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Ampeg SVT CL, Mesa Boogie 400+, Fender/Sunn 300T: which to get and why

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Selta, Sep 11, 2004.


  1. Mesa Boog 400+

    21 vote(s)
    46.7%
  2. Fender/Sunn 300T

    9 vote(s)
    20.0%
  3. Ampeg SVT Cl/AV

    15 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Ok, around this time next year I'm hoping to be well on the road to getting my new giging setup, perhaps earlier, so in all hopes that I can do this soonish, I'm posting my question as to what to get (this is similar to my previous thread now deleted, but after having a chat, I decided I wanted tubes and these are the ones I'm looking at).
    Again, going for that Silverchair, Spawn Again/Steam Will Rise tone.
    Which one and why?
    Ray
     
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I say either the Boogie or the Ampeg, because you've got employees from both companies right here at TB! :p
     
  3. Hey man,

    I used to have an Ampeg SVT2-PRO I bought second hand from eBay (big mistake) and sounded truly AWESOME! The only problem is that it came with duff valves, so I replaced to lot of the and it came to about £250 (about US$550) which I was rather miffed about.

    My expereince with Ampeg tells me they are the GREATEST rock bass amps out there, you get a chunky click, hell deep bass and the lovely rumble you get when you push the valves a little harder. You'll get this same effect from the SVT-CL.

    I have tried out the Big Chief (400+) and the Sunn 300T in the shop and they are very good amps.

    The Sunn has tried to replicate the SVT with a couple more buttons, but you can get the same sound as a good hybrid (it doesn't seem to push the Power Amp hard enough).

    The 400+, on the other hand, is just a bloody great monster. I am genuinely frightened of this amp. It's feels like a box of lead (moreso than the SVT), and the thought of the 12 6L6s stuffed inside (known as the 12 soldiers) pushing out in excess of 400 watts, makes me soil myself. Besides that, the tone of this thing is stunning, just stunning. However, it sounds nothing like the SVT.

    For the sound you are after, I would say SVT all the way, pump it through an 810 for THE rock sound, but still keeping quite versitile for the Silverchair sound.

    There are loads more all-valve amps out there, such as Eden does one, Marshall VBA400 (very good), Aguilar (very hi-fi), Trace Elliot V series (R.I.P.). Just keep your eyes peeled.

    Glenn Minnikin
    glenn@minnikin.com
    United Kingdom
     
  4. waxcomb

    waxcomb

    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    Mesa will give you the tone.
     
  5. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Pretty much I'm stuck on SVT vs 400+ right now. The 300T doesn't turn on any lights or ring any bells...yet. I'm going to go to a local music shop once all these hurricanes settle down and see for myself.
    So far my cab selection consists of 6x10 + 2x15.
    I hope those Mesa and Ampeg guys catch this thread *COUGGH COUGH COUGH*
    Ray
     
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Actually, I already did. *cough cough*

    I can give you some of my own impressions of the 400+, but I'm not as familiar with the SVT. Ampeginsider can help you with that.

    Both have similar specs - 300 watts, all tube, etc. The 400+ uses a fixed bias, so you won't ever have to worry about getting it biased by a tech provided that you use tubes that fall within Boogie's spec (Boogie sells 'em, and other reputable tube sellers like Groove Tubes and Lord Valve can supply you with the correct tubes). I would say that the 400+ doesn't have as much grunt as the SVT, but it does have a clearer tone, and doesn't get as muddy. The 400+ seems to be a bit more versatile, since there's more ways to shape your tone (rotary EQ plus a 7 band graphic), but it's not quite as aggressive as the SVT. It's about half the weight of the SVT; about 45 pounds. Even Munji likes these amps.

    Both are great amps, so you can't go wrong with either one. I always suggest that people buy with their ears, not with other people's opinions. Some amps also seem to work better with certain basses, so make sure you take your own bass in with you when go to try one out. If you've got some Boogie specific questions, feel free to PM me.
     
  7. Yeah I've heard that fender/musicman style basses tend to work better with Ampeg, and basses with powerful active pickups and exotic woods, like Warwicks, ESPs, etc etc work better with the Mesas. I use older Warwicks and Ampeg, I personally find it a good combination.

    I would whole heartedly agree with Mr. Benjamin Strange, buy with your ears, not with other peoples advice (I learned my lesson in the past)

    Glenn Minnikin
    glenn@minnikin.com
    United Kingdom
     
  8. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Check my siggy for my bass, passive P/J ESP.
     
  9. Hmm, it's an ESP and has very fender style electrics... hmmm, i'm stuck for you. You'l definitely have to try both out on an A/B to your cabinets to see which one works for you.

    I rang my local dealer and they were happy for me to take my bass and cab down to try out some amp heads, the only problem is getting your stuff there!

    You could try hiring the heads, I know thats more money, but at least you know for definite which one you like best. You can get to try them out a gig!

    Judging by your cabs (lovely, 6x10 and 2x15, MAAAAAAASSIIIIIVVVVEEEE!!!!) you probably have a van/truck or some other large vehicle! Check the impedances of the cabs to ensure compatibility. (I see you've seen my advice thread, many thanks for the comments, I am honoured!)

    You'll must try them out, if you went by our advice and it was wrong, you'll be kicking yourself.

    Best of luck :hyper:

    Glenn Minnikin
    glenn@minnikin.com
    United Kingdom
     
  10. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Total impedence will be 2 ohms, I made sure to check that.

    I persoanlly like the idea of 6x10 and 2x15, and I'm not sure it's been tried (much) yet, so I figure why not. If it doesn't work, I know the 6x10 alone will....

    Anyone else got anything?
     
  11. Will you PLEASE stop calling this "fixed bias?" Fixed bias means that the tube is biased from the grid, which is 80% of ALL tube amps in general and 99% of tube bass amps. "Non-fixed bias" would refer to a cathode baised output section like a Vox AC30. Call it "factory determined bias" if you want to be accurate.
     
  12. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Woah....no need to be technical, I got what he meant...

    Ray :(
     
  13. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Eh, new cab selection, but same idea as before:

    2xBergantino NV425, it's a 1x15 + 3x10 cab. How wonderful!

    Ray
     
  14. The problem is that he is using a technical term incorrectly. There's no malice intended. Benjamin Strange is a pretty cool guy and if I thought I was wasting my time asking him to do something, I wouldn't. Don't be so sensitive.
     
  15. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Okey dokey... I will use "factory determined bias" from now on. ;)
     
  16. Rock on! Now... howsabout the hookup on a shock rack? ;)
     
  17. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    To bad AmpegInsider hasn't rolled around yet...
     
  18. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Heh... we're still a bit too small for stuff like that. ;)
     
  19. ...shock-mounted rack case!!! I don't think I'm even writing in the same language as everyone else today. :rollno: Is there a "doh" emoticon?
     
  20. I saw a Mesa tripple rectifier at my daddys today for 1300 I can only imagine how much a used 400+ would go for.

    But I really would like to try one.