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Ampeg SVT12HE cab review (new single 12" cab, SVT 12HE)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 8mmOD, May 12, 2006.


  1. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I picked up a pair of the new Ampeg SVT 12HE cabs in March. They are ported, single 12" cabs with a HF horn, constructed from 13 ply baltic birch and are 8 ohms/300 watts RMS.

    I generally use a (classic series) SVT 410HE + 15E or (vintage) SVT 810 cab & like a lot of you, I have been looking to downsize.

    My first gig with the SVT 12HE cabs was a tiny little... well... bar. No stage, limited PA. Not the type of place I am used to playing at anymore, but it was a cool place non the less. I had just picked up the cabs that day & had not even opened the box until I was inside the club, but I had heard the cabs at winter NAMM so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I used the pair of the SVT 12HE cabs with zero PA support & a borrowed Peavey 300 watt head (with a BDDI on the front end). The setup carried the room. It did not produce bowel shaking low end, but that was not needed in that room anyway. But the mids were growly Ampeg all the way. I actually had to turn down at one point because I was overpowering the guitar. Again, these were not ear blistering volume levels (well not for me, anyway, maybe for you), but we have a hard hitting drummer and loud guitar, so it was pretty d@mn loud.

    Since the cabs are ported, I find myself backing off the amp's low end more than with my 410 cab, which is fine. the 12 HE still has nice low end, but you need to control it with the amp so it is not boomy.

    I next played a decent sized club with a good PA. This time I had a bit more power into the cabs and they held their own for stage volume. I loved the growly mids, but I was wanting a little more low end depth.

    Last night I played this new club for the first time. Its holds a few hundred people & has a decent sized stage so I decided to try something different. I used one SVT 12HE and one SVT 15E. Man, those cabs sounded awesome together! The combination was big in all the right places. It was a pretty loud/bassy stage so & had to keep the volume down, roll off the low end & let PA do most of the work to carry the bass out to the front. Otherwise all you could hear was bass directly in the front of the stage - mind you it sounded really good- but just too loud. But when I backed off on the amp and it went through the mains, it was heaven. HUGE tone.

    I used an old Ampeg SS 150H guitar head last night which is a bit less than 300 watts at 4 ohms & it wasnt even maxed. I do like the SS 150H for bass, but the cabs are what sealed the deal on this setup. I regularly would use my SVT 410HE +15E with the SS 150H & I actually like the 12HE + 15E tone (and size) even better! good stuff.

    I had 3 other bands booked last night, they all used my rig & they all sounded fantastic through it. At the end of the night the sound guy complimented me on how good my "old tube amp" sounded. I laughed out loud. Not a tube inside that head ;) Its the cabs baby!

    I am very familiar with the room I playing tonight & i will use a bigger power amp and carry the room more with the bass rig, using the PA for a little extra support. I have pushed my Stewart World 1.2 into the 12HE + 15E in my studio, the cabs didnt even flinch. It was that "punch you in the chest and rumble your nuts" kind of power. My ears would have exploded before I damaged the cabs running too much power. I am confident the bass is gonna sound bad @ss tonight with the Stewie 1.2, SVT 12HE + Svt 15E. I will use my sansamp BDDI so it will sound just like a vintage SVT. :D :D :D

    My impressions so far is the cabs sound very "Ampeggy". Nice mid growl, nice low end, but not a ton of low end. I will try "just" my pair or 12HE's a few more times, but I believe the 12HE + 15E is the best combination for me so far.

    I play in a loud Thrash Metal band, so a single 12HE or pair may be plenty for less agressive music. For the record, the tone I like is the sound of a cranked vintage SVT through an 810.

    I have recently loaded some Eminence Delta 12 LFAs into a cheapo 212 cab that actually sounds pretty good (the Delta 12LFAs are some SERIOUS bass speakers IMO. very deep, very mid growly, the more you push them, the better they sound. perfect for Ampeg). I am going to swap out the cheap horn for an ampeg horn/L-Pad and end up with a 4 ohm 212 cab. Once this is together, I will pair it with my two 12HE cabs and see what that produces. But I have a feeling I may eventually dump that 212 and just getting another 15E to mate with my second 12HE. We'll see how that goes.

    These are my impressions so far. I still need to try these cabs with my vintage SVT so I will update as I use them more. But so far - I highly recommend the SVT 12HE cabs for that mid-growly Ampeg tone in a powerful lightweight package.
     
  2. throw_this_away

    throw_this_away

    Mar 30, 2006
    thanks for the great review!!

    I had my eye on a single Ampeg 112HE for smaller shows and maybe home use. I think Ampegs have the nicest looking cabs and they produce a good solid rock sound.

    Now I need some $$$
     
  3. Gald your liking it man, a bit of a different approach to getting that ampeg sound that we love, but sounds ace :D
     
  4. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I can't even get my vintage SVT/810 "hot" enough to get the growl I like in most of these clubs I play. I had to explore other options to acheive this sound out of necessity... well that and I hate carrying gear. I will be getting an 8 pro as soon as they are available. See my other post about my Stewart World 1.2 shutting down again last night. Grrrrrrr.

    BTW, the 12HE + 15E rig sounded HUGE before the Stewart crapped out last night. I personally used my BDDI/1.2 and everyone else used my SS150H with the same cabs. The 1.2 had enough headroom to carry the venue, the SS150H didnt, but there was enough PA support so it was a non- issue. The cabs sounded awesome with both amps... I pretty much get the exact same tone from both the SS150H & BDDI.
     
  5. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Does this mean Ampeg has stopped using particle board (I know there's some fancy name for it) in their classic series cabs? If so good move on their part.
     
  6. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    "OSB" is the fancy name, its a different animal than particle board. And they use ply for the speaker baffles. But ANYWAY, I know my cab is birch. I cant say for sure if ALL the new classic cabs are.
     
  7. cb56

    cb56

    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Very cool then. I bumped my old SVT610hlf cab and the "OSB" just flaked and flaked. One of the rubber feet came off and I couldn't even get a screw to set in the OSB to put it back in. I hope this is something the've corrected in all the classic series cabs. I ended up getting rid of all my Ampeg stuff and went with Aguilar. Couldn't be happier. I always liked the Ampeg sound but the cheapness of the newer gear was a real turn off. Hope they've turned it around.:cool:
     
  8. Thats one of the things that put me off the ampeg 810, the marshall one ive got is really thick all ply :D
     

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