Ampeg SVT-CL and 8x10 in a condo or apartment?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Inconnu, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. Just by curiosity, I’d like to read from users who own that classic amp and that are getting away with playing with it, at low volume (but loud enough to get the speakers moving), in an apartment or condo. Without causing devastation of your relationship with the neighbours.

    Well, as a medium to long term project, I might have to move in a modern, supposedly soundproofed enough, condo and… I wonder if that would mean letting that big old thing go or not.
    groooooove likes this.
  2. No. Get a smaller amp/headphones or just play unamplified.
  3. rashrader

    rashrader Inactive

    Mar 4, 2004
    shag TALKBASS
    I’ve never considered that setup to be a bedroom amp. I’d keep it, but get a headphone amp or mixer for home usage.
  4. Sub-question (well, if you have experience with that option), would you think a 100 watt all tube head into a 1x12 cab to still be too loud? I mean, with the speaker moving properly to get some sound.
  5. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    IME, admittedly limited, I've found isolation the only way to combat low frequencies leaving the room. Almost no "soundproofing" done by a non-professional will do. Realistically, once its loud enough you can't talk normally over it... everyone inside the structure will know someone's jamming the bass.
  6. I’m beginning to think that switching the SVT with 8x10 for a PF-20t with a 1x12 could be an idea… or something like that. I have time. I’ll try stuff!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I owned an MTI era SVT with an 810 and lived in an apartment. I avoided playing during hours where I thought my neighbors would be most sensitive and only played it at very low volume.

    I actually sold the rig while I lived there. I kept a vintage Fender Twin Reverb loaded with JBL E120s. I preferred the sound of the Twin and it was on loan from my brother.

    I was not gigging and had no plans to join a band. So the SVT was really of no benefit. It may have been the right call at the time, but I regret selling it. It was the first bass rig I purchased, and the only one I have sold so far.

    I currently own a 69 and an 87 SVT. I live in a house and play them in my basement through a pair of EV TL405s loaded with EVM18Bs. The fans in vintage SVTs are rather obnoxious, but I have gotten used to it. So far my neighbors have not complained, but I am sure they sometimes hear me in their houses. Most of the time I don't play very loud, but sometimes it's fun to crank up for a few minutes (5-10 at most). Best to not do this late at night.

    I also own an Ampeg PF50t, and while it does not sound exactly like my SVTs, it definitely has some strong Ampeg flavor and does not produce fan noise.

    Whether you can get away with playing an SVT in an apartment will depend on your neighbors, the construction of the apartment, how loud you play, and when you play.

    It's been a long time, but I think I probably talked to the neighbors in surrounding apartments to explore their concerns and essentially get their permission. Also I probably asked them to knock on my door if there was ever a concern.

    For context I became a full-time military musician shortly after I sold the MTI. I certainly could have used an SVT in the job, but I took a different path. My last touring rig before I retired from playing used primarily an Eden D210XLT, and it was plenty loud. I had a D410XLT as well, but I rarely used it. I didn't feel the added benefit was worth the extra work.
  8. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I wouldn't even use a micro and 210av in my apartment. Get some headphones dude.
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I will rephrase/restate this: Whether you can get away with it will depend on your neighbors, the construction of the apartment, how loud you play, and when you play.

    It doesn't matter whether you're playing through an SVT and 810, a 1X12, or a 1X8. I have had neighbors complain because I was talking too loud, or the TV was too loud. Some neighbors are totally unreasonable, while others are tolerant as long as you use reasonable restraint and show respect.

    If you want to eliminate the problem, get some sort of headphone-based practice rig.
  10. I got in the habit of leaving the big iron set up on stage at church so I don’t have to cart it around, and use a 25 watt amp at home.
    Nowadays they have smaller amps at church so I play the bigger amps at home.
    At an apartment I would use a headphone amp just to keep the windows intact and the neighbors happy.
  11. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I love my SVTs but I wouldn’t use them in that environment. There just wouldn’t be any real benefit to it.

    If I had no choice I’d make it work but I don’t think I’d be able to get speakers moving without being overpowering. Especially through an 810.
    Wasnex likes this.
  12. JuanB


    Feb 20, 2010
    I have an SVT CL and Mesa PH 610 in a condo that is a building with 4 units. No problem whatsoever. Use restraint and talk to your neighbors.
    deff, Kevan Campbell and Wasnex like this.
  13. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    That would be my choice, and a heck of a lot less expensive. Tube SVTs are not exactly friendly on your electric bill either.
  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    Do not do this. This absolutely will end badly.
  15. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Ohio, Youngstown Area
    If you're going to play through a cab...

    As has been mentioned, talk to your neighbors.

    A friendly relationship and some parameters they're okay with can work to your advantage.
    Rick_Bass, Riff Ranger and Wasnex like this.
  16. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    You should get a glass tabletop, set the 810 on its back with the speakers facing up, and use the tabletop to make it into your coffee table.

    Only half joking, that would be kind of cool. I guess you'd need another amp.
  17. pglaser01


    Mar 19, 2013
    St. Louis, MO
    If only I were that good....
    Is there a reason you don’t want to use headphones?

    Your band isn’t in the apartment with you, so why do you really need to get the speaker moving?
  18. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    That’s not gonna work. Apartment = headphones.
    Guitalia and Kevan Campbell like this.
  19. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Do you just sit around looking at it or do you actually gig with it? If you're really practicing by yourself ,head phones are all you need.
  20. Celen


    Aug 25, 2018
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    I’ve used “big rigs” in apartments.
    One thing to add to the previous replies - the volume knob will feel extremely sensitive when you’re trying to play your stadium amp at closet volume. Depending on how quiet you need to be, you may have to start at zero, and then turn up the volume slowly until you hear the first sound, and that first sound is as loud as you can play.
    To me, that really kills the joy, it just feels cumbersome to sit there in front of your wall of speakers and nudge that volume knob a fraction of an inch at a time.

    A smaller alternative, like the Pf 20t/50t, might make you a lot happier, if that’s an option.

    I don’t necessarily agree that headphones are the only option, small amps are usually OK. People use all sorts of home entertainment stuff, hifi systems etc. in apartments, you just have to be respectful. YMMV, IMHO..
    sonic 7, Kevan Campbell and Wasnex like this.