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All tube SVT + external ("slave") power amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AlexanderB, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    After 17 years of playing exclusively clean SS heads and now looking for a bit of re-juvenation + new options, I am looking into tube amps. Had a Peavey VB-2 home to try it out and was not overly impressed. The iconic SVT seems more attractive but I know that there will be times when I need more clean output than it provides.
    How do these amps (mainly the CL or Heritage) behave when hooked up to an external SS PA amp? Are there issues with signal level, ground hum, noise floor, impedance etc?
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    You can get a clean sound from an SVT if you dial back the gain.
  3. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Yeah, but not loud enough. Hence the need for external amp. Today I have up to 2x1700W with 12x10".
  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Wow. You *really* need more volume than an SVT can provide cleanly, even with 12x10s? That's pretty astounding. Good luck there.
    As to your questions... you still have to present some sort of load to the OT, otherwise you won't have much life expetency from the SVT ;). Otherwise, probably just use the preamp out to whatever slave you'll have... and wear three sets of earplugs.
  5. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    No, I can not run 12x10" from the SVT, hence the question. The (2) SVT-410HLFs I can maximally hook up to the SVT do require about 4 times the power compared to the "regular" 810 to reach the same loudness. (But they go a lot deeper, which calls for the additional amp on loud gigs.)
  6. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    What style of music are you playing?

    If you need that massive power but want more of a tube tone, maybe try out a Sansamp VT or an Ampeg rack pre. Much more compact and cheaper than an SVT (~38kg!), especially when you are thinking the SVT wont meet your needs in terms of volume.

    You shouldnt have any trouble slaving a power amp to it.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Just get an SVT 4 Pro. If you slave the CL or Heritage to a power amp, you're only going to get the preamp anyway, plus you still need to have a cab plugged into the power amp of the CL, and the 4 Pro has a wonderful tube preamp in it and you can run all 3 410hlf's with it, too. Each half will do 900w RMS at 2 ohms.
  8. xk49w

    xk49w Supporting Member

    I have never tried this but it should work. Run the SVT into its normal speaker cabinet. Use a speaker level DI on the SVT speaker output and drive your slave amp into the same or similar type cab that the SVT drives.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good call, Codger...didn't think of that.
  10. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    Best slave to an SVT is another SVT ...
  11. Clouz

    Clouz The Ayatollah of Jack and Cola

    Jan 26, 2013
    or just buy another 810. 16 10's and 300 tube watts :D...or tell the sound guy to buy a bigger PA
  12. TheRealKong


    Mar 17, 2011
    Why do you want to take the SVT and its all-tube - poweramp and not using it but slaving it into a transistor poweramp? Six tubes glowing useless in the dark.... Maybe a second one, slaving them together. Or do as I recommend.

    I have good experience with a used Ampeg SVP Pro, hooked into a 2 x 700 watt @ 4 Ohm poweramp, bridged about 1.400 Watt @ 4 Ohm. I play this amp in a heavy-Metal-band with just one Tecamp L 810''-cab. But you are able to use any thinkable cab combination you want to. Insane loud!

    But I am a man who knows how to handle a volume knob, so all small furry animals in the aerea survived... so far. ;)
  13. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    All kinds of responses so far but nothing really addresses the question... Well it is TalkBass after all...

    I will try this again:

    My small (regular) rig would be SVT CL into one SVT-410HLF. Clean sound about as loud as my LMII, I'd guess.

    For slightly louder gigs I could run the SVT CL into both my SVT-410HLFs. Big and cumersome with an additional +3 dB SPL.

    For loud gigs with no bass in PA or for outdoors gigs I could run one SVT-410 from the SVT CL and have another amp powering the second SVT-410HLF + perhaps two SVT-210HE.

    I have gigged my SS power amp into the 410 alone or with the 210 on top, to the limits outdoors. The SVT CL would not cut it there, being less than a third of the power.
    No, our band is definitely not stupid loud but I play a fivestringer with clean, deep sound.

    You guys gigging the SVT CL + 810E get more SPL and "cut through the mix" from the amp compared to the deep sounding HLF speakers.
  14. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    The SVP gets kind of mixed reviews and many say the VT Bass does a better job. I have the VT Bass and think it is not really getting there, either.
  15. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I have used it - more than once, thank you. It is insufficient even with the more efficient 810 cabs that I do not like since they are too rolled off in the lows.
    My current pre/power (2*900W) into one 410 + one 210 is louder and much deeper than an all tube SVT + 810.
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    SVT-CL pre and big iron transformer (mine is 1500 watts into 4 ohms).
    IMO you would be better served by two complete SVT heads as the power tubes do offer some depth I can get with a SS power section.

    The good news is that this rig will only be a temporary heavy load as your hearing deteriorates to the range that the fine points of tubes vs. transistors will not be audible.
    Not trying to be mean spirited but rather factual.
    Google SPL vs exposure time vs hearing damage.