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TalkBass
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Ampeg SVP Pro

4.3/5, 4.3 from 9 reviews
The Ampeg SVP-Pro Series Bass Preamp uses 5 - 12AX7 tubes to provide the true, rich, tubular tone only a genuine multivalve signal path can generate
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Reviews Summary
4
 
44%
4
 
44%
1
 
11%
0
 
0%
0
 
0%
Overall Rating:
4.3/5,
Sound:
4.57/5,
Build Quality:
4.43/5,
Features:
4.43/5,
Value:
4.57/5,
  1. stuonbass
    Sweet tube pre-amp
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 15, 2016
    Sound:
    4/5,
    Build Quality:
    4/5,
    Features:
    3/5,
    Value:
    4/5,
    Pros
    • + Classic SVT tube tone. Warm thumping lows and crisp highs.
    Cons
    • - no DI Out volume control, I would like it to have a bi-amp xover capability.
    My experience with pre-amps has been rather limited. I have a V-Amp, and Line 6 pod which I have used with various power amps with ok results but the SVP is what I have been looking for! I bought it used and have not changed the tubes. I have had noise 60hz hum and sizzle at various clubs but not at others.
    Price Paid:
    $325
  2. bThumper38
    Great tone
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Great tone
    Cons
    • - none
    I got one about four months in mint cond. It had the tubes swapped already. It's not as warm as the avalon 737 I once owned, but hey, for 1/5th the cost it's not doing so bad, I'm running this into a super redhead, and have to say it's just down right kick-ass. I'd get one if you don't already have one. I'm thinking about putting some really expensive tubes in it to see what happens.
    Price Paid:
    $400
  3. fourstringburn
    Great tube preamp sound
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    4/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Great tube preamp sound
    Cons
    • - No D.I. level control or no ground lift switch
    Great sound, has the front panel features I desire. I found it strange that the direct out lacks a level control and more importantly, a ground lift switch. Because of this, I use a D.I. when necessary.

    I heard others complain about noise. Mine too was noisy, mostly hum. I corrected this by replacing the Groove tubes ( Chinese aftermarket garbage)12au7 tube with an Electro-Harmonix 12au7 and the noise disappeared. So now all the tubes are Electro- Harmonix. I would recommend the same fix to anyone experiencing the same problem.

    Other than that, I think this preamp rocks, especially running it into 3000 watts of stereo class D amplifier power and 2 A mpeg SVT-810's.
    Price Paid:
    $400
  4. JerryNovak
    Warm, versitile tones
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Warm, versitile tones
    Cons
    • - Hard to find, no longer sold new
    This is the preamp I have been looking for! Mine (used) came with the stock tubes. I set those aside as spares, and replaced them with a set of NOS tubes. It sounded great before, but the warmth and range of tones with the new tubes is just remarkable.
    Price Paid:
    $400
  5. elbow
    No issues
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + sweet tones
    Great sounding preamp with thick tones and and all the options you will ever need.I have had no noise issues with preamp.
    Price Paid:
    $499
  6. lawsonman
    Delivers big time
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Very versatile. Tons of Tone
    Cons
    • - Can't find any so far
    I'm running this thing through my Ampeg SVT350H with 2x10's and 1x15" Classic bottoms.Although I thought the 350 ss head sounded very good for the type of music our band plays(classic rock) I was looking for a little more.This baby delivers big time. I've only had it for 3 weeks but I've done 2 gigs with it and the more I play with it the more I like it.It's fast and easy to go from that deep warm sound to butt kickin almost raunchy sound.Best $500 I've spent in a while.
  7. DanielleMuscato
    Legendary Ampeg stuff here
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Pros
    • + tone, features
    Cons
    • - none
    Basics:

    I rated this preamp a 9 on the 1-10 scale. The only reservation is the potential for noise problems. I have never had a noise problem with mine, but other SVP-Pro owners I've talked to have, so I'm including it in my review.

