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Defending the SVT-CL

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by K-Funk, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    After constant searching of old threads, I've noticed that about 80% of the time, people never have anything too nice to say about the Ampeg SVT-CL. Most immediately invite the argument that "It's nothing like the original!", and they're right. It's a different amp, folks! Which is my source of this discussion.

    Although my stint with a CL was short, I found it to be an excellent amp with great tone and damn fine construction.

    Considering it's a totally different head than the original SVT and SVT-VR, what say you about the tone, construction, and viability of the Classic? No comparisons to the old SVT's and VR's, please!
  2. All I can say was I thought it a Great amp. Tone was a bit "loose' on bottom end-thru an 810E anyway-thats all I've used 'em thru :-( But I still liked it alot!! Also they seem to be pretty reliable.... the one I used gets abused BADLY-(hire co. own it) & it KEEPS going- about 9yrs old now- gets serviced every year (by MY tube tech & he says it's a "reliable old beast")!
  3. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    I'll compare it directly with old SVT's and SVT-VR's, as I've played every kind of SVT tube head at least once. I think it compares very well to the older heads and the VR. The reason people don't get the same warm fuzzy from the Classic is because of separate gain/master controls. Most people use them backwards, by cranking the master all the way up and using the gain as their volume control. You have to crank the gain up on them and use the master as a volume control instead. Otherwise you get a weak little signal to work with if you don't turn up the gain.
  4. I've used them on live shows, and I have a VR. I liked it a lot, period, has some clean signal that's perfect for certain stuff, and some grit when you need it, definitely, a modern take on a classic... That's exactly the reason why many people don't like it that much...
  5. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Banned

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    So if I want an old SVT but I can't find one... what do I get... and will it cost me more than an old SVT? I haven't looked in awhile but I am guessing an old SVT with good tubes would run about $2000 now? you tell me!
  6. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    That's probably one of the biggest reasons I loved it! I always dig a sturdy combination of old and new. Tell that to the many guys running their 70's SVTs with Berg cabs;)
  7. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    I own a Mesa 400+, but I love the SVT Classic too, and I think it's a great head.

    If it could run at 4 and 8, instead of 2 and 4 ohms, I'd probably own one.
  8. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    I love mine. Matched with an 8x10 it's just awesome!
  9. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    All I will add is that I sold off my two 70's SVT's and kept my SVT-CL because I thought it sounded better...much better. :bassist:
  10. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    I use my CL with a pair of Avatar cabs, a 410 and a 212, and I absolutely love the tone I get from the amp. Nothing quite sounds like it. Big, warm, powerful, huge... there are plenty of adjectives to describe the amp. I couldn't be happier with it. Do I wish I could also have a couple other amps simply because I'm a gearwhore? Indeed. But this amp basically ended my search for anything else. It just gets the job done, night in, night out and sounds fantastic doing it. I love my SVT-CL.
  11. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    I got rid of my 1972 SVT and kept my mid-1990's CL. The CL is a great amp! Really, I don't understand why people would try to give the Classic a bad name. It's loud, full-sounding, very warm, solid as a rock (heavy as one, too), and has a great appearance to it. What's not to like?
  12. glink


    Feb 16, 2007
    Here's how I use my CL. I bypass the pre amp section because I find it too noisy and I really just want the sound of that big honkin tube power amp sectiion. Use a modern pre. I go into the back of the amp with a Sansamp set to SVT emulation settings and it sounds awesome. I talked to guys from both Ampeg and Sansamp and they both agreeed that this was a pretty good idea. Try it- You'll like it !
  13. i use an svt-av with an 8-ohm cab, goes alright i reckon
  14. Is the SVT CL for me???

    I play a wide variety of tunes, with the exception of metal and jazz. I like big and loud, but I'm not into distortion. Let it be from a pedal or from overdriving tubes. I need big volume before it "breaks up".

    I like a clear defined sound, BUT not "hi-fi". articulate but not shimmering I guess.

    I always play a 5 string, and always an active bass.

    I currently play a DB750, but I'm always gassin' for new toys. :D

    Thanks for any input.
  15. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I think your DB750 is a better amp for your particular setup. If money weren't an issue and I could buy any amp, I would get a DB750.
  16. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I'd have to agree - if the CL was made by someone else, or was named something else so as not to bring so many comparions to the original, I think it would get a lot more love. I had two and they served me well, better than the VR in fact, which got returned to the store after a couple of days(it's still there BTW if anyone wants a USA one. they sold it to me for $1700 which is a very good price for a new one). Call Rainbow music in Tucson, AZ.

  17. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I've never had problems with any SVT-CL that i've played through at big shows with rented back line. I always smile when its there knowing that i'll have a nice big creamy tone. I think you have to have a 810 cab to make it sound right. I have yet to try any non-USA Ampeg and I'm not so sure that I would rush out to any of them.

    However I always have a wierd look on my face when people hate on the SVT-CL. Nothing wrong with that head. IF you cant get a good tone from one, your doing something wrong.
  18. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    This isn't a safe thing for your head
  19. ....well that's why we have choices, and it's great we're in a country that offers so many of those choices at a reasonable cost. I really don't care about what other people say [about the CL], I am perfectly satisified with my Ampeg purchases. I bought my MIA CL last year and A/b'd it with the MIA VR. The tone was not all that different but, most of all I wanted the tone/volume variations that come with a separate gain control.

    (When I sell it in 30 years or so, I'll get more than my money back. Now, I got my eye on a used MIA SVT II.)

    I happen to dig the Ampeg vibe....it's all good!!!


  20. I love my CL, for MY needs it's the best amp I ever had. I would see how a person whose taste is more into jazz and plays low volume gig would not like that amp tho. There is nothing that can fill a big room without Pa support like the svt Cl and a big cab. The distortion option is there if you dig in too so overall I really like the CL.

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