Ampeg SVT preamp vs head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by andreas_bass, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. andreas_bass

    andreas_bass Guest

    Oct 18, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'm about to buy an Ampeg-amp. I have two alternatives:
    Ampeg SVT 4-Pro or Ampeg SVP-PRO with a poweramp. Is there any sound differences between these two? I've heard that the SVT 4 has the same preamp as SVP-PRO is. I know that the SVT 4 has a lot of power and I need that, but I also want the ability to maybe alternate preamps later. Any opinions? Thankful for any answers!

  2. The only thing I am aware of with the preamp is they have a tendency toward hiss. Supposedly something to do with 5 tubes in the circuit. If the head uses the same preamp, the hiss is probably the same.

    Personally, I would opt for the preamp and a separate power amp. The power rating for the SVT-4Pro is overly stated, according to many owners. Using separates will let you have any power amp you desire, and in any size you need.

    You will need to rack separates, but this is probably a Good Thing (tm) in disguise, as it will offer more protection to your gear than shlepping around an unprotected head.

    [ edit: 7-18-01 ]

    A friend with a hiss issue retubed his single 12AU7 and got rid of the hiss entirely.
  3. KillMary

    KillMary Guest

    Jan 25, 2001
    I think the preamp by itself is a little more hi-fi than the head. it might be because of all the extra EQ and options, but the sound does seem a bit different to me.
    Anyway, I run mine through an SVT-300 (300-watt all-tube power amp) and hiss is NOT a problem at all, at least with my Cort Curbow bass. My Yamaha, on the other hand, is a bit noisy but that's the bass of course.
  4. It's amazing the difference replacing the 12AX7s can make. My old Trace Elliot V-Type preamp came with typical cheap chinese valves. I swapped them both for Sovtek/Electro Harmonix valves and the preamp had infinitely more gain and was much quieter. Your ampeg preamp will sound huge with a fresh set of preamp valves.
  5. andreas_bass

    andreas_bass Guest

    Oct 18, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thank you guys for your replies.
    I have decided to go with the Ampeg preamp. But I don't know which poweramp I will get. I'm looking for a good poweramp with 2x ca 500W in 4 ohm. Any suggestions?

  6. <html>

    <p>Where are you based? I've heard nothing but good things about smartlight power amplifiers</p>
    p align="center"><img src=""></p>
  7. andreas_bass

    andreas_bass Guest

    Oct 18, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I live in Sweden. Never heard of Smartlight. Looks interesting. Do they have a homepage?
  8. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    Whichever you buy I suggest you immediately put good quality tubes in them. Ampeg puts crap for tubes in their amps and you can make them sound a lot better with a set of good tubes.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have an svp-pro...its the svt2-pro that has the same circutry as the svp. the 4 might but ive not read about it.....I have no complaints about hiss from it, mines actually pretty quiet. it doesnt sound as warm as the all tube ampegs, but imo it has a nice meat and potatoes sound...very deep, warm and clear. hook up to both when ya go to the dealer and just play each for as long as you can and let your ears be your guide....i prefer seperate pwr/pre amps. mostly for the upgradability.
  10. Smartlight amps are made in the UK I believe. I know that they are available from a company called Smart Sound DIrect in England. Their website is