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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hasbeen, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Just a short editorial comment on the SVT CL

    I have one in my studio stuck away. Well, I'm helping a string company develop a new set of flats. Now in general, I'm a six string, more "contemporary" type of player. But for developing these strings, out came a P bass and a tube amp.

    The point of my story? Well, I've noticed that many people have a paradigm of "older is always better" and I've seen many comments on how the VR smokes the CL .....etc.

    I have a VR and an old blue line. I have to tell you, the CL is a great, great amp. I'm not sure where the refernces that it doesn't stand up to the vintage or VR's comes from.

    Now, I'm not going to give up my high-tech modern amps for a tube amp because of my personal preference but, the CL is one, burly, dynamic beast of an amp.

    End of editorial. :D
  2. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC

    I completely agree. I sold my early 70s and late 70s SVT heads because I preferred the tone of my SVT-CL. IMO it is a great head that doesn't get enough respect for no fault of its own.
  3. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I dont have one, but I played a few CL's at some shops and I was totally in love with the tone! I thought it sounded as good or better than the (very few) older SVTs I played. This is IMO and YMMV.;)
  4. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution

    Agreed. I was even comparing it to some of my other valve amps: Trace HexaValve, V6 and a SA200.
  5. Jim Powers

    Jim Powers

    Mar 19, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    I do believe you are right!! The voice of reason.:smug:
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've said many times that the CL is very underrated by the SVT guys on here. It's not quite the same as the non-master SVT's, but it's very much in the same family and it's still one of the best amps on the market. Good to hear one of their competitors give Ampeg some respect.
  7. El Whappo

    El Whappo Keepin' it Weird

    Sep 28, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I agree 100%. The CL is great sounding amp and is a real workhorse. What I like about it is that it always sounds good. In a full band mix or just playing alone, the tone is always there.
  8. jvdb


    Jul 26, 2006
    For the sound part I agree, the workhorse part...

    The company that I sometimes rent stuff from has three or four 70's SVT's. They're constantly on the road, and they always work. He also has an SVT CL and it's sitting in the corner, cause it breaks down too often. Also, an amp tech I called with for info & advice when I was in the market for an Ampeg tube head said to me: "Buy a 70's SVT! I won't even touch those CL's. Maybe an SVT II, but stay away from the pro series".

    Couple of years later I'm thinking about buying an SVT Classic, just to see how it compares to my SVT's. But I wanna know more about reliability/maintenace before I'm buying one.
  9. canshaker


    Dec 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown/ESP/Dunlop/Line 6/Normandy.
    I have no bias to either amp, but I PREFER the tone of my VR compared to my CL AND my 2Pros.

    Just my opinion...
  10. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Well, when I hear a comment like that from a very credible source, it makes me stand up and take notice. Personally, I like the sound of the VR over the CL--but I've only ever encountered either in Guitar Centers, and the VRs have been extremely rare and tend to get sold quickly. (I haven't played through a '70s SVT in two decades.)

    Maybe the CL gets knocked because most of us only get to try them in GCs--which means that (A) we're playing them through new fridges, which are just so-so, IMO, and (B) they could very well have been abused in one or more ways. I can't tell you the number of times I've walked up to a CL head sitting on a stack of Ampeg cabs, only to find it isn't hooked up to any of them.:scowl: I wonder how many times those heads have been powered up and taken off standby with no speaker. Plus, let's face it, a huge percentage of GC's customer base isn't likely to shell out for a head in the CL's weight and price range--but they're probably curious to try it, so I'm guessing the ones on the floor have been used a heck of a lot.
  11. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    I have no problem respecting a classic. I didn't grow up playing the brand I'm affiliated with...it wasn't around. :)

    And twenty years ago, I had a full SWR endorsement deal. ...and 12 years ago, I was working with Trace. :D

    Of course, I do like thinking it has all evolved into what I'm doing now......but I still have to pay proper respect to the classics.
  12. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    that's kind of the paradigm I'm speaking of I guess. If one tech makes a passing comment, it becomes almost urban myth like in the way it spreads.

    Having said that, I don't gig with one, so I can't speak as an expert on the subject. These days though, amplifier components on pro product are so good and consistant, that most failures are due to cold solder issues vs. design/material flaws.
  13. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Yup. I've got an SVT Classic and a 1978 SVT and frankly, I like the Classic a LOT more. It can be cleaner louder or as dirty as I want and the midrange is much more controllable - plus it has all the modern features the '78 doesn't have like a blanced xlr out and passive/active inputs.
  14. I sure do like mine!

    I've only done 3 shows with it so far, but so far so good.

    Talk about tone... well I can't really.

    Hell, I'm a bass player in a rock band. I could probably get away with a 1 string bass for most songs.

    Having said that, I love the way my SVT CL sounds, or maybe feels?

  15. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I agree they don't get the respect they deserve (at least on the internet; in real life they are plenty popular and fairly ubiquitous), but I still prefer the tone of the '70s SVTs I've compared them too, though only once a direct blind A/B comparison. How much this is due to expectation or self delusion I can't say.

    I find the biggest difference is the midrange character when pushed.
  16. The only amp I'm using right now is an SVT-CL. I've played older Ampegs too, but I'm very happy with it. If only I could make it weigh about 50 lbs less! :D

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