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Ampeg B4 vs SVT-7 Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by neckdive, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. neckdive

    neckdive Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    I have been using an older Ampeg B4 bought cheaply through a 410HLF for several months and have found "the tone" I had been looking for. The lug factor has been a bit of a pain but the tone makes up for it.

    Unfortunately, it stopped working and needs repairs, something that I may eventually get around to but rather than sink more money and time into this, I would like to buy a new head for warranty purposes and to get some other features I really want that the B4 doesn't have. My top candidate is the SVT-7 Pro. I like the light weight, 1 tube preamp, the headphones and aux inputs and the full kilowatt headroom that I got used to with the B4. The other option that appears to match without the aux inputs is the SVT-4 Pro which even though it has all of the great output options, I never needed them. (I bridged into the 410 which was plenty of volume). I never needed to go 2 ohms. But I would really prefer the 7 over the 4 if the tone closely matched my old SS B4.

    I have read that the SVT-7 and the SVT-4 are similar in tone and I have also read tone similiarities between the SVT-4 and the B4 so logic would tell me the B4 and the SVT-7 are similar. I am not close to a dealer and will be ordering online so I am relying on first-hand experience with the B4 and the SVT-7.

    Can anyone tell me conclusively from their experience that a new SVT-7 will be the amp of my dreams and that I should order it already for chrissakes?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Actually, the amp they have now that I think is closest to the B4 would likely be the B2RE. I prefer both the 7 and 4 Pro, but the B2RE is Ampeg's most current incarnation of the line of amps that the B4 comes from.

    Anyway, here's how I some up the differences in tone:

    B2RE---similar to what you have now.

    4 Pro---tubier sounding...a more idealized version of what you have now. Reminds me a lot of a tube amp running very clean. Not quite the same, but in that ballpark.

    7 Pro---also tubier sounding than the B2RE, but to me it sounds more like a tube amp that's being pushed slightly hard where a little bit of sag starts to set it. It's still clean and still great, but has this little hint of slightly cranked tube amp behavior.
  3. Tony Gray

    Tony Gray

    Mar 6, 2006
    I like your description of the 7. That's also the sound I've been looking for
  4. neckdive

    neckdive Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Thanks Jimmy. That reinforces some of my own research that I've surmised from reading the SVT-7 Pro club thread.

    Half the power with the B2RE just doesn't sit well with me even though they may sound the same. Kind of like wrecking a 540hp Mustang and replacing it with a 300hp Mustang. Same car, totally different experience. It would just be too depressing.

    Your description of the SVT-4 sounds exactly like I was imagining it would be stacked up to the B4. Although upsetting, I thought the B4 going south would be a good opportunity to "upgrade" to a tube preamp. The SVT-7 seems to be a smaller, cheaper, and more seductive package with more creature comfort features the 4 doesn't have (using the 7 as a headphone-only practice amp and still be able to push up to 1k in a big hall is pretty darn cool).

    But if you think the SVT-7 is in the tonepark (or a better one) with the B4, I should be satisfied.
  5. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    I'm with Jimmy. I've played all of these, and the -7PRO sounds the most like a tube amp. Great sag, lovely break up, as close to an all-tube SVT as you can get in a hybrid.