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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JayAmel, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    Received my SVT-CL and SVT-810E on Wednesday afternoon. My first impression is very negative : I do not recognize "the" SVT tone.

    My old 70's SVT (never should have sold it, shhh) had a deep tone just by plugging the bass into it, and without any correction.

    On my new SVT-CL, severe correction on tone knobs is required to get something decent. In other words, the tone from my SVT-CL is even not better than the one I get with my BDDI plugged into my Digi001 interface !

    I checked with my dealer. His words were : "well, you know, Ampeg is no more what it was". I don't really believe this, as I am sure Ampeg is still a serious and very professional company.

    I'll keep on checking everything during this week-end, but if I can't get a better tone, my dealer is OK for me to apply the 7-day approval and return him the stack.

    Did anyone here experience the same thing as I do ?
    Any suggestions ?

    Thanks in advance,

    All the best,

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I may have to agree with your dealer! Ampeg is not really the same as they used to be. The reissue SVT
    doesn't have the same depth and power as the original 60's-70's SVT's did. I was not really impressed at all with it. I did have a V4BH for a while, and it wasn't giving me anywhere near the sound of my 70's SVT. I do however like the tone of the SVT3 pro. You still won't get the thundering "plug-in" lows of a Vintage head, but they aren't bad. Just a thought.
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    My best chance in this affair is that the stack is not an urgent need to me. I felt faithful to purchase a SVT-CL, and decided, while I had the available cash, to purchase it right now, though I won't really need it before months (end of the year, for a tour).

    This means that, in the case where I would return the SVT-CL, I can take time to find out what to purchase. Guess I'll drive 1.000 miles (to Paris, then return) and try out anything I can. This may seem stupid to make such a travel, but I believe it can be worth it.

    Anyway, tomorrow morning I must go and see my local dealer, cause I need a combo for my home studio. But I won't purchase anything I cannot try.

    All the best,
  4. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    May I suggest a three step process:

    Return the head, keep the cab, get a vintage SVT head.
  5. A lot of people say that the Aguilar sound is like the old SVTs. I can't vouch for that, so what i am saying is hearsay. But if it's true, and you wanted to maintain a somewhat affordable price, consider running your SVT-810E with an Aguilar DB359 if you want all tube, else the DB750.
  6. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Aguilar are very difficult to find here in France. It is probably possible to get one, but I'm almost sure no retailer has any Aguilar head in stock that I could try.

    About getting an old SVT head : definitely not. I want new gear, because I want to avoid, as much as possible, to have to deal with techs and so on.

    This SVT-CL head would probably sound good if it had a more complete EQ (i.e. the Ampeg 9-band EQ). But it has not. And the concept of buying an extra EQ irritates me, regarding to the price I paid for this head. This head curiously sounds "flat", "poor". I already heard combos sounding better, with more relief and growl.

    I'll try all I can during this week-end, but should the tone possibilities show that unsatisfying, the whole rig will get back to the dealer on Monday.

    Thanks for all your opinions and advices,

    All the best,
  7. fleetwood


    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    I thought you were getting an Ashdown ABM.
    If you get a chance, give the Warwick a try.
  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    1/ As I said in this thread, I am also looking for a combo.

    2/ When I started the thread about Ashdown a few weeks ago, I had not purchased the SVT yet.

    3/ Are you working for the CIA ? ;)

    All the best,
  9. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    History lesson:
    There hasn't been a real Ampeg made in over 20 years.
    About 15 years ago, Crate (St. Louis Music) bought the rights to the Ampeg name. The current "Ampegs" are made in the same factory as Crates. That's right, they're Crates in disguise. (Crate's reputation? Let's not go there...)
    The current SVT CL's preamp is very different from a '70's era SVT. They don't make trasformers like they used to either. The speakers sound different too, but I've heard respectable tone from a vintage SVT head and a newer Crate-Peg cab.
    The Aguilar 359 comes close, but you aren't going to find anything new that rocks as hard as a real SVT.
    (The Trace Elliot V8 was close too, but now that TE is history, you should probably forget about anything from Trace Elliot.)

    Disclaimer—These are my humble opinions based on many years of experience. Please don't be offended when I express them.
  10. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Uh... seems some news haven't reached France yet...

    Do you mean TE are discontinued, or do you make reference to the fact that the company is now owned by Gibson ?

