100 vs 300 (more tube talk!)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Nomadic Herder, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. Alright this time it's for real! :D :rolleyes: After a lot of debate and foolishness, I'm ready to get a real (?) rig. I'm selling everything but my axes and one pedal. Even if it'll be awhile before they're replaced, it's all good. Anyway...

    I've decided on an Ampeg tube head. The amount of power I really need is up for debate though. I play with bands with guitarists usually using 50 - 100 watts, but not dimed, so it's not insanely loud. I also do much of my playing in my bedroom.

    So now I'm guessing the 100 watt VB4 would suit me better than the 300 watt SVTII? I'd think the SVT would be completely ridiculous and a waste, as I'd probably never get to use it's full potential. Any opinions? Thanks in advance once again. You guys r0x0r. :)
  2. leper


    Jun 21, 2001
    get the 300 watt svt...100 watts is gonna seem real insufficient once you get it home.
  3. If you can afford it (and lift it:D) go for the SVT. The preamp in the SVT is a bit nicer and while 200 more watts shouldn't make a whole lot of difference, the SVT II sounds a hell of a lot more powerful than the V4. Perhaps it's the voicing in the preamp that makes it cut through better. Of course, the main caveat is the SVT's going to be more expensive to retube, but if you take care of it you won't need to do that for a good while. A buddy of mine had an old V4B and he found it didn't have enough power in a (moderatly loud) rock band situation. At my insistence he bought a '76 SVT and it rocked..... Then he decided to be a guitar player again...... guess who got the SVT? :D:p. Go for the II!!! It also has more tone shaping options as a little bonus. You will never have to worry about it not being loud enough either!
  4. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Go for the SVT if you're young.I drug one around for eight years and it was worth it.I used it in big halls and small clubs and it sounded great every time.You never run out of power,the 300 watts sounds like 1000.Still my favorite amp of all time.I use a Sans Amp with a power amp now cause my back can't take the weight any more,but it's just not the same.With an Svt you can always blow the guitar players off the stage.The V4-B has great tone but it's like comparing King Kong to a Chimpanzee.Go for the SVT.
  5. Hmm...perhaps you're right. I'll have to take some time and really try each out at high volume. With the SVT would the 410HLF suffice? I really don't feel like hauling a refrigerator with me to practice. Too many stairs involved anyway. :rolleyes: Once again, thank you.
  6. I just traded my Goliath III for a 410HLF. The Ampeg cab just suits my SVT. It's got a lot of that trademark Ampeg tone, with more low end. I think it's a great choice for that head! I agree that the 810 is just too much to drag around. My band is pretty loud and I have no problems being heard with the HLF.
  7. I owned an SVT many years ago and I believed when I brought it home that it would be all the power I'd ever need. Boy was I in for a shock. About six months later I found myself in a band which played large venues pretty regularly where the SVT flat ran out of gas. I ended up getting a used Sunn Coluseum 300 rig and slaving it to the SVT to handle the bigger gigs. Gads, what a sound!
  8. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    try out a sunn 300t.it's all tube,300 watts, and i commonly see it selling for just over $1000. new.

    check 'em out through musicians friend.me? i can't decide between the marshall vba400,mesa 400+,or ampeg svt-cl.

    the mesa is almost a no-brainer,i just hate to spend extra for a flight case.
  9. SVT-II !
  10. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    My opinion is for the SVT-CL, SVT-II, or Mesa Boogie 400+ (Nothing against the Marshall, just don't know anything about their bass amps). They are all in the same price range and not much more than the VB4 for what you get. Even if your needs are not that great now, if your needs ever increase then you will save in the long run since you'll "more than likely" never need to buy a more powerful rig. It's worth the extra couple payments.

    If you think the VB4 will do then great. Don't get more than you practically need and are willing to haul around (and spend!).

    I personally like to have the extra headroom and even though I don't push my 600watt hybrid head over 3-4 in gain and volume, if I need to push it (occasionally) then it is there at the turn of a knob. I could get by with 100 watts which is what I used to use but I am quite happy with having the extra power and it gives me a cleaner signal. The only reason I have a hybrid head is that when I was shopping for an amp, I was scared about tube maintenance and replacement cost otherwise I think that tube amps sound better. Just my opinion though. I am now contemplating buying a tube head.

