SVT and lightning the load

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skeeter1, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Skeeter1


    Oct 24, 2012
    Ok, so I messed up and sat down and played a SVT after many, many years away. I am considering picking one up but at my age I'm of course concerned with weight. It seems like guitar tube amps are able to pack that tube tone in smaller packages especially with switchable wattage amps, love my Mesa Mark V. But to get the ultimate bass tone you still have to lug 200 pounds of amp and cab. So I'm thinking SVT 2x10 cab and a good mic. Basically my guitar setup (2x12 though). Almost all of my large gigs have good FOH and I IEM, small gigs I think a 2x10 would do, and any outdoor stuff I could rent a cab although I rarely do large outdoor gigs.

    Anybody out there working a SVT or Bassman with a smaller cab?
  2. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    I used to use 70's SVTs with 210XLT, or single 15, after deciding not to schlep 8x10s around any more. but the tone was only for my own satisfaction since FOH normally carried the bass. Not interested much now in hauling the heads around. Used my V4s for awhile, but IMO they break up too early when cranked, even for just stage volume, unless I'm using larger cabbage.
  3. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    (Former SVT owner) SVT's are awesome amps. However, the limiting factor to owning one is the fact that they can only be used with a 4 Ohm cab, or two 4 Ohm cabs (2 Ohms).
    Given that, If I ever owned another one, and wanted a more compact, light, portable package, I'd probably pair it with a Greenboy Bassic, loaded with a Faital Pro 15PR400 in 4 Ohm, or a Dually loaded with two of the 8 ohm Faital Pros.
  4. I completely understand the original post. For me I got an ampeg 410he cab a sans amp and use a swr head I had sitting around as a power amp but you could just buy an inexpensive pa power amp. It's close but not identical. I actually like the sans amp more for versatility.
  5. I don't own an SVT, nor do I play one on TV...

    The tone is great, the weight is not.
    As noted above, a Sansamp would be my choice for a Close but No Weight solution.
    This would also allow the SVT-like tone to pass to the FOH console.

    I own the VT Bass pedal, which can catch most of the SVT tone.
    My gripe with the pedal is the amount of noise it produces, so I lean toward the upcoming VTRM rack-mount version.

    Even this combination isn't feather weight.
    The VTRM is 1RU and 2RU for a power amp.
    Add in the weight of the rack itself...

    • 5.0 pounds for VTRM
    • 9.0 pounds for ultralight power amp
    • 11.3 pounds for an SKB 3RU std rack
    This comes to just over 25 pounds.
  6. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Our pedals have very low "self" noise. Noise can be a complicated issue. Your bass, settings of the pedal, environment, what it is run into and how it is powered all come into play.

    What type of noise are you getting and how is the pedal being used?
  7. This just isn't true anymore. Unless the heavy amp just happens to be the only thing you like, there are many, many excellent lightweight choices now.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Mesa has a couple a new tube amps coming out that are lighter than an SVT and have switchable wattage. The 400+ is lighter than an SVT as well.

    An SVT is 300w and has massive transformers in it which contributes to most of the weight. The Mark V is only 90w, but I'll gladly take one! I keep meaning to try out my Mark IV with a bass just for the fun on it.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The reason guitar amps are lighter is because they don't have to deal with producing bass at high volumes. It's a lot easier to make a guitar loud than a bass.

    Anyway, sometimes I'll use two SVT 210av's with my SVT's so it's a 4 ohm load. Great little cabs. Not quite as bottomy as the 810e, but a little bit of bass EQ boost brings it back around.
  10. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    JMac nailed it. The problem is that it's kind of hard to find small cabs that are 4 ohms. Since the SVT only does 2 or 4 ohms, you don't see many people setup that way.

    As bassgod mentioned, Mesa/Boogie has the Strategy and Prodigy all-tube amps coming out. The Prodigy is almost the same power output as an SVT and it's something like 37 pounds. It's ridiculously light for what it does. The Strategy is WAY more power than the SVT. Something like 460W.

    I got to play with a Prodigy at Mesa HQ last month and it is a good sounding amp and was specifically engineered to be able to produce a very SVT-like sound (as well as a wide range of non-SVT sounds). And I think it will handle an 8 ohm load (though I'm not positive on that).

    Personally, I'm not yet to the point where I mind lugging my SVT and my NV610 cab, so I'm sticking with what I've got 'cause, while there MAY be other rigs that sound as good, I haven't heard anything that sounds better (to me).
  11. marmadaddy

    marmadaddy Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    When I need/want some of that sweet, sweet SVT love it's the VT Deluxe all the way for me. When I've had issues with noise while using it, the root cause was always something before it in the signal chain. It can take some time spent tweaking it but I've always been able to work it out.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You'll notice that Mesa never uses "RMS" or "peak" to tell you how much wattage their tube amps have. They never did that with the 400+ either, and its RMS wattage is 270, if I remember correctly. Highly doubtful that the Strategy will give you 460w unless it's peak.
  13. Even if the SVT could use an 8 ohm 210, your not going to be able to pump enough power into it to get you into the sweet spot of the output stage which is why you like the SVT to begin with. Regarding there being class D pocket amps that deliver that feel: I haven't heard one. When technology achieves that, it will either be a glorious or very sad day. Not sure which.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I find talk about the "sweet spot" in tube amps to be a tad misleading. While they do sound great at a certain level of crank, they sound just as awesome to me at low volumes.
  15. Brand new, VT Bass v2.
    9v battery
    Stingray SR5HH, stock, fresh battery, active electronics at midpoints, VT Bass pedal.

    When the pedal is engaged, I get significant hiss and audible background noise. It is quiet in bypass mode.
    The settings are such to produce a moderate grind when compared to the bypass mode.
    I use my bass player's rig, which is a Markbass LM-III amp driving a JBL E140.
  16. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    According to Randy (owner of Mesa), the Strategy produced a continuous, measured, 485W (I think, because of being supplied 132V input or something) during UL testing.

    Read about it for yourself, if you want, in the Strategy/Prodigy thread.
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I'm pretty sure my Aguilar GS210 can handle 300W (program or RMS or whatever) all day long without breaking a sweat.

    And since I would generally (GENERALLY, I know there are exceptions) expect a 210 to be not as loud as a 410, I would expect that, if an SVT could run into a 210, it would be able to hit that point of a nice breakup sound at a lower actual output volume than when run into a 410.

    Oh, and while I will virtually always bring my actual SVT, in the case where I don't, I have found my Promethean Class D head (at 500W) with a Sansamp BDDI (set to SVT emulation settings) in front of it to produce a sound that is so close to an actual SVT that, for example, a bass player friend of mine, who has gigged a vintage SVT/810 rig for many years, did not even notice a change when he was at a gig of mine and I did switch from my SVT 2 Pro to the SABDDI/Promethean amp, into the same cab stack. It may not be exact, but certainly in a live setting it's so close as to be really hard to hear a difference - to me, anyway.
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    I think you mean lightening ... not lightning

    You I just did a party gig and brought 4 different cabs for bass and pa ... the older you get the less you like to move equipment ... but some of the big cabs have wheels.
  19. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
  20. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I love the SVT/810 tone. I own an SVT-II (non pro) and recently acquired a Super Bassman 300. The SB300 is all that and a bag of chips. It'll do 8, 4, and 2 ohms. I run it with an 8 ohm 210 or 410 and it sounds great. If you don't need all that power, the small Bassman 100T is 100 watts and gets great reviews.

    I hear that Ampeg is also working on producing a 100 watt tube amp but I have no idea when it'll be ready for prime time.