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Changing from Ampeg SVT-4 Pro to a SVT-VR?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by smur89, May 12, 2011.


  1. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Is this a good idea?

    Ive been reading a few threads on here and elsewhere, but am still undecided. At the minute I have the SVT4 in a rack with a korg rack tuner and a power conditioner. Would be nice to get rid of the rack and just have a nice head... would encourage me to buy a much needed tuner pedal also.

    Id be keeping my current cab, 410HLF - ive read that the SVT-VR can be a bit muddy through a ported cab, but rolling the bass off will help, so am not too worried about that.

    My main concern really is volume. I usually play at rehearsals with the master volume up to about 1/2 o'clock and the gain at about the same for the Jazz and gain at 10/11 o'clock if using the Rickenbacker.
    I think theres an issue with the SVT4 as its not nearly as loud as i reckon it should be mono bridged! but ive read this is a common propblem with the amp..

    Any advice or opinions welcome!
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    first off you don't have the gain cranked nearly enough. the input light will be solidly lit before you'll get any audible clipping. it's not a clipping indicator by any means. that's where your power is going. i've used 3 and 4 pros before and my gain always ends up around 3:00 just because that's how ampeg tube and hybrid amps work.

    second, i like the tube svt's better than the ss and hybrid models. they're excellent amps, but tubes is my thing. obviously you won't be able to get as loud as you can with a 4 pro mono bridged, but it's such a great sound that who cares?
     
  3. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thanks for that Jimmy.

    I usually have the gain set just so that it lights up when i play hard. Will try turning up the gain a bit.

    I actually have a picture of my typical settings:

    Jazz:
    IMG_0191.
    IMG_0190.
    IMG_0189.
    IMG_0188.
    IMG_0187.

    Ricky:

    IMG_0174.
    IMG_0173.
    IMG_0171.
    IMG_0170.

    Anyway, Ill take you as a +1 for switching to the VR ;)

    edit: to clarify, The band i play with is an indie pop band, so we're not really that loud - 2 guitars - Fender twin, Fender Deluxe. and Synths through a little roland cubey looking thing. and drums.
    by worried about Volume, i just want to be loud enough to be heard over them!
     
  4. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I give the 4Pro a knock here or there, but really it's the only hybrid Ampeg I'd buy/use b/c of the flexibility the G-EQ offers.

    Are you sure you have the Mono set up right? There's lots of threads about this and even though you have the "Bridged-Mono" switch engaged on the back, IIRC you have to have a +1/+2 cable with it to work, or something specific to that amp. Otherwise you aren't getting the full juice. And while I think 1600W is a bit optimistic, that amp is farkin' loud when setup right. JimmyM's advice on the Gain staging for that amp in particular is the key. Just b/c the LED lights up, doesn't mean it's bad- it's designed that way (which yes, is weird and contrary to most all other amps but the manual spells that out). I didn't know that for years and self-pwnt when I figured it out. :oops:

    My thing would be how do you get your sound to the FOH. I dunno if the VR has an XLR/DI-out but IME I don't really like the sound of those vs. most high quality SS/hybrid amps. If you were miking every time that would be totally different.
     
  5. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Hey,
    Yeah I deffinitley have the mono set up right, I made the cable myself when I got the amp!

    The VR also has an XLR/DI out on the back, and would usually use a mix of a mic'd cab and DI for FOH sound.

    While i play with that indie pop band, I also play with a covers band, and do not mic the amp or DI it, the sound is straight from the cab.

    The annoying thing about this is, I know the simple answer is - go try one out - but, easier said than done. Theres only one place that stock ampeg over here that i know of, and their selection is really very limited :(
     
  6. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Good deal. Have you thought about trying the 4Pro with a different cab? Maybe a sealed one or another brand? I personally am not a fan of any of the ported Ampeg cabs, regardless of what amp it's with.
    When I was trying out some 4Pros a few months ago I tried the HLF and the Pro HLF and both were very muddy compared to the standard 410HE or "Classic" that was next to it.
     
  7. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Has crossed my mind to swap the 410HLF for a 1x15HE and a 410HE, but Only for the sake of having something new really. Im pretty happy with the sound that I get from the cab with the 4 Pro.
    I have a friend who sometimes borrows my cab, and he really likes it too. He runs it with some kind of Warwick head. I guess its personal preference. I see youre running a Mesa rig, so you probably like a nice crisp sound right?

    I may end up buying the SVT-VR and seeing how I feel about it. There's some cheap B stock going at the minute, so Ill get one of those. If i dont like it, I should be able to sell it without making too much of a loss.. If i do like it, I should be able to sell the 4 Pro to cover the cost of the SVT-VR
     
  8. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Cool, just a thought! I played both a SVT-3 and 3Pro for a while before finally setting on Mesa gear and again have tried both those cabs with Ampeg and other brand heads and never liked the tone but if they work, that's cool too.

    G'luck!
     
  9. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thats for the advice man!

    Starting to think this is just a case of GAS, and i wont be happy until I have it anyway! ha
     
  10. ubersku

    ubersku

    Sep 15, 2010
    Keizer, OR
    I now run a VR w/ a 410HLF while indoors and a 610HLF outdoors. The VR is great with 410, better with the 610. Plenty of what most are looking for out of each component. Never have had a hybrid so I can't make that comparison, bur I can tell you how my rig sounds.

    I also play a Jazz embelished with an Audere JZ3, so that adds some power behind the signal. With all my pots at 12:00, with variations here and there to adjust for venue acoustics, it cranks!

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  11. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thanks for the reply, for your indoor shows, what is a typical volume setting for you? obviously itll be different to what I can expect from a passive signal.
     
  12. beebassdude

    beebassdude Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sterling, VA
    i made this exact switch a few years ago and it was the best idea ever. the VR is muuuuch louder than the 4 pro regardless of how you run it. obviously they sound different in terms of tube warmth vs SS sound, but for volume you will not be disappointed.
     
  13. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Great! thats what I was hoping to hear!
     
  14. beebassdude

    beebassdude Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sterling, VA
    dude, the VR at volume 12pm is extremely loud, that 4pro started clipping way too early for my tastes, and IMO SS clipping sounds pretty crappy. tube clipping is much nicer sounding, plus the VR will stay clean at high volumes to boot.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    btw, the 410hlf (missed that you were using one) only takes about 500w, so unless you're going for huge headroom, no reason to run mono bridged. if i were you, i'd probably keep the cab since you like it. there is no other cab out there like it.
     
  16. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    I originally started mono bridging because of the lack of volume from either power amp A and B. It made a slight difference, but not much. Im careful not to pump too much into the cab though.

    Although thats not shown in the master volume on the Rickenbacker settings above, that was before I had the rick pickups rewound. Its never up that high usually.
     
  17. ubersku

    ubersku

    Sep 15, 2010
    Keizer, OR
    As I mentioned, all pots at 12:00, with locale adjustments. The JZ3 is a preamp, but (and I be misinterpreting it here) it handles the signal different depending on the mode compared to other pres. Here is Audere's tech page. But all in all, bottom line, I love the tone.

    I got the VR a few months back cuz JimmyM was gonna call his cousin Guido if I didn't... Glad he forced me into it!
    heh, heh
     
  18. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    Ah, sorry, i misunderstood, I thought you meant pots on the bass itself at 12!

    I think Im going to order this thing tomorrow or over the weekend/monday. Am starting exams tomorrow morning until next thursday, so I dont really want it to appear before the end of my exams!
     
  19. Alex1984

    Alex1984

    Jan 16, 2010
    Vancouver
    VR all the way, although I doubt the 4-Pro'd be enough to cover your cost for the VR.
     
  20. smur89

    smur89

    Jul 29, 2009
    Dublin, Ireland
    One sold on an irish version (sort of) of craigslist for 1000e, and Id be selling the conditioner and tuner and rack case too, either together or seperate.. the VR is going for 1200! :D
     

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