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Confused: The Ampeg SVT sound and the low-mids thing

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by King Louie, May 1, 2018.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Hey man, I've got the BA108 v1...can't beat it for the money...enjoy!
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  2. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Not all mids are created equal. I cut at 250 to 500 hz and boost at 800 to 1000 hz when I have two mid bands.
    Iristone, quickfix and johnpbass like this.
  3. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I had one of the early 2000's 810 cabs made of wood scraps and glue that ruined my experience. It was a very dark sounding cab I just couldn't live with for too long. I traded it for a SVT 410 HLF that I eventually decided was worse, so I'm kind of a poor source of info. I ended up with a BA210 V2 that will get the classic Ampeg tone, although it can't do much without an extension cab.

    A couple times at outdoor gigs with the 810 and a Fender Studio Bass amp cranked, I did get a glimpse of the potential.....
  4. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi King Louie :)

    It has both sounds everybody is after!!!!

    "Loud" and "Louder"!!!!

    12BitSlab and lowplaces like this.
  5. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Here, fix that problem, 810's are fun: FS: 1980's Ampeg SVT 8x10
  6. Mark Reccord

    Mark Reccord Supporting Member

    I'll get right on that. :D

    The electrical tests are relatively easy but cabinet response is a tricky beast to manage, especially in the low end unless you have access to a large anechoic chamber. I have screen caps of the ultra-hi circuit but I'm not 100% sure it's working right on my amp. I haven't tested or fixed it because I don't use it and I have a million other things going on and just haven't gotten around to it.
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Maybe you’d want an SVT adapted Whizzer for making the sweep measurements. :laugh:

    johnpbass, Mark Reccord and JimmyM like this.
  8. King Louie

    King Louie

    Jul 17, 2016
    Hey everybody, OP here. Wow, this has gotten out of hand fast! I guess if I want an answer on TB, in the future I'll just include "Ampeg SVT" in the title :laugh:

    Special thanks to @JimmyM and @Mark Reccord for very knowledgeable expert answers that I did not even expect in that quality. My takeaway is that the SVT itself is pretty flat unless you put the "Ultra Low" switch into "+" position. And that seems to be the sound that the models I (and lots of other people) know is based on. A mid boost may still come from the 8x10 speakers.

    And yes, massive volume (especially for the time) and a variable EQ might have helped a bit...

    To everybody who says "just try it out", I understand what you mean, but I am not in the market for a new amp. I am a father of a one-year-old and want to put the time I have besides that into practice, making the best out of the gear that I already have (GK MB500 with a 1x15, which should be decent enough for a hobbyist). So I learned something from this thread: That my plan "try to EQ it more like an Ampeg SVT and see what happens" seems to be flawed.

    Plus, I find it hard to try out gear the right way. Trying in the shop or at home always gave me vastly different results from playing with the band. And band practice should be just that, not testing out gear in all possible EQ settings; you'll just get on everybodies nerves.

    Considering the "Holy Grail" thing: Violinists argue about whether the Stradivarius is really still the best violin, and pop music lovers will have a ton of opinions why Michael Jackson is maybe really not the King of Pop. Fact is, you do not get around these icons, overrated or not. If you play electric guitar, you will have to deal with Hendrix. If you want to sell a luxury car, it will be compared to Mercedes. And if you want to amplify a bass the best way, someone will bring up the SVT within the first 30 seconds. This thread is proof - bassists care about the SVT, whether they like it or not.

    Great thread, great info, thanks everybody! :)
    DrMole, JMacBass65, ihixulu and 4 others like this.
  9. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    Your "quest for the best bass sound" comment led me to believe you were actively looking. Hence the suggestion to "try one".

    Also, I might be a bit biased because I own a GK too, but the EQ on your MB500 is one of the best on the market. You won't get an SVT tone out of it, but you can get a boat load of other awesome tones out of it, all the same.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    alaskaleftybass and Korladis like this.
  10. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    I can relate.
    Korladis likes this.
  11. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Nice recap. Enjoy fatherhood- the best ride of your life!! My favourite is when they first start to walk. Nothing as cute as that flat footed walk they have.
    Bugeyed Earl and JimmyM like this.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    Iristone, Korladis and JimmyM like this.
  13. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    It all boils down to whether you like the SVT sound or not. It can't be argued that an SVT has a lot of character and colors the sound quite a bit. Whether you like that color is simply a matter or personal taste, nothing more. Like I said in a previous post I much prefer something like a Hiwatt DR201. When I plug into a Hiwatt I feel like I can hear the character of my instrument better. When I plug into an SVT I hear an SVT. Which is not a bad sound at all but not always what I want.

    And it's not that I don't like amps with character. I'm actually in the minority that finds the Marshall Superbass to be a great bass amp. If anything it colors the sound MORE than the SVT. Just a better color for me personally than the SVT for most of the stuff I do. At least I like to think so...;)
  14. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Sure it can, go back to mark's post and look at the frequency sweep. It's flat. You might like what your hiwatt does better (I tend to use a hiwatt-ish amp myself), but the hiwatt is decidedly more colored than an SVT.
    Iristone and Korladis like this.
  15. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    And a 72 Pbass in sunburst with a Tort pickguard with flats that are 7.5 years old. :thumbsup:
    lizardking837 and xroads like this.
  16. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    P with flats I'd play thru a B15.
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  17. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    No, for that you need a 61 Pbass with flats no matter how old they are...
  18. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    Of all the Ampeg base amps I still love a B25 through a TL606 cab the best. Of course I would kill for an Ampeg GV-22 guitar amp (should never have sold mine), wonderful sound and would be killer with todays pedals.
  19. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    There's a GV-22 lingering at a junky music store near my house.
    Want me to see if it's still there?
    I love hoarders that own music stores, they only sell enough to get by.

    Owner looked pained when I played his 78 Stingray bc I don't think any of the good stuff is really FS.
    rodl2005 likes this.
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That's why you laways try out gear and comapre it to other gear you are familair with. If you play a Rick, don't try amps out with a P bass, right? When I had no dough I was always trying out amps in stores. That gave me a very good idea of what the differences were between them tonally.

    I've done lots of rehearsing in basements where there was an amp for me to use. They didn't sound like my own amp, but after many rehearsals I sure knew what it sounded like. Ditto with gigs where an amp is supplied...I've used GK, Eden, Hartke, Ampeg, SWR, Traynor, Fender, Peavey, pretty much everything except UK brands which seem to never show up on rental backlines in the USA. That's when I've played SVTs and I sure know what they sound like.

    I'd say if you play rock, you really should try an SVT at some point before you die just to understand what the fuss is about. It doesn't mean you'll like it, but it is a standard sound which is why it shows up in so many backlines. If I was touring and had roadies and was playing rock, I'd use one in a second.
    BillMason likes this.

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