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Ampeg SVT-CL/VR vs. Ampeg SVT-350H

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Korladis, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    All right, so, eventually I'm probably going to upgrade my head. Currently I'm running an Ampeg SVT-350H to an Ampeg SVT-115E and an Ashdown 210. Both are 8 ohm cabs. The head has two outputs and I run a cable to each cab.

    My friend got really nice tone from his old Ampeg SVT. He ran it to an old Ampeg 8X10 and a Sunn 2X15. Sounded great.

    The SVT-VR and CL are both rated for 300 watts output at 4 or 2 ohms. Would I have to buy new cabs immediately if I got one? Or would my current cabs work okay? Also, if my current cabs would be fine, would the VR/CL be louder or quieter than my 350H?
  2. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

  3. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I've owned both heads.
    I sold to CL to finance a 70's SVT and the 350 I gave to my son.
    Yea, they both are 300 watts "technically" speaking but the CL will blow the 350 out of the water.
    You shouldn't have to upgrade your cabs right away but you will notice you won't have to crank the CL nearly as much as you do the 350. That said the 350 doesn't deserve the bad rap it gets.
    It a very decent head I think.
    The CL's a beast.
  4. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Oh no, I'm certainly not complaining about the 350. It's served me well the last few years. Good tone, pretty hefty volume. It's just that I think an SVT, VR, CL, or just an old one from the 70's, would be nicer.

    How would I make my 8 ohm cabs work with the 4 ohm SVT?
  5. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    There is no comparison between the 350H and an actual SVT. Much louder, much more powerful, and simply better. Those cabs should be fine for as long as you are happy with them.
  6. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Well yeah, the head upgrade comes first, as I want to do it for the tone as much as the volume. Would daisy-chaining my cabs make them a 4 ohm load instead of an 8 ohm? Or are they already a 4 ohm load just plugged into the separate outputs on the head?
  7. Spencer!


    Jun 25, 2006
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    The head will see 4ohms either way. BTW, get the VR. It's worth the extra dough.
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i have a couple of vintage SVT's and a VR. and my drummer's son has an SVT350-H. when we rehearse at our drummer's house, i use his son's head (the 350). while it sounds okay and is fairly powerful, a VR not only sounds way better, bit it feels like it has 3 or 4 times the power of the 350. I've played thru alot of CL's, and while they're a decent head, IMO they don't sound or feel at all like a real SVT.

    if you like the Ampeg sound, i would recommend that you just get an SVT (a vintage or a VR). if you do, you'll never need to buy another head (unless you need two of them) :smug:

    oh..... and by the way, you're cabs will work great with one.

    2 cents............
  9. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sales Engineer
    there was a really nice one in the classifieds for like 1150.00, which is a sick deal.
  10. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    You need to daisy chain them. That way the head will see 4 ohms.
    If you use the two outs, it will switch the head to the 2 ohm tap on the output tranny.
    It will be expecting to see 2 ohms total and it will find two 8 total . Not good.
  11. Hoss


    Jan 9, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Doesnt "daisy chaining" mean to hook up speaker-cabinets SERIAL? THEN it would see 16 Ohms. :eek:

    The two speaker-outputs of EVERY SVT are weired parallel making your two 8 Ohm cabinets a 4 Ohm load total.

    As with the CL or VR (or Skunkworks, MTI and SVT-II) you can switch manually from 4 Ohm to 2 Ohm - so you can either hook up two 8 Ohm cabinets with the switch in 4 Ohm position or two 4 Ohm cabinets set for 2 Ohm using two onboard parallel outputs.

    The 70s SVTs automatically switch to 2 Ohm if you use the second output (labeled: external speaker) making it improper to hook up two 8 Ohm cabinets like in your case, because there would be a total 4 Ohm load.
    Beeing a handy feature (no need to manually switch when adding a second 4 Ohm cab) in the old days it is now a pain in the a*s. Actually this is the ONLY downside of the old SVTs IMHO.

    What you can do and what some SVT users do is: Get a solid Y-Cable or parallel split-box connected to the 4-Ohm output so you can have an external parallel split and connect two 8-Ohm cabinets to this device. Or you let your SVT beeing mod for a manual switch instead of the automatic switchiing system.

    As for me - I built an external parallel split-box with thick cables inside and three speakon connectors. I wanted to keep my all original 74 SVT in untouched condition.
  12. I know a lot of roadies that work with some big band in uk... they are gettin the bassist to use these Solid State Ampegs, because they can go at any time... And the solid states still sound ace...

    I'd go for the cab first, you head is still pretty damn good! thats just me though...
  13. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    You wouldn't say that if you knew what I plan on eventually upgrading my cabs to...

    Anyway, yes, my head sounds nice. It is a good amp.

    If I had roadies, though, even if I liked them a lot on a personal level, I wouldn't use solid state instead of tubes just because they start right away and weigh less. If I had roadies and techs, presumably I'd be paying them. Specifically, I'd be paying them to haul my heavy equipment for me and make it work.
  14. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Use the switch on the back of the amp to select 4 ohms. Then, either run each cab from the head, or head to one cab, and that cab to the other. It's 4 ohms either way.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    With one caveat...vintage SVT's using two 8 ohm cabs have to be daisy chained and only one input used.
    AmericanFenderJazzMan likes this.
  16. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Yes. Daisy-chain the cabs from one output on the head.

    The CL (or VR or vintage) will crush the 350 for volume - no contest. They are also a hell of a beast to move around. If you're young, strong, and energetic your owe it to yourself to play an SVT in some form.
  17. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    Still sounds good, though, right?
  18. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I know they're heavy, but I don't mind. I'm 22, and pretty decent at moving heavy things around.

    So it's both got amazing tone and it's louder? Awesome. Time to start putting away some cash.
  19. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I'm 52 and I don't mind the lift.

    Louder doesn't even begin to describe the difference.
  20. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i'm 55 but to me its still worth schlepping it from gig to gig. (you'd have to pay me double to play live thru anything else).

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