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Mesa Boogie 400+ or Ampeg SVT 4 Pro..tryin for the best tone out of my SVT 4 possible

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by faceless_13, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. faceless_13


    Apr 6, 2005
    OK. I have an Ampeg SVT 4 pro. I love this head. It is ****ing sweet. Very dynamic and versatile. However. I been wondering about the good old Mesa Boogie 400+, or even an Ampeg SVT 2 pro. What amp would give me the best punch and volume with out farting out.......

    Second, I have been messing with my settings trying to get a desired tone out of the SVT 4 pro using my Fender Jazz equiped with EMJ Js. I am looking for a Justin Chancellor (tool) Doug Pinnick (Kings X) Geddy Lee kinda tone. Real punchy with a bit of bite. Can I get that tone out of this head alone or with added rack units.... i.e. ,additional eqs, pre amps, SansAmps etc? I understand I wont be able to duplicate, but anything close would be kewl.

    Thanks guys...

    please email any info rikmiles@sbcglobal.net
    With any help

    Rik MIles
  2. if your looking at a good old mesa boogie why not look at a good old SVT II, the non-pro model :)
  3. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    +23 Tube amps

    I think the tube amps are superior in tone.

    I used to own an SVT-4 and it was a fine peice of equipment. The only real advantages it has over SVT-II (non pro) and Mesa's Bass 400/400+ is that it has less maintenance (no tubes to replace or tweak with), and a little more connectivity on the back.

    I was a huge Chancellor fan when I had the SVT-4 and could never really get his tone how I wanted out of it. Maybe try a Sansamp.

    For punch, I'd probably try non-ampeg cabinets.
  4. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    I LOVE my Mesa 400+, BUT, if you are looking for Doug Pinnick tone (BTW my absolute favorite bassist/vocalist), you want an SVT CL or SVT II.
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I agree. Both are great heads, but the tube SVT has something going on in the low mids no other amp does. I'd look for a good 70's one - there are plenty of them out there in the $1200 range. Not cheap, but probably the last amp you'll ever buy.
  6. seansbrew


    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    What are all you guys talking about, why don't you be real for a minute. Geddy lee? Tool? Kings X? Uhhh da? it's called a Sansamp RBI, you know, the one they use? In the Sansamp manual you'll even find a setting for Kings X. It just goes to show you that no matter what kind of advice you are seeking. If someone has something else, no matter what it is, they will recomend it.
  7. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Just because the Sans Amp has Kings X settings does not mean Kings X actually uses one... Chances are that any and all recordings they made are not by rigs they use live (though it is possible...). If you want punch, the Mesa I think is a bit better, but it sounds like, from the bassists you idolize, you could use an SVT-II or SVT origional. If not that, then a 2-Pro or CL. However, I have been able to get a pretty close to SVT overdrive using a combination of my new Boss GT-6B with my 400+...

  8. Hey, Sansamps are cool, but they are just emulating the real thing......

    .....albeit a very good emulation, but I think there is something to be said for a real live tube amp......Punch, and true 100% pure tone to the bone.....

    I've owned a Sansamp Bass DI, and it just doesn't compare to the sound of my Mesa Bass 400......it still sounds pretty damn good for it's weight though! :)
  9. faceless_13


    Apr 6, 2005
    Sounds to me like you all lean towards the tube amp. Saying that. Would a Mesa Boogie 400+'s 500 watts compete with the 1600 watts from my Ampeg? I know tube watts differ (are louder). But how much??

    Would I regret trading in or selling my SVT 4 Pro (6 months old)for a Mesa 400????

    Thanks for all the feed back guys

  10. 8mmOD


    Mar 20, 2005
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I use Ampeg gear, but i am not the biggest fan of the 4 pro. however recently i heard a guy using the sansamp bddi on the front end of a 4 pro & it sounded like the tone i prefer - growly svt. on its own, the bddi sounds "just ok" to me. but combined with the 4 pro it surprised the h*ll out of me.


    my advice. buy a bddi from a place with a liberal return policy & give it a shot direct into the 4 pro before you sell off your rig. if you dont like it, return it & go from there. my 2nd piece of advice... don't use the ultra low button on the ampeg hybrids.
  11. Just for the record, it is accepted here that a Mesa 400+ will generate 300W RMS at an extreme maximum (that's 15 watts per tube, and good 6L6s can generate just about that, usually a bit less). The 500W rating is for peak power, which in theory is a true claim, but in practice is a pretty useless rating.

    With the SVT 4-Pro, the 1600 watts is a burst power rating. I believe it is the power that the amplifier can generate for one complete cycle of a wave of a particular low frequency. The RMS power rating for the 4-Pro bridged is 1200W.

    As for a comparison, it's apples and oranges. You'll have to try both. Tube watts are not different from solid state watts. A watt is a measure of POWER, and it does not change in magnitude when the power is supplied by a vacuum tube or a transistor. However, the harmonics (distortion) generated by most tube amplifiers, particularily when slightly overdriven, are pleasing to the ear make the sound seem as loud or louder than a solid state amplifier whose distortion is not pleasing. In the shortest way of saying it possible, with 1200W or 300W and a good cabinet or two, any volume problems are not your problem. If you can't work with that much power from any *decent* parts, there are other problems that must be sorted out long before deciding that you are short on power.

    See if you can rent/borrow somebody's 400 or 400+ and try it on a gig. The only way you'll know is to try. Another way to think about it is that either way you have REALLY NICE gear. By working with amplifiers at this level, you're not likely to get something that's not workable.

    Finally, don't let anybody tell you that a tube amplifier is more maintenance than a solid state amplifier. With a good set of tubes, kept properly biased, it will not require any more work than a solid state amplifier. All amplifiers must be kept clean and dust free. Tubes do "wear", but so do transistors. So, rest assured that you will be in the clear provided you start off with good parts in the tube amplifier.
  12. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    You will never be able to exactly recreate their tones unless you have their exact rigs, basses, leads, playing style/feel etc.

    Therefore.... next best thing??

    That'll be the SansAmp RBI into any decent head or power amp.... or just get a Tech21 Landmark 600.

    Either will give you all you'll ever need! :) :smug: :bassist:
  13. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002

    Really? I don't have an SVT.
  14. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
  15. Piezoman


    Nov 29, 2002
    Bronx, New York
    I believe justin chancellor uses a demeter pre-amp. Ive used one at a studio with my dad's bassist's musicman and I got a great tone on the newer tool songs.