Ampeg V4B vs SVT3pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GreggBummer, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. I recently purchased an Ampeg SVT410HLF enclosure, which is 450 watts at 4 ohms. I am searching for an Ampeg head to match with it. I’m curious about your experiences.

    I play in several bands. The average venue is a small to medium sized bar or club. I play music that runs from The Stones, Grateful Dead all the way to Black Sabbath. The bands run in size from loud four piece rampaging metal to 7-10 member band with keys, loud guitars and horn. I play active and passive four string basses. I need both a clean and dirty tone. I have PA support on about half my gigs. I have another amp for smaller/quieter gigs, so that is covered.

    The first option is the Ampeg V4B. At 100 watts through the 410HLF, will I have enough volume? I’m concerned about gigs where there is no PA to do the heavy lifting. Is the amp one dimensional? It seems to do the dirty OD rock and roll bass thing very well.

    The second option is the SVT3pro. At 450 watts, I am still somewhat concerned about horsepower, but not as much. I understand that the 3pro does clean and overdriven tones well. With a solid state power amp, it seems like it would be easier to maintain.

    I guess another option might be the SVT7PRO. I understand that it has only one tube in the preamp and does not overdrive as well as the above amps. However, it has a 1000w solid state power amp (I think?). I guess I could get the overdrive from a pedal, but is 1000w “too much” for the cab? I have Hartke LH1000 with a similar layout and it has served me well... but I don’t think the 7pro is much different than the Hartke.

    So, your thoughts? Yes, cost is always a factor... but I will wait until I have saved the money to get what I want.

    An SVT-CL or other traditional SVT all tube head was ruled out due to cost and the extreme weight. I feel like I would need an 810 to full utilize those heads. I dont need that much amp. If I needed one for a one off gig, I’d just rent it.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    100 watts not enough. 1000 watts is too much for that cab. Get the 3pro. Used market is 350-500 dollars for one in good condition.
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    forget about watts. You're going to be at way less of a disadvantage with a second hlf on top of the other to get some air moving above your knees whether you go V4B or xPro or pf800.
  4. Loud bands with a 100 watt head is gonna really be stretching it. Better off with the 3 Pro for this. I get by in a pretty loud band with a PF 500 and a 2 12 , but it's a really good 2 12.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  5. ArteK

    ArteK Supporting Member

    I owned an SVT3-Pro for a couple weeks (playing it through a Hartke 4x10 cab). I returned it because it didn’t have enough power.

    I’ve had a couple of 70’s V4B heads and those always had plenty of power. Believe it or not, the 100w tube head blew away the solid state SVT3-Pro head.

    I don’t know if the reissue V4B heads have the same power as the old 70’s ones.
  6. KaseOfBass

    KaseOfBass Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    IME, 100 watts is plenty and the V-4B is a great sounding amp; I gigged one for quite awhile. It just depends on your situation though. I used the V-4B in some pretty loud situations with two SVT210AV cabs and never ran out of room. With that, you'll read plenty on here saying they can't get by with only 100 watts. I could, but I don't play with musicians who insist or depend upon ear shattering stage volume.

    Also, the SVT 7 Pro will work just fine, but you'll have to let your ears determine what's too much and use some common sense regarding how much you push the 410HLF. I currently gig the SVT 7 Pro and previously had it mated to a Bergantino CN212 rated at 700 watts. Don't mind matching up watts, just be smart about it and you'll be just fine. I currently have mine mated to a Ampeg PN-210HLF cab as I use IEMs and don't rely on the cab to hear on stage (but, the 7 Pro and PN-210HLF will get stupid loud IME).

    I don't have any notable or memorable experience with the SVT 3 Pro. I'm pretty sure I've played through one - a backline or someone had one here or there - but I don't recall specifically.

    The 410HLF is not one of my favorite cabs, it simply goes too low with more bass than I like to have. I've never experienced the V-4B or SVT 7 Pro through the 410HLF.

    As an alternative, the PF500 and PF800 heads sound really close to the SVT 7 Pro to me, though the 7 Pro has a slight more thickness to the notes than the PF500 that I have. The V-4B sounds similar to those as well, though it has the smoothness and heft to the notes, with a nice grit if you want it, that you'd expect from an all tube amp. If you look into the PF500, I'd go new as those have had some problems. The one I have was bought used and it suffers from the cutting out issue; the PF800 is apparently immune to this issue. Same for the 7 Pro - I'd buy new as early models suffered problems with the amp shutting down.

