SVT-II vs Mesa 400+?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by chaosMK, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Does anyone have experience with these heads? I am considering purchasing a used tube head and havent been able to find these locally to try out. I have a read a lot of reviews on both but havent really been able to differentiate between them much.

    How do these heads compare to each other?
  2. ebladeboi123


    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    I can't speak for the SVT-II, but i know ampeg's in general are just amazing. In all honesty, with the recent mesa's, i have been dissappointed. I know a family who owns a Mesa Bass rig, and guitar rig, and both are horrid. Granted he plays through the bass rig with a Spector, that i've never been to sure about. I've refused to play through the Mesa, because the kid's tone is so horrible. I play a GK 800 RB II with a Eden Cab, and the tone is phenomial. Outta those choices, go with the ampeg.
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    for sounding like the majority of rock bassists out there..
  4. cheezewiz


    Mar 27, 2002

    I disagree. While the all tube SVT is THE CLASSIC sound of rock bass, and a great amp, most of the ampeg SS stuff I've heard has sounded horrible. The b2R in particular is underpowered and sounds just awful. I've been very impressed with most of the Mesa gear I've tried.
  5. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    In my experience, the SVT-II and SVT CL are a very different animal.... and both are way better than Ampeg's SS line.

    The SVT-II and Mesa 400+ are quite comparable, but you'll definately get different tones from them because of difference in the preamp, and the fact that they use different power tubes. They both can growl, if your looking for that, but in my experience, the Mesa has more ability to get into a warmer, richer frame of sound. Then again, a lot depends on your instrument and the tone you are looking for.
  6. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    Dude... get over it. We all know your opinion of Ampeg.
  7. In a similar situation I played a the SVT-CL that a good friend of mine's bass player uses. I didn't have my bass there. It sounded like absolute garbage and we couldn't dial in anything good. He didn't understand as he thought it was supposed to be a great amp, though he knows little about it. This was the first one I got to play, but I was convinced that there was something else going on with the bass. Turns out it was the bass.
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    A search for either of these will turn up lots of thread. I used a Mesa 400+ for a while. Great bit of kit. Heavy though. Killer tone, lots of power. About 80 lbs racked tho.
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    There are tons of sources for info and opinions on both these heads- I feel like I've read most of them! I am starting to get an impression that there isnt a lot setting these two heads apart (not to mention they look alike and weigh about the same) in terms of sound and capability.
  10. I love my SVT II sounds really good, the graphic EQ is a godsend, never had a chance to compare it to a mesa 400+ they are both pretty well matched as far as i gather, and its just down to the differences in sound
  11. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I am currently using a Mesa 400+. When compared to the SVT-II, the 400+ is a lot more versitle, but it also has a ton of things you need to dial in. If you want to plug n play, get the II, but if you like shaping your tone, the Mesa is a great sounding amp. But don't get the SVT-CL or 2-Pro if you can find a real II, as the preamp sounds better on the II to my ears.
  12. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    IME the Mesa is much more Versatile.

    I think of the SVT-II's strongest point being that dirty rock sound, and it does it great.

    The Mesa on the other hand, does it pretty darn good, plus it can do almost anything else.
  13. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    My only gripe with the 400+ was that I could never get enough midrange out of it to get it to snarl. I much prefer the boostable midrange of the SVT. The 400+ is basically a fender bassman with a huge power section.

    The 400+ is a great amp if you want a loud clean sound (like for a loud blues band), but you want your bass to roar and growl, get an SVT.
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yep, that's exactly how I used mine...