Ampeg SVT-3 PRO vs. Eden WT series

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tightbidness, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. I'm in the process of searching for a bass rig that can handle small to medium venues and fit into the trunk of my hatchback. My main gig is with a jazzy, hip-hop-y pop group, and I play the occasional b-side classic rock/r&b gig as well. I tend to favor old school bass tones, but would like something smooth old school rather than raw old school. My current amp is an Ampeg B-100R, which is a great little amp, but lacking in the power department.

    As of now I'm thinking a relatively small, lightweight head with an Aguilar 112 or two. A couple of years ago I saw Sean Lennon playing though an SVT-3 with Cibo Matto, and his tone was great. So yesterday I went to GC and played an Ampeg SVT-3 PRO through an Ampeg 115. The sound was quite nice, if a little unrefined. Also, the amp made some funky sounds when I adjusted the drive knob (worrisome, but you never know what the equipment has been through at GC).

    At any rate, I've been researching the SVT-3 on TalkBass, and in a post from a couple of years ago someone suggested the Eden WT series as an alternative to the SVT-3. Eden is one of the few brands I haven't been able to demo locally.

    If you're still with me here, I'm wondering how the Eden WT series and Ampeg SVT-3 compare in terms of tone, build quality and reliability, to the Ampeg. How would you describe the Eden sound? Can Eden WT heads do tube-y old school? The recent thread about the inferior construction of new amps has me concerned about spending close to a grand on any new head, but how do these two stack up against each other construction and reliability wise? Thanks for reading.
  2. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    I've owned both (albeit, about 10 years apart from one another), so I'll take a stab:

    It depends a lot on your bass and cabinet, but I would describe the Eden tone (when set flat, with the Enhance knob off) as warm, and midrangey (in a good way). It has a natural bump in the lower mids (not sure of the frequency), but when you turn up the enhance, it scoops the mids, while boosting the highs and lows, yielding a more SWR-ish tone. I used to leave that knob off, because I prefer the midrangey tone.

    If by tubey old school you mean SVT, I wouldn't say the Eden can come close to that (but neither can the SVT 3 Pro, IMO). But the Eden is very versitile, so through the right cab and some subtle EQing, I'm sure you could find a reasonible facsimile. I'm sure some people on TB own the WT400/GS112 combination you're considering, and might be better able to describe that exact tone.

    That's a tough one. Neither amp ever failed on me, but I didn't really gig heavily with the Eden when I had it (whereas I did with the 3 Pro). My issues with the Ampeg were that (1) I don't believe it is as loud as it is rated, and (2) at lower volumes there was a strange distortion that I couldn't get rid of. It seemed to go away when I cranked it, but still, it was annoying.

    My main cab with the 3 Pro was an Ampeg DD-12, which had front- and rear-firing 12" woofers. The 3 Pro sounded good through that, but my brother's GK 800 RB sounded much, much better (and louder).

    The other difference (and this isn't really reliability or build quality, but might still matter) is that the Eden fits in a backpack, whereas the Ampeg must be rackmounted.

    I guess to sum up, I would lean in favor of the Eden for reasons of portability, versitility and volume. I hope this helped...let me know if you need me to clarify anything.

  3. I ran an SVT IIIPro through an Aguilar GS112 and it sounded good, but I found it lacking in the volume department. I would not drop a grand on one for sure, because you can pick up a great used one off ebay all day for $500-600. If you really like the sound and want more volume, they make the SVT IV Pro now that has a very simmilar preamp and gobs of power. Of course it is more $$. Also check out Ashdown ABM series for good old school sounds with the ability to do modern too!
  4. Great post. Thanks, Aram. The SVT-3 didn't sound like a real SVT, but it definitely sounded like an Ampeg. I'd love to hear soundclips of the Eden. Hopefully other owners will weigh in.

    Several people have mentioned that in the past. I didn't notice distortion when I played through the SVT-3 at GC, but there was a certain rawness to the sound. Of course, there was death metal piping through the store system when I auditioned the amp. I think I need to go back and play through it again.
  5. Thanks growlgrind. A lack of volume seems to be a common complaint about the SVT-3. I've been underwhelmed by every Ashdown I've played through, but I think I need to give them another shot. On paper the ABM sounds right up my alley.
  6. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    Thought i might chime in with my usual negative svt3 rant.

    I would try and describe the the svt's tone to you, but imo it doesnt have any. IMO the tone is very bland and extremely scooped(depending on room acoustics). It lacks something that i cant quite put my finger on, i guess i find the tone lacks that low-mid/mid compression that i like. I can only describe the tone as an annoying bassy "noise", riddled with muddy overtones, rather than a tight compressed tone. I can sort of bypass this deficiency in the head because my right hand attack is more agressive than most, and "my" tone comes heavily from the bridge J, but i would imagine that it could sound disasterous on a P-bass.

    But some blokes dig that wooly, overtone riddled, rock tone. And if rocks your bag, you will probably dig it. But for my needs, i hate it, and i get cold sweats everytime i think back to the day that i bought it

    Im hopefully trading the useless boat anchor for a WT-550 this friday. Im only $150 short of finally putting this nightmare to rest

    P.S. weight to power ratio is extremely poor. The head is deceptively heavy, and it can sometimes lack that extra bit of headroom that is always handy if you're playing hard rock

    P.P.S ....dont buy on brand names alone. Make sure you "hear" 1st hand, the differences from head to head.

    P.P.P.S ....i dont even take it to rehearsals anymore. The amp i take is a crappy 50 watt samick combo. But i still prefer its tone 100 times more than the svt 3 "pro"

    P.P.P.P.S extremely biased, and its probably not as bad as i have made out.