    All the best,
  11. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    Trace Elliot ceased production several months ago.
    Gibson says it hopes to have a new TE factory in the
    US soon. I'm sceptical. It sounds like British production will not resume. Bad news for Europe. I'm afraid the new TE's, if they ever appear, might not be as cool as the old ones. (Gib-Elliots, anyone?)
    Look how Gibson defiled Tobias and other once-prestigious brand names. It was only a matter of time before they ruined Trace Elliot.
  12. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I can understand that Gibson drowned Tobias, since they have their own (though very narrow) bass range. It's a way to withdraw a challenger. Same thing for Steinberger and Kramer.

    But why Trace Eliott ? They have no brand challenging it...

    There are things I think I'll never understand...

    All the best,
  13. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    Gibson management: A true oxymoron.
  14. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Bulls**t. TE was a great brand. Killed by bureaucracy. Too bad.
  15. I live in St. Louis and have toured the St. Louis Music factory - while Ampegs may not be what they used to be, they are definitely not just Crates in disguise. Please dont just spew forth opinions disguised at facts, especially if you've never bothered to check out where things are made. And when I was young and poor I used to play a crate rig, and regretted the purchase.

    (edit: ok you did say it was your opinion, not a fact :)

    There sure is a lot of Ampeg bashing on talkbass.com :) My ampeg rig growls the intestines out of people. I'm sorry you're not happy with your new head - I dont have any advice for that really. I use an SVTIII Pro, and while I like it a lot, I agree its nothing like the old all tube heads.

    Personally, I dont like 8x10 cabs at all.

  16. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    Sorry DiN, nice of you to assume I've never visited the factory. What are you, a psychic or something?

    Interesting board you have here. There's sure a lot of controlling/oppressive behavior here. I'm suspicious of those who try to limit another's freedom of expression. This board has a reputation for being "uptight." May I suggest you loosen up a little?

    Anyway, here's the facts about Ampeg/Crate:

    The new Ampegs are built in the same factory, on the same assembly line, as Crates. Most of the components are from the same parts bins.
    Feel free to formulate your own opinion based on those facts.
  17. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    There is an American company called Mesa Boogie which makes an all tube 500 watt head called the 400+. This head in the US runs around $1399 U.S. Since your in France I have no clue if you know about Mesa but they are worth checking out and may give you the vintage tone. I have no experience with Ampeg so I may be wrong. Also, it may be hard to find Mesa boogie in Europe. Again, I am ignorant on the subject. Good Luck.
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Well, the fact that Crate and Ampeg are made in the same factory does not matter to me in the least. I own an SVT4 Pro, and I love the tones and power/headroom that I get with it.

    It doesn't reproduce the old SVT tone exactly, but it does provide a ton of useable tones. It has a very ballsy, full sound, but with a little EQing, can get more of a high-fi, almost SWRish tone (note I said almost!). Works great for every style I have used it for (rock, country, funk).

    I am not intending to start a flame war here, by all means. I am merely posting my opinion.;)
  19. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I started to edit you post, but instead I'll make an example of it since a lot of people probably don't know the ropes of the boards too well anyways.

    Uncalled for statement here....its not even important whether you have visited the factory, he's simply making a statement about what he has personally seen. You say they're "Crates in disguise" which is a pretty harsh statement (and yes, opinion)...he simply came back stating that he doesn't think they're "Crates in disguise" equally as harshly, and adds to the fact that you darn sure better not say that if you HAVEN'T seen the factory. Neither was too harsh to warrant a reprimand, until now.

    And I would suggest you do the same. You're exactly right...this board is fairly "uptight" in comparison with other boards such as Tabcrawler. Why? Because we keep things civil around here. No flame wars on my or any other moderator's watch. Your freedom of expression is only limited when you bash other people and their opinions. He never bashed you except to refute what you said about Ampeg.

    Thanks for the facts. I like facts. We all tend to like facts, and if backed up, agree with them. But you also say "most" of the components. Thats a fairly broad statement. Are you saying that Crate's and Ampeg's use the same plywood and corner edges in construction? Thats possible. It is also definitely possible that every part of each Ampeg and each Crate is the same, minus cosmetic details. You didn't specify that, so it's still up for debate in my book.

    Keep in mind that this is not a personal attack against you. I have nothing against you. I'm simply trying to make sure that you and everyone else know what will be tolerated and what will not.
  20. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
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