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Anyone ever A/B'd a vintage SVT to a new Classic?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skel, Feb 25, 2006.


  1. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Has anybody ever *really* A/B'd an old vintage SVT to a modern Classic or AV?

    I'm interested to know whether there really is a noticable difference. You here a lot of "This is the real deal - not like that new crap", or "They just don't make 'em like this anymore". Is this really true?

    I've heard vintage Marshall guitar amps, and I've heard new Plexi reissues, and yes, they do make them like they used to. Maybe not PTP wiring, but they *sound* identical IMHO.

    Comments welcome.

    Skel
     
  2. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    People always pine for the good old days. What I find amusing is when folks offer expert advice on products they only read about and were made before they were even wiggly sperms in their Dad's sacs.
     
  3. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    NY
    It will be interesting to see what vintage SVT fans think about the SVT-VR that is coming out soon.
     
  4. I have. Extensively and the 2-Pro as well.

    I own a '76 SVT. One of my buddies owns a backline rental company that has 3 SVT rigs. 2 CLs and a 2-Pro, 2 new 810s and an early 70s square back 810. I use a Bergantino NV-610.

    The new SVTs don't sound like the old ones. I'm not convinced that there's some old-skool mojo at work in the old ones, though there's probably some. I think the sonic differences are primarily because the CL isn't the same amp as the original. The preamp is completely different, there's a master volume and limiting circuitry in the power amp.

    Into either of the cabs (more on this later) with my Stingray 5 on the same stage the '76 was considerably louder before breakup, had more midrange and top end and a nicer breakup mode than the CLs. It was also a bit tighter sounding in the low end. The CLs sounded good, but a bit dull and mid scooped compared to the original. They certainly broke up at a lower volume. The 2-Pro was noticeably louder than either CL but not quite as ballsy as the original. The 2-Pro was more focused that the CLs . Nicer mids and high end too.

    As for the cabs: The 70s 810 and the Berg sounded almost identical. Tight, punchy, lots of mids, plenty of top end if you dialled it in. They had more low and top end than the newer 810s did. The new 810s sounded a bit flabby and mid-scooped in comparison, but still quite good and unmistakeably Ampeg.

    I wouldn't dream of giving up my old SVT for a CL.

    I am really looking forward to the VR. Hopefully it will really capture the old SVT vibe (it should be pretty close, electrically it is identical to the oldies).:bassist:
     
  5. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I would never call the SVT CL "crap", but it doesn't sound like the vintage. It is a different circuit design. I think (not positive) that the plexi re-issue you speak of is the same circuit design, or very close to the original design.

    I a/b'd my SVT-CLAV with the vintage '74 I currently own before I bought it, both through a '73 square back cab. They are completely different sounding amps & I prefered the vintage.

    I also demo'd the SVT-VR and a/b'd it with the SVT-CL at winter NAMM and the differences were similar to my '74/CL comparison. The SVT-VR is nearly identical to the vintage SVT design.

    But I have not a/b'd an SVT-VR with a vintage.

    As far as the actual differences in sound between the amps, I will +1 Mark Reccord.
     
  6. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Guys - Thank you so much - I totally believe you, and that there *is* a noticable difference. The important thing I learned here, and correct me if I'm wrong, but if you want the closest sound to a vintage SVT without the hassles of trying to fix an old one up (and the cost) - a 2-PRO is much closer than a Classic?

    Skel
     
  7. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I hear that the SVT-II non-pro is pretty similar to the old SVTs. You can find them on the cheap, too, and they aren't nearly as old as the 70s ones.
     
  8. mattvon

    mattvon

    Jan 22, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've owned a Magnavox-era SVT and currently own a SVT-II (non Pro)...though I never a/b'ed the two, they're very similar in tone.

    The EQ on the II is a great addition, IMO, it's a nice "best of both worlds" solution to wanting that SVT tone at about half the price of the original.
     
  9. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    What is the difference between the SVT-II and SVT-II PRO? Just from listening to you guys, I'm going to go with the non-Pro, but I'd like to know what the difference is.

