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Ampeg SVT-4Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RockFiend, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. RockFiend


    Aug 23, 2000
    I have a Sunn 300T and love powerhorses with warm tone, but I was looking at an Ampeg SVT-4Pro for the durability factor of the MOSFET power amp section, I'm looking for responses from people who enjoy warm preamp tube tone and lots of power and who have tried this amp out personally. I'm wondering about its durability, tone, wattage at 8 ohms(not bridged, as they list it on the website) and if it will work efficiently with my current Sunn 4x10H cabinet(listed at 300 watts capacity). Basically, I need an equipment review here...
  2. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I think you'll be disappointed after using the Sunn. The 4 just doesn't crank as loud as you'd expect from its ratings and I never found the bottom end "grunt" to be acceptable, either. Two amps to avoid are the 4 and the SWR Mo'Bass because they are both over-rated and not worth the bucks.

    Also, there's no way you'll get the tube tone you're used to from a SS amp. Unless there's something you don't like about the 300T (retubing cost, weight, etc.), I'd say you're petty well set up. If you must go SS, however, I recommend you take a serious look at the SWR Bass 750 or Eden WT800. Both are easily superior to the 4.

    Regarding durability of the 4, they have had some service issues but the one I had was reliable.

    BTW, if you want the best bass amp ever made, lurk on EBay for a while and get a vintage, early 70's SVT for the price of a used 4. Yeah, it's 100 pounds. Yeah, it can be finnicky. Yeah, it can kill you if you open it up and touch things you shouldn't touch. So what? It ruled then and it rules now!

    Disclaimer: I don't care for any of the current SLM Ampeg stuff with the possible exception of the SVT Classic which is an OK amp. The Classic is over-priced and in no way comparable to a Boogie 400+, of course, but hey, I hadda say something sorta good about 'em. As they say, YMMV.
  3. I don't know, you're saying all of these bad things about the SVT-4Pro but realize that that's only a select opinion. I personally love the sound of the 4Pro, and it's most definately going to be the next head i get. And yeah, i've tried out all the Mesa Heads, the Sunn, Eden and what not. the only other head i would get otherwise, like from another company, would be an Aguilar. But even still, that's my opinion and not necessarily others.
  4. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    i have the svp-pro, which is the same preamp that's in the 4-pro and i love it... to me it does what i want without having to go all tube..

    if you decide that you like the ampeg sound, and want to save some cash, get the svp-pro and a mackie 1400 poweramp...
  5. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    A select opinion based on having actually owned and played all the amps upon which I commented. And that playing was on paying gigs, four sets a night. In the case of the 4. SLM SVT Classic and the 300T, probably 25 to 30 gigs, many more for the 400+, WT800, Bass 750 and '70 SVT.
  6. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I personally think that the SVT-4PRO is the way to go. I get 900 watts bridged at 8 ohms, and I think the poweramp inside it sounds much better than the Mackie ones. It has a built in compressor and crossover for biamping, and its all in one 3 rack space, 40lb box. I couldn't be happier with the tone.

    Just dont listen to any of Ampeg's drivel about it being 1600 watts, thats some kind of advertising nonsense. It puts out 1200 watts (Im skeptical of that though) at 4 ohms bridged. The 1600W thing is some kind of peak rating, not continuous "real" power.

    Its also very flexible in how you can hook it up. Theres options for:

    biamp: full range/lows
    biamp: highs/lows
    bridged mono
    dual mono
    biamp with a second amp

    Theres also Speakon connectors on the back and 2 tuner outs to choose from, that stay live when the mute switch is on.

    The bridged mode works well, just as long as you're hooking it up right. You have to use a Speakon connector wired +1 (positive) +2 (negative) and make sure its connected to the speakon jack in the center, the one that says "MONO BRIDGE / BI-AMP" Also make sure that the little switch in the back is pushed in to select "mono bridge" mode. Simple enough, but you'd be surprised how many people do it wrong. RTFM!!! :D
  7. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    By the way, the 4-PRO has 300 watts per channel at 8 ohms. I think you asked about that.

