Ampeg SVT Classic or SVT 4-Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kdogg, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    I currently own an SWR SM-500 bass head, playing through a Goliath III 4x10 and a Son Of Bertha 1x15. It's a good setup, with good volume and nice clean tone, but I'm looking for some of that fabled Ampeg growl. I played through a buddies SVT 3-Pro, and the growl was definitely wonderful to my ears, and has given me a bad case of GAS.

    I want to keep my present speaker cabinets, so I would be replacing the head only. I don't think the SVT 3-Pro has enough power for my taste. The SVT 4-Pro definitely has the headroom, but does it sound similar to the 3? I'm not worried about the power rating on the SVT Classic, as I've found tube amps seem to push really hard given their apparently lower wattage ratings. I have not had a chance to listen to either head with my cabinet setup, but I was hoping to get some preliminary feedback from those of you who have experience with either of these heads.

    Any alternative suggestions would also be appreciated.
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I have and use a 3Pro, and like it plenty, but only with high-sensitivity cabs.

    One potential alterrnative might be using a SABDDI with your current rig. It does a surprisingly good job of emulating that "Ampeg growl"; just connect into the effects return of your SWR head. I use one with other heads, and it gets darn close.
  3. Larzon


    Jan 15, 2005
    Try the SVT-6 PRO ....more wattage than the SVT-3 PRO ...with similar sound ...or even better.
  4. the 4 pro is nothing like the 3 pro, well, maybe a little. :eyebrow:

    The SVT-CL is a nice (did i say it already?) NICE amp. :D
    Good luck.
  5. Ask yourself the question if you need al them extra bells and whistles on the SVT-4 Pro:

    • do you need the graphic EQ?
    • do you need the special power options (bi-amping, crossover, ...)

    If not: go for the Classic or perhaps the SVT-6 Pro.

    The SVT-3 is nice too; I played it for two years in a row, about 10 hours a week and I can say it's a workhorse with wonderful sounds in it. I have to admit that it needs to run at 4 ohms to reach its maximum power. Lots of speakersurface is suggested as well with the SVT-3. People always complain about volume issues when they tried or played this amp. I recommend a 8x10 with this amp or at least an efficient 4x10 cabinet.

    Final note: I sold my SVT-3 Pro for an all-tube amp. I couldn't believe the improvement in sound, projection, clarity and power when I made the switch. Keep in mind that you might want to skip the SVT-3 Pro if you can afford it of corpse...
  6. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    The SVT4PRO is a modern Ampeg sound. Also have all this biamping options, bridege, stereo that you migh encounter useful. The sound can be boomy or very midrange. If choose the SVT4, make sure you have a heavy power handling cab, this one is a "speaker blowner" :D

    The SVT6pro is more simpler, but the drive tube control and the parametric eq put that head more interesting IMO.
  7. The SVT6-Pro is really just a bigger version of the 3, but with a better EQ section I think...
  8. Id suggest the ampeg SVT - II , its like the CL, but better imo :D

    and can be gotten pretty cheaply second hand
  9. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    +1, there has been a used one hanging out at Bass Northwest. Its got a website for any parties interested in googleing it.
  10. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
  11. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    Actually, I just pulled the trigger on a mint condition SVT 4-Pro on Ebay. Got it for $858.50, which I thought was pretty good. Any of you guys have this amplifier? The rated watts on this bad boy are insane! I might have to run it stereo to protect my cabs. I was reading some of the reviews on this amp over at Harmony Central, and there kinda mixed. Some people were complaining about the volume. I can't believe anyone would have volume problems with an amp rated at this much power, 1600 watts/4 ohms/bridged mono. Even if you run it stereo, it's putting out 350 watts a side at 8 ohms. Does Ampeg tend to under or over state the practical power output of their amps? Right now, running an SWR SM-500, 500 watts/4 ohms/bridged mono, I have no volume problems powering a 4x10 and a 1x15 cabinet.