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SVT CL to Sunn Coliseum 300 - Considering going solid state

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kinghat90, May 2, 2017.


  1. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Currently running 2 Ampegs for my live rig: V4BH into 8x10 and SVT CL into Acoustic 408 (2 ohms).

    Last night at practice the SVT CL lost a tube and the V4BH volume was low. I had that thing cranked just to sort of hear the bass.

    Long story short, I've got to take both tube heads in. It's going to cost some serious $$$$$.

    I've got a Fender bassman 400 (ss) that is a workhorse. Yes it's not as loud as I'd like, but it cheap and reliable.

    I have not neglected my Ampegs, and I love them when they work, but I'm considering going with solid state. There is a Sunn Coliseum 300 on CL for $400. Anyone have any thoughts / suggestions?

    I need loud and reliable heads. I use a lot of effects (mostly OD or fuzz) so I think I can sacrifice some of the wonderful Ampeg tone. I'm not familiar with the Sunn stuff. Maybe an Acoustic 380? I need a 2 ohm head.
     
    10cc likes this.
  2. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    A little confused...
    Your live rig is an 810 and a 4x15 driven by two Ampeg tube heads, and you want to replace them with one 2ohm stable SS head so you can feed both cabs?
    Or are you keeping one head and just looking to replace the other (the SVT CL, like the thread name implies)?

    The old Sunn stuff is great (IMO), and seemingly more hefty and powerful than their power ratings may imply (IME). I don't have any personal experience with the 300 (but with other Sunn amps) and personally, I wouldn't hesitate on the 300 at that price if you're interested. Sunn gear can go for ridiculously inflated prices and gets nabbed pretty quickly when priced competitively.

    The Coliseum will get loud and nasty, but on the other hand, I'm not quite sure if it is going to carry the same weight that (6)6550's do for you, especially since you mention that the V4B into an 810 isn't cutting the mustard (at that point I can't even assume what kind of power/volume you are looking for). Also not sure if you know the status of the Sunn and how recent it's been looked-over? It could hypothetically be a cap-job away from sinking some service money into it.

    Do you mean an Acoustic 360 or 370?
     
  3. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Sorry for the confusion. I'm considering replacing both heads. I'm guessing once the blown tube is replaced, I can sell the SVT CL for $800 - $1000, and turn that into more reliable, and yet still loud, solid state heads. I hear you about it needing repairs, but the guy who works on my Ampeg heads said those Sunn heads, once worked on will last for many years.

    You're right also about the Acoustic 370, not the 380.

    I've used that Ampeg SVT CL since I started playing live in the 90's so I need to think carefully before selling it and switching to solid state.


    Your info is much appreciated!
     
  4. My only Sunn experience comes from my 40-watt Sonaro combo. It doesn't have much in common with the Coliseum, but it does suggest a pattern of reliability... And since we're on the subject, I blew up my Mesa Carbine several weeks ago, and I've been looking for a backup while the Mesa goes off for repairs. I missed out on a cheap Peavey T-Max combo last week, but it reminded me that there's a lot of cheap and reliable Peavey gear out there. I ended up taking a $100 gamble on an as-is Peavey Firebass, and I'm really enjoying it so far. It does 700 watts at 2 Ohms and it's plenty loud into my 8 Ohm 4x10, but it's a heavy sucker...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I was thinking Peavey! I think they're underrated. I have not heard of the Firebass. I'll keep an eye out.
    Thanks!
     
    Bugeyed Earl likes this.
  6. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    How about G-K 700RB or 1001RB?
     
  7. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    So when I took my SVT to the shop, the guy there showed me this Sound City 120 PA. He let me borrow it for practice and it was magical! Incredibly loud, warm and with just the right touch of dirt. There cannot possibly be a solid state amp that sounds that good.

    What the hell was I thinking when I started this thread!

    Buying it today.

    Appreciate the suggestions on solid state amps however.
     

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    GregC, e-flat, D.M.N. and 2 others like this.
  8. Ha ha, I didn't see that coming! Congrats on the new rig!
     
