Ampeg V4b or SVT? I can't decide...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pitt12fan34, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. pitt12fan34


    Aug 30, 2017
    I am trying to decide which head would be better for me, the V4b or an SVT.

    I recently bought an Ampeg 810 and I am currently using a Marshall MB450h head with it. I play in a rock band with 2 guitarist that both play 100w Marshall halfstacks with their volume around 9 O'clock.
    I like to have a bit of dirt in my tone and usually play with an OD pedal on with just enough drive to give it some hair.
    I'm thinking the V4b should start to break up a little bit at practice volumes but I'm worried that it might be underpowered at an outdoor show where we get to open up the amps a bit.
    Do you guys think the v4b will work for me or should I just go with the svt to be safe? I've looked at countless threads on here discusing the two and still can't make up my mind on which one to go with.

  2. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    My V4B sounded slightly better but sometimes under powered for loud and clean.
    My SVT -CL does it all.
    basscapes, blubass and johnpbass like this.
  3. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    Given the choice in terms of cost, and given that your band has the potential to be loud with those 100W Marshall amps, go with the SVT. You'll have the power reserve to meet your needs.

    Having said that, I have both as well. There are always tradeoffs, the right tool for the job. The V4B has the advantage of being lighter to lift and carry. The V4B is easier to maintain and a set of tubes costs a lot less. You can push a V4B into power amp distortion. The SVT costs more, is heavy, and crazy loud for a typical rock band. It is also a workhorse that is seen on more stages than anything else. I would say that the V4B covers my needs most of the time. It is nice to use the SVT when I need it, just heavier to deal with.

    I recommend that you stick with new if you can. A warranty is always good to have.
    ezra1, ThisBass, basscapes and 3 others like this.
  4. pitt12fan34


    Aug 30, 2017
    So I'm leaning towards the V4B just to be able to get some power amp distortion. I'm thinking it should be loud enough through the 8x10 for my needs. I'll probably never be able to get to that point with an SVT. I'm just hoping that the V4B won't get too distorted at the volume level I need.
  5. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    The 810 is going to give you a boost in volume at a lower setting over a smaller cab.
  6. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    SVT every time. There are instances when 100W just can’t cut it.
    rodl2005 and blubass like this.
  7. RickenTalker


    Nov 4, 2010
    SVT will hold up against those other 100 watt heads and half stacks no sweat. V4B while great with a 810 cab might have some problems.
  8. coreyfyfe


    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Simple solution - Get both!

    (super helpful I know)

    When I was still gigging an 8x10 my V4 was always enough for me, but I wasn't looking for completely clean sound either. If you want to be on the edge of breakup in louder venues the V4 should work. If you want big clean get the SVT. If you plan to use an 8 ohm cab at times or in the future get the V4.
    floridagatorfan likes this.
  9. V4B might be able to do the "dirty ol' rock amp pushed to the edge" tone. However, if you want things to clean up while still having tube warmth/girth, it may not have enough power and cut against a pair of Marshalls (regardless of those guy's speaker configs.).

    I'd go with the SVT, as they are monsters with tone, both dirty/loud and subtle/warm.

    But PLEASE do some research on them, especially around here. I'm still personally on the fence with regards to jumping into the SVT pool, just because of the perceived persistent issues that I keep reading about (and also the 80-90lb they weigh!)...
  10. Bufalo

    Bufalo Funk in the Trunk Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Harrisburg, PA
    One thing to consider when talking about schlepability - SVT is 80 pounds with two spring-load side handles, V4B is 45 pounds with one strap on top. There's not thaaat much difference in carrying one vs the other.
    basscapes likes this.
  11. To me, I've been lucky in that the SWR ST-800 power amp (which luckily only tips the scale around 25-30 lbs.) is quite easy to lift... So to me, anything above 50 is a steady as she goes item... :nailbiting:
  12. coreyfyfe


    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I keep both of mine in rolling road cases. The added 20-30 lbs of the case doesn't help, but the wheels do. I hate the single strap handle on my V4 though, that's for sure.
    Dp1363 likes this.
  13. pitt12fan34


    Aug 30, 2017
    The weight of either shouldn't be an issue, I can always have the guitarists help. I am thinking about grabbing an SVT CL first and then grabbing a V4B later on. I think I'd just feel better knowing I'll have the volume I need with the SVT. If I want dirt with it I can always try a boost pedal.
    rodl2005, freedomryder and Ed Byrnes like this.
  14. Ed Byrnes

    Ed Byrnes Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2015
    I gig a V-4b with an 8x10. The "clean headroom issue" is real. We are a blues rock quartet with one guitarist and a keyboard. We're loud, but probably not as loud as you guys. With the gain at 9 o'clock and the master at 12noon, I'm just on the edge of breakup with a P-Bass and just crunching up with the big humbucker on my Tele. Any higher than that and the V-4b really starts to break up. Which is cool if that's what you want on every song. Also, any pedals that add power or volume to the signal will push the tubes into breakup. IMHO, it sounds like you need the headroom of an SVT. I don't know from pre-amp breakup vs power amp breakup, so in your place, I would probably go for a CL and get the flexibility to dial in gain and master.
  15. pitt12fan34


    Aug 30, 2017
    So it sounds like I need the SVT which is fine with me. Would anyone buy one used or just save up a little more for a new one?
  16. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I always carry my V4B with both hands around it, never use the strap. So for me (as an older bass player) there is a huge difference in schlepability between the V4b and the SVT, regardless of where the handle is. In fact I prefer being able to put my hands around/under the V4b to having spring handles at the sides, its dinky size (for a tube amp) makes it a real easy carry this way.
    When I need clean headroom or svt tone I use a Fender Super Bassman 300 which is 20 pounds lighter than the svt, which was enough of a weight difference to sell it to me over an svt.
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  17. Searay


    May 20, 2012
    I would recommend the SVT-CL over the V4B I think with your description of the band, the SVT is a better fit. I chose to buy new. My reasons were, new tubes, factory warranty, free delivery. Sometimes there are floor demos for a discount and some Sweet and watery vendors offer a two year warranty.
  18. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ... tough to beat .
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Here's the difference between powering an 810e with a V4B vs the SVT...

    The V4B will get you loud enough to get your band fired from any respectable joint.

    The SVT will get loud enough to induce vomiting.
  20. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    I just opted for a V-4B over an SVT with Jimmy M's advisement and I am glad I did.

    One of the things that tipped it for me was trying to dead lift my Fender Twin Reverb and almost popping a vein in my forehead before failing.
    The Twin Reverb is 62 lbs, I think... The SVT, 85 lbs. No WAY i am lifting that thing up and down off a cab without help. Whereas the V-4B
    is, as you say, sized and of a weight that one guy can easily manage it.

    Can't speak on the V-4B in a band context, but it is stupid loud at my house -- a true window rattler.

    I have not played the amp in a band context, but I have played guitar opposite a bassist using a V-4B, and a very hard hitting drummer.
    The amp and tone sounding ripping. The cab was a 2x12 and farted out a couple times on the same note... But that was a cab issue, not
    an amp issue.

    The amp would certainly be loud enough for anything I would want to do, even hard-driving music, I'd try to steer toward doing at a lower volume.

    Some more data for ya, OP....