Vintage SVT v. Mesa 400+

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ROCKBOBMEL_old, Oct 9, 2001.

  1. Besides 6 x 6550's & 12 6L6GC's, what is the difference between these amps.
    I am looking for opinions on headroom, tone, girth, etc.
    I am seriously thinking about a vintage SVT. I recently heard some good stuff about the Mesa (sans the chinese tubes).
  2. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The vintage SVT (if we're talking early seventies) is still the king of all bass amps, IMO. But the 400+ is a great amp and my current favorite (I own both). The Boogie is warmer and fatter while the SVT has more raw edge and grunt. They both blow away just about anything else out there, IMO (and I'm talking tubes, ss are a whole other deal). The SVT is heavier while the Boogie can be rack mounted. The 400+ also offers graphic EQ and a bit more flexibility with controls and the fan can be turned to low, high or off. Whichever one you show up with on a gig, you will OWN the band!
  3. Thanks Boogiebass.That's the input I want.
    BTW, I currently use an Eden Navigator preamp w/WT1000 power, a D-410xlt and D-210xlt. I also have two tube rigs.An Ampeg V-4 head with a 1-18 EV loaded Sonic cab.A Bassman 135 with a Musicman RH115 loaded with a BW.
    I am no stranger to tube amps, however, I never had the BIG ones. I am afraid they will fail to have the headroom I need. The weight is partially an issue, but not as much as I am unwilling to haul around the recommended Ampeg 8-10 cab.My understanding is they use effecient low watt drivers to get the most out of the SVT head.
    The Eden 4-10 has a SPL of 106db, the 2-10 is 103db. I don't know what the others are. Do you think the Edens would do well daisy chained together? Thanks

    PS, Yes, I mean 69,70's SVT.
  4. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I can't imagine headroom being a problem but you should definitely get one and try it, maybe with an option to return it if it's not for you. I currently own 4 Eden cabs (D210XLT, D410XLT, D115XL and D215XLT) and yes, I think they would be great all the way down to 2 ohms with either amp. I've personally run the 15 and 210 with my 400+ and it just kills! Good luck.
  5. I'd more or less agree with boogiebass about the two amps. You get more grind out of an SVT and more clean volume from a 400+. Both amps are plenty powerful for any applicatiion with any cabinet. The Mesa has more tone shaping options while an SVT sounds like an SVT. An old SVT is more likely to have mainentance issues than a new Mesa, so you need to consider that. Anything older than 24 or 25 years is going to need a cap job, etc.... That being said, when I replaced the caps in my '76 SVT, the amp really came to life. If an old SVT in good shape presents itself I'd reccommend going for it. They're real easy to sell and have good resale values, so if you didn't like it for some crazy reason, you could get your money back on selling it. I'm using an SWR Goliath III (8 ohm) and don't have any problem cutting through a VERY loud rock band. The 8 ohm cabinet won't even let the amp develop full power. Before I get any lectures about impedence matching and tube amps, just let me say that running an 8 ohm box on a 4 ohm output tap isn't much of an issue. I checked into that....:D
    To sum it up both amps just slay, try to play on both and see which you prefer!
  6. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Is your V4B not loud enough?? Those get loud for most gigs. I'd love to have an old SVT but I can't talk my arms and back into getting one (haha). Also, if you do get a vintage SVT, have a knowledgable tech look at it for you and make sure the 6550's are biased properly. If the push-pull sections are not accurately biased together, it will literally self-destruct and eat tubes (which = money).

    BTW, I love Eden cabs with tube rigs and they should be plenty efficient for the head.

  7. BWB

    BWB Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2000
    Knoxville TN
    Here's a semi-related 400+ question. I've been
    thinking about buying one for years, but have
    varied gig situations - some I need a lot of volume
    for some I need to keep it pretty quiet. Do you
    find that the tone varies at low volume with the
    400+? Assume that 'loud' is NOT sending the
    amp into overdrive or break up - that it is
    clean. Will the amp retain the clean loud tone
    at a lower volume? That's one thing I really like
    about SWR is that tone is constant regardless
    of volume level.