Ampeg V-4B or SVT-Classic?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by christopantz, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. christopantz


    Sep 16, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    I need some help deciding between an Ampeg V-4B and an SVT-Classic. Currently I have a 410HLF cabinet, which is great. I love the grit the V-4B provides, but I'm not sure if it'll be a good fit for the 410HLF cabinet, given that the cabinet isn't as efficient as an 810. This is why I'm thinking an SVT-Classic may be a better option. I also like the lower weight of the V-4B, although that's kinda negated by the fact that I'm using such a heavy cabinet.

    Does anyone have opinions on this? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Dp1363


    Jan 8, 2011
    South Jersey US
    I A/B’d both heads for a week. I also had a few accomplished players play through both while I listened. The consensus was that the V4B has a much better overall tone. Though not as powerful as the CL, it still had enough power for the gigs I do. YMMV.

    That being said I have now relegated the V4B to practice amp, status. I’ve gone back to my Mesa D800 and D800+ for gigs, due to weight and space issues with V4B. I own the PA for the band and space in my SUV is tight especially when hauling subs.
    Moosehead1966 and Burwabit like this.
  3. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    What are you currently using?
    Could be helpful as comparison.
    If it's a good fit (I presume volume) or not, depends IMHO on your actual needs on stage and/or at rehearsals.
    IME with the right cab or cabs, the V4B can get filthy loud.
    Of course, the SVT will get a lot louder.
  4. The SVT can be turned down if you don't need all the power that it provides. The V4B can not be turned up if you need more power than it provides.
  5. Didn't realize that the SVT didn't sound as good as the V4B. ..??? Knew it was louder. ..and different. ..but. .??
    Yes. .. the 410HLF is not as efficient as an 810 &probably isn't the best fit for a V4B
    If volume is a concern, get the SVT.
    Also, if weight IS a concern. . the 410HLF is a tank!
    = 410HLF & SVT or
    V4B & a couple of 115s
    This works well
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  6. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    That is a matter of opinion, I have owned both and always thought an SVT sounded better than a V4-B, I used to use mine for rehearsals as it it would run out of gas with my 810 cabs.
  7. christopantz


    Sep 16, 2015
    Funny enough I don't actually have a bass amp right now. I've had a Fender Rumble combo, and a Kustom KXB500 going through the 410HLF in the past, but didn't get the grit and warmth I quite wanted from the Fender, same story for the Kustom.
    I've also got one of the new Fender Bassman amps on my radar, as I've tried them a few times at Chicago Music Exchange and enjoyed them, but I would like to have an Ampeg rig if possible.
    I play in a fairly loud rock band. We're not ridiculous with volume or anything, though. We've got 2 guitarists who don't turn up too loud on stage, and a drummer who plays fairly loud, but nothing insane.
    I've always loved the grit on the V4B, and I don't really feel like I need the crazy volume of the Classic. I guess my main concern is will the V4B have enough power to drive the 410HLF loud enough for my rock gigs.
  8. I prefer the v4-b. I like that you can get some power tube drive at lower volume. If that's your thing.
    Moosehead1966 likes this.
  9. Crnovak

    Crnovak Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2012
    Frisco, Texas
    I had been having the same debate over the V4-B (watching all the threads for about a year), but after listening to a SVT-VR as well as the SVT-CL, I couldn't find anything I liked better about the v4B. Especially compared to the SVT-VR Ok the V4-B is lighter. (not a big issue for me right now) But as for sound, not so much. Putting my $$ where my keyboard is, I just purchased and hooked up my new (as in yesterday) SVT-VR. It is the sound I really like because it just seems to have a more old school roundness than the V4-B. I have tried both amps with flatwounds also. I found hands-down, in my opinion, I couldn't love a tone more than the SVT-VR. I had about 10 amps previously. So having said all this, have you considered trying the SVT-VR before you write off the SVT line? BTW, I play dialed down in a small studio running DNA 4-10 in parallel with a DNA 1*15. Doesn't effect the tone quality at all.
    IMG_0765.JPG Warming up for the days practice.
    intrentnet7 and bobyoung53 like this.
  10. christopantz


    Sep 16, 2015
    The VR looks great, although the price might be a bit high for me.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Have you ever owned an SVT? If not, I highly recommend renting one for a couple of days. While you have it, make it a point to try loading it in and out of your car several times on your own, and be willing to walk the realistic distance it would take you to get from your car to a stage or to your rehearsal space. That alone should let you know whether it's an investment you really want to make.

