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That instant SVT magic tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by barroso, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    I am still complaining concerning how the tone I prefer jumps out Ampeg SVT amplifiers and Fender Precision basses.

    I own 2 Fender Precision basses which i totally love but there is no SVT in my practice room.

    I do not have an SVT for different and valid (to me) outstanding reasons. I can summarize as follows: SVT is too heavy, too powerful and too expensive for my real needs.

    I remind that I am an amateur player (3 pieces rockabilly band) with biweekly band practice and with really small gigging activities.

    I ended (at the moment) with amps that to me sound the closest to a Classic SVT and that are lighter and cheaper. I have a TECH21 Landmark 600 half stack (with matching TECH21 B410 cabinet) which I bought at a really interesting price one year ago and I recently added a small and old Ampeg B-3 head, an entry level solid state head, short on nominal power (only 175W @4 ohm.. and I use a single 8 Ohm cabinet).

    Truth to be told even the Ampeg B-3 has more than adequate output volume for my needs. The Ampeg tone is there and I actually switch between the TECH21 and the B3 (by the way I bought this head used at 100 Euros...) based on feeling. Both do the job. Obviously the TECH21 is a power monster with powerful EQ. At the moment I start to play with the Ampeg B3, and the second part of the practice is done with the TECH21 with a tone really similar to Ampeg one.

    As you may understand I play with a SVT like tone without a real SVT amplfier. Since I suppose that I am not alone doing this I would appreciate to know your experience and your actual condition and rig in the SVT wannabe field.

  2. Texx


    Sep 10, 2004
    Did you sell all your Markbass stuff? :p

    I started out with a Tech21 SABDDI, 800W poweramp and sealed GK 4x10 cab to get near to that tubey SVT sound with my P-Bass.
    Well...it sounded good but after some time i realized that the SVT and P-Bass tone i heard on many recordings couldn't be achieved with my setup. I could not get those SVT mids with the SABDDI and it never sounded punchy enough.
    So i got me a Markbass LittleMark head and add some placebo tubeness with my EBS multicomp unless i can afford a real SVT and
    a roadie someday.
  3. bassman1964


    Oct 28, 2003
    For low volume/practice situations I have a 68 B15n which is the best. I just picked up a B100-R just cause I wanted something small, has the Ampeg tone, and was powerful enough for small jams and such. The B100-R is a great combo for getting that Ampeg tone. I cant get that exact tone as from the B15n, but pretty damn close. I wanted to make sure this amp lived up to the hype and it does. I recommend checking one out. I don't think you'll be able to hang w/ a loud drummer but it may be just what you are looking for. If you want tube, for a couple more hundred bucks you should be able to find a B15 in good condition. It is practical for all purposes, but if you go into the PA w/ it you can use it for everything. I'll never part w/ mine. My P Bass matched w/ the B-15n is bass tone heaven.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've seen (heard) some bassists get great results with the Ampeg V4B.

    I was going to recommend one of the SansAmp products for bass, but you're already there. They can be set up to sound like an SVT, but aren't nearly as versatile, so they simply cannot cover the full range of sounds possible with an SVT.
  5. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    Tex, yes I have sold my Markbass setup. Nothing wrong with it, just, you know, endless GAS and not enldess amount of money to spend on gear.

    The Markbass was really powerful and overall a great setup. I just was in search for that Ampeg sound i am looking for.

    I have had in the past Ampeg SVT3-pro but i was frustrated with hiss, noise and lack of headroom. So i sold.

    I choosed the TECH21 half stack which is really powerful and great sounding, in that old school ampeg vibe. The bass player review really nailed it down when presented the Landmark600.

    I also know the Ampeg B100R which is a really great amp. Used both for practice and live. Keep in mind that now i am not looking to buy a new amp, I am really happy with mine. Just i want to share comments, idea, experiences and so on about being an amateur player with the Ampeg sound in our heads.

