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Amp Advice: Warm punch for mid-price

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zakulus, May 15, 2011.

  1. Zakulus


    Sep 24, 2009
    Skokie, IL
    Alright, I've been driving myself crazy searching for the perfect amp from $400-1000 with 400+ watts, so I'm turning to you fellow bassmen for help! I need an amp that'll give me versatility, but my main tone needs to be warm, punchy, growly, tube-ish, and motowny, and to sit well in 4-piece mixes at small to mid-size rock shows. I play mainly classic rock, funk, and motown, but I dabble in thrash and death metal as well.

    My list so far is this:
    - Ampeg SVT 3 Pro
    - Ampeg SVT 7 Pro
    - GK 1001RB-II
    - SWR WorkingPro 700
    - Mesa/Boogie Walkabout
    - Eden WT550

    After reading a TON of threads about it's low power and technical issues, the SVT 3 Pro is sounding less and less appealing. I played one at GC the other day and absolutely loved the tone at a volume of about 3 with the EQ on and set flat. However, I don't want to buy an amp (especially new for $999.99) that's going to sound underpowered at mid-size gigs.

    I also played around with the GK and the SWR, and although they sounded great--very clear and punchy--they didn't have the warmth I'm looking for. Possibly because they're straight solid-state. The rest on the list I added after reading suggestions made to others on TB. Either way, I appreciate anyone's opinions on these amps and will definitely entertain suggestions of different amps of any brand or model.

    Thanks guys!
  2. Gotta P

    Gotta P

    Mar 26, 2011
    Hartke lh500 or 1000
  3. I haven't used an SVT-3 since they increased the power from 350 to 450, but I always really liked the tone.
    Another thing you could keep an eye out for is a used SVT-4, which has probably far more headroom than you'll actually need.

    The WT550 is a great sounding head, but you might find it a bit too "clean" sounding.

    You may also want to try an 800rb instead of the 1001rb-II, they're a bit warmer in the mids.
  4. pedulla1


    May 14, 2005
    I owned 3-pros in the past and now own a 7-pro and love it. You can't go wrong with the 7. I ABC'd the 3-pro, 4-pro and the 7-pro in GC and walked out with the 7-pro. Tons of power and light. If it had the graphic eq then it would be perfect.
  5. Billy Low

    Billy Low

    Apr 14, 2003
    Sandberg Guitars
    Ashdown ABM 500. Awesome amount of warmth, extremely punchy!
  6. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    As for the GK.... try the 700rbII instead of the 1001. Someone mentioned the rb800..... great amp, but not nearly as versatile as the 700, IMO.
  7. Plstrns


    Feb 4, 2010
  8. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Look for a Mesa M-pulse used. They pop up around here fairly often. Big, warm, juicy tone, 600 watts, and tons of tweakability. I'm saving up for one as we speak.
  9. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    I'd suggest either an Aguilar AG500 or a Mesa Big Block 750. Both are powerful as all hell, both are 2 channels (and can do warm to insane) and both I would describe as very warm sounding. In fact my only 2 beefs with the AG were that it was too warm on its own (I like a bright, crisp, aggressive sound) and the channel switching hesitates a split second which I didn't like). I have no beefs with the BB750, I just liked the tone of my SVT-VR better, but if I had to choose any other amp available, it would probably be the BB750.

    The AG500 usually goes for about $600-700 used, and the BB750 more like $700-800.

    Both are very verstile and I think would cover ALL of the ground you are talking about.

  10. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    Zakulus I have owned a svt 3pro for 10 years and using it with a 4ohm cab you get 450 watts which was more than enough. Great tone and phat sounding, much better than most but all tube amps i have used. Mine is for sale here in albany. PM me if you want to talk more about the pro 3. It really is the best amp it its price range for the sound you are looking for.
  11. JdoubleH

    JdoubleH Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ellerslie, Georgia
    I have an older version of the Eden and love it. I also have a Genz Shuttle 6 which is very good sounding and versatile and pushes 600w @ 4ohms, 3.75 lbs, fits in the front pocket of my gig bag.

    Speaking of light, there are some awesome micro heads which weigh very little but pack tons of power and tone, and several have tube pre's:

    Genz Benz Streamliner series (serious tube preamp)
    Genz Benz Shuttle series
    TC Electronics RH450 and RH750
    Aguilar Tone Hammer 500
    Markbass LMIII
    GK, etc.

    The only things you give up with these little heads are weight, size and heat. Any of them can drive just about any cab you want.
  12. JdoubleH

    JdoubleH Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Ellerslie, Georgia
    The Genz Streamliner would probably be a really good fit for you and your budget.
  13. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    The AG500 is awesome for this, as well as the M-Pulse 600. Definitely what I'd get for that kinda tone and pair with a Berg NV-series cab.
    It fits your Wants List to a T.

    I had an AG500+NV610 setup with my ex- MTD 535 and it was just insanely well rounded and punchy. Perfect for the style I was playing back then.
  14. impactwrench


    Feb 22, 2009
    I am a fan of GK, but I recently got a shuttle 6.0 and would recommend that based on your tone preference. Set flat the GK is a bit scooped, which I like, but you could definitely EQ it flatter. That's probably because I put the contour at 12 oclock. If you like mids, the Shuttle might be more your tone out of the box. Its a little less growly, but you can wind up the gain and dig in for some grit. Both of those are great amps and you wont be disappointed. I've seen lots of used 700RB-II's for about $350. I used to have an Ampeg (B-2r) and was never all that smitten with it. It's long gone now.

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