I had played through my new (to me) VT-300A a bit at home, but I had my first chance to try it at band practice last night. What made it more interesting, is that I am currently borrowing fellow TBer Uncletoad's SVT rig (1970 on the head, I believe, not sure about the year of the 8x10). He is currently taking my WWU for a test spin, which is really kind of funny, when you think about it. "Trading" a little cigar-box sized amp for a rig the size of a Fleetwood Brougham! I started off practice using the SVT. While I had played through an SVT stack on prior occassions, it had been 10+ years, and I'd never played one in a band setting. I must say, that the only word I can think of to describe playing through the SVT at practice last night is "Wow!" I was amazed by the visceral slam from the 8x10! Freakin' huge sounding! No lack of low end at all (even on 5-string), and it hits you like a ton of bricks! Very articulate, and on the whole just a great match for the SVT head. Nicely balanced, plenty dynamic, and just a massive, crushing tone! As for the head, right away I noticed that all the magic is in the gain knob. The EQ options are somewhat helpful (I liked it with bright on, a very slight mid boost, and the rest flat), but you really control the tone by use of the gain knob. Of course, you also control the volume at the same time! The downside was that when I got the sound I liked (gain set around 10 o'clock), the volume was just crushing everyone in our relatively small room. What gain settings do people normally use with these beasts? I can't conceive of being able to use it past noon! Unfortunately, in order to keep my volume down to where I could hear the rest of the band, I was only able to get an "okay" tone. The classic growly/punchy tone kicked in at too high of a volume. Oh, and passive mode really seems to be the way to go with the SVT. Halfway through, I switched to my Eden VT-300A (which I am just beginning to figure out). The SVT initially seemed louder (but both amps use six 6550's, so they should be close). But the Eden has two gain stages, plus an overdrive option, and it just takes a bit more tweaking to get volume out of the Eden. After messing around with it a bit, I'd say that it's capable of getting just as loud, but you feel like you are coaxing the final bits of volume out of it, whereas with the SVT, if you are not running it at gut-churning levels, you feel like you are holding it back. Believe it or not, with EQ set flat, the Eden has bigger low end. In fact, the low end is so massive, that it takes some EQ-ing to get it down to a reasonable level. It's not muddy, just that it overpowers the mids and highs. But, you have a good bit of EQ to work with, and you can dial in a variety of tones. In fact, without even touching the EQ, by tweaking the Gain and Master you get a lot of control over the tone. It has a footswitchable overdrive (which can get really buzz-saw like, or more of a subdued growl - I could probably dial in the SVT sound, but it would take some tweaking), footswitchable compressor (which is either on or off, no threshold control) and even switchable damping factor (low or high). With ported cabs, I really prefer it set high. With the 8x10, though, it just wasn't sounding right until I remembered that I am dealing with a sealed cab. Then I set the damping to low, and the sound really opened up. The EQ on the Eden is also footswitchable. All in all, I was pretty impressed with the Eden. And it weighs under 50 lbs, too! Playing through the SVT was quite an experience. If I can get my buds to help me move it, I think I will take to my gig next weekend and see how it sounds in a bigger room. I still feel like it's mostly a "one trick pony", but that's one pretty damn good trick! If I don't end up lugging the SVT rig, I'll probably try the Eden with a couple of Accgroove cabs. The Eden is certainly the more versatile of the two, but I have yet to be able to completely mimic the sound of the SVT growl through my Eden. But then again, I didn't spend much time tweaking, and I might be able to cop the SVT tone yet. I hope to spend some more time with both heads soon. Later, Tom.