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The ultimate SVT ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JayAmel, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. SVT-CL

    34 vote(s)
  2. SVT-2 PRO

    26 vote(s)
  3. SVT-3 PRO

    17 vote(s)
  4. SVT-4 PRO

    30 vote(s)
  1. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    Time has come for me to purchase my rig. It took some time, but I finally decided to go Ampeg SVT. Guess it'll be the best companion for my Rickenbacker 4003. I like the warmth and punch of Chris Squire's or Geddy Lee's tones.

    My question is : WHICH SVT should I take ?

    I mean : NOT the best one "for the money", but the best one in the ultimate way... In other words, the one that'll be the most appropriate for a great, warm and punchy tone for my Rick...

    About the cab, I'm going with a SVT-810E.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions,

    All the best,
  2. The best? An original SVT from the early 70's, recapped to be as good as new. That would be the best.

  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Sure :D , but I really prefer purchasing a new amp than a used one... As the poll temporary results seem to confirm, I also do believe the SVT-CL (some kind of "reissue" of the Classic one) will be the best for me.

    But many things make me wonder :

    - The SVT-2 PRO : all-tube like the Classic, but with many features such as 9-band EQ or effects loop,

    - The SVT-4 PRO : huge power, and tube preamp + 9-band EQ, though MosFet power amp,


    All the best,
  4. Any of the all-tube SVT's will eat an SVT4-Pro in terms of tone and volume.... I, too would suggest a 70's version (of course:D, see my Avatar:p), but the CL and 2-Pro are reasonable facsimilies tone wise. They're basically the same amp, the 2-Pro's just got some extra stuff.
  5. tonru


    Mar 15, 2002
    SVT-CL.i still have to go with tube tone,purity,and the shortest signal path;probably just carryover from my experience with guitar amps.

    i have a great deal of respect for solid state gear for bass,i just don't think it's ampegs strongest effort.

    in a small band i'd love a b15r with a weber alnico replacement speaker.
  6. The SVT-CL works for me. :)
  7. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    I would get the SVT-2 Pro. My amp tech advised me against getting the CL because he said that he has noticed that they have some kind of problem??? Dont know if there is any truth behind but i got the SVT-2 Pro and havent ever looked back!!!
  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Well, I've read and heard much about Ampeg reliability and problems, as well for the SVT-CL as for any other model.

    One of the dealers I'm in contact with told me recently that he occurs many problems with Ampeg amps. Until a few days ago, he said the problems occurred on heads and preamps only, but now he begins having problems with combos too.

    I guess there's a kind of "lottery" when you buy an Ampeg (and I also guess it's the same with many other brands). However, I'll deal with a local retailer for that amp, so that it'll be much easier for me in case of any problem. And fortunately, the official distributor of Ampeg here in France is a very serious company.

    All the best,
  9. austin01bmx


    Jan 8, 2002
    stv-5 pro rules 1300 watts stereo
  10. KingOfAmps

    KingOfAmps Inactive

    I bought both :D (seriously) because I wasn't sure which one I would like more over the long run. After two years of playing both, I sold the 2Pro and kept the CL. Tube-wise they're basically the same but bear in mind I'm no tube/amp engineer. Control-wise the 2 Pro has an extra knob ("Drive") and the EQ. I THOUGHT the "Drive" knob would give me distortion/overdrive/dirt/something extra, but it might as well not have been there (It was either broke or useless). The EQ is another story. You can really shape the tone! IMHO it's not flexible enough to CONVINCINGLY produce "super-modern" sounds BUT it will deliver super-heavy thump/bottom/growl/devastation/etc galore. And truthfully, I ended up leaving a certain "perfect tone" dialed in all the time. A perfect tone that can easily be achieved on the CL without having the EQ their to break/move/spew beer in/be in the way/worry about/etc. Hope this helps!
  11. I have a SVP-BSP and an Ampeg power amp and that pretty much kicks ass! It has plenty of growl and warm tone, on both the clean and overdrive channels. The combine channel feature is ultra kewl too! It allows you to combine your settings of the clean channel and your overdrive channel. Activating the od boost makes an almost guitar-like growl and scream...pretty cool toy! :cool: :D

    ...now all I need is to get my poor ass a 3 or 4 unit SKB rack...:(
  12. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    IMO, it's between the SVT-CL & the SVT-II PRO. I own the SVT-II PRO & love it. I use the drive & mine does get a NICE overdriven sound. You mention Geddy Lee & Chris Squire & you have to love that slightly overdrived bass sound. Honestly, either one will do. W/the SVT II, you'll need to spend some extra money onan SKB case or somthing to that effect.

