Would a compressor/limiter help my clipping issue?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Philthy, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Wallington, NJ
    I was gigging last night with my Ampeg SVP-CL preamp and my Spector Euro bass. I have the bass EQ running a little boosted above flat and the input pad on the preamp pushed it. I noticed that the preamp clip LED was almost always lit. I was think that a compressor/limiter before the preamp might help me out a bit. Any advice? Would this do the trick? Would something simple like the DBX 163x compressor work? Any suggestions?

  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Just turn down the gain.
  3. Daytona955i


    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Do you actually get any speaker clipping? If you don't and the light is coming on, then you're at just the right settings to maximize your speakers. Although turning down a little might not hurt either.
  4. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Wallington, NJ

    Nope no speaker clipping. It's just the preamp LED clip light coming on all the time. The Ampeg SVP-CL manual says that the clip light should come on occasionally, however, it seems to come on almost all the time when I'm playing.

    Could it have anything to do with the preamp getting hot? I notice that the SVP-CL generates a lot of heat when in use. It's seems to get pretty warm. I put one of those little clip on desk fans on the back of my rack to try and cool it down a bit.

  5. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    The clip light is equivalent to the VU meter on an Ashdown going into the red, right?
  6. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Wallington, NJ
    Yes, I believe the VU meter measures clipping on an Ashdown. So, they are the same thing.

    I don't know if it's me, but it seems as though the longer I have the preamp on and I'm playing thru it, the more it clips. I just had it on before at the same settings I used at my recent gig and it didn't clip. That's why I ask about clipping in relation to the unit getting hot. Maybe I'm just going nuts. Who knows.

    I'll try turning the gain down (I had it up to about 1 o'clock). I don't want to turn it down too much because I'm going to lose volume between that and the input pad depressed. I'll try it at around 10 - 11 o'clock and see what happens.
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Quite a lot of people, without realizing it, play harder as the night goes on and their ears get tired. That may be why the light is going on more often as the night wears on.

    I'd say turn the preamp volume down. If you lose too much volume, turn up your master volume to compensate.
  8. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Yes it would.

    Allows more apparent volume.
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Um... just turn down your input gain, or don't play with the volume control on your bass turned all the way up. You don't really need a compressor or a limiter. If you're clipping your preamp, then you need less input. Putting a compressor in is adding an unnecessary step.
  10. The light should only come on once in a while, if its always on, you're overdriving the preamp input. If its a tube input stage, some people like a bit of crunch, that would explain why it doesn't sound like crap.

    If the amp was the problem, compressor might be a good idea, could compress the signal to prevent the amp input clip light from constant on. You've got the right idea..... almost...

    But its not the amp, you're the problem. No offense... If you just put the compressor before the amp, and you run it the same way (with the compressor input clip light always on) you're just moving the same problem to another piece of gear. You're still overdriving your first gain stage, only now its the compressor input not the amp input.

    1) Get the input clip light from flashing constantly. Turn input gain down or your guitar down. That's what its there for.

    2) Now turn up the master, the main pre out, or the power amp input (whichever you have, the rest are for others out there with other types of amp setups) up to get back the volume you lost from turning down the input gain. That's what they're there for.

    Amps are designed to have enough gain to get to full output when the input clip light is barely coming on,without having all the knobs on 10. "joking on" Unless you need the clip light for a night light, you can afford to turn the input down and stil achieve full power. "joking off".

    There you go. Fresh clean signal. Doesn't that sound better?

  11. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I was doing a search for compression orders, so sorry if this is dead and all, but if you're getting clipping problems, turn down the Master on your bass. Every Euro I've owned has just been overkill on the bass' end, so I put that at about 75% and adjust my amp from there. I used to have some of the same problems, but yeah, try about 60-75% Master on the bass itself, and adjust from there. Should help out a lot!
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Good point... some basses are super hot. If turning down Gain isn't enough, turn down the volume of your bass. Then turn up Master to compensate.
  13. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Depending on what year that bass is and what pre it has in it, it may have a Fishman Voltage Doubler in it. I know in my '02 there was something like that, which made it run like an 18V, but only required 1 battery. It was a hot sucker, and that's how I ran man and got great results.