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What to use? Ampeg SVT-MIN VR is week.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MikeDePaola, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. MikeDePaola


    May 13, 2011
    Ringoes, NJ
    Hello All,
    I'm looking for some experinced opionions. I just started playing the bass a month ago. I've been using my son's PA system for amplification. Reading all this talk about tone I thought I'd get an amp instead. Well I made the mistake of getting the Ampeg SVT-MINI VR stack. The amp is week, thin and not what I'm looking for in tone. I hooked up a 12watt Tube amplifier (pilot SA-232) with EL84 tubes inplace of the Ampeg head amp and it sounded great warm fat tube sound yet still tight and dynamic. Obviously no power though. I think a 2x10 and a 1x15 cabinet will give me best of bright dynamics and deep lows but what about the head amp? Can you get all tube sound without a $2000 Tube amp? Mind you I'm not playing concerts here. Ampeg Pro? Do I really need to try everything in the guitar shop to find the sound I'm looking for?
  2. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Actually, that's your best bet...
  3. Johno Dunn

    Johno Dunn Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carpinteria, Ca.
    Wanna sell the Micro stack?

  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    "All tube sound" is way too vague. What exactly are you looking for? Can you provide audio clips?
    Also, when it comes to bass cabs, don't "engineer by looks". A 1x15 doesn't necessarily mean that it "goes low". Most 4x10 cabs will slay 1x15s in the low end.
  5. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    No offense. I gig with the stack. When the EQ and gain is set properly it is one of the roundest, wooly, fullest tones I have gotten out of a setup that's only 200 watts. It easily sounds like a 300-400 watt setup.

    I am curious to ask what kind of bass you are using and what EQ settings you are using. Under you own admittance you have been playing for only a month.

    For my Fender Jazz and P Special it is hands down THE best tone for under 600 bucks you can buy in a gig worthy setup.
  6. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Count me with fenderhutz. There is something wrong either with the amp, or your settings. The Mini VR is definitely not weak for what it is.
  7. MikeDePaola


    May 13, 2011
    Ringoes, NJ
    If fenderhutz can gig with it then there must be something wrong with the one I picked up. I never took the time to listen to it in the store. There must be something wrong with it. The bass sounds thin and transistor like. I demo'd my guitar on the BA-110 and it sounded louder, tighter, cleaner and deeper! As mentioned when I connected the 12w tube amp the SVT210AV sounded good. The fan is really loud too. I'm guessing the SVT-MINI-VR needs to go back.
  8. You can get that all tube sound out of a good old tube amp for around $500. Go on the hunt for an Ampeg V4-B (or even a V-4) and you are set. Hella loud. 100 watts in a tube section is much, much louder than 100 SS. And I'll stick in a caveat before one of our resident "experts" jump in- yes, I know that is "perceived volume."
  9. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Maybe you are expecting a bit much from the micro vs a pa system. How loud are you playing? How loud do your bandmates get. It is very easy for a guitar amp to overpower a bass rig.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm guessing you have your gain really low and all the controls set on noon. Can't do that. You have to turn knobs. I gig with mine all the time and I never have any trouble getting a big fat sound out of it. It's not the loudest big fat sound I ever heard, but it's darn good for such a little rig.

    It's possible there could be something wrong with it, but when I've seen people complain about it, it's usually that they're not using enough gain or nooning the tone controls. And in that case I will agree with you that when you noon the controls that it can sound thin. So try boosting the lows, giving the mids a little extra shot, and cutting treble and see if that helps.
  11. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    I think I would usually have the gain just about dimed, the bass and treb at about 3:00 and the mids around 1:00 or 2:00-ish. Push it and it will sound great.

  12. I'm a knob nooner (credit to JimmyM).....

    You can't be a knob nooner with anything made by Ampeg. It starts with hitting up the gain, then start playing with the bass and maybe mids too, to hit the more desired tone. If you want more power, the PF350 might be an option, but you'll most likely have the same EQ issues.

    Play around before you give up...
  13. MikeDePaola


    May 13, 2011
    Ringoes, NJ
    Seems playing with the knobs helps Treble down, Bass up gain at about 1/3rd. Volume at 3/4 and it had some slam. Granted if I was better at playing the system would sound better too... In home audio a keeping the knobs at noon makes sense, I guess when your creating the sounds you need to fiddle to get the sound you want. All in all I still need more! I think this bass thing is going to cost me alot of money.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Welcome to the money pit that is known as playing bass ;) It doesn't have to be a money pit, but you do have to get gear that works for your gigs and even if you get it cheap, it can still run you in the 3 and 4 figures.

    And you're absolutely right about the difference between home audio and this. You are CREATING sounds, not REPRODUCING sounds. I'd put that gain up even more, BTW. Ignore the clip light and use your ears. If you hear it distorting, just back if off until it quits distorting. Or not...it gets a tasty little mild grind with the gain past distortion.
  15. BassBob1


    Dec 21, 2010
    i don't have the mini stack yet. But if i have the extra cash at any point this summer (i'm a poor college student who should be saving money for rent/utilities instead of trying to buy more gear, haha). I have played the micro VR a few times and I agree with JimmyM turn that gain up some more.
  16. Try gain at 3/4, and volume at 1/3. An Ampeg expects to have its gain wacked hard...

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