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I need an amp head for heavy dirt tone.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dude Machine, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Dude Machine

    Dude Machine

    Jan 24, 2014
    I've been looking at Ampeg SVT Pro stuff, at the suggestion of my drummer, but I'm having a hard time finding info on the pros and cons of micro vs. traditional, all tube vs. hybrid, etc. I've got a 4ohm 8X10 cab and the band I'm in plays sludgy heavy stoney baloney. We do occasional shows at club-sized rooms and bars and such.

    Apologies if this has already been covered a zillion times.

    And thanks for any forthcoming suggestions.
  2. Dude Machine

    Dude Machine

    Jan 24, 2014
    P.S. If I don't get something with at least some tubes in it I'll never hear the end of it from my bandmates.
  3. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    The real SVT grit sound comes from overdriving a tube power section. You can get nice little grits from 12AX7 pre amps (sometimes) and stomps but the classic SVT your drummer is most likely referring to is because of overdriven 6550 power tubes. It can be imitated but if I was playing "sludgy heavy stoney baloney" I'd get an all tube. The bands that so that kind of stuff all use old all tube amps cranked.
  4. Get a V4 and crank it! Instant great gritty tone
  5. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    nice of them to be buying an amp for you! ;)
  6. mc_muench


    Sep 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Crank an old SS Peavey, like a musician/bass 400 or a early mark series. Will maybe set you back a $150, will never die on you, no tube amp maintanice, can handle 2ohms so you can buy a second 810 with all the money you saved not buying an expensive tube amp.

    Screw your bandmates if they are so tube snobbish, they don't know what the are talking about.

    Or go get an awesome tube amp, either way crank it up! Riff out! Either way come one over to the Stoner/DOOM bassists thread, say hello!

  7. Dude Machine

    Dude Machine

    Jan 24, 2014
    You guys are right. I'm buying the damn thing and I don't care about tubes or no tubes or space elevators or any of that. The only thing I'm concerned about is whether or not the sound is right for our musical purposes. I want it to sound warm and crunchy and gut-punchy.

    So far we've got votes for:

    Ampeg V4 (is this a V-4B?)
    old Peavey 400 or Mark series

    I was reading all about the SVT 2/3/4/5/6/7/8Pro on various threads here and people seem really divided. I don't have any experience with any of these. I'm fairly new to the bass. Been playing guitar for a long time though. I should go try some stuff at GC this weekend. But I'll probably buy something used.
  8. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    try an Orange Terrorbass 500 (or 1000, if you dare) - if you like the Orange sound, welcome!
    Or if you really want to piss them off, go with an aguilar Tonehammer 500.
    That thing is tiny, has absolutely no tubes inside (i looked) and it sounds more tubey than most of the hybrid amps in that pricerange. Warm, gritty, good lows and the highs anything but harsh, rather soft, but pronounced.

    I have an old Peavey Mark IV series sitting here that can not compete in overall loudness with the Tonehammer or Markbass LMII i own, even with a 3rd 8 ohms speaker attached to lower the impedance even further.The Peavey 400 is another story, though.
  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Just get an amp that has plenty of power, and stick a good dirt pedal in front of it.
  10. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  11. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    Look into Orange Terror Bass, if you have a good sized cab, the 500 is loud enough for just about any gig given that it runs at 500 at both 4 and 8 ohms. The others you mentioned are good options, as is the suggestion you just go the dirt-pedal route. But if you try the Orange and its your thing (sounds like it has a lot of potential to be) I can guarantee wan't want anything else.
  12. Agreed!
    Are your band mates going to help you lug around a 75 pound tube head or help cover the cost when you have to put out $300 for a new set of tubes?

    I can get a really dirty tone by cranking the gain on my LMIII and using the SVT sim plus the Tube Screamer sim on my Zoom B3.
  13. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Your bandmates are idiots then. I am not trying to be a jerk as until just the other day I was one of those idiots, but I just got my GK 700rb mkii and it can do anything I ask it to with more power than I need.

    No topography equals any particular sound. It how the individual amp is built. You will be happier with a quality SS amp over a compromised hybrid or full tube amp just to say it has some glass in it.
  14. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Find new bandmates.

    I'm getting increasingly bored with derivative and parochial nature of stoner bands.

    Does your band happen to look like this gaggle of pioneering, envelope-pushing creative types? Does your band sound like the first four Black Sabbath albums playing simultaneously but with muddy and indistinct vocals? Does at least one member own a boutique +$200 Rat clone?

  15. LakeEffect


    Feb 21, 2013
    OP asked about amps, don't think he was interested in your preconceived notions of his bandmates/genre...

    OP I agree you really don't "need" tubes to get the tone you're after, but you might have to just buy the right head and plug it in for your bandmates to have them hear it for themselves. Ignore this whole 'new bandmate' talk, your fellow members probably aren't up on all the recent developments in SS/Class-D's, after all, I doubt they hang out on TB and spend a lot of time researching/demoing bass amps. You'll just have to enlighten them.
  16. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    They are probably too busy scouring flea markets for Sir Lord Baltimore LPs... :ninja:
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    What is your budget?
  18. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany

    Pick anything, no one cares for bass anyway.

    In all seriousness, pick an amp with a sound you like and mix and match pedals. There are some seriously awesome stomp boxes out there! Will probably not break the bank as bad, though of course the sky is the limit.
  19. TC.65


    Dec 20, 2008
    Carbondale IL
    Check out the new Ampeg V4B Reissue. It sounds exactly like what you're talking about. once you get past 1 o'clock on the gain it gets down and dirty.
  20. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    SVT 2 Pro. 300W. All tube. 9 band graphic EQ, which includes an overall level boost/cut, too, and can be turned on/off with a footswitch. Ampeg standard Bass/Mid/Treble controls (with 5-way adjustable Mid center freq). Gain/Master Volume setup. Ultra Hi, Ultra Lo, and Bright switches. And, unlike any other Ampeg tube amp, it has a Drive knob.

    Between the Drive knob and the input Gain, you can dial all kinds of dirt and still use the Master volume to make it as loud or quiet as you want. Or, you can turn the Drive all the way down, Master all the way up, and use the Gain knob to control your volume and give you the vintage Ampeg SVT sound.

    I have the footswitch for mine so I can use it to turn the GEQ on/off. I normally set the GEQ flat and bump the Level slider up some. Thus, by playing with the GEQ off, I can use the footswitch to turn it on during a song, giving me more volume when I want it.

    The 2 Pro plus your 810 should handle ANYTHING you ever want to do. And, being 2 ohm capable, you can always add another 810 for when you decide to throw a pasture party for your 20,000 closest friends but you don't want them to be able to carry on a conversation. :D