    Quality:

    Legendary Ampeg stuff here. Although it has a lot of knobs and faders, the controls are very intuitive, and it's very easy to dial in a great sound in seconds, and a gorgeous one if you tweak it a bit. The faders and knob pots are solid, the connections are tight and it's held up wonderfully.

    Sound:

    I tried nearly a dozen amps before settling on the Ampeg SVT-4 Pro. My only concern was that 1200 watts (@ 4 ohms) would not be enough for me. Imagine my delight when I was told that the same Ampeg preamp was available seperately! I bought the SVP-Pro preamp and a Crown K2 (2500 @ 4 ohms/bridged) and am absolutely thrilled. The SVP-Pro is punchy, articulate, clear, clean, and solid. It defines my sound.

    Value:

    If you find a used one for under $350, get it! Replace the tubes just in case and you've got yourself a killer pre. I bought mine new because I got a good deal from a friend at my local shop, and paid $450 (MF price is $500). I don't think $500 is out of line for a preamp of this quality.

    Complaints:

    A little expensive, but absolutely worth it if sound is important to you.

    Summary:

    I've been through a lot of amps, and this one gets the cake.

    Rating: 1 (low) - 10 (high)
    9

    __________________

    Dave Muscato


    Bassist, SanSerif (www.sanserifband.com)


    My rig:


    Modulus Q5 - Aphex Bass Xciter - Ampeg SVP-Pro - Crown K2 - Carvin Red-Eye 4x10 (soon to be replaced with Schroeder 410)
    Price Paid:
    $450
  8. Fuzzbass
    all about tube warmth and punch
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Pros
    • + Ampeg sound, warm overdrive, versatile EQ
    Cons
    • - Stock tubes can be noisy; don't get it if you want "squeaky clean" tone
    The previous review is spot-on. I'm going to give a rating of "8" simply because mine had already been retubed when I bought it used, so I've never had to deal with noise, only some very mild hiss which is barely noticeable with tweeterless cabinets. (The opposite was true with the Ampeg SVT3Pro I once owned: I bought that new, and it had noise issues.)

    This preamp is all about tube warmth and punch. The tone-shaping is so versatile that I do not bother to use the 9-band graphic EQ. It absolutely kills when paired with my Bergantino NV-610 speaker cabinet... in fact, I call that rig my "faux SVT".
    Price Paid:
    $350
  9. Schwinn
    picky about tubes
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Aug 13, 2016
    Sound:
    3/5,
    Build Quality:
    3/5,
    Features:
    3/5,
    Value:
    3/5,
    Pros
    • + graphic eq, nice overdrive sound, good features
    Cons
    • - picky about tubes, many units have noise problems
    I'm only giving it a 7 because I originally had a noise problem which needed to be corrected with specific tubes. There must be some design flaw with the SVP, because it should not be so picky about tubes. The noise didn't come from the unit itself (that was whisper quiet), it was in the signal path and I had excessive static/hum through the speakers, which mucked up my tone.

    I like the SVP because it gives me the Ampeg sound I'm after and I can get my power from a heavy-duty PA power amp. Ampeg heads (and bass heads in general) always seem a bit underpowered to me. Bass guitar needs gobs of clean power IMO.

    The drive function gets a great overdrive sound without changing the volume too much. Combine that with more gain and less master and you get a great distortion effect. The SVP has very effective eq buttons - I usually have the lo and brite buttons pushed in. The overall eq'ing capabilities are great and I especially like the mid selector knob to have control over what part of the mid-range I want to boost. The graphic eq is nice in giving me extra flexibility in adjusting in the mix. Bypassing the graphic eq gives you an all-tube signal path if so desired. I haven't used the DI much so I won't comment on that yet.


    I really like the SVP and it has been completely reliable for me in the year I've owned it (used 2 to 3 times a week for band rehearsals). My only complaint is that Ampeg should correct the design flaw that makes this pre noisy with lots of tubes (even the stock tubes!). If you want the Ampeg sound with the power of a good power amp, then this is the pre for you.
    Price Paid:
    $350
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