Need a head to match my cab!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rixor, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Rixor


    Jan 12, 2004
    I just bought a Ampeg classic SVT 810E cab, but now I need a head to go with it. I have roughly $1000 CAN to blow... any ideas? :bassist:
  2. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Get a Crown K1 power amp (under $700 used) and run it bridged mono. Then go preamp shopping. (However: that's much too big a rig. It will always fight the PA and will never sound above mediocre in the house. Your stage rig should act as a monitor only. Take the SVT back and get a little GK combo.)

    Here's how to make the cabinet sound a lot better: Way back when, we ordered a bunch of SVT drivers to make clones. But to save time and money, we we left out the panels that divide the cabinet into four sections, so instead of a 4x(2x10), ours were 8x10. Our clones sounded much better! They lacked the low mid "bark" of the "four little boxes" that comprised the factory box. Here's the poop:

    The width of the box causes a resonance at about 275Hz.

    The depth causes a resonance at about 540Hz (this is almost exactly an octave above the width resonance - the box depth used was not a particularly good choice).

    The height of each 2x10 section has a resonance at about 615Hz. This is just above the depth resonance, and there are FOUR little boxes.

    So, the 4x(2x10) has a BIG bark from 540Hz to 615Hz, and small one an octave and change below it.

    If you leave out the dividers (or saw them out with the smallest scroll saw you can find), you remove the 4 resonances at 615Hz and replace them with a single resonance at 145Hz. You now have a much more pleasant sounding box that requires a lot less eq.
  3. That midrange bark is part of what defines the SVT sound. Plenty of people love the sound of the stock 810s, that's why there are so many around. Taking that out of the cab and replacing it with a resonance at about 150Hz (mud city) sounds counterproductive to me, but then again, I like the sound of the stock Ampeg 810...
    Cutting the dividers out also creates phase and group delay problems. The backwaves of the top pair of tens are radiated through the others, and the lowest pair is over 3 feet away and so on for the other pairs of drivers... This definitely causes phase smear in the midrange frequencies. I've heard a couple of 810s with that modification and while they do give the impression of producing more bass, it's at the expense of midrange clarity.
    That being said, I'm sure some people prefer that sound. Perhaps the Ampeg 810 isn't the cab for you if that's the case....

    Anyway, to answer the original question, if you can't afford an SVT, check out a used GK 800rb. They seem to work really well with the 810 and can be gotten pretty cheap. Maybe a used SVT-3, but they seem to have some reliability problems.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    GK800RB is a great amp. You might also check out some of the hartke amps. The 3500 is a good amp, also. You might check out either.
  5. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    With 8 drivers producing full range, you have a lot of comb filtering regardless. We did not find there to be anything about the undivided cabs that was less desireable than what came out of the divided boxes. I don't find the SVT mids to be clear, I find them to be nasty. Many who "love the SVT box's sound" have a dip in their EQ right where the bark is, indicating that they only "love it" after it's been "fixed". Better to fix it acousitcally by removing the dividers. (But either way, it's not my cabinet of choice.)
  6. Rixor


    Jan 12, 2004
    Well I didn't buy the cab so I could sell it and go buy another one, so I dont think I will do that. As far as modifying the cab itself, I think I will try to get the best sound out of it stock. Besides this was a post about an AMP, not what I should do with my cab so it sounds good to you. But thanks for the tips and i'll take a look at that GK and Hartke that someone suggested.
  7. Try an Ashdown head.....although for your budget you may have to look at used ones!

    I have anABM 500 that sounds great through the Ashdiwn cabs I have. Recently however, I got to try an Ashdown ABM 300 through an Ampeg 810 - not sure if it was the same model though. Whow......what a sound! I would love an 8x10 but they are just not portable enough for me!

    If your finances allow, it might be worth looking at them!
  8. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    BBE BMAX (SS) preamp (or if you like a darker/heavier sound, 2nd hand Ampeg SVP-Pro)
    QSC RMX850 poweramp
  9. zoran


    May 10, 2002
    svt-cl, perhaps?
  10. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    If your all ready hauling "The Big One" your best bet is
    a Ampeg Classic SVT tube head.
  11. Well, there actually isn't any comb filtering below about 700Hz, due to the driver spacing. Any frequencies that have a half wavelength equal to or greater than the space between the driver centers will combine 100% in phase. By removing the dividers you do introduce comb filters below that frequency because of the backwave radiation thing.

    Your (and mine) impressions of the sound of the 810 are very subjective, of course. I think the mids in an Ampeg 810 really help it cut through a wall of guitars and such. I found the modified boxes to be very midrange deficient and murky in the low end. Less focused sounding too... But I like lots of mids in my tone.
    I don't see many people cutting the mids on their SVT rigs, and if they do it's around 220Hz, not 600Hz. At any rate, we could argue about the virtues and drawbacks of modifying 810s all day and it won't change our opinions, but I figure both sides of the issue should be presented. :D
  12. As to the virtues of the SVT 8x10 cab sound. The low mid bark that they possess gives them the ability to sit right in the gap between the kick drum and the guitar. On a loud stage this makes monitoring yourself much easier than with a cab that tries to compete with the kick drum and cymbals. As for what goes through the PA, that's up to the sound person anyway and most of them are out of work drummers. Are there smaller cabinets that can do the job? Sure, my Hartke 4.5XL does just about the same thing at around 100 lbs. However, it doesn't look near as neat as an SVT.
  13. Rixor


    Jan 12, 2004
    One guy I know has an Ashdown head for his 4x10 Ampeg cab and it sounds amazing. But he told me he bought his for $1700 CAN used... but i will check out the ones suggested. A few of you suggested the SVT-CL. Would I be able to find one for about $1000 CAN?
  14. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    If the bass is in the PA, a 2x10 is more than enough rig. The only really good bass sounds I've heard in clubs were from a guy with a 1x12 pointed at him from beside his vocal wedge, a guy who used no stage rig and ran through the vocal wedges, and a guy who used no stage rig and the band used in-ears. In every other case, the stage rig filled the room with 80Hz to 250Hz mud that added to those freqs in the PA and/or cancelled the deep bass. If you want to sound good in the house, your stage rig must be used only to fill in what you are not getting off the back of the PA stacks. This will likely mean that if you let the soundperson get the bass up in the PA before you fire up your stage rig, you'll likely need very little below 400Hz (or even higher) out of your stage rig.