Am I missing out?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mournblade, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. mournblade


    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    I currently have a Mesa Titan V12 head that I am running into a 2x15 Mesa and 4x12 Mesa cab @2 Ohms. Volume is not an issue, it gets stupid loud. My question is what am I am missing, or am I, by not having a tube power section.

    I had Mesa 400+ and I wasn't really pleased with it, it sounded too clean for my tastes. I like the fact that the Titan gets good growl with the gain control and a great distortion tone through the on-board distortion (tube based I believe).

    However, I played through a SVT-2 Pro once at a guitar center and it just rocked (as I recall). Unfortunately, that was a) many years ago, and B) long before I had the Mesa Titan, so I have nothing to reference it to, and none to play around Dallas (at least that I have found, other than the SVT-CL at GC). So, before I spend big bucks on a tube head, thought I would put it out here for any advice, opinions, collective wisdom, etc.

  2. I, personally, would rock a Mesa Titan V12 over any Ampeg. period

    It's all personal preference. We can't tell you what you like.
  3. To be honest, the SVT-2 Pro doesn't sound a whole lot different from the SVT-CL. If you aren't keen on the CL, you probably wouldn't be too keen on the 2-Pro.

    If you don't like the CL and you weren't pleased with the 400+, you probably aren't missing out all that much. Sure, there are a ton of other tube heads which will cater to different regions of the tonal spectrum, but those two are pretty good at giving you an idea.

    Though I'm surprised you found the 400+ to be too clean!

    I'll also say that the sound in the shop will give you an idea but doesn't really let you know the full potential of the amp. I remember when I first got my SVT, I was a little disappointed. But the first time I played that in a band situation, woah! :D
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 grab a Meatsmoke Pre if it really bothers you.
  5. mournblade


    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    Absolutely fair. I like old school Maiden sound, I get a fair approximation of it with the rotos and by Rich's. I also like the distorted heavy midrange tone of Mike Starr from Alice in Chains.

    Watching the review on a VBA 400 (Marshall) right now and that tone is killer!! Here is the video I am talking about.

    I may have to see if I can get my local GC to get one in that has been floating around used for a while.

    Any other Tube heads with that kind of growl?
  6. mournblade


    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    So I went back down to GC and spent some more time with the SVT CL. After turning it up and playing with the EQ I got alot better tone out of it. Think I will bring my head down to A/B the two heads using one of my basses.
  7. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings
    I have a couple of VBA 400 heads, and I can tell you from personal experience that they crush. Because I am supplied back line whenever EXCITER plays out of town, I often get to play through Ampeg setups (both CL and VR), and I call my VBAs "Ampeg Killers" ;)

  8. mournblade


    Nov 19, 2006
    Roanoke, TX
    Can you get a good distorted tone out of them without having the master volume to the stops? I like the organic distortion that the Titan gives compared to my Big Muff pedal.
  9. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    I get a really mean yet kinda squishy overdrive sound out of my Mesa D-180 (setting the master at less than 10, and boosting stuff on the graphic EQ helps).

    Beyond that, Fender's new bass offerings have overdrive channels.

    The Orange AD200B will be a very different sound from Ampegs or Marshalls, but it also gets overdriven.

    Speaking of Ampeg, the SVT-2pro has a drive control as well as the regular gain control. The SVT-CL can get some grit at lower volumes if you crank the gain (some people don't like preamp distortion, but I'm fine with it).

    The Peavey VB-2 and VB-3 both have overdrive, but I'm not sure how good the sound is.

    The Fender 300pro/Sunn 300T has an overdrive feature as well.

    Of course, all these amps sound different from each other, and so which you prefer (and this is by no means an all-inclusive list, as that would take forever) is pretty much just determined by your own tastes as far as tone.

    That said, if you like the Titan, there's no reason not to use it. It's a good amp.
  10. Haven't you heard, the only tube amps to buy now are Asdown, they're taking over dude, you better buy the SVT before they stop production! ,/sarcasm

    Maybe look at lower wattage to get more tube distortion, if you think you need it.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you ask me, the SVT 2 Pro and CL sound best when you run the master at about 3:00 and use the gain to control volume. This makes them run a lot more like the SVT-VR or vintage SVT's with only a single volume knob...clean and less compressed until you start overdriving the power tubes at insane volume levels. Cranking gain sounds cool too, especially if you want distortion at lower volumes, but it does add compression to the signal.

    Not familiar with the Titan, but Mesa does make nice stuff. Either way I think you'll be fine. But I'm married to the Ampeg tube amps. Got a 69 SVT and going to pop for a Heritage SVT CL in a few weeks. Nothing else is quite like it IMHO.
  12. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Doesnt sound like you are missing out on much.
  13. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings
    Oh yeah, I keep the gain at around 2-3 and it's gives a nice chunky grind. There's a lot of gain on tap, and it's all usable. You can also dial in a very clan sound by rolling it down and increasing the volume.