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Tube Head Problems: Mesa/Boogie Bass Strategy Eight:88 Vs Ampeg SVT-CL / Heritage

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cory778, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. Cory778


    Mar 16, 2015
    Pretty new hear so apologize if something similar has been posted, i searched for quite awhile and couldn't find any answers.

    I have played a USA made, newer Ampeg SVT-CL for almost 10 years now, I also had KT88's put in it at the beginning of that period. It has been through extensive touring and has always treated me pretty well. I love the tone, i use a Musician Stingray 5 or Fender American deluxe Jazz bass live, and with it can get just about any tone i would ever want with the active EQ's on the bass. I always engage the ultra-Low as well. I play with a Mesa Powerhouse 1000 cab which is a 15 with 4x10's as well.
    I play in all kinds of bands that do all sorts of genre's, but like i said, active EQ always takes care of any tone i really would need. So I'm not overly concerned about versatility.

    I have never had any problems other than needing to replace the tubes a couple times over the years, that is until recently. It started faulting every once in awhile two years ago, and I took it into a trusted dealer had it looked at, and it has not stopped going back to the shop since. I have taken it to multiple dealers and been without it for months at a time and it still keeps going down. I have a markbass TTE-800 that I have for a backup, but it just can't even touch the low end of the SVT and I honestly can't stand using SS amps.

    So my main question is, How close does the Mesa Bass Strategy come to sounding like an SVT? Obviously it isn't one, but it does come rack-mountable, lighter, and has some pretty cool foot switchable options. So if it can do the SVT thing, Maybe its the right choice, but I also keep thinking to myself If it isn't broke don't fix it, and have A/B'd my old one with KT88's to the newer heritage SVT's and they sounded pretty similar and i was very happy with it. My main worry is i can't get that Ultra Low switch sound, since the Mesa is considerably lighter, but I'm no expert.

    So has anyone played both? I can't stand taking this thing into the shop over and over again. With the money I've sunk into shipping it to different dealers and paying for repairs, i could have already bought a new one
    I also took a peek at the Ashdown CTM 300, but as that is essentially another $500 more than the other too, if that juice isn't worth the squeeze, its probably not my best option. I can't get to a shop to try out either of these non-SVT amps.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    On another note, I truly believe Ampeg needs to get involved with your Amp. If you made them aware of all you have been through they would probably want to look at your head.
  3. +1 I'd get the Ampeg looked into. Mesa ain't gonna sound like that. The Fender Super Bassman on the other hand. ... Will do the SVT tone and has a 2nd channel. ...
    But I'd still get the SVT sussed
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Setting 2 on the Strategy voicing dial is a suedo 'Peg style voice.
  5. Cory778


    Mar 16, 2015
    Thanks for the quick replies.
    I'll definitely give Ampeg CS a ring.

    I have tried the fender baseman, and just wasn't a fan. Can't exactly place why, but just didn't do it for me.

    As far as the Strategy goes how close is that setting 2? What are the tonal differences?

    I forgot to mention the strategy gives a 1/2 and low power options, both which also appeal to me because of the wide range of gigs that I do.

    I'm not set on anything by any means, but if that strategy can do the SVT thing and has all those other options, and in a rack mount... Sounds pretty nice.

    Thanks again.
  6. I think if you love the sound of your ampeg, the Mesa isnt going to satisfy you. I would take the amp back to where you have had it serviced and get them to actually fix the problem. Not just banaid it.
  7. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    You could also unload your SVT-CL and get another SVT.
    Since the rackmount option of the Strategy is something you like, have a look for an SVT II or SVT II Pro.
  8. Cory778


    Mar 16, 2015
    Why I'm having this great debate instead of just simply buying another SVT while my old baby gets patched up is mainly a concern about reliability. All the bells and whistles on the Mesa are nice, and i would get some use out of them, but while my SVT worked for a really long time, everyone i know is plagued with SVT problems at some point. I never had any problems with my 400+ back in the day. Now I'm hearing the strategy doesn't break up very well, is that the main difference between the two?

    My heads a mess guys... haha.
  9. Ampeg CS on out of warranty is pay as you go and pay full retail. At least it should come back ready for another ten years.
  10. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    I really have nothing constructive to add to your thread as I've only had my Strategy for a few hours and I won't actually get to use it at gig volume until tomorrow, but I've heard the same thing that Caca de Kick said. I really won't know until then and I don't have an SVT to compare it to. OTOH, CL400Peavey is a good source of info as well...

    You might wanna pop into the Prodigy/Strategy owners thread and ask there. I'd be willing to bet money that someone there owns, or has owned both the Strategy and an SVT...Mesa Boogie Prodigy / Strategy club - calling all owners! | TalkBass.com

    And let me congratulate you on getting almost 10 replies WITHOUT someone questioning your cab of choice...:thumbsup:
    Cory778 likes this.
  11. Cory778


    Mar 16, 2015
    That's exactly why i hadn't even bothered, i heard you might as well go bang your head against a wall and get better results.
    Though i suppose a phone call wouldn't hurt.
  12. I haven't heard of Ampeg themselves not repairing effectively. If their authorised repairers have bodged it repeatedly they should spot you the shipping at least.

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