    EDIT: I'm referencing the V-4B Reissue. I have no experience with the originals or the V-4BH.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  7. Watts don’t dictate or insure you play loud. Watts do offer headroom. If the bassist wants clean not overdriven sound then watts can accomplish this. It’s a choice but 1000w can mean you play full fidelity and/or use technique or pedals for breakup. 100w can mean that that amp is giving grind and harmonic content that’s enjoyable and preferred or that it gives that sound all the time to be heard.

    It’s not a right or wrong thing.
    GreggBummer likes this.
  8. I'm going to keep the Hartke LH1000 around for a while. I'll try that with the cab at some point to see how it sounds. Because the LH1000 and the Ampeg SVT 7PRO are similar... I'm looking at the 3Pro. It has (what appears to be) a tube preamp and a tube drive section mated to a solid state poweramp. I should be able to get the best of both worlds with it.

    I have never owned an all tube amp before. The idea of an all tube amp like the V4B appeals to me.

  9. I had read about this prior to getting the cab. I have been playing an Ashdown RM-800 through it for the past week. It sounds pretty darn good to me, a lot of the bottom end I was missing with my previous cabs. It's funny how taste plays into all of this. I'll get back to you in six months and I might be on the same page as you then. Thanks for post it was informative.
    Bardolphus likes this.
  10. Clap Trap

    Clap Trap

    Jan 27, 2015
    V-4B and you’ll never need another amp, ever.
  11. Do you have one? If so, what cab are you using? Do you have issues with a clean tone at rock band volume levels?
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    V4B sounds awesome, but I think the 3 Pro is a safer choice under the circumstances.
  13. I was hoping you’d weigh in, Jimmy.

    3pro is safe, probably “best” choice... but is it the most fun?
    lizardking837 likes this.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Well hey, nothing I love more than tube amps!
  15. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    i think that the LH1000 is the most useful and bulletproof old-school solid-state powerhouse going. Get the V4B and between the two of them you should be set for life... :)
  16. StringslamDan


    Nov 18, 2012
    I'd keep the Hartke. If you definitely want to get a different amp, check out an old GK 400RB. I never bought into the hype until one poped up on Craigslist and now I'm sold and a GK fan for life! I even sold my svt 3 pro because it was just collecting dust after that.. I love tubez but that old GK has a way of sitting in the mix that no other amp has ever done for me! Good luck!
    stockplus likes this.
  17. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    I owned a 70’s V4B for a year or two. It is a great sounding amp, but depending on the cab you pair it with, and the volume of the music you are playing, headroom was definitely not its strong suit. I had it paired with an 90’s era Mesa Boogie 215 cab.
  18. Methaneman

    Methaneman Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chicago suburbs
    I had a Ampeg 350H head paired with the 410HLF. Head wasn't loud enough. Have a 73' V4B going thru 2 avatar 210's. The V4B should be plenty loud. I can't explain it but I think tube heads are louder than solid state. I would also think the tube head will always sound better, but that's my opinion. The reissue only weights 40lbs. I play in a band with a hard hitting drummer, looouud guitar, out of tune rhythm guitar and singer and never have the volume past 4. Tube all the way.
  19. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    I use s Ampeg V4B with an Ampeg 810 and it is crazy loud. Plenty loud enough for any situation.
    Son of Wobble, cheechi and jdubbass38 like this.
  20. FWIW , I don't think the 3pro does OVERDRIVE any better (or worse) than the 7 Pro. I've owned both.
    Outta the 2, I'd say the 7 would work best. Especially with your 410HLF, which sucks up a bitta power, with all its lows.
    I'd find the V4B to struggle to be loud enough..... but that's me and my situations.
    My all tube Fender Super Bassman sounds great thru the 410HLF in my opinion. So.... if I had to recommend an all tube amp, I'd say either the SVT-VR/CL or The Fender Super Bassman.
    If, if, you could take 2 x 410HLF cabs, then, the V4B might do it, but I find it isn't QUITE enough for clean powerful lows, once you get LOUD.
    Loud is subjective tho. So, it depends.
    Wasnex likes this.