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Mesa prodigy/strategy vs. Ampeg SVT Cl

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rodrigues, Dec 30, 2017.


  1. Mesa strategy

    5.6%
  2. Mesa prodigy

    11.1%
  3. Ampeg Cl

    30.6%
  4. Orange Ad 200

    4.2%
  5. Fender Bassmann 100/135

    1.4%
  6. Matamp GT 200

    2.8%
  7. Hiwatt 200

    1.4%
  8. Ampeg V4B

    23.6%
  9. Ampeg solid state

    2.8%
  10. Mesa solid state

    6.9%
  11. Fender Superbassman 300

    9.7%
  12. Ampeg B15

    6.9%
  13. Orange solid state

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. Mesa 400+

    5.6%
  15. Sadowsky SA200

    2.8%
  16. Darkglass microtubes 900

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  17. Aguilar DB680/728

    2.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Short answer - "punch" being a bit of a subjective term I'd say the V4B has more punch, the SVT more bottom.

    Longer answer -
    They use the same eq structure that is shared (with few exceptions) across the ampeg product range, a baxandall/james bass and treble arrangement and an active midrange control (where one is used). The difference between this and other tube heads is that the EQ is flat with the controls at noon where many other tube amps will be mid scooped with controls at noon and not capable of a mid boost from the EQ.

    How the rest of the amp behaves has a big impact on the total sound so it's not exactly fair to say an amp is scooped just because it uses a FMV style tone stack, some might be only lightly dipped, some might be hugely scooped, some power amps might even out the sound. The scoop might work perfectly for some and make others disappear in the mix. The cab and bass you choose can emphasize or cover up that kind of scoop. It's really a hard thing to pin down without sitting down with your bass and trying out a few amps.

    On the V4B vs SVT, to me the SVT seems to have a much bigger bottom at similar settings. Bass gear mag changed formats and I don't have the link to the frequency sweeps anymore, but the V4B is designed to be flat at noon and when they did a sweep on a 70s model versus a reissue they looked near identical. They did a similar sweep with Tom's early 70s SVT and found a low-mid hump with the controls at noon that they attributed to the power amp. Caveats of testing an old amp aside that seems about right when I've run my vintage V4 and SVT into the same cabs/with the same instruments. The V4 is flatter and more even, the SVT rounder on the bottom end in a way that fills the room, but a few tweaks of the controls and both get into the same range.

    That said, more than either amp I use one based on a Hiwatt DR201. A little more powerful than the V4B at 200 watts but lighter than the SVT by 5-10kg. Works well when using only a single 8 ohm speaker cab for small gigs. I'd say the V4B is my second most used amp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    dukeorock, TC.65, TrentB and 2 others like this.
  2. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Truly a significant difference, but I seem to recall that he said that he'd be using mass transit, (too lazy to go back and confirm) but if so, even 23 or so kilos is a lot of trash to pack.

    I have a bunch of gear, including a '71 SVT. It does have a singularly unique sound but I ain't 20yo any more hence my purchase of class d and hybrids.

    The current rigs which I am getting to know are a GK MBFusion800 and a Mesa D-800+.
    If work wasn't so busy right now, I'd be able to write with more intelligence on the two, but as it stands for now, I can only provide general impressions:

    Firstly, my goal is tonal warmth with a really tight bottom end. Oh, and versatility. Both of these amps give you that. Oh yeah, power too. At 800w ea., that's covered.

    The 6 stage tube pre of the GK actually does stuff! It's certainly not the SVT, but there is a tube warmth there. The Mesa is a lovely design thanks to our own @agedhorse and I find it to have an endemic warmth unusual with my older generation solid state heads.
    The fact that it can handle 2ohms is an additional benefit as I believe that the right speaker cab is nearly as important as the right head in achieving "your" sound.

    I may get the Bergantino B amp as well just for s#!+$ and giggles as it has some interesting features and I'd like to compare it's capabilities to the other two "modern" d class amps which I believe to be at the top of their class, but that's neither here nor there.

    I plan to do an in-depth review at some point when work slows down but my general view, being an older guy is "never run when you can walk; never stand when you can sit; and never sit when you can lay down." That being the case, why lug a large and relatively heavy piece of gear if there are viable options available. Make your life as easy as possible.

    To get back to the two amps, both can achieve "tubey" tonal goals in different ways. The knobs on the GK are a bit sensitive and have a tendency to be wonky but it's a versatile amp with a very high "cool" factor, power, and a wide range of achievable sounds, whilst the Mesa is a very high quality and well designed piece of equipment with superb adjustability. Both are worthy of consideration imo if one is willing to expand their parameters of what is acceptable and can achieve their tonal requirements. As always, my ears, requirements, and wants are only mine but it ain't like the late 70's when I started out...time and technology move on and are worth embracing at times.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    agedhorse and Rodrigues like this.
  3. Rodrigues

    Rodrigues

    May 20, 2016
    Hamburg
    One voted for sadowsky let us know why BASSKADET
     

  4. good luck finding one. it's pretty much a clean amp though. if you want tube overdrive the SA200 is not the typical choice.
     
    baxter_x and Rodrigues like this.
  5. Rodrigues

    Rodrigues

    May 20, 2016
    Hamburg
    In germany there a some sadowskies to buy.
     
