Ampeg SVTII (Older, Non-"Pro" Model)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Winston TK, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Anyone out there have any personal experience with one of these?

    How do they rate for tone, power and reliability?
  2. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    I've played though a rented one a couple of times. In my opinion, it is just about equal to the pro model soundwise, although you get fewer "tweaking options".
    The tone is in my ears beautiful, very big and punchy. You might get slight problems with finding a "super hi-tech" tone, but I hope you have the good taste to avoid that anyway. ;)
  3. If you mean the SVT-III (not SVT-II), I have one and have been using it for over four years now. I bought it used, and I have no idea how many people owned it before me.

    Anyway! It's been a real reliable workhorse. I love its tone and I've found the 350W (into 4-ohms) to be more than adaquate for most clubs and bars. It's my favorite head and with the SVT-115E and SVT-210HE cabs that I usually run with it, it's my favorite amp setup. NOTE: I'm very old school in my tone and sound requirements and I use Fender P-Basses most of the time.

    I've had one problem with it since I bought it. We were playing in a bar last summer that had real bad ground problems. At one point when I was singing, I touched the mike with my lips, got a hard electrical shock hit in the mouth, touched my bass to the mike stand when I recoiled from the hit, getting hit again in the hands and the mouth. It sounds real comical, and to watch it, it might have been. But believe me, it sure as hell didn't feel comical. Anyway, the amp shut down completely. When it came back up, it was intermittant.

    I swapped heads and put my Peavey Firebass on line, I always carry a spare head/amp to a gig. When I plugged the Peavey in, I made sure that it was plugged into the same circuit as the PA. No more problems the rest of the night.

    As for the Ampeg, it had a burned, lifted trace on the input 120V AC power line going to its power supply. My amp tech fixed it, gave it a good go over, and pronounced it well. It's worked fine ever since. Can't blame the amp for this as it was the surge from the grounding problem that damaged it.

    Oh, the club! I approached the owner about paying for the damage to my amp. He basically told me to take a hike. I told him the same, reported his place to the county, and won't play there again.

    I think if you've got a line on a good SVT-III, it's a good amp and you'll enjoy it.

    Good Luck.
  4. Winston TK

    The guitarist in our band just came across a used one, (his brother-in-law owned it), and on his recomendation we bought it.

    I haven't heard it yet but will at practice this Friday, 1/31. I'll be playing it thru an ampeg 810, and so I'll have a pretty good idea what it can do.

    I'll report back.

  5. Oh yeah, just to confirm, I'm not talking about the Pro model either.

  6. I'm not talking about the "Pro" model either. It has 475W into 4 -ohms. The older SVT-III NOT PRO, is rated at 350W into 4-ohms. That's the one that I have. It was the one before the SVT-3Pro. The SVT-II must be older yet.

    Sorry for the confusion.
  7. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    The SVTII (as in "2") is an older model, predating even the SVTII-Pro. It's a two-rackspace beast of a thing, rugged as hell with some decent features. Basically, it was the first rack version of the classic SVT head, but with a 6-band graphic EQ and a few other useful features.

    Some reports suggest that the older version of the SVTII (that is, the pre-Pro version) is preferable in various ways.

    Thanks to all of you guys for the information so far. Bassomatic, I'm curious to read your upcoming review. I would be running one through my Ampeg 610 cab, so your experience with an 810 would be quite similar.
  8. I had one for years and loved it. I only sold it 'cause I got tired of lifting it all the time.

    I dont' think it sounds notably different than the newer models, and since I always played straight to a cab, with a nearly flat eq, the limited tweaking options was never a factor...

    I won't say that I abused it, but I put a lot of hard miles on it, and almost never had a problem. Dropped it a time or two... too much/too little load a couple a times... questionable power supplies... a singer that thought he was David Yow... always kept working and sounding great.

    I gotta get another one.... :)
  9. Winston TK,

    What you've heard about it being the rack mounted version of the old SVT, with a few more bells and whistles is exactly what I've heard, and the reason I got it. The plan is to use it instead of my 70's SVT at practice and maybe gigs, to take some use and abuse off the older one. (It's been thru a lot).

    On Friday I'm going to have them side by side so we can compare the sound, and we'll probably record something with each just to see what diff there is.

    As a side note, we're going out after rehearsal to see The Melvins. Email may be my only form of communication for the next week.

    I'll post my thoughts on the Ampeg.