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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. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    I second this. When I'm not using my SVT, I go with my VT Bass Deluxe dialed in to what I consider to be a very SVT-esque tone- NOT based on the user manual but based on decades of SVT use.

    Also, I've never ever heard anyone describe an SVT as 'mid-scooped'. On the contrary, it has a very specific type of midrange 'thickness', especially when hot and overdriven and screaming out of an 8x10.
    Arthur U. Poon and JimmyM like this.
  2. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    You are older.
    Bunch of guys my age got fixated on the SWR/Hartke/Eden late 80's-90's ear piercing tweeters.

    Cabs like the SVT-810PRO were catering to what they thought we wanted.

    Then again what guys my age playing when that gear was new think of is flat is actually drastically scooped. I think you addressed that with the Sansamp reply you posted above.
    JimmyM likes this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's their problem :D
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    @JimmyM, no good slag goes unpunished.
    DrMole and JimmyM like this.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I want to call time out for a moment, and suggest that you're making this WAY too much about a specific type of amp, and not NEARLY enough about trusting your own ears.

    The best bass sound is what YOU define as "the best". It doesn't matter what brand of amp and cab you're playing through. If you are happy with the sound and it works for your band and performance needs, then you have the best bass sound for you.

    I know some people think that only an SVT gives you "the best sound." Well, good for them. I don't have to share their opinion, and neither do you. In fact, I don't share it. I like a variety of amps and cabs, and I seldom have trouble getting a sound I like out of most combinations of amp and cab.

    Also, I say..."mid cut, schmid cut." Meh. It's easy for you to tweak the EQ to get a sound that's good for you and works for your band. That EQ may need to change depending on the acoustics of the room you play in. Trust your ears and what you have learned about sound.

    I love the sound of my Genz-Benz Shuttle and single 12" cab or a combination of 12" and 2x10. But many of the gigs I play are so low volume that using that setup is like killing a fly with an elephant gun. Instead I pick up my Fender Bassman 100 V3 (22 pounds) and even then I have the volume around 2. I'm very happy with the sound, and so is my band. A gig like that is something an SVT isn't cut out for, so other amps are the "best" for that situation.

    My suggestion is to find a combo of amp and cab you like, disregard SVT mania and all other manias, and get what sounds good to you.

    EDIT: That "Bassman" reference should have been Fender Rumble 100 V3. Confusion on my part. As Daniel Boone is thought to have said, "I've never been lost in the woods, but I was once a mite confused for three days."
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 9:58 AM
    JMacBass65, JimmyM and Wasnex like this.
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    @Pilgrim For President!!!!


    Oops, sorry, forgot about the “no politics” rule.... :woot:
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If nominated, I will drink beer. Trust me!
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Even I as an Ampeg endorser and SVT lover would have to agree. As long as it's Ampeg, it's all good :D
    Raw N Low, Arthur U. Poon and G-Z like this.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Serves you right!
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I’m at the 8x10 in Baltimore... I’d be pissed if I showed up and it was a 4x10 or a 115.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 6:13 PM
    JMacBass65 and JimmyM like this.
  11. dralionux


    Feb 3, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Do you mean: Fender Rumble 100 v3 ?
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That is some great name for a nightclub!
    BurningSkies, DrMole and JMacBass65 like this.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Yup. Par'm me, Fender's nomenclature complexity is approaching that of some car makers....
    dralionux likes this.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Famous regional club that’s been doing shows forever. Tonight’s ‘required’ rig is a Hartke 215 transporter dating to something like 1995. The 2500 that came with it is holding my rack quite proficiently.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 7:30 PM
    JMacBass65 and JimmyM like this.
  15. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    There’s legions of people that think an SVT emulator in a pedal is the same as an SVt head & cab at vision blurring volume when they set RAT pedal output.

    It isn’t, just like eating an organic free range all beef hot dog isn’t the same as eating a pan fried ribeye steak.

    People think SVT =


    2Pros and SVT4s have kinda dominated a good 20-25 years of metal so I get where a lot of people are coming from when they say an SVT has no mids.

    It’s the slappy era.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 10:43 PM
    Smooth_bass88 and JimmyM like this.
  16. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I always thought the "SVT Tone" thing was a myth, and I never thought Ampeg did a good job of marketing their amps. On the contrary, my ears have found them to be different from model to model. As much as I love metal, most metal productions suck the life out of the tone to give more weight to the guitars.

    I've always thought the 3 pro was a great grunge and post-grunge alternative amp. I always thought the 6-pro was great hard rock and metal amp. The 4-pro excels at modern jazz, rock, etc. I can find something that each of the amps does great and play to its strength. Maybe the blanket term is something to keep other companies from finding the secret sauce. LOL!

