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Help me choose an Ampeg Rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dedoonbass, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    Hey guys, I have been saving for a while now, and can finally afford a full Ampeg rig so I want to do it right. Unfortunately in my area, supplies are limited on these models and I will have to order based off of little to no experience playing the actual products.

    My needs:
    a 4x10 cab paired with a 300+ watt head. Looking to achieve nice warm Ampeg tone that will cut through the mix and not sound muddy. I love the John Paul Jones style tone in tracks like the lemon song:
    and Robert Deleo of STP's tone on tracks like interstate love song:
    I play mostly fingerstyle. I have modeled my playing style greatly after these two guys.
    Looking to spend up to $2000, but no more than that.
    I play alternative rock in the styles of Soundgarden, STP, QOTSA, etc. One guitarist for now, possibly two in the future.

    My Dilemma:
    I was originally interested in pairing an SVT 7 Pro Head with an SVT410 HLF Cab. The thing that concerns me is the head will be running at 4 ohms with this cab, so I would be pumping a full 1000 watts into a cab that is rated at 500 watts RMS and losing the ability for possible expansion later.
    I have heard the SVT 7 Pro is paired well with the PN410 which runs at 8 ohms, but this brings me into the top of my budget and I doubt I will ever need all the wattage the head produces (I've gotten by with a Hartke 300 watt head for years), and I'm not sure if this cab is voiced in the direction I want to go..... so I'm wondering if the extra dough would be better spent on a different SVT head that is better suited to my needs.

    Your opinions, info, and suggestions are much appreciated. I know there are many options out there for me, but I need a bit of guidance here before I pull the trigger. Thanks folks!
  2. Waiting for JimmyM.........maybe the PF500 or PF350 with that cab or Micro VR?
  3. Pf-500 into two pf-115lf's would be my recommendation.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you're going solid state, I'd go 4 or 7 Pro into a 410he, then either get a second 410he down the road or an 810e. But if you don't mind tubes and can swing the dough, SVT-CL or VR into an 810e. The Portaflex stuff is good as well, and the cabs are voiced more like the 410hlf with its big huge lows, so maybe the PF410hlf would work for you since it's 8 ohms.
  5. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    +1 for the SVT-7 and SVT410HE, with the option for a second SVT410HE later.

    Also, I would not stress too much about putting that head on any cabinet of 500 watts rms. Your speakers would tell you if you were hurting them.

    I dont know where you live, but check Craigslist for used equipment. SVT410HE cabs in good condition run $350, and SVT-7 or SVT 4 Pro heads can be had for $800.
  6. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    Thanks for all the replys.
    I have read on here before that the 410HE doesn't do as well as the 410 HLF when used as a stand-alone...any truth to that? I had not considered it since reading that, but if you guys think it'll do what I want maybe I'll check those out. Also, the ability to expand later doesn't really concern me too much, I doubt I will ever need more than a 4x10, but it is nice to have the option. My main concern was pushing the 410HLF too hard and running into problems.
    I had also thought of maybe an SVT 3Pro and 410 HLF...

    I like the PF stuff, but I rarely treat myself like this, so I wanna splurge a little. I am not a big fan of 115's, always found them too boomy, not enough definition and kind of lost the tone. Never tried the PF 115's though.

    I think the SVT-CL may be out of my price range when paired with a cab, have tried one before though and loved it. Also, have read that all tube amps can be a lot of maintenance which scares me.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No truth to that whatsoever. The 410he will actually go louder than the 410hlf because it doesn't reproduce those extreme lows of the 410hlf, which require more power to amplify.

    That's cool. I used to have a 3 Pro. Was not a fan of solid state at the time I got it so I never really appreciated it, but now that I've had a few years using micros under my belt, I'm starting to appreciate the big iron solid state designs more than I used to. Micros are great, but they can't really duplicate that tightness that you get in traditional SS designs, so I totally get why the vast majority of amp companies still make them.

