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SVT-CL vs SVT-4 Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by qandb, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. qandb


    Nov 28, 2012

    I currently own an Ampeg 810 and would like to know if volume output would be equal between a SVT-CL head and a SVT-4 Pro head?

    I'm not very familiar with tube heads for bass...

  2. nubs


    Mar 1, 2005
    the 4pro has allot of volume thats for sure. i sold my SVT CL awhile back, and got a 4pro. its only 42 pounds compared to the 90 some that the CL is......that was my deal breaker. i am too old for a 100 pound amp night after night
  3. qandb


    Nov 28, 2012
    Weight is not an issue for me, I'm still young!

    I'd like to be able to add a 4 ohm 15" woofer. Would I be able to add a 4 ohm woofer to my setup with a CL?

    At 2 ohm, the SVT 4 pro delivers 935 watts and I've seen no 4 ohm woofer that can handle this much power. Then again, would I be able to "choke" that power by using the crossover settings?
  4. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I'd go with the SVT-CL. I owned an SVT-4 for a number of years and found it to deliver a little less than you'd think it would with the published ratings. The CL will just sound better as you crank it, whereas the SVT-4's limiter/clipping lights will be flashing all of the time. You can probably find a good deal on a 4 though (maybe $600).

    My choice for everything is the heavier tube amp though.
  5. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I believe the 4 has more power but the CL has the true vintage ampeg sound. The 4 can come close, but if your not looking for vintage then the 4 has its own sound but insane amounts of power. ( BTW, ignore the "clip" light. It's just there to scare the meek ). My opinion, the 7pro is a better option than the 4.
  6. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    The light on the 4 pro is more of an "you have reached appropriate gain" light than a clip light. The 4 will be louder, but both have their own character.

    Also don't pair a 115 with an 810. No point.
  7. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    No comparison. The Classic is a superior amp.

  8. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Adding a single 15" to your 810?

    What would be the point?

    As to the original question, I've played but not owned both amps, and I prefer the CL. The 4pro isn't bad, I just couldn't get it to sound as aggressive as I wanted it to.
  9. I've owned both. My experience/opinion...

    Both amps are really loud.

    I ran the input well into "clipping" all the time (ie. with the right light pretty much on all the time). It sounded best that way, and was plenty loud. This amp doesn't produce the big round tone of a tube amp. It's a great amp in its own right with its own sound that still falls within what I expect to hear from the Ampeg family.

    The standard in backline rental fleets for big stages because it's the standard rock setup. It's the one you want if you're after the big SVT sound to go with your 810. This is a loud rig that doesn't need more power. If you can't hear yourself with this rig, your band is playing extremely loud and you should be wearing hearing protection. If you're playing festivals or really big venues, just add another fridge on the 2 ohm tap.

    Adding a 15
    I don't see the need. The 15 would change the character of the SVT+810 sound, for lots of reasons, but partly because you'd lose the roll-off of the very deep bass response and some of the pronounced low-mid characteristics of the rig. You'd have a strange distribution of power across speaker drivers with either rig, but the 4pro in dual mono is the better amp if you really want to do this. I've seen guys use an 810 and a 2x15 fridge with the SVT-CL on the 2 ohm tap. I'm partial to either a pair of 810 cabs or a pair of 2x15 cabs, only because the two cabs have their own distinct voice. The mix of cabs doesn't do it for me. Again, I've never needed more than an 810 setup with my SVT-CL or my 4-pro

    YMMV of course. My taste in bass tone could be worlds apart from yours. Both amps are often stock rental items at music stores so rent a variety of things until you figure out what you like.
  10. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Well said
    It really comes down to which tone do you like more and is 300 watts enough?
    I would think that with an 8x10 300 watts is plenty and I personally like the sound of my SVT-CL better than my SVP-CL pre-amp with a 1500 watt power amp.
    Not a huge difference in tone but given the choice....
  11. Yep....big +1 for all the responses thus far!!

    I, too, own and play both and the CL far and away, is the better amp. Now, don't get me wrong here, I love the 4Pro too, but it can NOT cop the tube sound.....maybe a little close with the VT in front of the chain, but nothing like the CL..
  12. AngryJohnny


    Apr 23, 2010
    I bought an older 4 Pro model several years back used for about $500. I've been pleased with the sound since day one but the maintenance has been a bit more than expected for a hybrid amp. Part of the initial appeal was to avoid that running a solid state power section. Stupid me.

    I will say I've never struggled with volume running a 2x12 and 2x10 cab set up next to two high gain, Mesa/half-stack guitarists. I've got to say though were I opting for one or the other with cash on hand I'd go with the CL at this point.
  13. qandb


    Nov 28, 2012
    Wow thank you all very much for your input!

    I think I'll go with the SVT CL. Although more pricey, the "indestructible if well maintained" aspect of the amp is a plus, since I've read conflicting opinions about the 4pro, but a consensus seems to be reached about the CL.

    I play heavy stuff and I've tried to overdrive the 4pro with not so much success. I figure tube preamp stage is not enough for me. I've searched for bass overdrive pedals and none seem to fit my needs. Now, my problem is I like to have a main sound but I like to be able to punch in some more volume, which the 4pro lets me do with the graph EQ and a footswitch, but the CL has only one channel.

    I figure I'm not the only one who likes to blow my ears off from time to time. What's your input on this?

    Oh, and skrew the 1x15 thing, I'll see what the CL gives before going that way. And, if I do, I'd go with a 2x15. Or a second 810. "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."
  14. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Nothing wrong with staying with the King of Bass amps!

    If it weighed 25 lbs. or less I wouldn't have bought that pile of amps over the years so that I could try to get the 85lb. sound from...
    The again, at 54 I leave the heavy iron at home unless truly inspired.

    Go forth and conquer young man, and cherish the 20 or so years you get where you can kick a$$ and take names 24/7.
  15. SVT-CL all the way.
    If you have the back for it, I wouldn't even consider the 4-pro.
    I would however, consider the SVT2, 2-pro or SVT-VR as alternatives also.
  16. qandb


    Nov 28, 2012
    Thank you but,. maybe I wasn't clear enough, I usually play in a two-channel setup, where I have a clean/slghtly gritty Ampeg sound and a more heavily overdriven sound, which I can switch during a song (with a footSWITCH). Since the CL doesn't offer that, what do you people use to boost your sound during a song?
  17. have u considered the fender super bassman 300?
    DEMS854 likes this.
  18. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    There are many pedals that will either recreate that sound or, offer more gain to push the front end of your amp harder to also create an overdriven tube tonality
  19. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    If you want clean boost with VERY FLEXIBLE inputs and outputs, try an MXR 10 band stompbox pedal. It will accept anything from bass guitar level to line level input and output whatever you need.

    If you want dirt + boost into the SVT input, there are a lot of pedals that can do that too.
  20. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Sounds to me like you'd be more satisfied with the 2 Pro. Foot switchable 9 band EQ; master, gain and drive controls.