Ampeg SVT CL, 2, 3, 4, 5 PRO, Mesa, too many choices!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by one3rd, Apr 4, 2003.

  1. one3rd


    Jul 10, 2002
    So...I'm looking to buy a new rig in the next few months or so. But there are too many choices. I could go with an Ampeg SVT CL, 2, 3, 4, or 5-PRO, or a Mesa 400+, with a 410HLF or 610HLF cab, but I'm not sure which will give me the best tone and will have the best price tag. I'm probably going to be willing to spend in the range of $1500+ for the whole rig. And probably used too. So what do I do?
  2. It totally depends on what kind of sound you want, but if you're going to be playing rock, I suggest getting on old SVT from the 70's. They're usually not all that expensive.
  3. thelastofus

    thelastofus Guest

    Jul 3, 2002
    Bakersfield, Ca
    vintage svts are supposed to be the bomb but it'll probably run you close to $1500 once it's over with cause the visit with the tech and the retubing and all. the cheapest route would be the svt 3 with the 410hlf, you can snag the svt 3's on ebay pretty cheap.i would go for snagging an svt cl off ebay (8-900) and a 6x10 (600ish). this would probably give you the most "classic" tone out of the choices listed.
  4. okieblues


    Mar 29, 2003
    ada, oklahoma
    I currently gig with an Ampeg SVT classic head and an Ampeg 8X10 classic cabinet and if your looking for oldschool tone tube style this is the rig for you.Granted vintage SVT's are the bomb but not all of us can afford the price of one not to mention the cost of getting a 30 year old head back in playing shape once its bought.
  5. one3rd


    Jul 10, 2002
    I'm not realy looking for any oldschool/vintage tone. Just something that's going to give me a good thick clear tone for say death metal or a good bright tone for emo/indie rock and whatever is in between the two.
  6. thelastofus

    thelastofus Guest

    Jul 3, 2002
    Bakersfield, Ca
    swr's = clairty, ampeg = ballsy dirty tone.

    rockers generally like the dirty tone (not saying you can't get clean tone out of one) of ampegs. swr's are more hifi sounding and clearer where ampegs are more muffled. gk's also a comany that has really good sounding clean, articulate stuff and it's much cheaper than an swr and a lot better sounding in my opinion. the new 1001rb's are supposed to be around 700watts i think. so grab one of those and try to pick up like a used golitath senior cab or something. that's probably be great for what you're wanting to do.
  7. From your description, I would probobly say the SVT 3 or 4 pro, depending on how much you're willing to spend, and how loud an amp you nead.
  8. The Mesa 400+ is a great amp with a lot of power and a lot of flexibility. It's got more juice than the tube SVTs and it's lighter and many folks feel that it's more dependable. It's not as much of a marshmellow as the old Ampegs, but you can get great grind and they are very warm, especially channel 2 which is perfect for passive basses.

    Best to play them all.


  9. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    I agree with Jonathon. I own a Mesa 400+ and it is incredible. It will give you a nice, fat tone. I play in an indie/rock-type band, and it is awesome. You can find them for about $800~ or so used, or about $1400 new. I'd say find one used in good condition, they're not that rare. I'd highly recommend one. All-tube is the way to go.
  10. one3rd


    Jul 10, 2002
    What exactly is the difference in sound between an amp with a tube pre and/or power amp section and one with a solid state pre and/or power amp?
  11. :bag:

    Psst, you can hide with me.
  12. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Actually, the 400+ is really only about 280-300 watts RMS, IIRC, so it really does not have more juice than an SVT. Mesa's claims of 500 watts are inflated as they are peak wattage. The weight is much more manageable, however than the SVT.
  13. I defer regarding the comparable power of the amps, Steven. I've never lived with an SVT, yet...

    Let's see if I can get in trouble with the "sound" question.

    I don't think there is necessarily a tone difference at low volumes. The difference comes when you push them hard.

    A tube power amp will sort of "cushion" the blow as it overloads, compressing the peaks with a soft, pleasing type of distortion. They are great when operated near their peak. Folks describe this as "marshmellow".

    Most SS power amps will clip when they are overdriven, producing a harsh, ugly sound. The clip transients can destroy speakers even before they begin to sound bad.

    With SS power amps I like an amp that is overrated, providing a lot of headroom, or power to spare. The lightweight QSC PLX and Stewarts, with 2000 or more watts, are great in this regard. The alternative is to use a smaller amp with a limiter to avoid clipping, but limiters don't sound as nice compressing as a line of big power tubes do.

    Hollow State Rules!

    Maybe someone can express this better.


  14. babecker


    Mar 7, 2002
    Sykesville, MD
    If you don't mind lugging around the lbs., go for the SVT Classic or the Mesa 400+ -- can't go wrong with tubes, especially in the context of rock, metal, emo, etc.

    I'll vouch for the 410HLF and 610HLF -- they both sound damn good. The 610 HLF coupled with a used SVT Classic, vintage SVT or Mesa 400+ would be a badass rig -- plenty of power, solid tone and nice portability for < $1500.
  15. tomdabass


    Apr 19, 2004
    Which ampeg amp would you guys recommend for jazz, rock funk and fusion??
  16. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    I noddle around in a fusion/funk/ whatever outfit with my SVT and it fits the bill. SVT's are called one trick ponys by some but I am able to get ALOT of different tones out of it...ALSo I can agree more in the above mentioned comments on overdriven tube amps... when you turn up the tubes its a sonic nirvana baby...and solid state just dont cut it IMHO.
  17. My vintage svt is no "marshmallow" the sound of its Mullard 7247's will rip your face off with its midrange growl. As for the Mesa Boogie being 500 watts, I would say that would be its peak voltage rating. Vintage svt's peak out at 700 watts.