Please help me decide on a head and compression setup! (long post here)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by yoss, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. yoss


    Oct 1, 2003
    I'm preparing to make the jump to tubes, but would like some more advice and testimony from you guys to help me in my decision. I'm also looking for some compression as well, but I'll tackle the amps first.

    And to give you an idea of the tone I'd like to achieve here's an mp3 to listen to. It's Mastodon and I love the bass sound this guy has. Listen while you read!:

    Mastodon - Workhorse

    For amps:


    I've heard a couple of these amps in different situations and they sounded great. They also have lots of power, which I need to go up against two full stacks and a loud drummer.


    Here's where I need the most help as the various models confuse me. I dig the Ampeg sound, but I think an all-tube Ampeg like the SVT2pro might be too expensive for me. And then there's the SVT3 & 4 Pro with tube pre-amps. I'm not sure if the SVT3pro has enough power. The SVT4 Pro has a lot of power, nice options, but a big price tag. And finally there's the SVP-Pro and power-amp option. And for all three of these last options, I'm wondering what kind of a sound they have compared to an all-tube amp. What sort of differences and similarities in tone would be common between these models?

    So, with the above choices, I'd like to see what you guys think would give the best combination of power, warm tone, full and fat low-end, but with good clarity and definition, and with option to get a good overdriven sound if needed - all at a decent price! Would any of the Ampeg amps with tube preamps be able to provide what I'm looking for? Or should I stick with all tube? It's just the ones with tube preamps seem a good blend of options and value.

    And as for compression, I'm working on playing with my fingers, and still need to work out the consistency of my attack, so I figure compression might help me out a bit with smoothing out my sound. Can you guys suggest a good priced compressor? Also, the SVT-4pro comes with a built in compressor which is a nice option.

    I guess the way it stands I'm debating between the Mesa and either an Ampeg SVT2Pro or SVT4Pro. But realistically, after adding on the compressor, the SVT2 is probably out of my reach, which makes the SVT4pro look like the better Ampeg option.

    This is driving me nuts. Sorry for the long-winded post. It just helps getting info from you guys to assist in clarifying things.
  2. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    As far as a compressor goes, I'd say a dbx Compressor is your best bet. I use a 266XL in my rig, really nice sounding! There's a 160A for sale in the Sale forum.
  3. I have an Alesis 3630 that I'm not really crazy about. The dbx compressors seem to be easier to use and preferred by most of the sound guys and engineers that I run into. I know several people who have used both and most of the them seem to think the Alesis 3630's are pretty much crap. I've never owned a dbx, so I can't really compare. Good luck!