Thinking of buying SVT-VR. Advice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by skeevy, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. skeevy


    Mar 2, 2012
    Hi :)

    I'm considering buying a used VR. Have been communicating with seller, and today he informed me that he has a few different options for tubes he could stick in there if I wanted. I've never owned an all tube bass head, so a little shaky on making this decision (I did use the search engine and read some threads, which helped some).

    Here's what he said:
    Not sure if he's a TBer or just found that thread via google :ninja:

    My questions are(sorry so many):
    Which of these tubes will break up the earliest? Any personal opinions/preferences from VR users on these options? As a broader VR question, if I want something that can get nice tube breakup without being super loud, is this just the wrong head for me? I saw a guy with a vintage v4b and loved his tone, haven't heard a VR live. Would a Darkglass B3k (for example, I have one of these and a few other quality grit options) run before this be a good sound and give me a more overdriven, yet still tubey sound at more reasonable volumes? Anything to worry about with units made in 2007?

    Finally, is ~$1300 after shipping reasonable for a good condition VR? I'm seeing some completed listings on ebay for less than that, but I also can't seem to find a cheaper one anywhere.

    Any thoughts/opinions/advice appreciated here... thanks much for helping a tube noob :)
  2. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    You won't get power tube breakup out of an All Tube SVT without it being very loud. SVT 300 watts, V4B 100 watts. The V4B will overdrive the power tubes at useable levels . KT-88's generally have more clean headroom than 6550's so the 6550's would break up earlier but it would still be incredibly loud when this happened. the SVT is a great amp and the darkglass B3K might get you the sound you are looking for and it should be a smoother sound with an all tube amp. I would think
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Agreed. Power tube distortion on a VR means cranking the crap out of it. It will be beyond too loud at that point. That's why many like the CL, as it has seperate gain and volume knobs, so you can get the grind at reasonable levels. You'd be better served with a distortion pedal, and choose the cleanest tube set, with the highest headroom.
  4. Run it into a 4 ohm single 15" or 210 & you ain't in loud land really, imo at least. I mean ur loud, but I needed more clean outta it using a 410 meself. So, a larger cab did the trick.
  5. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Less speakers = less volume before breakup, but an SVT-VR is pretty loud regardless. The price is good, I've seen them go as high as $1500 (shipping included).

    I hear a rumor that an all tube 100 watt amp from Ampeg is a possibility.
    Perhaps it will be unveiled this weekend at namm???!
  6. skeevy


    Mar 2, 2012
    Thanks for the replies :bassist:

    I would be running it through an 810e. I've done some further reading and many people seem to have success running an od/distortion unit into the VR for nice grit at lower volumes. I just wish there was a place locally that I could try this out, and compare it to an SVT-CL. Any other thoughts or suggestions are appreciated :)
  7. skeevy


    Mar 2, 2012
    We can always hope! I will need to wait until my paycheck comes to make a move on the VR anyway, so we shall see...
  8. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    This is, of course, purely opinion on my part, but I have owned an SVT-VR and an SVT-CL, and IMO, the CL sounded "just okay" and the VR sounded absolutely FANTASTIC.
  9. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    I know alot of TB'ers are waiting for this! :bassist:

    I will speak candidly and say that if it sounds like the V4BH, I will not be the least bit interested, but if it sounds like an early 70's V4B, then Ampeg is going to have a very successful amp on their hands.

    It will all be in the tone (IMO of course).
  10. jastacey

    jastacey Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    If your going to re-tube the power tubes, a little bit of history, if memory serves me right ... the VR for most of the production run came stock with Sovtek 6550's then I believe when the heritage came out they used Winged "C", then they went to the JJ 6550, but the VR always had Sovtek 6550's ... the last SVT II Pro I re-tubed, I used the Sovtek 6550 and liked the sound when pushed hard ........ some time ago someone suggested the ValveArt 6550, as being a very close likeness to the GE 6550 .... so whether it's the SVT CL or VR or Pro II the power sections are very similar ... it's the preamp sections that's very different between the models, either way a properly set-up SVT when driven to power tube break-up is going to very very loud ... and my suggestion is get it set-up with the Sovtek 6550's
  11. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    The guy that builds the Heritage CL's is a talkbass member. His name is Hodgy, and he's as nice of a guy as you'll ever meet. If I had a question about tubes, he would be the first person I would ask.
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The new 100w Ampeg tuber is coming later this year. $1300 is an excellent price for a VR IMHO.
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    It sure the heck is!
  14. I agree completely.
  15. Darkglass

    Darkglass Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    Douglas Castro, Founder:
    Actually a very good friend of mine who got one of the first B3Ks I built uses just for that; to get his cranked Ampeg tone without waking up the whole neighborhood!