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Poll: Ampeg SVT CL and Mesa 400+ Shootout

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Geezer Brown, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Ampeg SVT-CL with 810E

  2. Mesa 400+ with old school 6x10

  3. Carrots (SVT PRO series, Mpulse etc.)

  1. I own an Ampeg SVT CL and 8x10, but I'm pretty sure I fell in love with the Mesa 400+ and old-school 6x10 cabs. Then again, my SVT is missing 2 power tubes. I like the graphic eq and features of the Mesa. I really cant decide. I'm wondering which one cuts through for metal. But I'm wondering mostly which ones you all like better. Standard rules do apply, only vote if you tried it, no flame wars, no "I like turtles" posts.

    May the odds ever be in your favor :bassist:
  2. bray101


    Feb 26, 2012
    For metal, I'd say the Mesa bc of the EQ section. But for overall tone, I'm from the school of thought of the less knobs, the better the tone. I use the SVT-CL personally.

    When I was in a touring metal act (i.e. August Burns Red, Bring Me The Horizon, etc.), I used an SVT-3 Pro, as I felt the Graphic EQ helped me cut through the mix as we were all in Drop C tuning. Needed to really scoop the mids to cut through.

    Crazy that was only 5 years or so ago, because I can't imagine ever scooping my mids again and getting a good tone out of any head. Haha.

    But I think for metal, the 400+ will give you a little more, as that SVT really needs pushed before it breaks up.
  3. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    This is a thinly veiled "best for metal" thread. :ninja: :D

    I'm a big fan of the 400+. Although as has been stated, the CL is a bit more plug-n-play. The 400+ has a Fender tone stack (i.e., 2-10-2 is flat). Plus it has four push-pull pots in addition to the graphic EQ. You also have a lot more cabinet choices with the 400+, as it can run the gamut from 8 to 2 ohms as opposed to the traditional SVT's limitation to 4 to 8. Of course, that's probably not a big deal considering what cabinets you'd be using with either head.

    Now if we were talking about the SVT-VR, I'd be a bit more ambivalent. Regardless, I find that the Mesa has a "sharper" top end than the typical SVT. That can be good or bad depending on your tonal goals and situation. However, in a metal or hard rock context, I think the sharper top-end may give you a presence in the mix that you may not find with the SVT. That's not to say that SVTs lack high-end presence - quite the contrary. They juts have a bit of a rounder high-end that isn't as aggressive or sometimes harsh.

    With all that said, I have both a 400+ and an SVT-II non-pro, and if you asked me to choose between one, I'd inquire if I could just give you a kidney instead. Of course, I'm just kidding...maybe. :D

    P.s. The Mesa is an absolute wrecking ball through an 810e, so don't rule out using it with that cab either.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd put the 2 missing power tubes back in.
  5. That was my first thought too.

    You got a great amp there that is more flexible than it gets credit for.
  6. Afaik if it's missing two power tubes it might as well be missing three.
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
  8. Kentucky Ryan

    Kentucky Ryan

    Feb 12, 2012
    I've never heard of scooping mids to cut through a mix. Mids cut through, so you would want to boost them
  9. I love my SVT 3 Pro & SVT 410-HLF. But, that might be because my back hates lugging around the 8x10 (which I used to have, but couldn't deal with lugging around any more). Never had the SVT-CL (however much I'd like to have one), but once again, the SVT3 is a whole lot lighter in weight. For my situation, I can much easier deal with what I miss out on with a tube power section than with my back crapping out on me during load-in.
    I find the SVT 3 & the 410HLF come close enough to the classic Ampeg sound without me needing to spend all my gig money at the chiropractor. I usually make up for some of the lack of power tube "growl" by using an overdrive pedal.
    Now, if I was in a position to have someone lug my gear around for me, I'd get 2 each of the SVT-CL & 8x10 :D
  10. P.S. - I was never a big fan of the Mesa amps. They sound great for some folks, but for the last decade or so, I'm just an Ampeg guy.
  11. bray101


    Feb 26, 2012
    Exactly my point. I was young and stupid. I was playing a used Schecter bass that was modded to 18v so I think that alone was responsible for most of where I sat in the mix. Cut through pretty well, but never was fully happy.

    Hindsight is always 20/20 I guess. Live and learn.
  12. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    Mesa all the way!
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Who the heck wants to "cut" through a mix anyway? I want to punch the mix in the balls. Anyone can cut through the mix. Not everyone can beat the mix's ass ;)
  14. randyg


    Jul 10, 2010
    Creedmoor N.C.
    "Not everyone can beat the mix's ass" . Now that's a sig line if I've ever heard one!
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Thank you, two shows nightly, come back and try the veal.

  16. seang15


    Aug 28, 2008
    Cary NC
    There we have it folks! The Best AMPeg for metal!! :bag:

  17. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    well put!!:bassist:
  18. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution
    I voted for the SVT-CL...great amp.
  19. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Is that Devo-Brown back in action?
  20. I voted Carrots.....I like Carrots....just can't have them anymore :meh: