1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Anyone using an Ampeg SVT IV Pro???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sgtthump, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. I bought an Ampeg B2R a few weeks ago and used it at band rehearsal last Saturday for the first time. I was worried to death about the 350-watts the B2R puts out when running at 4ohms not being enough power.

    I ran the B2R through an old GK 4x10" cab (8ohm) and a new GK Backline 1x15" cab (8ohm) for a total load of 4ohm. My tone was KILLER, but the clip LED's were flashing like crazy. lol... We were in this concrete basement, so I was getting washed out without cranking it good. That kinda bothered me...

    So today, I go back to a store where I saw a used Ampeg SVT IV Pro a few weeks ago for $585. I figured there was NO WAY that amp would still be there for that price, because I consider that a killer deal for a powerful Ampeg Pro Series head. Well, they still had it.

    It was in the shop on consignment and I offered $550. They called the previous owner and he accepted. So yeah, I got this for $550! It's in KILLER shape! It's the previous style with the light blue writing on the front and the different plastic knobs, but I assume it's the same as the newer looking SVT 4 Pro. They sell for $1,299 at Musicians Friend. :)

    I think I did good!!!! Anyone else using one? I'm going to compare it with my B2R and sell the weaker of the two... This SVT IV Pro runs at 1600 watts mono-bridged at 4ohms, so I'm no longer worried about power. LOL!!!! I'm running it this way for now too, but I know it will run in "biamp" mode, where I can send the lows to the 1x15" cab and the full range signal to the 4x10" cab.

    I'm posting alot of info to really just ask a few simple questions... Who all is using the Ampeg SVT IV Pro? Anything special I should know? Is anyone using it in "biamp" mode?

    Just looking for any additional info (I just want to start a conversation about this amp!!!)...

  2. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    First.... Biamping is Awesome.

    Second..... Used gear is sweet.

    Third..... the B2R is a weak little pansy. I had it in the same situation (basement). I got obliterated.

    I think you did good, IMO. The only thing you might wanna pay mind to is the preamp tubes, because that head is probably a little old. If it sounds a bit fishy, you just might need to replace the worn out tubes.
  3. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004

    I've been using an SVT IV Pro now for about two or so years. I have two Ampeg BXT series cabinets (both 4 ohms) - the 115 and the 410. And yes, I biamp mine.

    This set up works well for me. I also have an Alembic SF-2 Superfilter in my rig. It makes the Ampeg (and every bass I own) positively sing. However, the Ampeg by itself is awesome.

    I run the lows through the 15, and run the 10's full range. I find I can get just about any tone I need from it. Some have suggested I go to a preamp/power amp set up, but I like the idea of one stop shopping with a self contained unit. And the Ampeg delivers.

    Only downside is that it can be noisy with significant hiss (fixed with the tweeter attenuators on the back of my cabinets), but other than that, it's awesome, and it's never failed me in a live situation. And it is heavy.

    Hope you like it as much as I like mine. And you got a great deal!

  4. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Fourth.... Ampeg's BXT's are awesome... as explained above.

    (Sorry... couldnt help it :D )
  5. Thanks for the advice! I looked at the preamp tubes, but didn't remove them yet or anything. I'll probably replace those myself anyway, as I bet they're the original tubes. I don't know what year this is, but it could be up to 10 years old I'd say... Just a guess, though.

    I actually thought the B2R sounded good, but it didn't like me cranking it way up. Those damn peak and limiter lights were flashing like crazy, which kinda scared me.

    There's a pretty good chance I'll keep the SVT IV Pro and sell the B2R soon.

  6. Thanks man!!! I'm gonna try the biamping tomorrow to see how that sounds. I assume it still has tons of power when biamped the way you have it, right? Although, according to the back of the manual, it looks like it would only be 2 X 350 Watts @ 8Ohms (300 Watts Continious). Does that sound right? Each side would be running at 8ohms, correct? Each of my cabs are 8ohms.
  7. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004

    I've got 490 watts per side (at 4 ohms) of chest rattling power at my disposal. If you biamp it, you will have more than enough power to run any wimpy guitar player and his pitiful Marshall off the stage!

