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Thinish sounding Pre- What to do? New tubes?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ZuluFunk, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I'm not all that happy with my Ampeg SVP-Pro lately. I think I've just grown out of the tone it delivers which to me seems more distoreted and thinner than what I want at this time. Sure it's great for some stuff where you want a good grind. I've had this pre for about 2 years and I'm still happy with the veriability in tone - which is why I bought it.

    I used to use a Hartke 3500 head, but went to a QSC2450 for power. For a short time I used the Hartke as a preamp...I really loved the tone. Very thick and clean. No distortion clear across the spectrum.

    I sold that off though and got the SVP-Pro to save some weight.

    I've noticed that now my sound to me just seems dirty. The drive channel is turned all the way off but I still get grungy sound.

    I experimented. I ran the DI from my practice amp (Hartke Kickback 12) into on channel to use it as a pre amp. I tried both channels that way _ one with a BagEnd S15B-D and the other with a BagEnd D10B-D.

    I really loved the tone. Super juicy, thick, clear (only I had no EQ since it's running from the DI to the amp).

    I realized my cabs are fine and my amp is fine. I'm not sure if my Pre is bad, but I'm certainly not happy with the overall tone.

    I was trying other pre's before I bought this one. I really liked the tone I got from a TraceElliot V-type and Warwick Quadruplet. I also recently used a Demeter (model?) through basically the same rig otherwise and loved that too.

    I'm wondering if I can get any benefit by replacing the tubes in the pre. I really like the controls on the SVP-Pro, I felt I got more tonal variety at a lower cost than the others I tried out.

    Any advice? I play jazzy rock.
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Get an Avalon U5! :bassist:

    why bugger the Acacia? Bass -> U5 -> Power -> Cabs

    That's the route I'm moving too. Like your Acacia, my Benavente has all the tone I need.

  3. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Would I have to run two of these in order to get a stereo signal?

    My preference is to use both channels on my PA so I can balance the output for each cab (I don't like to run bridged).

    I'd run a DI without any EQ, but I would need TWO channels of output.
  4. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    The Avalon is amazing. I just bought one for myself. The Avalon has two balanced outputs. I use one into the amp and one for PA DI, etc.

    You could use them both I'm figuring for your amp but one is 600 Ohm line level which I figured for the PA and the other is 150 Ohm MIC level.

    I don't see why both can't be used, but one out will be hotter then the other. I could get you two U5's to rack mount together which would give you a full Bi-amp capability and might actually be really cool with setting the tone knob for each cab or you can punch it out for direct line signal.

    Your welcome to contact me if you have any other questions.

  5. Sounds like it's buggered. You should be able to get some semblance of a clean, warm sound out of that pre.

    OTOH, if you like the clean sound of your bass, just amplified, a simple DI/preamp is certainly one way to go. All you need is an XLR "Y" cord and two mic cables to get two balanced outputs. Before plopping down $500 bucks for the Avalon, I'd taste test some of the Raven Labs stuff or the Fishman bass pro pre/eq/comp/DI.
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    You don't need to run in stereo, or use a "Y" cord either--you want to run in "Parallel Input" mode, where a single input on either channel goes to both channels. So you just need one DI, going into channel A, with the amp set in parallel input mode so that both channels use the input from channel A. Make sense?

  7. If you've had your SVP for two years and are still running the original tubes, chances are that a new set will make a big difference to it's sound. Depending on how high you like to have you gain, sometimes 12ax7's don't last very long at all. :bassist:
  8. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I keep reading preamp tubes should rarely poop-out on you. Of course if they were microphonic to begin with or just a bad tube, well that is different. I change them just to get different tones....
  9. Good catch, Mike. Since I always run parallel/bridged I forgot about that aspect of parallel mode.
  10. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Like others have stated, I wonder if your SVP-Pro is working properly. I've tried the Hartke 3500 (owned one briefly), and to my ears, the SVP is superior sounding in every way. I have a hard time believing that a healthy SVP would sound thinner than a Hartke.
  11. I like a slight distortion in my sound, (it's the tubes man)
  12. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I didn't like the Hartke on its own (one of the reasons I dupmed it was the overstated power rating wasn't meeting my gigging needs)...but using the out and not bypassing the eq on the HA3500, I ran that signal through one side of my QSC RMX2450 and the tone was far more juicy than what I get from the SVP.
  13. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I'm thinking something is wrong with the pre . . .

    Of all the negative terms I've heard applied to Ampeg gear, "thin" is not one of them.
  14. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Zulu, how've you been?

    Anyway, to your question...
    I'm not familiar with the SVP but I would suggest checking out the Warwick stuff. Last time I checked it out at Guitar-Villa, it had a massively large tone to it. (too large for my taste) and was very clean.

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