    10cc and kinghat90 like this.
  9. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Neither did I. This thing sounds so good that I'm willing to deal with the uncertainty that comes with vintage tube gear.

    I think it's important to keep an open mind. Here's a pic. I'm pretty excited.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. If that were me I wouldn't trade an SVT for anything, you've already got the best why change? If you blew a tube either you're not keeping up on it or some other componant went out. I've been using them for 40 years and can count on 1 hand the number of times my SVT's have krapped out on me and it was usually lack on maintainance on my part, not checking tubes soon enough not biasing it etc. A Sunn SS head ain't going to keep up with an SVT, there is a reason many amps such as Sunns come and go and SVT's just keep on being made. I would power both cabs with SVT's if I were you although I'd use two 8 x 10 cabs and get rid of the acoustic.
     
  11. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I guess why I was asking is that I've only ever had an SVT. I've seen other players with great tones (Joe Preston for example) who use solid state amps. When I look at the big picture of my time using my SVT it has proven to be very trustworthy. I just spent $500 about 6 months ago getting it spiffed up and adding a new set of tubes. The latest tube issue isn't the fault of the SVT. The tube cracked on the very bottom and air got in there. Going to cost me about $80 to get it up and running.

    The Sound City amp that I just picked up has a totally different character than the SVT. I'm excited to hear them together - SVT into 4x15 and the 120 PA into 8x10. The 4x15 is just too much fun to play shows with - fills up the room and shakes everything.

    Appreciate your thoughts.
     
  12. Dr. Gonzo82

    Dr. Gonzo82

    Jul 19, 2008
    With that setup I guess you play original music.

    Do you have any videos on YouTube ?
     
  13. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Yes but not with both rigs going unfortunately. Here's a video of when we opened for Bongzilla and Buzzoven. That's my SVT CL going into the Acoustic 408. I've also since picked up a 78 Washburn Scavenger which sounds noticeably better than the p-bass copy that I'm playing. Check out some of the amps they have backlined!
     
    wyrtti and jhb138 like this.
  14. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul SUSPENDED

    IMO no 120W amp will replace an SVT in any live scenario that I can think of.
     
    kinghat90 likes this.
  15. jhb138

    jhb138

    Sep 14, 2016
    Massachusetts
    I absolutely LOVE my Coliseum. Killer tone, and way louder than I'll ever need. If there's a drawback, it's the size/weight.
     
    kinghat90 likes this.
  16. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I didn't buy it to replace the SVT. I'm going to use it along side the SVT (at least for now). It's actually replacing a late 90's V4BH (100W Tube), and the Sound City 120 PA it is honestly close to twice as loud as the V4BH, if not more. It's got 6 EL 34's in it and while it probably isn't as loud as the SVT I don't need it to be. Both amps are in the shop but looking forward to running them both together
     
  17. kinghat90

    kinghat90

    Apr 18, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Good to know. The one I was looking at sold for $400. I've got my eyes out for a vintage Sunn or Acoustic solid state amp. I think I'd be happy picking up either.
     
    jhb138 likes this.
  18. Bim1959

    Bim1959

    Apr 15, 2009
    Naples Florida
    Sales and electronic tech/piano tech: England Music Center - Clinton IA - now closed
    I used to have a red line Coliseum 300 years ago as a backup for my SVT. Loved the sound and the weight wasnt that bad, especially compared to an or V4B. Cant remember what i traded it for though.
     
  19. jhb138

    jhb138

    Sep 14, 2016
    Massachusetts
    Definitely worth it, if you find one within your budget.

    I also forgot to mention, they're built like tanks! I bought mine in 94 or 95, and finally took it in for service last year for the first time! And not because it stopped working, just to finally do it. Lol. Other than being filthy, my tech said everything was good!
     
    kinghat90 likes this.
  20. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul SUSPENDED

    You’re comparing gain structure here, and I’m very, very familiar with the SC amp.
     

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