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Ampeg SVT410HLF

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by origami, May 1, 2010.

  1. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS

    Cue the soap opera music for my long lasting on again-off again love/hate affair with Ampeg. “Like sand through the hourglass…”

    First off… I am admittedly weak willed, and even though I know some Ampeg gear sounds great and some just does not, I'm a sucker for that classic "A" in the upper corner of my cabs. Many of us are.

    I've been down this road before... and in a fit of wanting a more classic looking rig, and needing some immediate cash, I sold my two wonderful sounding GK neo 2x12 cabs. The cabs always sounded really awesome, but those metal looking grills always really bothered me, and I am not handy enough to make replacement ampeg looking grills, etc.

    I started playing my tried and trusty GK 800rb (best solid state head ever!) through a single US made SVT 15en that I found used, which wasn't sounding too bad for a stand alone 15" cab. This is my third time coming back to this cab.

    It is what it is... a 15" cab w/no tweeter, but (third times a charm) I blew a speaker in the 15en cab the night before a gig. I borrowed a 15” speaker from a friend’s Fender bass combo, and limped through the show with a blanketed quirky tone. It was against all driver replacement logic, that was definitely proof that drivers and cabs need to sort of match. I'm sure the TB physics guys are saying "told you so".

    I happened onto a cheap road worn used US made SVT410HLF, and pulled the trigger. At bedroom volume, this is a good sounding cab, for bassists needing tons of loose lows, this is easily your cab. At rehearsal/gig volume, I noticed a gigantic hole in my mids. The cab was all woofy lows and finger click. I have been slowly crafting a more kindler-gentler Chris Squire tone lately, and this cab just squashed that effort. I also could barely tell when I added my distortion pedal, as all the grindy frequencies added when you use distortion just never came out of the cab. My rig now looks great, but I am sad.

    On the plus side, this cab isn’t a big and heavy as it looks. It seems to be able to take a pounding, and even my octave down effects don’t bottom it out. It can handle a lot more volume than the fartastic 410he and 610hlf cabs (which I just hated), but it lacks the punch of the classic 810 or even the 15en (when it’s working). It also makes my GK800rb run really warm, which it didn’t do even when running at 4 ohms with both my old GK neo cabs, or when I use backline 4 ohm Ampeg fridges.

    Advice... learn to EQ around the particular frequencies the SVT410HLF has and lacks, or start thinking about a different cab? If I kept the HLF, what frequencies should I be adding or subtracting on the 800rb that could help me get back to my Yes, Rush, Eddie Jackson sort of sound. I am afraid that I will be over EQing for the cab, and make my DI tone to the house horrible.

    ...or hound ampeg until they finally make a good looking 2x12 classic neo cab in the vein of the GK neo 2x12, or bug GK to make neo 2x12 cabs w/o those shiny silver grills. GK or ampeg please make a classic looking neo 2x15 cab or a better a sealed neo tweater-less 610, and make me stop complaining.
  2. Maybe you should just stick with the GK's since they sounded good to you and get someone to put some new material on over that metal grill.
  3. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Or maybe check into Avatar.
    They have many combinations of metal or cloth grills available.
    They've also different cabinet coverings available at reasonable prices.
    The Avatar cabinets I'm using sound great and match up well with either my old G.K. 800 or my new G.K. MB2-500.
  4. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    You summed up Ampeg . I have the 810E and its great. I also have (2) 410hlf's and hooked up or solo they are dependable and give you all the bottom you need. The trend is to go lite .But the 410hlf is really not all that big. I bought one new and one used. My favorite rig is a used (ebay) SvT400T and one of the 410hlf's.
  5. I found the magic frequency with that cab is 150 hz. I kill that a bit and boost 800. My buddy uses two of those with an old Ampeg B4 head and he kills 150 as well. It was the only way we could "tame" those cabs. They carry a ton of lows, which is great. But yeah, they can get boomy. 150 is where your guitar player probably resides anyways, so you will also get more separation that way.

    I also kill the tweeter, which cleans up the top end. (the clack).
    Try that out, hope it helps.
  6. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
  7. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    I know.. I'm not the first guy to buy ampeg equipment because it looks cool, and I won't be the last.

    I'm going to give the HLF a few more gigs and see how it goes. FOH is most my volume for gigs anyhow, my DI out the back of the 800rb will sound the same in the venue's PA no matter what cab I'm playing through.

    Maybe I will use some EQ'ing as suggested to make it though situations where I am using the cab without house support, and need a more cutting tone.

    I am happy that more manufactuers are coming back to toltex and classic style grills (avatar, mesa, aguilar, carvin, etc.) some things weren't broke. let's hope rat fuzz dies off soon (to the dismay of my cats).

    just me, but I like chrome on the rims of my car, not on my cabs.
  8. Amen to that, brother.

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