    And the only way to know if the sound is for you is by going to the guitar store and playing through one. Everyone here seems to love Eden, but I know they dont have "my" sound because Ive played through them.
  8. I am happy with the SVT4, I have all the power I need, and great tone. It isnt as hi-fi as SWR or EBS(Fafner), but it has lots of headroom. As the others have noted, 1600 watts isn't as loud as you might think, but it is strong EVERYWHERE in the room! All the folks I play with were knocked out by the sound when I got this amp. It's only a few months old, so I don't know how reliable it is.
    Best live sound I've had yet...
  9. RockFiend


    Aug 23, 2000
    Thanks for the replies, but I have new questions to ask, I think i'm too much of a tube junkie to move to the 4 now hrrmm I'm getting the jitters, has anyone had experience with the rack mountable all-tube SVT 2-Pro which I'm assuming is more closely related to the classic??? And, if I want to retain the same type of head as the 300T or the SVT-CL then what other options are there besides those two amps, I'm talking all tube, powerful, classic bass heads??
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Pound-for-pound, the Mesa Boogie 400+ is the best production, all-tube bass amp on the market these days of the ones with which I've had experience. Despite the fact that I've owned and played a LOT of amps, believe it or not, the STV 2 PRO is not one of 'em! Can't comment on it. But I can tell you that the 400+ is a great value at $1299.99 and a truly wonderful amp for a tubeholic bass player.
  11. I'm with Boogiebass,

    The 400+ is a monster and is what I would have bought if I hadn't lucked into a mint '76 SVT in a flight case. The SVT II-pro is essentially the same amp as the Classic. It's got a few more features, like the graphic EQ. The rackmount thing is cool. The one I played sounded good. I do have some reliability concerns about SLM Ampegs, though...
    If you don't have a limited budget, you could look at Aguilar, they have a 400 watt all tube power amp, and their preamps are to die for!
  12. Do you guys all agree that the SVT-2Pro is like the old classic SVTs?
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Extremely unlikely. As stated above, I can't comment on the 2Pro from personal ownership experience. But if it is, in fact, essentially a rack-mount SVT Classic, the answer is no. I CAN comment, however, based on my owner's experience, that I have never enountered an SLM Ampeg amp that sounded like a vintage SVT.
  14. The 2-pro and Classic are nice sounding amps, and they do have a bit of that old SVT vibe but I agree with Boogiebass that they don't really sound much like the old ones. They're very different beasts than the old ones. The power section is basically the only thing they have in common (and there's some changes to that too). The newer preamp uses different tubes, mainly because some of the tubes in the originals are pretty hard to come by (12DW7, 12BH7, etc) it only has one channel and has a master volume.
  15. I traded ina Trace Preamp/Crown setup for the IIPro. What a mistake. The II Pro was a very Untogether amp. It mushed out WAY too soon. I traded that in for the SVT IV Pro. I was happy with the sound of this amp (Not the warmest though). It started to blow out a power section, so I traded it for a WT800. The Eden's 800 watts were more powerful than the IVPro's 1200 watts. I ended up with the Navigator/WT1000. A month ago I got a vintage 71 SVT. This is a whole different animal than the II Pro. This amp sounds incredible, and does not crap out. It has a ton of power, were the II Pro was very limited.
    I was using a pair of Hartke 4.5XLs then, and now I am using an Eden D410 XLT, and a D210 XLT. I think the sensitivity rating for the Edens is better. So,I don't know if the comparison is really fair.
  16. LeMonJello420

    LeMonJello420 Guest

    Jan 9, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    I had the svt 4 pro for a while. but it never seemed to make to the gigs that counted. It was broken way more of the time than it actually worked, and when it was working, it wasn't even close to the amount of power they rate it at. I had the svt 4 and the 8 10 pro cab............now I get close to the same volume with a yorkville bm400 and an svt410hln. I like the sound better too......the ampeg just didn't seem to have the definition. I had the ampeg in the shop a total of 4 times in less than a year.
  17. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Now THAT would get my attention if I was considering a 4! While mine didn't give me any trouble, I've heard these comments before re: this amp.
  18. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    The only problem I had with mine was that the damn thing would go into thermal protection mode halfway through almost every gig. It would fire back up 30 seconds later, but it's a bit lame to have to wait for the song you're supposed to be playing to be over so you can play the next one!

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - 1600 watts? riiiiiight....
  19. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I have had mine for about six months now, and haven't had a bit of problems with it. And it gets used every weekend, and a couple of nights during the week for practicing.
    I agree that it doesn't put out 1600 watts, and I am not sure on the 1200. I do know, however, that it has the volume and headroom that I need, and I require a LOUD stage volume at times. I personally preferred the tone of the Ampeg over the SWR Sm-900 that I demoed on 2 gigs the weekend before. So, I took the 900 back and took the Ampeg. Still have the Ampeg.;)

    I am using it with 2 SVT410HLF's.

  20. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Do you have any pictures of your rig Ryan Lunneborg?

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