    Thanks - Skel
     
  10. mattvon

    mattvon

    Jan 22, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Well, off the top of my head (and I've never owned a II Pro) the main difference is the preamp circuit in the Pro is quite different from the II. I've been told the II sounds much more like the original SVT than does the Pro.

    The Pro has a 9-band EQ as opposed to a 6-band on the non-Pro. The Pro also has a master volume.

    I_got_a_mohawk has a/b'ed the II and the Pro, I believe. Maybe he'll chime in with more specific info.
     
  11. The pro has a tuner out, speakons (or with the older ones banana's), it also has an effects loop (the non-pro does have a pre out power in tho), the pro has an active/passive pad and a bright/normal button, the non-pro has seperate normal and bright inputs (the bright input is padded i believe), the pro also has a peak light and user-bias lights, and a tube tube protection circuit

    The pro version has "Gain", "Drive" and "Master Volume" controls, the non-pro only has "Volume"

    However, compairing the sounds, the non-pro version is just alot sweeter sounding, much fuller in the mids and a nicer high and low end, it also growls just the way you (well, i) want, the Pro sounds a bit too harsh and the sound is thinner in comparison to the non-pro, ive never had a chance to compare it to a vintage SVT but they are apparently the closest sounding (with the exceptions of the skunkworks, and maybe VR when its out?)

    I really wish i could remember what effect the drive knob had on the grit, but i cant remember for the life of me, the gain control on the pro gives you an OK overdriven sound, if you like the sound of the preamp tubes overdriving, but, if you ask me, crank it up and get those power tubes going, thats where its at ;)

    Hope this helps

    - Will
     
  12. Both the II and 2-pro have XLR outputs also, the 2-pro's output has a level control one it, the non-pro doesnt
     
  13. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Wow. Thanks for the excellent info. To me the non-pro is a no brainer then. And with the XLR out, it has everything I care about.

    Skel
     
  14. Pretty much the way i looked at it, better sound, fewer things to break ;)
     
  15. I owned/played a CL and a 2PRO at the same time for about 4 years. Used them everyday through various Ampeg cabs, mainly the 810 and 115.

    Not counting the EQ element of the 2PRO I felt like it and the CL were very similar. THe EQ in the 2PRO allowed for a lot more serious boosting/cutting. For someone keen on extreme tone sculpting it has that. But because I'm not that type I found it superfluous. So typically I reached for the CL cuz it was just simpler, more basic. I like basic. A one knob (volume) amp would be perfect for me :eyebrow: .

    But the day I plugged the ol' P into a 1970 SVT I sh*t my pants man!

    There was nothing I could do to the CL or the 2PRO to get that fuzzy midrangey grind. There is no knob, button, switch, EQ on a CL or 2PRO that will give it to you. Believe me when I tell you I tried.

    It must be as simple as the circuit. The secret is in the circuit.

    And when you realize that the circuits are really quite a bit different you begin to wonder why anyone would think they should sound similar. But then you realize Ampeg planted the idea in all that advertising....:( :scowl: :meh:
     
  16. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hmmm. Well, I guess the SVT-II non-pro is the closest thing. Why don't they just make the damn circuit the same - if it's more expensive, don't they realize people will pay?

    Skel
     
  17. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Oh, I guess the V/R *is* the same circuit - or close.

    Skel
     
  18. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Skel, thats what the new SVT-VR is & it will be on the store shelves soon.

    Companies update & improve their products to meet market trends & demands, when new technology is available & for many other reasons. To some people the new design isnt as good as the old & some people like the changes, no matter what the product. I always wondered why Coca-cola changed their original recipe and any of you remember the Ford Mustang II ? :eek: But I definately like the improvements & updates they made on my van over the old style POS I used to drive. If Ampeg didnt change the SVT design, who knows, maybe the gripe would have been "how come they dont update this amp" :)
     
  19. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Gotta wonder why they call it the Classic when it's not.

    Ah, marketing.
     
  20. I know where you're coming from but it makes more sense to wonder why did they change it? It's not like SLM didn't immediately slap "SVT" on about five different models.

    Won't be too long before we're all talking about the SVT15PRO debuting at NAMM 2010.