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$999 Mesa 400 or $799 SVT 4

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by philzbass, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. I was looking at used gear in my local music store and they've currently got a Mesa Boogie 400+ going for $999 and an Ampeg SVT 4 Pro going for $799. I've played em both, I like em both and I want em both! :D Unfortunantly, that's not going to happen. :crying:

    So, which one would be the best bang for the buck?

    And would the SVT be alot more versitile? Could you get it to sound similar to the Mesa 400+?

  2. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I'd prefer the Mesa by a wide margin. Now if it was an SVTII, that'd be a lot closer.
  3. arbitrary


    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    well your compairing an all tube amp to the svt4 which has a tube pre and ss poweramp.

    I kinda like the 400+ more I think, but I could be on the fence for a while about it.
    The svt 4 has more watts, but I dunno, the svt4 is a good amp, but after a while I think you'll want to upgrade.
    It seems to happen a lot (and is currently happening to me).
  4. I know that they're different animals, all I want to know is which would be a better deal? Since they're both used and there is a price difference of about $200. (Mesa's more expensive)

    I'm thinking the Mesa's probablly going to win in sound but the SVT 4 is only $799! That's why I asked if the SVT could come close to getting the Mesa sound.

  5. Dan T.

    Dan T.

    May 9, 2005
    i own both, they are both totally different beasts. the svt is a little more manageable and lives in a 6 space road ready case, the 400+ is a boat anchor and lives in an 8 space shockmount road ready. Aside from the obvious size and weight differences, the mesa is all tube and sounds like it, the svt4 only has a tube pre, i seem to be able to coax a little more versatility out of my svt4 and can get a wider range of sounds out of it as opposed to the mesa which really does one thing and does it well. i just put some sovteks 12ax7's in the mesa and i'm curious to see how they are going to change the sound up.

    i'm pretty sansamp happy as well, i use my sansamp bddi more often with the mesa and pretty much always use the rbi with my svt4, pretty much essential in my opinion if you're going for a hard rock sound and my guess is if you're looking at these beasts that's what you're going for.

    i think the mesa could probly come down about $100-$150 bucks and the ampeg is pretty spot on. that's if they're both in good condition too, good luck!
  6. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I like the Bass 400 more. Nicer tone if you ask me. More versatity. I used the SVT-4 for a few years back in the day and loved it at the time.

    In the long run, the Bass 400 will cost you more. If you need mad volume, then you will probably want to put 6550's or KT-88's in it ($200+), unless it already has them. I bought my Bass 400 for around $850 used but barely used. Compared to the general ebay prices $1000 is a lot for a used one.

    +1 on sansamp with either. For metal especially.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    1K is too much for a used Mesa 400+.

    The going rate is between 6-800 with a decent case or shock case.
  8. I'd agree on that, im an ampeg man myself, but would go for the Mesa if i was going for those two options (all-valve all the way imo)
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002

    I agree 1000 is too much, but I've sure never seen one for 600. I think 750-850 depending on tubes, rack and condition, is reasonable.
  10. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    You can't put 6550s or KT88's in a 400+. Only a 400.
  11. What's the difference?

    I'm pretty sure the one I'm looking at is a 400+ but I didn't even know that there was just a 400.
  12. Yep, I have one, and it's got 6 X 6550's now, but I got it with 6L6's from GC..

    The Bass 400 uses 6 X 6550's or 6L6's, and the 400+ uses 12 X 6L6's - both are capable of 300 clean watts(if you use 6550's in the 400)

    I've heard some people saying the 400 is actually a little more ballsy than the 400+, but most people selling them on ebay think they can only be used 6 X 6L6, and only good for 150 watts; so I'd keep an eye out for them, they sell cheaper, and they're just as good as a 400+.
  13. So is the 400 better than the 400+?
  14. I did a search on here over a year ago, and found some people prefer the Bass 400 over the 400+, as it can use 6550's...

    Things I heard about 6550's in the 400:

    Cleaner bass response, crisper highs, slightly more output than the 12 6L6's in the Bass 400+..

    I got this info from Psycho Bass Guy:

    I think he said a 6L6 has a hard time putting out 25 true clean watts, whereas a 6550, or KT88 has no problem putting out 50 clean watts... so 6 X 6550 > 12 X 6L6...

    ...they take longer to distort(less mushy when loud), but when they do, the distortion is harsher than the 400+(why I like them)

    I think they both probably sound simillar, but I have the older Bass 400, and love the tone.
  15. Whats the price on those tubes? (6560 vs 6L6)
  16. :::::yelling for PsychoBassGuy:::::::

    I think the 6550's are about twice the price....I think...:rolleyes:

    I'd expect to pay about 200.00 to 250.00 for a set of 6550's(X6)...

    :::::yelling for PsychoBassGuy:::::::
  17. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    +1. You asked which one was the better deal, and I would say $900 is right for the Mesa if it's in really good shape. The SVT-4 is priced right. Not much wrong with either price or either amp. I just got a 400 plus yesterday and as many people would probably say, you may need to tweak the Mesa to get it sounding good. I did and it still doesn't really compare to my SVT-II, but not bad. The SVT-4, you would have to *try* to get it to sound bad. The Mesa is a boat anchor weight wise until you mess around with an SVT-II. Then the Mesa is no problem at all to carry.
  18. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I could be wrong, but I think the svt-4 pro is only 3 lbs lighter than the 400+. (42 vs. 45lbs) Get the mesa, it's on your gas list, and was made, for the cabs on your list.
  19. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    The Mesa is much more versitle. It does best for overdrive and grit at higher volumes, and it does take tweaking. However, its a great amp once you get used to it, and it blows away the 4-Pro in my opinion. If you want tons of overdrive and grit, the SVT-II or 2-Pro would be better, but I didn't like the tones I was getting out of the 4-Pro anytime I played through em, though my FX unit helped out some.
  20. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    I dunno - I still call $900 big time high. I bought mine on eBay a couple of months ago for $750 in a brand new SKB roller rack, which MF sells for $134 by just by itself . . . . . .

    - Tim

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