    I have had just as many problems with solid state heads as I have tube heads. All of them will break down on you occasionally. Yeah, tubes have to be replaced now and then, but so many people do full retubes when only one tube goes out and they waste a lot of money doing that. I believe that most of the people who claim maintenance is ridiculous on them do full retubes when one tube goes out.

    As for 15"s, speaker size has absolutely no bearing on tone or responsiveness. If it did, all cabs with speakers a certain size would sound identical.
  8. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    Hmmm, You've got me thinking. From people that have tried them then, what are the main differences between the 410HLF and the 410 HE and which would be best suited to the tone I am looking for?
    Im thinking along the line of 3 Pro and SVT-410HLF or 7-Pro and 410-HE.
    Would love an all tube SVT, gonna have to look into that one...
  9. Dan55


    Apr 26, 2006
    I have an SVT410HE that works very well as a stand-alone cab. Usually I use it with a PF-500 or a Mesa Walkabout head. A 7-Pro and an HE would kill. The HLF has a more pronounced bottom, being a ported cab. The HE is a sealed cab, but has plenty of bottom IME. Just different flavors of Ampeg goodness.

  10. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    Also, any info on the PN series 410?
  11. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    thanks Dan 55, I've gotta find somewhere to try these out I think. Might have to do a bit of traveling.
    Do the extra tubes in the 3 pro make much difference in terms of warmth etc?
    I have tried a 7 Pro and thought the tone was sex, just wondering what my options are.
  12. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I bought a new leftover American made SVT 6 Pro for $650 a couple of years ago. You can usually find them on ebay for around the same price. Tube pre-amp, tube driver with an 1,100 watt solid state power amp. I drive 2 SVT 410HE cabs and have been very happy with this setup.

    I also have an early 70s SVT head and cab but do not take them out very often.
  13. bassguy72


    Sep 7, 2011
    I have a pn410 and a 7 pro as well.....paired together they are awesome....$2000 very well spent.....
  14. dedoonbass


    Nov 17, 2012
    Does the PN still deliver the warmth, etc. that I'm looking for or are they more modern sounding? Like I said, I'm not a slapper. Mostly fingerstyle
  15. The 410HLF is designed to produce massive low end. The 410HE is somewhat like half of an 810E, but with an adjustable tweeter. It's a bit more prominent in the mids, and lacks the sub-lows, so will sound more vintage-y.
  16. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    Dude, for 2 grand you could definitely do a used SVT CL and 810e cab, which would just kill for the type of music you listed in the original post. Used CL about a grand give or take, and that's in great condition. 810e $500 to $650. You'd have money left over! The 4Pro is a great head too. My first big rig was the 4Pro with the SVT 610 and it sounded awesome too. Haven't had any experience with the 410he though.

    As others have mentioned, don't worry about matching cab ratings with amp ratings. All the amp heads I have ever played have a volume pot. Listen to your cab, it will let you know if you are pushing to hard.

    $2000 is a lot of money, and gives you quite a few options. Someone had a like new Fender 300 all tube with the Fender 810 Pro for like $1600 just a few weeks ago. Go used and keep checking the classifieds, craiglist, etc. If your patient you can score a great rig that you'll never have to upgrade. Accept in the case you come down with severe g.a.s. :eek:
  17. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I've seen several nice Ampeg 8x10s on my local Craigslist for around $500-$700. That said, if I were buying new, I'd get the HLF4x10 because i love the super low end. I also recently played through a 6x10 and it was frickin amazing.
  18. If you wanna stay with a 410, go with the 410HLF and an SVT-VR. If you wanna get wild, as suggested, browse Craigslist for an 810. They're going for 450-650 in my area.
  19. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    If you don't need mega volume the 410he is an amazing sounding cab IMHO. Svt4pro is great with it. It's heavy but sounds perfect. I played the portaflex stuff and it did not excite me. The svt7 seems to have lots of reliability issues so I would not go there personally. Svp-pro or svp-cl with a great (crest, qsc, etc) power amp is another good option.

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