    And I don't have to turn it up, either. ;) It's good to be the king!
  8. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004

    You'll have less power at 8 ohms, but as long as your cabinets can handle it, it will be more than enough.
  9. Thanks guys! I absolutely appreciate the feedback and hints on this amp.

  10. Anyone else?
  11. Yoinks... I just read the HC reviews and a bunch of posts on the Ampeg message board (that is the most retarded message board I've ever seen) about the Ampeg SVT IV Pro super high failure rate.

    Apparently, ALOT of folks have blown the power section and were required to get alot of the guts of the amp replaced. Hmmmmm... This might suck. It certainly isn't a good sign.

    Also, I connected it up last night in mono/bridged mode and it's not very loud at all (another complaint I've seen all over the web). However, I just found out that I need to make sure the Speakon end (that plugs into the amp) is wired a certain way in order to hear the amps full potential. Supposedly after the Speakon end is rewired, the amp will turn into a loud monster. I sure hope so, because that's what I was after when I bought it!

  12. I also own one of these heads. It's a new one that I've had for about 6 months. With respect to the "high" failure rate, I don't think you need to worry if your amp is several years old and hasn't failed. It's the "infant mortality" that is usually a concern. You also have to realize that if something does go wrong with an Ampeg, people are likely to post it up, where otherwise they wouldn't make a fuss about the amp either way. I realize that any problem with an amplifier is bad, but these things happen, and with such a popular product you're bound to see some failures.

    Yes, the Speakon connector must be wired correctly *and* the "Bridge Mono" button be depressed for mono bridging to work correctly. The wiring diagram for the Speakon is shown on the back of the amplifier, and I won't guess at it because I did mine once when I bought the unit and never remember correctly what it actually was.

    Remember also that the volume produced by the amplifier is controlled to a significant degree by the sensitivity of your speaker cabinet. In general, if you have a cabinet with low sensitivity, it'll require a lot more power than a more sensitive cabinet to reach the same volume level.
  13. Unless Ampeg was around and making the SVT IV pro in the early 1940's, there's NO way the preamp tubes in it are ANYWHERE near "worn-out." Preamp tubes usually last longer than the amps they're in.
  14. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    *LOL* I had a B3R for about a week. The thing sounded good (for a solid state amp) but it was the weakest 350w I have ever heard.

    I upgraded to an SVT3 which I love :)
  15. Fantastic info and thanks for sharing. I think I have everything setup right, except for the Speakon wiring on the amp side of the cable. I'll fix that tonight. It actually sounds "good" the way it is, but the volume that I expected is NOT there at all. It's no louder than my B2R. HOWEVER, I sure as heck hope wiring that Speakon connector differently really helps the volume issue!!! I'll report back for sure!

  16. I know what you're saying and if a preamp tube is built well, it can last for a very, very long time. But even the Ampeg manual (or was it their website?) says to change them every 2-3 years. I'm going to change them anyway, just for the heck of it. I like experimenting with different preamp tubes in my guitar rig and I'm curious how big of a difference they make in this SVT IV.
  17. If the SVT IV doesn't have a significant increase in volume after I change around the Speakon plug on the cable, I'll probably be selling both the B2R and the SVT IV and getting something different. I just hope like hell it fixes the volume issue. Some people have assured me it will.

  18. As it is right now, you're probably getting something akin to the power from 1 of the 2 power amps. Jerrold Tiers could probably tell you for sure. I don't know what happens when you bridge the amplifier but connect it that way.

    Good luck with it, and let us all know how you like it.
  19. Yeah, you're probably right. Ya know, you brought up another good point in your first post. This amp has the older cosmetics, so I'm guessing it's at least a few years old? Maybe even as far back as 1997 or so???

    You would think that if the amp was going to blow up, it would've blown up by now. I don't know, but I doubt the previous owner(s) used it for a bedroom practice amp. LOL...

    Hopefully, it'll be a LOUD mofo after I fix the speaker cable and I won't have any problems with it in the future. I'll keep my fingers crossed!
  20. bass555


    Mar 16, 2005
    I swear by my SVT4Pro; it blew away the Mesa400+, SWR SM500 & SM750 in terms of tone and power (IMHO)...the only the thing can come close to my gtr player's triple rectifier