    I don't use the 9 band EQ any longer. I used to but now I leave it off. I leave the parametric EQ flat & cut or boost as needed for each show. Same goes for the drive knob.
  13. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I had a CL and it sounded pisser with my Ric, I used the CL into a 4 10HE and 2 10HE, Tone up the Wazoo!
  14. Jeff Corallo

    Jeff Corallo

    May 30, 2000
    I think you need to consider weight, how much you plan to transport the head, and future maintenance. The SVT 4PRO weighs in at 42 pounds, SVT II Pro weighs in at 70 pounds (not including rack) and SVT CL weighs 80 pounds. Most posts in this forum suggest that the tempermental part of an all-tube amp is the power section. Moving the equipment (and accidently dropping it) could shorten the life of the power tubes (SVTII and SVT CL) whereas the SVT 4PRO's power section is solid-state, and this may be more more reliable. I love the tube sound and rumble, but have had to make compromises in my rig because I move it so much.
  15. I agree with you; that stuff does need to be considered when purchasing amps. Personally, I love the sound of my all-tube SVT so much that I'm willing to put up with the weight and maintenance ( I'm into electronics and tubes anyway). But I certainly understand your points... (all too well at 3:00 AM when I'm lugging my 115lb flight case up a flight of stairs :D).
  16. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    Though I'm almost certain that nothing can replace an all-tube SVT, I must admit my hesitation regarding to the SVT-4PRO.

    There are 4 specific points that make me hesitate :

    1/ The weight, as you said, and the standard rackmount capability (the CL has not, and is MUCH heavier),

    2/ The 9-band EQ (the SVT-2PRO has it too, but the CL does not),

    3/ The reliability (referring to what you said about MosFet power amps which are less fragile than valve ones),

    4/ The price. Yeah, I know I said it was not an argument in my choice, but I guess I have to be a bit more specific. If a very pricey SVT-CL or SVT-2PRO is required to have THE specific SVT tone, I'll pay for that. But if the SVT-4PRO can do that tone as well, I'm not sure that paying twice the price for an all-tube is that relevant.

    All the best,
  17. ChronicPyromaniac


    Jan 25, 2001
    I think the CL, SVT II, and VI are all within 300 bucks of each other.
  18. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    You should also consider the Ampeg SVP-pro preamp with a separate power amp. If you get a Carvin or QSC RMX series I think it actually ends up cheaper than an SVT-4
  19. Jeff Corallo

    Jeff Corallo

    May 30, 2000

    Thats what I came down to after reading a lot of posts here, researching outside of Talkbass and playing. I'm partial to Ampeg and bought an SVP-Pro and found a used QSC Powerlight 1.0 (1000 watts @ 4 ohms bridged). I've got the preamp section of the SVT 4Pro and SVT 2 Pro (five tubes which if treated gently will last a long time). The QSC weighs in at 18 lbs and takes up two rack spaces. A nice, light rig.

    Then I bought a 6 space rack.....then I had to fill it up with stuff (major gas). So much for a light rig. :rolleyes:
  20. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    The old SVTs eat the new ones for breakfast.
    More ass-kickin' punch, power, and balls.
    I've compared them side-by-side, and the new ones sound weak and puny compared to a well-maintained '70's era SVT.
    Real men play vintage SVTs.
    And forget that "new amps are more reliable" BS.
    The current Crate-Pegs break more often than the old ones. Really, they're crap. All of them.
    Find a nice old SVT, take it to a good tech, and you will rule the earth. You won't regret it.

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