  6. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    They’re made by Koch in The Netherlands and the latest run was sold through Thomman. Probably easier to find them in Germany than the states.
     
    Rodrigues likes this.
  7. To me I think it's the same at a lesser volume. It still has a great Ampeg tube punch to it. My Gibson Humbucking pups do a nice touch too. The Ampeg SVT-212AV is a versatile cab with 2X12's @ 4 ohms, with the V-4B.
     
  8. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Oct 31, 2006
    AMERICA
    an Ampeg SVT sounds great no matter wahat kind of music you play or what kind of bass you have (obviously thiis doesn't apply to tiny restaurant/coffee house gigs).
     
    bobyoung53 and Rodrigues like this.
  9. Rodrigues

    Rodrigues

    May 20, 2016
    Hamburg
    Word
     
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  10. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    Sure, right here - but I have a 400 and a D800, and neither were on the list... I also love my Streamliner 900 - it's been a real work horse for me...
     
    Rodrigues likes this.
  11. dfoehr

    dfoehr Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    PHX
    Of the amps listed I voted Sadowsky but would have liked to see the Aguilar DB680/728 on the list.
     
    Rodrigues likes this.
  12. Funkabilly

    Funkabilly

    Aug 11, 2015
    Richmond Ky
    I really like my V4B.I think it sounds alot like the SVT. Yes, you do not get the volume you do out of the SVT, but you definitely get the sound. I had a SVT, and had to get rid of it due to a financial situation I was in, and plan on getting another one this year, but until I do, the V4B is filling the void well. The comment that you cant get the mids, or anything else out of the V4B that you can out of the SVT, is untrue. For midsized gigs where I dont need the volume, I will still use my V4B and SVT212AV, and the only thing I will miss will be several pounds. The utmost respect and love for the number 1 amp in the world, Ampeg Svt and a fridge, of course!
     
    bobyoung53, TC.65, Rodrigues and 2 others like this.
  13. Korladis

    Korladis Banned SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    I find the preamp interesting. It's much more extensive than typically found on tube amps.

    I'll probably never get to try one, though.
     
    dukeorock and Rodrigues like this.
  14. Way more punch and I've owned both. I've been using SVT's for over 40 years if that says anything to you. i would like to own another V4-B don't get me wrong but only as a second head for smaller rooms. I use my SVT with B-15T cabs for smaller rooms, 1 or 2 depending, still sounds great. The only drawback to an SVT is they are heavy as hell but that is what two wheelers are for, I still ascribe to the old saying that the heavier it is, the better it sounds. SVT's sound big like you could walk on the sound for lack of a better way to describe them.
    I have never tried a Mesa bass amp that I remember.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    Rodrigues likes this.
  15. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    The SA200 is an incredible amp for finger style as the response is very even from top to bottom and the notes speak with great clarity and focus. The amp has three gain controls, which allows you to dial in compression or a bit of drive in the preamp as desired. I consider the distortion it produces low gain, dark, and mellow instead of fizzy.

    Sounds great with a pick or slap as well, but I would agree the SA200 is not the typical choice for overdrive, as it lacks the upper mid-range bite that many tube amps have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    Rodrigues likes this.
  16. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    The SA200's tone controls are the most versatile and functional of any tube amp I have played. Surprisingly the circuit is relatively simple and does not appear exotic or unusual. The amp has two active tone controls labeled Bottom and Top that are fed into a Fender style tone stack with controls labelled Bass, Mid, and Treble. Component values were chosen so the controls do exactly what you expect and nothing more. Boost the Bass and the sound gets fatter. Boost the Treble and you get a little sheen or snap. What you don't get is a hole punched in your sound, which is what seems to happen all too easily with some amps. In contrast, it's hard to get a bad sound out of the SA200.
     
    dukeorock, Korladis and Rodrigues like this.
  17. Rodrigues

    Rodrigues

    May 20, 2016
    Hamburg
    Has anyone tried the Fender superbass 300?
    YouTube videos about these AMP are amazing IMO.
     
    Korladis and dukeorock like this.
  18. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I still have one of these. It's "only" 65 pounds, about as powerful as an SVT, butmore versatile. Very tubey sounding. If you want fat and warm, this thing does it beautifully. It can do a good imitation of an SVT, plus it can get more modern tones with the "distortion" channel eq. Old school passive Fender tone stack on channel 1, and active eq with semi-parametric mids on channel 2. It gets good preamp distortion if you crank the gain, but the power amp section sounds SO good.
     
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  19. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Just got a Traynor yba 200-2 a few days ago for an incredible price in pristine condition. Super interesting amp but does not do clean, ever, at all but the very lowest volume. Even then, I wouldn’t call it clean! It’ll be cool for certain things live and for sure on recording. For most of my rock gigs, it’s just too dirty, so I came up with the silliest, most expensive mod ever. I run my Reiner 6SL7 pre into the amp in on the Traynor, by adding the Traynors gain and eq. It’s kinda glorious and I love it, but don’t exactly recommend getting a $1,300 boutique pre to make a $500 amp sound good :)
     
    JGR, Rodrigues and smeet like this.
  20. Korladis

    Korladis Banned SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Lots of love for the Superbass 300 on here.

    I think you've got several good options.
     
    Rodrigues and dukeorock like this.

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