    Think to this thread to a compendium titled
    "How to sound SVT without being able to buy, afford & carry up a real SVT.."
  6. pooch0072


    Sep 27, 2005
    what about the SVTCL preamp? (more as a question than a suggestion)
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Same here. However I'm very happy with my SVP-Pro preamp. Some have reported noise issues with the SVP as well, but mine was retubed by its previous owner and is amazingly quiet. It doesn't sound like warm 6550's, but still has the SVT vibe. With the Drive control on the SVP, I can get more distortion than I could with the Tube Gain on the 3Pro.

    I also have the SansAmp BDDI pedal and RBI preamp. I can't say I have a preference for either SansAmp or Ampeg. I typically use SansAmp when I want more bite (treble), and Ampeg when I want a fatter tone. But both are pretty versatile.
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Nothing will be exactly the same, but honestly, I played through a real SVT/8X10 once and I didn't like the tone at all. I much prefered the FOH tone with just a nice DI.

    I do, however, use a BDDI and the "SVT" setting with the rock band. I like the quasi-tone better.
  9. greaseball


    Dec 1, 2005
    I feel ya bro. I have been lusting after *THE* tone ever since I sold mine years ago. I downsized for practicle reasons ( Sansamp pre through Yorkville xm200 combo) but lately have come to realize that the only thing that will work for me is the real thing. Svt8x10 sitting beneath an all tube head. I now realize, after owning many 4x10 cabs, that the fridge wasn't all that hard to lug around after all, just so long as you have at least 48" long of cargo space. I'll soon be lugging one around again, but I'll keep the Yorkie (damn good amp) for rehearsals and really small gigs. :D
  10. greaseball


    Dec 1, 2005
    Sorry...I spelled practical wrong. Duh...
  11. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    that's all a matter of taste!!
  12. bumpie
  13. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    I am loving the results i have with the SVP-CL Ampeg preamp.
  14. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Slightly different approach:


    I have programmed a patch that I use for the old-skool gospel stuff: a P-bass into a slightly hot SVT stack. It sounds very good IMO. Then again I have only spent limited time with a proper SVT. I play through an Eden/AccuGroove setup.
  15. 7thbass


    Nov 21, 2003
    Houston, Tx
    The Carvin tube power amp is not too heavy and is 100w. Also, there is the Peavey Classic 60/60 power amp (I think it is bridgable).
  16. jimb213


    Nov 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Have you considered Line6? I haven't played the bass stuff extensively, but my guitarist (who is also a record producer & engineer and has a great ear) uses a Line6 Vetta II guitar amp that sounds amazing, and he said the new Line6 bass practice combo sounds great, too. His words were "It sounded like an Ampeg with an 8x10, only at a really low volume." So maybe consider the BassPod Live, or the kidney-shaped one if you don't need switching. Line6 has come a long way since they first hit the scene.
  17. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000

    are these designed for electric guitars?
  18. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I'll come at it from the opposite direction.

    For years, I've loved the tone on any mid '70s Fender Bassman, and the Bassman 70 in particular, but they're not loud enough. I plugged into the SVT-VR, and it was the same tone, only much louder, and with more EQ options. Now I want one.

    So, for someone looking for a low-volume, lighter SVT, I'd recommend a '70s Fender Bassman head. Much lighter ,and can be had cheaply (since it's not a sought-after model) on eBay or at pawn shops.

    I've yet to hear the POD setting that has the same liveliness as an SVT, or any tube amp, BTW, but the Trademarks aren't bad at all, IMO.
  19. jimb213


    Nov 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    True, they're not 100% there yet, but they're much closer than they used to be. close enough to "fool" the audience, I would wager. And close enough to sound pretty darn good.
  20. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    I still think Tech 21 NYC's SansAmp line does the best impersonation around. Not everyone loves it, but as a former SVT owner who left it for the same reasons you did, I found the SansAmp BDDI convincing enough to shed the 250 lbs. of gearr.

    The Line6 stuff is not bad, either, in all honesty. More than fine for most live situations, in my opinion.

    The other option is to hire roadies.