Ampeg V4B vs. SVT CL

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Robi Brown, May 11, 2017.

  1. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    I know the SVT-CL is the all-around bass amp for any situation, but the V4B's weight would help me since I have to take the head and potential cab up 3 flights of stairs to store in my apartment. I don't think I'd mind the grind of the V4B (thinking about pairing it with the 212av or a 410hlf) but wondering if paired with a jazz bass... would it be too grindy to play outside of rock music? I play a lot of math-rock/emo/post-rock stuff but would also like to use my amp for playing neo-soul/jazz/funk stuff!

    If I could get a used SVT for the same price as a brand new or used V4B, should I just go with the SVT or will the V4B work for me in most situations (medium-sized gigs)?

    Also, what's maintenance costs like for both amps? I believe the V4B should be cheaper in maintenance because it has less tubes but if it's about the same cost at most shops, I might just consider going for an SVT.
  2. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    Sounds like you really want an SVT-CL. Go on and get the Classic, and save yourself from selling a V4B down the road.
    MattZilla, bobyoung53 and Geri O like this.
  3. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    Actually, I would say the V4B and 212-av would be better for my current situation, but I just don't know if the cost for a V4B and 212-av would be the same as just going for the SVT and 410hlf. But I appreciate the response! :)
    punchclock likes this.
  4. TC.65


    Dec 20, 2008
    Carbondale IL
    The V4B will work very well for any style of music. I have a V4B Reissue and 212AV cab and use it for Contemporary Christian, Southern Gospel, Country, and Rock music. It is a LOUD 100 watts and will easily work for medium size gigs.
    dagrev, Burwabit, P-oddz and 2 others like this.
  5. jdubbass38


    Mar 20, 2009
    Get the v4b, such an amazing sounding amp! Having luged an SVT, Super Bassman and v4b up and down stairs through out the years I would definitely choose the v4b. I feel it's one of the best sounding amps you can get, this amp has crazy good tone! As others said it's a loud 100watts depending on cabinet you are using.
    Dp1363 and TC.65 like this.
  6. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    Thanks so much for everyone's responses so far!! Does anyone have any advice when comparing the maintenance costs between the two? Are they similarly priced after repairs and labor costs for retubing and biasing?
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    An Ampeg hlf to the third floor??????? Never. You would sell the cab after your first gig.
  8. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    What cabinet do you use with it? I'm looking between the 212-av and the 410-hlf if you have any advice either way!
  9. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    If it helps at all, I lug a Vox AC30 up and down the same set of stairs (it's by far the heaviest piece of gear I have so far). I'm in my 20s so it's been okay to do but definitely not a pleasant experience every time! :p
    rmc63 likes this.
  10. Maintenance costs wil pretty much be the same. I own both amps. Can't go wrong with either one. I can't imagine taking my SVT up 3 flights of stairs but if you're OK lugging it up there I say go for it. I also own an Ampeg tube preamp and run it through a class D 800W power amp and it gets pretty dang close to the SVT and literally weighs 10 pounds combined. The preamp I use is the SVT-IIP (non pro) preamp and a Demeter Minnie 800-D, but any of their tube pre-s would work.

    Good luck on your tone journey, it's a fun but expensive ride....
  11. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    How much does maintenance cost you for both and what have you had done? I was also looking at amps like the Orange Terror Head and Mesa Boogie D-800 but don't know if I would be satisfied with the tone in a loud post-rock band versus a loud tube head. It's appearing to be a pretty expensive stressful ride... but all this researching is getting me so excited at the same time!!
  12. How strong are you? I'm pretty strong and gig an SVT-CL paired with a 212 AV for most of my gigs but I don't have stairs to contend with. I think if I did I'd be thinking about a 210 cab and a micro head.
    rodl2005 likes this.
  13. Crusty


    Jul 16, 2016
    I have the V-4B and SVT 212AV. A magical combination and quite the weight saving compared to your potential alternative.

    Only you can truly say if it's "loud enough" but it sure meets my needs.

    The tone of the V-4B is awesome (used to run through an ampeg 410HE and then 2 x115 rumble cabs) but becomes next level in combination with the 212AV.
    Burwabit, High Camp, tmw and 2 others like this.
  14. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    Uhhhhhh I get by I guess? I wanted to get a head that would last me a while and I could use for most, if not all the gigs I'd have in my future. Also, I have a Honda Civic so not only is an 810 impossible for my stair situation, but also is impossible with my car situation haha. I think if I did the V4B and 212-av it would be okay and bearable. I don't necessarily know how much heavier the 410-hlf feels in comparison to the 212 (I know it's like 10 pounds heavier) but I was thinking I could use the wheels and handle and roll it up each stair if somehow I needed to.
  15. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Maintenance costs are lower for the reissue V4B. They are easy to work on relative to the CL. It is mostly on one main board. It takes more time to open up and dig into an SVT-CL. The V4B has four 6L6GC power tubes, the SVT uses six 6550's. More expensive.

    Biasing is easier to do on the CL, it is done on the back panel. The V4B needs to be opened up to get at the bias pot. Not a big deal though.

    If you can, do yourself a favor. Go to a retailer, lift an SVT-CL, do the same with a V4BR. Do the same with a 410HLF. Try to imagine moving that cabinet up and down three flights of stairs, especially late at night after a gig. Not to mention an SVT. Your going to do yourself an injury. Being young isn't going to let you off the hook.

    The 212 is way more resonable. An AC-30 is heavy but the cabinet is manageable. Dimensions factor in as well as weight when lifting.
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
    rodl2005, shadven, Bass 45 and 2 others like this.
  16. Robi Brown

    Robi Brown

    Jun 22, 2016
    Thanks so much for the response! From all the love I see about the V4B and 212-av pair together, I think it's appearing to be the best option so far. The maintenance question is one that I really needed some clarification on and I appreciate the answer!
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  17. Maybe you could make some sort of sledge from 2x4's and pull the components up the stairs?. Just make sure you don't let go at any point :nailbiting:.
  18. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I should add, biasing a CL is done with the assistance of panel LED's. It is pretty easy to do. The V4B requires a volt meter, measuring the voltage across resistors inside the chassis, and adjusting a pot. Ampeg has posted the procedure here. If you are not comfortable doing this, it is best to have a tech do it.

    On the plus side, you don't have to rebias that often. Bias should be set when the power tubes are changed. In a perfect world, it should be checked at least once a year.
    Bass 45 likes this.
  19. jdubbass38


    Mar 20, 2009
    I used primarily an ampeg 610hlf for a couple years, more recently I upgraded to an 810 cab which sounds just flat out amazing! I've used the v4b with many cabinets and it sounds good with anything you pair it with. I have not played a ampeg 212 but I recommend that over the 410hlf due to your logistical issues, have owned one before I can not imagine lugging it up and down stairs. You should check out out the v4b thread...lots of info if your interested in getting the v4b and if I recall lots of guys running the 212av cab with it.
  20. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    What beans said. Also, maintenance costs shouldn't be much of an issue if the amp has been recently serviced or is new. Unless you're gigging very heavily or running the tubes hard, you probably won't need to retube more than every few years.
    Regarding the 410HLF, another reason I would avoid that one (beside the weight) is that it puts out a lot of low end. That's going to eat up the V-4B's output pretty quickly. I haven't tried the 212-AV yet, but from what I've read it's more present in the midrange--I bet that cab would sound louder.
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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