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Yamaha PB-1 or SVT-IIP preamp..

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ErnieD, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    Not really asking which one is better here, unless you could say one is actually better than the other one. ;)

    I'm going to look at the Yamaha PB-1 but the guy says he also has a Ampeg SVT-IIP preamp for sale. I currently have a Alembic F-1X and BBE Bmax (no-T) pres. So I don't want to duplicate my current tone with the new preamp I choose.

    I've never been real big on the Ampeg tone but could prolly use it OK in my blues band. Though I also have a VT pedal so will that cover my Ampeg-ish tone enough? I read raves on the PB-1 and for the good price he is offering it for I'll prolly pick it up either way. But a couple TBers I PM'd told me the Yammie's quite heavy at about 12-14lbs. And that its rather deep into the rack space.

    Not really a deal breaker as my new Crown amp is only 8lbs and tho I have it currently in a shallow Gator 4 space, I also have a SKB 3 space rack w/built in casters and a handle that will accept the deeper gear. Though I'm hoping the Yamaha will still fit in a shallow case.

    While doing a search here, I also saw some threads where some Ampeg pres had some issues, don't recall if this SVT-IIP was one of those models. I don't have a build date on either one.

    Well any helpful replies are welcome, this may split into the Ampeg tone lovers and others. But just looking for general good/bad features of these two pres before I go check em out. FYI, not really looking to record with either so mostly for live gigs only. Thanks all, ernie.
  2. coronado3

    coronado3 Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Indiana, USA
    both are great preamps... You couldn't go wrong with either!
    I can tell you that the yamaha is not that heavy! also, it is only about 10 - 12 inches deep... Not really an issue.

    However, with your current alembic and BBE pre's, why look elsewhere? :)
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i don't think i'd get a II-P if i had a vt, but i would get an svp-cl. that's the money in ampeg's old preamp line imho. the pb-1 is a real sleeper, though...sweet tone on the cheap.
  4. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    coronado 3 and jimmym thanks for your input here. I just got back from hearing my buddy's 3 pc blues/soul band. Heck the bassist had a old Peavey head on a couple PV cabs, sounded pretty nice out front, no PA for instruments. I used muchos Peavy back in the day, til I came here and got major G.A.S. Not really, PV is bullet proof and all but alot of this new bass gear is so much more refined.

    Corondo 3, is that a stogie? We buy because we are bassists, NO? We are not animals but damn near. HAHA. :p Really this is my first pre/power amp rig and I'm getting caught up in all the different pres I see here on TB. I just happen to find these local so makes it easy to at least go check em out.

    Plus as I stated, I read really good things of the PB-1 and I aint feeling too king on the Alembic pre so far, that might change. I'm kinda diggin the BBE more so far but I've gigged it already. Only been thrying the F-1X at home practicing; gonna try it at a gig this Saturday nite with Am St P5, may work then, we'll see.

    And jimmym, the SVT-IIP is all he has for sale, no CL or other model to try and its pricy-er than the Yammie so I'll prolly just get the Yammer and be done for awhile. I'm quite content with the VTpedal, may send it off to get it modded. If I can't use any of these pres, I'll try to flip one here and see what else is out there. Those Ashly's caught my eye as well, so we'll see. It really never stops does it? :(
  5. The Yamaha has a crossover. I don't know about the Ampeg.

  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    IME the II-P offers genuine tube roundness but is voiced much less shy than the Alembic. The graphic EQ can add a lot as well - I've gotten some sweet tones with that (and I'm not normally into EQ - at all).

    I miss my Alembic a bit - nothing could fatten up a solid state power amp quite like that thing. But the Ampeg is pretty warm, too. And it's nice to have some midrange presence for a change. ;)

    I also have the Ashly preamp, which KILLS for recording but I could never get a satisfactory stage sound with it for some reason. If the Yamaha were similar in vibe (I'd say crisp & tight, but not wooly & tubey) I don't think I would care for it for a stage rig.

    (Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure the Yamaha combo at school had very similar circuitry and I never did warm to it.)

    Just my take - total YMMV. :)

    Audition both if you can, see what you think.
  7. monroe55


    Mar 17, 2009
    I once read an ad for a used SVT-IIP describing it as the "Holy Grail" of bass preamps. I was also new to the pre/poweramp setup at the time and was deciding on a pre to go with myQSC poweramp. I tried this Holy Grail on a whim, bought it used on Ebay for @400 and never looked back. I've never had any function issues while using it ( been gigging 4x a month for year and a half since) and I love the tone I can get from it even with a flat eq. I have to keep the gain up past 12 on it which I wasnt used to doing but that's just what it took to drive my Power amp, no big deal.
    Im also someone who prefers "minimal knob" adjusting options on my equipment so the Ampeg pre was a good choice with its simpler/fewer tone dialing options, relatively speaking. To sum up, Im happy with it.

    PS I did almost grab a Yamaha pre at that last minute so Im curious to hear how it works for you if you decide on it. BTW, whats your other gear you're using?
    Good Luck on your Quest for tone!
  8. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I've had the Yamaha, and Alembic and have kept the SVP-CL.
    For me:
    Yamaha - very clean, musical EQ, very fast repsonse, not partcularly warm but nice
    Alembic - warm, clean, but too limited in EQ for my tastes
    SVP-CL - Warm, clean, early models need to be modified for more output or used with a power amp with .775 input sensitivity for full output, nice EQ

    When I searched Ampeg pres a while back the CL got the best reviews (with the exception of those that wanted distortion); some with SVT-IIP's had some noise issues, others did not

    Hope this helps
  9. Yes, I've owned both the VT and the SVT-IIP and much prefered the VT, the SVT-IIP is missing the sound of power tubes.

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