    Research the different models and try to find a store where you can try out first hand.
  11. I was considering a V4B too, but I went with the SVT II Pro. The thing is just awsome. The weight is really the only downside (70 lbs), but it's really not that bad. Dimension-wise, it looks tiny compared to an old SVT, and it's just as powerful. Also, that footswitch that turns on the graphic eq is very nifty. I easily prefer it to a seperate channel (why would I need that)? Anyhow, my rig sounds great, and the only cabinet I have is a single 15. Now that I think about it, although the V4B weighs 30 lbs less than the SVT II Pro, it's bulkier, and in a lot of ways less convenient (not rack-mountable). It's the same size as an SVT CL. When I was looking for amps, I also tried the Mesa 400+ and the Sunn 300T. The I didn't really care for the 400+ at all. I mean it was pretty good, but it definately didn't have the kind of richness that a 300 watt tube amp should. (I was also unimpressed by their cabs). The Sunn was very nice, but my god, what a monster! The Ampeg SVT II Pro is with out a doubt the best amp I've tried.
  12. I used a V4B for a while and loved the tone but it definitely cannot handle anything above a tiny room if you're playing with a moderately loud band. Tried a SVTII but didn't get the tone. I finally got a 70's SVT and love it but my ampeg 410 doesn't do it justice. I think I'll have to add an swr 212 to get all the power I need.
  13. crud19


    Sep 26, 2001
    Having just come across a used SVT-CL, I can assure that they are the bomb. Both Mesa 400+s that I have ever dealt with have had serious mechanical problems (one blew fuses, the other blew speakers). The SVT-CL is an incredibly simple amplifier with no effects loop, graphic eq, etc. Some might view its lack of bells and whistles as a negative (I certainly don't) but you should take that into account. I say if you have the money, go for the bigger amp. Headroom is very, very important for a bass player in a loud rock band.
  14. All this talk of wattage is kind of meaningless without putting a speaker cabinet along with it. I used an original V4B for years, and it was plenty loud, but I was also playing through a sugar-scoop cabinet with an 18" woofer. If you play through an inefficient cab, it probably wouldn't cut it.

    So in other words, you can get by with a V4B if you have huge speakers. If you have medium sized speakers, you'll probably need an SVT.

  15. Ahhhhh I hate GAS. The more I look on E-bay...the more I want an 8x10. :( lol. I'm also set on the SVT-II now. Thanks everyone :). But for that 8x10...the Ampeg site says it has skid rails on the back. Are these like metal bars down the back so it can be slid up/down stairs? Because that would help. A lot. :rolleyes:
  16. Yes speaker cabinets are important to how much volume you get but still can't make up for not enough wattage. I had my V4B running through a single 15 for a while and then a 410 and briefly through both. Neither single cabinet gave me enough volume and the V4B gave up trying to power both. A 100 watt power amp is not enough to play in a moderately loud band.,
    My SVT (300 watts) is much happier playing through either a larger cab like a SWR 610 4 ohm or through two 8ohm cabs like my ampeg 410 and either a 15 or hopefully a 212 very soon.
    You need both, the watts and the speakers to load the amp nicely.
  17. Good luck if you end upi going with that 810. Those things weigh 160 lbs, (but I imagine they sound great). Ampeg cabs tend to be heavy.
  18. ...because of the lousy-arse heavy chipboard they build the cabinets out of. I just had a custom 8x10 made here, with plywood instead. It's weight comes in at around the same as my SVT410HLN, and you never need to lift it.

    Skid rails are easy to install on any cabinet - a set of old Powell-Peralta rib-bones, or some UMPE or nylon-6 strips screwed to the back.
  19. Maybe you should look into the 610HLF. It's a bit beefier than the 410 but a little easier to get around than the 810... Or if you're into the sealed cabinet thing, two 410HENs.... Stop it. Dang, now I'm getting cab GAS again.....:D
  20. Sheesh, i'm going through it right now! Good GAS I feel, though! ;)
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