head. I still use it as my DI (sending the signal to the board only and not to my amp).
    Skyvalley and Pbassmanca like this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Just get an SVT and 810e. You know it's the right thing to do :D
  9. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Yes Yes Yes :hyper::hyper::hyper:And if I was younger or still had a roadie this is exactly what I would do.
  10. iagtrplyr


    Apr 1, 2013
    Clinton, IA
    The BA-108 combo is a truly wicked little amp. Thee are many who love it too. If you're happy with the tone, have no desire to use tubes, and are looking to replace separates, then I suggest you look into the Portaflex series. I think they sound great, and I do hear a similarity throughout the more reasonably-priced models. Baked-in sound? Maybe, but it's a tone a number of us like to play through. I'd recommend the PF-800 and your choice of Portaflex cabs. I own the 115 and have access to the 210. I enjoy them both. Check 'em out.
    Skyvalley likes this.
  11. andykeating


    Oct 5, 2016
    This. Spent a long time trying to get the "Ampeg sound." Different amps, different pedals, different preamps. Thought I got pretty close.

    Bought an SVT-CL. There it was. I hadn't even been in the ballpark. Only way to get the Ampeg sound is to get an Ampeg.
  12. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    That's why there is Ampeg and Genz Benz.
    AstroSonic and gregmon79 like this.
  13. nsop


    Nov 15, 2015
    An Ampeg SCR-DI pedal might be worth a try. Quite happy with mine
  14. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    You've got several problems. Nothing will sound the same in your home and on a gig (even Ampeg) and one make usually won't sound the same as another. That's what the designers intend. Looking at the gear you list I would think you already have an excellent sound, but if you want an Ampeg sound you should probably get an Ampeg. I would try out an Aguilar amp. They sound very good through BF cabs and the TH500 is on the vintage side of sound.
    Plutonium244 likes this.
  15. Bodeeni

    Bodeeni Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2010
    An Ampeg head on top of your BF cab sounds pretty sweet to me. I would not want to carry a SVT CL, but some of the hybrids might be fine. Track some down and try them out. They are very common. Rent one.
  16. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    Lebanon, TN
    Ampeg is THE bass amp.
    SactoBass likes this.
  17. Sparkl


    Apr 23, 2011
    I know I'm going to get pounded for it but seriously - forget about having an ampeg sound on either the genz benz or the barefaced 12. Would have much more luck on barefaced 10 cabs.

    I owned a barefaced big twin 2 and sold it just for that reason. I have an ampeg svt3pro and it just wouldn't match in an ampeg fashion. Obviously if you want Ampeg, go Ampeg.

    After serious testing, I have landed on SVT3 + Aguilar DB410 combination. The DB sounds very much like an ampeg cab, yet is more sophisticated in sound and, obviously, a couple classes above current ampeg cab offerings in terms of quality. Also, this is the best sound I have ever had and can't think of a way of enhancing it except for adding another db410 for a full blown 810 monster.
  18. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I used to plug an ampeg scr di(return or not) in to other amps and it does bring the ampeg color,more or less depending on the amp.some times the results were great sometimes not so much and sounded a bit thin.
    macmanlou likes this.
  19. Try an Ampeg SCR-DI in front of your amp or into the return of the FX loop, if you amp has one (nto remotely familiar with the Shuttle).

    It does the SVT tone very nicely, especially if you dial in the scrambler on it- I run mine at 50% for both drive an blend and it gets the growl factor of a "pushed" SVT head! Plus, the DI sounds pretty good for both live and recording too (I'm pretty sure they put some form of filtering/speaker emulation on it too).
    macmanlou and Spidey2112 like this.
  20. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    It is the Shuttle. I had one for a while. The volume was good, but I never got a tone out of it that I liked. They have a clinical or cold tone. Great for modern pop or jazz, or anything that doesn't want a lot of character as much as snappy precision.
    Ampeg doesn't make a class D that meets my needs, so I went with the Mesa Subway D800 to pair with a Barefaced Super Twin. The shaping control along with the two band mids allows me to dial in quite a few different tones. I had the chance to AB it with a SS Ampeg head paired with a 810e. It was very similar.
    If you have the BF cab with the tweeter\horn, roll that thing off. That gives you a "full range" tone that Ampeg never had.
    five7 likes this.

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