SVT Alternatives / Hybrid - Solid State

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by harryisgo, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. harryisgo


    Feb 25, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Looking for a new amp, I’m open to suggestions I’ve been researching almost every brand I can find and I kinda want some different opinions from anyone willing to share their experiences.
    Love the SVT Classic Sound but really don’t want to deal with power tubes or weight if I don’t have to, plus I’m open to more flexible options, just using that tone as a starting reference. I know there’s so many brands and options in the Bass world nowadays so I’d figure I’d pick ya’lls brains a bit!
  2. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Lots of folks are going to tell you Mesa but, then you're not going to be all that different. :roflmao:

    I would definitely look at the new high powered Tech 21 heads. I've been reading good things about Arkham and Verellen amplifiers as well. Other factors will be the style of music and current components that will factor into your selection.

    Sometimes you have to look back to go forward. I would look at products that have been in the market awhile to see if they would meet your needs. There is still lots of love for the older Eden and Aggie heads. The WD800 and AG700 still hold court for lots of seasoned players.
    harryisgo likes this.
  3. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I own an Aguilar TH500, and for being all solid state, it cops a very tube-like tone, IMO. I suggest checking out a TH700.

    I’ve also talked to a couple of local guys who are very impressed with the Darkglass 900.
    73_Blazer and harryisgo like this.
  4. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    If you have to sound exactly like an Ampeg but without the weight then the Helix (full-fat, lt or stomp) would be the best way.

    If all you want is a driven rock tone then you've got loads more options. Aguilar has been mentioned, and there's the Orange stuff too. More modern and you'd be looking at the GK Fusion and the Darkglass.
    harryisgo and SwitchGear like this.
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    How about a power/power rig? Grab an older Ampeg preamp like the SVP-CL or SVP-Pro and pair it with a lightweight power amp.
    I've been running my SVP-CL with a Crest ProLite 3.0 recently. It's killer!
  6. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    This is the closest I've found as well and I have an SVT-CL to compare to.
    The SVP-CL pre or the SVP II sound great and can be found for $350ish.
    With a 1500 watt led sled amp they sound reasonably close with plenty of clean headroom.

    Many will say the SVT 3 or 7 Pro get close.
    Not for me; I had both and they sounded much less like the King than the pre and a power amp.
    No experience with the Ampeg SCR-DI pedal; it doesn't have any glowing glass inside...

    PS - Are you sure it's the head that gives you the sound you like?
    For many it's the sealed 8x10 cabinet with it's limited low end response and a super punchy mid.
    For me it's the warm, full range, 3-D sound stage that I like.
    We all hear it differently.
  7. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    The SVT 6-Pro is another one I forgot about. Darn fine amp if you ask me.
  8. Gibson Victory

    Gibson Victory Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2019
    If you are comfortable, and want to stay with the Ampeg sound, why not just something lighter in the SVT line. SVT 3, 6 pro( I own one). Might be something to look at. Lot’s of good used stuff out there at great prices. Just some ideas.
    harryisgo likes this.
  9. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    In addition to everything that’s been said so far, I’ll suggest the Fender Bassman 500 or 800. They have the same 2 channel tube preamp section from the 100 and Super Bassman, but they use class D power amps. A really nice thick and chewy vintage channel, and a modern channel with a blendable overdrive that sounds massive. Check out the Anderton’s review:
    harryisgo likes this.
  10. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA


    harryisgo likes this.
  11. Jwood

    Jwood Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Richmond, Va
    The Aguilar ToneHammer is an excellent light weight option.
    harryisgo likes this.
  12. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive Suspended

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Have you tried the Ampeg PF-800? It would seem a natural place to start. That's what I went to when I ditched the SVT head.
    harryisgo likes this.
  13. haystack55

    haystack55 Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I have a very nice, but VERY heavy early 90's non pro SVT-II that's been my main squeeze for years. I've had the same dilemma as far as weight vs. sound and recently this has worked very well for me. Using the 800RB as strictly a power amp and the non-master volume SVT-IIP comes pretty darned close. The RB's are plentiful, light, and plenty powerful.
    gillento, harryisgo and Jim C like this.
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Lots of great options, and also lots of different takes on exactly what constitutes an "SVT tone." Lately, I have been having a ton of fun with the Arkham Beast of Both Worlds and JGR's Saturn V, both of which can cop a very "SVT-like" feel (with the Arkham being naturally warmer, and the Saturn V being a bit more inherently articulate, though both can be dialed in a good bit).
    GregC and harryisgo like this.
  15. I ran an SVT Classic rig for years. My 67 year old back finally complained enough that I realized I was gonna have to down size. A PF 500 and a 2 12 AV did the trick for me quite nicely. Still have the big iron but haven't pulled it out in a while. I've even done a couple of out door gigs with the small rig and had no problems whatsoever.
    Squittolo and harryisgo like this.
  16. harryisgo


    Feb 25, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    You all are killing it with the suggestions, definitely going to check these out and get back with you guys, keep em coming!
    haystack55 likes this.
  17. forrestlaw

    forrestlaw Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2018
    +1 for the Aguilar Tone Hammer...

    I was looking at an SVT-CL and 410 or SVT 7 pro and 410 before deciding on a Tone hammer 500 and 2x 112 cabs. Actually, I went through several other amp purchases, too. MUCH lighter, way more portable, and more versatile with the modular cab setup.
    harryisgo likes this.
  18. harryisgo


    Feb 25, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    that’s one of the ones I’ve been really really been interested in heavily, Aggies in general really, I’ve always been drawn to the SVT Tone but really want something more updated and versatile but still have that fat juicy tone. I’ve also always used a Sansamp or similar preamp in all my setups over the years so that kinda get everything there a bit, I just hear a lot of demos of the Aggie stuff being sometimes brittle but everyone I know that uses them and on records they sound amazing, I just really wanna hear how they can sound and what all they can do, plus I’ve heard their cabs are like the top dawg of the cab game
  19. harryisgo


    Feb 25, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    looked up that Arkham, that stuff looks noiceeeeeee
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  20. harryisgo


    Feb 25, 2012
    Raleigh, NC

    I had a PF500 a while back and loved the tone but had a bunch of reliability issues with it, that’s why I’m looking for something that gets me there with top quality components if possible and very good reliability.
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