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Closest Class-D Head to an SVT4-Pro??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rice, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Rice

    Rice #bluecollarbassist Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    San Diego, CA
    Hi All!
    I've bought a Mesa 800+, Acoustic Image Coda+, and a Quilter BB800, and while they're all fine heads, I feel I'm still lacking "something", and I think that something is the tube pre-gain stage, followed by the compressor like I had in my old SVT4. So I'm considering pedals, but I'd still love to have the one head to rule them all. I've tried 1/2 rack pres in to comps (Summit Audio, Fredenstein, etc), but they were soooo noisy by the time the signal got to the post amp. I'm thinking the "all inclusive" head like the SVT4, for better or worse, had components that all worked in harmony with each other, hence why I'm curious as to whether there's a class D contemporary that would do the same. Hartke has a tube pre, but it was noisy and lacked balls. The SVT7 was still to big and clunky; no tube. Eich and DNA look formidable, but I have no access to them to try; no tube.
    Does such a comparable class D exist??
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No, it doesn't exist. The closest I've ever come is the 7 Pro, which actually does have a tube in it. But I've yet to play a lightweight amp that has that really tight vibe that trad solid state and hybrid amps have, nor have I ever heard any amp but the 4 Pro sound like the 4 Pro. Maybe the 3 Pro but there's just something cool about that 4 Pro that really lays the hammer down. Like you said, that doesn't mean the little ones aren't good heads...all my solid state heads are lightweight and I like the way they resemble the sound of tube amps turned up just slightly too loud where they start to get just a hint of sag. They just don't do what a 1200w tank of a trad SS amp does.
    saabfender and Rice like this.
  3. saabfender

    saabfender SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    I've felt the same way. Is "damping factor" a factor?
  4. cerrem


    Apr 4, 2006
    San Diego
    I stopped worrying about the whole " lightweight" nonsense not long ago....
    When your onstage and your tone is not the big fat deep punchy monster your dreaming of.....
    And your bass amp does not command the band nor the dance floor as it should....
    Then you start feeling " inadequate wimpy tone syndrome" ....
    That's when you DON'T CARE about lightweight anymore...
    Your saying to your self... God I wish I carried all that heavy gear to the show tonight...
    Darn...I should have brought that extra speaker cabinet as well...
    Unloading the truck at 3am with that easy to carry lightweight amp...
    You say your back feels great...but deep down you feel guilty...
    Goatrope, Rice, chaosMK and 1 other person like this.
  5. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    IMO, you can get close with an Ampeg pre-amp + power amp.
    Not much experience with the PRO but I really like the SVP-CL.

    As far as a standard bass amp, you might try an Ashdown ABM 500.
    Tube front end and big note heft.
    All IMO.
    svtb15 and Rice like this.
  6. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    The GK MB Fusion has a tube preamp section and SS power section like the SVT4, and has a built in limiter. I don't think they sound the same at all, but maybe you'd like it in its own right...
    Rice likes this.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Not familiar with that amp but I play a TC RH 450.
    I like it for it's functions. Built in compressor, tuner and tube emulator
    that is pretty damn good to my ears.
    4 band Eq has more of a vintage style sound vs GK and others.
    9 lbs, 3 memory banks, mute and foot switch that controls them.
    Rice likes this.
  8. Rice

    Rice #bluecollarbassist Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    San Diego, CA
    So true!! Lmao!!
  9. svtb15


    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
    I have an old Non-Pro SVT3... I also had the svt 3 pro version. Two Very different amps.. I sold the svt3 pro and kept the non pro version.
    Its less watts ... 350 @4Ωs but it sounds more like the svt2 non pro ...
    I love the svt 3 non-pro.
    Phat , Punchy heavy at almost 30 pounds. But 30 pounds was considered LIGHTWEIGHT in the
    1990s.. This amp is worth keeping.
    I just did a full Re cap.. There is Nothing lacking..
    Zbysek and Rice like this.
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    What do you guys like about the SVT4? I owned one way back in the day, when they were new. I thought it was fine, a little dark.

    I owned an SVTIIp and found I could dial it in to sound very close to how I set the front end of my Mesa Bass 400 (running it through the 400's power section). There was a certain thickness in the low mids/dash of chocolate darkness in the mids on the SVTIIp that were part of its sound.
    Zbysek and Rice like this.
  11. Rice

    Rice #bluecollarbassist Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2018
    San Diego, CA
    I've never been a tube purest. Like, I was never "Ampeg CL or die!!"... What originally attracted me to the SVT4-Pro 18+ years ago was the shear power, stereo, and all the ins and outs flexibility. I had come from the the Hartke 3500, so I guess that's where my original tones came from when I was growing up. What I realized, was that I like the sizzle/warmth that the tube gain stage provided (not OD), followed by the on-board compressor. (both the Hartke and Ampeg had the one knob compressor. Idk how or why it worked, but it just did...) So now that I'm older and trying to save my back with a class D, I'm having a hard time reproducing the tone/drive and power I got from the SVT4. I'm not a brand loyalist, so if I can piece together stuff to achieve the same results, fine. If I can find the one-stop-shop like the SVT4, even better!!! :)
    Zbysek and svtb15 like this.
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I've been looking for one since you told me about it a couple years ago; they must have only made 10 ha.
    About the SVP-CL or die
    The pre is very nice; it's killer with my Ampeg 1500 watt power amp
    The pre through a little amp will sound little.
    OTOH, deal with the weight and get exactly what you want; this amp emulation stuff just hasn't happened for me for on stage.
    svtb15 likes this.

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