    I've been flirting with GK and Older Peavey amps and pre's. I understand how the perception can be skewed when those two companies offer control over hi and low mids. The tone control of most SVT's is somewhat predetermined based on different styles. However, I think the tube and solid-state power sections of different Ampeg's compensate for this. The sealed and ported cab configs are a who 'nother conversation.

    I chuckle when I read an old post on the Ampeg rack-mounted pre's that don't distort like the "real thing". When you pair them with tube and solid-state power amps by the same brand, it's a different experience. I think Ampeg could have done a better job of explaining this to their consumers.

    Neither here nor there. Ampeg is doing it for me now and I know how to get what I want from their amps.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, but it still drives me up a wall when people say things like that, acting like they're experts on the subject when they never plugged into a real SVT in their lives. The other one I hate is "Tubes are only good if you want distortion." Clearly the work of the internet. Back when all you could get were tube amps, distortion was the furthest thing from the designers' minds. The founder of Ampeg, Everett Hull, was absolutely outraged when he found out rock and roll players were cranking tube amps to get distortion, and even more outraged when he saw a distortion pedal for the first time. And the SVT was invented to give people a high powered tube amp so they could play loud cleanly, and they didn't even consider that people would be cranking them into the red until they did the test run with the Stones before they came out. And if I ever fired up an SVT so loud that I got power tube distortion out of it, I'd get any band I've ever played with in my life instantly fired, even the very loudest.

    So for everyone who didn't bother to read anything but the first and last posts, let's review:

    ---Sansamps are nice, but they are not tube amps, and their suggested settings are only the designers' favorite settings and not representative of the huge variety of sounds you can get out of them.

    ---Tube amps still sound awesome and different from SS amps when you run them clean at low volumes.

    ---Amps have knobs and switches that are meant to be used to get a sound you like, even if it means moving them away from the holy noon setting, and even if it means boosting.

    ---A celebrity bass player's likes and dislikes and internet lore are not substitutes for your own real world experience.

    ---The chance of things changing on the internet from me saying all this is 0%.
  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Except that’s how big it is. :)
    JMacBass65 and JimmyM like this.
  19. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    My first real amps were an SVT, then a Mesa 400 bc tubes were supposed to dry up.

    6550's in particular were short supply, there was no Russian or Chinese ramped up production at the time.

    My tube amps were these throw away affairs bc everyone was transitioning to early SS heads or 6l6 power.

    Bc of the era is was an impressionable kid, I had to buy a used RAT pedal for $20 for grit bc I really wanted an 800RB. Some guys would Y cable to a Marshall head for distortion. I was low budget, and Van Halen made vintage heads really $$$ for modders.

    My tube amps wouldn't fizzy distort, I tried, hence the whole vomit inducing and eye blurring volume experience I keep alluding to when you crank them.

    They were also hard to get scooped in the metal slappy thing that was starting to gain ground post 1988.

    I guess if the scooped fizzy distortion or faux dimed thing at low volume is what pedals are going for, they nailed it.

    Bass played thru a tube amp back then was always clean ish, the question back then was how loud could you get.

    I think Ampeg went toward fizzy with master volume heads and preamps. My old SVP-CL wasn't fizzy at all, probably the only preamp they made that wasn't.

    Tone control with stadium tube heads in general was me changing basses. Active basses were were particularly useful.

    I'd agree that metal and slap post production did things on recordings you didn't see live. The last gig I worked stage security was Mudvayne around 2000/2001 and Ryan Martini's live sound was amazing. You have to play a Thumb thru an Ampeg rig with that type of band to really appreciate it. The things I used to do back then to see shows for free was stupid.

    I played all the Ampeg rack gear when they were new. The 2P and matching SS power amp is what the pedal guys are going for. The SVP-CL I sold recently is the non master volume svt I hold as the gold standard.

    I did loop it thru an Electric Blue head just for the SWRs eq section for more control since I'm playing passive basses nowadays. Back in the day dialing in a stadium tube amp was more a volume + the buttons people don't seem to try out. Those buttons do something, people should try them at stage volume.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 2:13 PM
    Arthur U. Poon and Raw N Low like this.
  20. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I'm lucky to be able to experience a "modular" SVT. Matching my SVT-300 with the SVT IIP and SVP CL is one of my favorite rigs. The SVP-PRO and SVP BSP absolutely kill matched with the SVP 1600. The BSP and 1600 is a sleeper combo.


    Posting these two because I LOVE AMPEG. GAWD I LOVE ME SOME PEG!!!!


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