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Mesa 400+ vs SVT CL

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TrooperFarva, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I was in Guitar Center today. I brought my 400+ in with me, I wanted to try out some basses. My eventual favorite was a Musicman Sterling. Great sounding bass. Anyway, I had the 400+ running into an SWR Goliath III, because thats what I have. It sounded great. But just for the hell of it, I plugged the bass into an SVT CL going into an PR410HLF. It sounded unbelievable. As good as it was through my amp, this was definitely better. The low end was just as powerful, but tighter, and more defined. I tried EQing my amp, but I couldn't get the sound to be as good as through the SVT. I ran my amp into a different PR410HLF, and that was better, but still not quite as good as the Ampeg. The tubes in my amp are only a few months old. Is this typical of these amps? If so, I think i'm gonna sell my Mesa, and get an SVT CL, I loved that sound. Thanks.
  2. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Yet another happy convert to the SVT solution....welcome my son. :D
  3. bump
  4. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Heh, I think your chiropractor is gonna love it if you get an SVT.
  5. Sweet man...unfortunately Ampegs havethat ability...a bit one dimensional perhaps, but if you like the sound you just gotta have one! Enjoy!
  6. I'm not speaking from experience but I have seen a lot of threads here detailing how much better the 400+ sounds after a good re-tube. Apparently the factory tubes are not the best money can buy.

    That being said, I'm one who hears a huge difference in a 400+ and an SVT. By that I mean either amp will have some trouble sounding like the other. And you like what you like. So even if you put the best tubes in the 400+ you may still prefer the SVT.

    Both can sound really good.
  7. I have not tried the SVT but really must sometime.. I have had several 400+ and endorse what King states. Mesa tube are not best sounding. The Mesa is an expensive change out with 12 power tube (in parallel) and 4 pre one being the "master" pre tube. I prefer a clean/vintage sound and the 400+ did that in spades and is not "one dimensional" by any means. When re-tubing a 400+ you must stay within the mV requirements of that amp. If my memeory servers me corretly it's like 20 to 29 mV (milivolts) Get them from a place that knows the Mesa specs like the Tubestore or Lord Valve. I used Svetlana 6L6GC. I bought three quads which equals 12 tubes and got four 26mv, four 27mv, and four 28mv. I was very happy with the out come. The pre tubes I used were the Mesa 12ax7 because the amp was tempermental about the pre tubes. I had tried some Sovtek LPS and kept blowing them. I think it was a bad batch. I would be careful putting NOS tubes in a 400+ until I was sure they would work properly. The 400+ does NOT come with the ability to bias the tubes but it can be altered to accomodate that. I never had it done. My tubes lasted a long time hence .... buy good tubes.
  8. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    If I got a 400+ (which I would love) I would have it modded for bias adjustment. Then you should be able to get any tubes you want and bias them every year or two for best sound and tube life.

    While Ive never tried a 400+ I had an SVT CL and its a great amp. I sold it only because I did not forsee using it much and also I had a fit of gas. :D
  9. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Pretty silly to not include bias pots on an amp that takes a dozen tubes. I mean, how expensive would it be to include? For the money they get, it should be no problem to include a bias setup like the Marantz 8B that even incorporates a meter. No tools needed!
  10. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Think about the profit made by selling full tube sets avery two years or so. Thats why they dont have bias controls on their tube amps.
  11. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    From what I've read recently about their (relabeled) Mesa tubes, you'd have to be daft to buy their tubes anyhow. Good point, though.
  12. Metron ... direct hit... smokin' barrel.
  13. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Maybe Mesa figures if the 400+ had owner biasing controls somebody would screw it up. Ampeg was careless enough to sell me an SVT-AV and they don't even know me. I guess they are just lucky I never had to adjust the bias, otherwise I might have blown it up.