    For me, I prefer my Mesa D800. Heavy amps have become something I'm unwilling to live with now that micros sound as good as they do. I'd still love to own another SVT, but it'd be a studio only amp. Unfortunately, that's not a luxury I can afford to have at the moment.
  12. ultra60

    ultra60 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Herndon/Chantilly Va.
    Great timing on this question. I own an SVT Classic, V4B reissue, and a 410HLF. Which head sounds best? Neither.

    I play in a Zep format band. While not terribly loud, we are not quiet either. Comes with the territory. The V4B is not powerful enough for the 410HLF. The SVT Classic, while having the power, just lacks something with this cab. The clear choice, for me, is the SVT 3 pro. I am not stating that the 3 pro is any louder than the SVT. But it just works with this cabinet. It's tight, and has plenty of power, and definition.

    That said, I also have (2) 15" Ampeg cabs. The SVT and V4B have no problems with these cabs, and the sound is phenomenal. I would also agree that the V4B may sound slightly better. It's just a tad clearer sounding than the Classic. This could be due to something as simple as the tubes. Who knows.

    If you don't need a lot of power, the V4B may work for you. With the 410HLf, it does not work for me. But then again... neither does the SVT.
    mattwear likes this.
  13. I wouldn't say a lot louder. To double volume (about 6dB), you have to increase wattage by ten. You might be more likely to notice that 300 watts is cleaner. So ask yourself how much grind you want, in part.

    A logarithmic plot shows the volume relationship to watts, which shows that 300 watts isn't that much louder than 100 watts:

    With my V4-B I didn't like the SVT 410HE, but I love the SVT-15E. Great (in my case) for a three piece rock band in a 500 person venue. Lots of people on TB like to run two 15s with the V4-B, but I've never needed more than one. Try options first if you can, 'cause none of us know what you need and like more than you! I just think it's worth noting that wattage gets more press than it deserves.
    ultra60 likes this.
  14. gelinas666

    gelinas666 Guest

    Sep 8, 2009
    Depends on your style of music.. The CL is an industry standard for backline.. I own one and it has never let me down for power and tone. You can also crank the master up and use the gain as your volume control to achieve a VR vintage tone if you like.. Plenty of headroom too. CL for me.. :thumbsup:
  15. ultra60

    ultra60 Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Herndon/Chantilly Va.
    I believe the 410hlf is 4 ohms. If you are using (2), wouldn't that be 2 ohms? I ask, as with the V4B I was using the 4 ohm jack with the 410hlf. There is nothing wrong with the amp, tubes, or gain. The master was full up, and I had to get so far into the volume that the amp was distorting. I don't think the V4B works well with this particular cabinet, if you need any kind of volume.
  16. blazebarlow

    blazebarlow Guest

    Dec 30, 2015
    no..I am not at 2 ohms..because the SVT Pro 4 has two independent amp and speaker channels..A & B...along with the mono bridge speaker connection point...I am running dual mono with one cab in each channel ( A & B )..not mono bridged with the cabs jumped together..there is a switch on the back panel for mono bridge or stereo for using channels A & B independently...the pro 4 will not do 2 ohms at the mono bridge connection point..but you can run 2 or 4 ohm cabs at the A & B channel connection points..
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  17. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I liked ny V-4B much better than my SVT.
  18. Searay


    May 20, 2012
    I went back and forth with the same question. I went with the SVT CL. My interest in the V4B is now zero. Just my opinion.
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I own both. It depends on what I'm doing but I generally prefer the SVT.
    My band is pretty loud and I prefer a cleaner tone overall. I like some grit when I dig it hard and found the V4B easy to OD.
  20. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Been toying around with this question for a while now too. I have a SVT CL and 410HLF that I got several years ago. Love the CL, but it tends to be overkill for the bands Im playing with (going through a PA all the time so volume isnt all that important). The tone I get with the CL is awesome though, but I wondered if a V4B would be better for me. IDK
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