    P.P.P.P.P.S ...or maybe it is
  7. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    I had the Eden WT-400 & 2 GS112s. I found the tone smooth, thick & pillow-y. It was IMHO not old school, but not modern either. I had no complaints. I thought it worked especially well with a Jazz. Not that others didn't sound good too. But I really liked the Jazz through it.
  8. Hey, Tightbidness, have you had a chance to play through the newer EVO II stuff from Ashdown? If you haven't, give it a try before you decide. I have had a bunch of different rigs over the years (Ampeg, SWR, Peavey, Trace, and more) trying to find the right sound, and I had finally decided what I wanted was an all tube amp. So as I was shopping around, a bunch of guys recommended that I try the Ashdown first. So I bought one with a return policy, tried it, and have been loving it for months now. I play a variety of stuff from slap/funk to rock to contemporary pop and I can get any sound, clean or overdriven, that I want. I just recently paired it with two Bergantino 112 cabs and it kills. I have the head version, which is very compact and, with the two small cabinets, makes for a very mobile rig that will easily handle medium size gigs.

    I have never had a chance to play through any Eden gear, so I can't compare it to the Ashdown. But I'd say you will get much more old school rock tone out of those baby blue heads with the wonderful glowing VU meter in the front :cool:
  9. I've used both (note...used, not owned)

    and I've always been a huge fan of the Eden sound....
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, I might as well weigh in on this. On the other hand, never mind.
  11. The Ashdowns I've played through were from the original EVO series I believe (110, 410, 115 combos). They had the VU meter, subharmonic dial, etc.

    If you don't mind me asking, where did you purchase it?

    Isn't that what Pino Palladino is using for a live rig these days? He used to play Eden too I think.
  12. Why did you get rid of it? Did you replace it with the B2R listed in your profile?
  13. Definitely check out the ABM EVO II amps with the tube overdrive circuit. If I had a choice, I would not go for a combo, because they are not as easy to upgrade as a component system IMO. Plus the good ones weigh a friggin ton.

    I purchased it from Ed Roman Guitars in Las Vegas (very nice people!) <>. I just bought my Bergantino cabs from Gary Rosen (Very cool guy) at Guitar X in Denver, and he is an Ashdown dealer. You might check with him <>. I'm pretty sure that Bass Northwest in Washington <> has a return policy as well, and everyone there has always been extremely knowledgable and helpful.

    I'm not sure there, but it is definitely a totally pro rig.
  14. Cool, I will definitely try the EVO II. I'll check out Bass NW's return policy. A gentleman there turned me on to the Ampeg combo I'm currently using. Good people.

    I've been to Ed Roman's Connecticut location/compound. It was one of the creepiest experiences of my life. . . but that's for another thread!

    Thanks again, growlgrind.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I think for the style of music you are into, the Eden would be your best bet. They are clear, warm and incredibly versatile. I have never had a reliability problem with them, and rarely if ever do you hear about them breaking down. Built like a tank. My favorite combo is an Eden WT550 through a 210XST. DEEP, warm, and super clear. That setup can handle any situation I throw at it. I play Jazz, R&B and Blues.
  16. Davo737


    Feb 29, 2000
    Syracuse, NY
    I currently own a WT-400 and frequently play through 2 Aggie GS112s, and would definitely agree to Rod B.'s assessment of a 'smooth, thick and pillowy' tone. I used to own an SVT3-pro, and sold it for the Eden for two reasons. First, in my experience, the SVT came nowhere near its supposed 450 watt rating - I found I could get significantly more volume out of both the WT-300 and WT-400. Second, the Eden, IMHO, is much more versitile. It sounds exceptional set flat, but has an EQ section that I've found can produce a great tone for just about any musical situation. Needless to say, I would go with the Eden.
  17. Jackbass


    Dec 19, 2003
    Paris (FRANCE)
    I really prefer the ampeg tone.Svt3pro is powerfull and very dynamic.
    Big sound for rock,pop,funk,and heavy...
  18. ted13


    Mar 12, 2004
    montreal quebec
    well i feel that the eden is a much more defined amp not great for real rock music but for your other gigs, r&b and hip hop would do great. svt 3 pro i don't find really cuts through very well it is a fine amp but nothing special. i was however also impressed by the ashdown evo 2 series as well, great footswitchable drive channel and very versatile footswitchable eq's. thast my #1 for a head or combo (for the time being at least, hehe)
  19. Thanks for all of the responses. Does anyone know where I could demo an Eden in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or even Southern Maine? The only dealer listed on the Eden site is in Lowell, MA, which is two hours north of me.

    Also, does anyone have clips of themselves playing through an Eden rig?

    Do these questions belong in a seperate thread?
  20. TheLarch

    TheLarch Supporting Member

    I've been using my SVT 3 Pro for 8 years doing roots-rock / alt-country / rockabilly and it has always sounded great for that old-skool sound and it has been exceptionally reliable. My ONLY knock on it is that the power-ratings are inflated but I've never had a problem hearing myself on stage, be it with my 810, 410 or 210 (obviously, using the appropriate size cabinet for the accordingly-sized venue).

    The best thing I ever did with this head was to replace the tubes with the Electro-Harmonix 12ax7's. Not that there is anything wrong with the stock Sovteks, but it is a cheap upgrade that I highly recommend and there is currently a thread discussing the merits of various 12ax7's, a topic that has also been well-covered in the past. And as they say around her, "do a search".

    I also like the Eden, but if cost is a factor, and your playing-style is more in the vein of vintage / classic rock, the SVT 3 Pro would be a fine choice. You really can't go wrong between the Eden, the Ashdown or the Ampeg if you let your ears be your guide.