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VT300B vs DB359 vs SA200 vs SVT

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassgruvn, Feb 19, 2006.


  1. So I just sold me SVT-CL to a list member and I need to replace that tube sound. (only reason I sold the SVT was the weight) I am looking at the above amps and would love some input from members. Cost is not a factor in the comparison. Thanx all :hyper:
     
  2. TrooperFarva

    TrooperFarva

    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I've heard the Orange AD200B can be SVT like, and it weighs about 50 lbs, you might want to consider that.
     
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Interesting stable of amps to choose from! I'll present my thoughts as best I can.

    VT-300B - tonally quite flexible, and it allows you to dial in the widest range of overdriven/distorted tones of the bunch, and it can do so over the widest range of volumes. Takes a bit of tweaking to get a killer clean tone, but it can be found. Not quite as crazy loud as you might expect from six 6550's, but loud enough to get the job done.

    DB 359 - definitely the quietest of the bunch, but with an excellent tone that favors thicker mids, smoother lows, and glossy high end. Does not really do what I would call an overdriven tone, but has some very nice clean tones in there.

    SA200 - the tone king, in my book. While mostly a "clean" sounding amp, you can dial in some very musical grit/grind/warmth while never losing tonal balance and overall articulation. The lows are full but exceedingly tight. Mids and highs are, well, for lack of a better term, "perfect" in my book. Don't listen to this amp. It will ruin you for all other tube heads. :p In stock form, it runs six EL34's, rated at just over 200w, but it sounds far louder than the DB 359's 200w, and pretty close to the VT-300B's 300w (note that both the Eden and the Sadowsky were built by Dolf Koch, though the front ends on each amp vary appreciably, and the sound isn't anywhere close between the two).

    SVT - My experience is only with a vintage SVT head (around '70-72), and I like it a lot. It had more high end presence than I was expecting, based upon everyone's comments on SVT's,and it can deliver chest-compressing low mids. When driven at 75% gain or louder into a large sealed cab, the SVT delivers an experience that I have not been able to match with any other gear. Growl/grit/impact like nothing else. Very nice! But, my main gripe with the SVT is that I can't always get the sounds that I want at the volumes that I need to play. Still, someday, I plan on picking one up for myself.

    If I haven't made it clear, the SA200 is my top choice by a significant margin. The only time that I would prefer a different all-tube head is when I need to get absolutely stupid loud - and that's when I break out the 400w Trace Elliot V8. :D:bassist: The V8 is the only head I've heard that even comes close to matching the beautiful tone of the SA200, and in all but the most extreme situations, I believe that the SA200 delivers ample volume (though in all honesty, I don't think it was designed to be a "loud venue gigging amp").

    We'll have most of these amps on hand next weekend, so others should be able to provide an informed decision in a week or so!

    Tom.
     
  4. Thanx for all the info Tom. I find it very helpfull.
    :smug:
     
  5. You might also consider a Mesa 400 or 400+. It's about 45lbs and offers up a nice palette of tonal options including a convincing SVT if you wanted. Once the power tubes get warmed up well it will deliver nice power tube saturation.
     
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    +1

    Or an older Trace Elliot all-tube head.

    Tom.
     
  7. alanbass1

    alanbass1

    Feb 8, 2006
    London
    I thought the 400+ was around 70lbs in weight. Is it really just 45lbs?
     
  8. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Its more than 45 lbs, especially in a rack. Mine is about 75 total I think.
     
  9. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    actually 53 pounds to be exact.:p
     
  10. alanbass1

    alanbass1

    Feb 8, 2006
    London
    That's what I thought and along with the insane number of power valves (cost of running), this has put me off looking at the 400plus. Are all these valves seated in ceramic (or silar) valve bases or are they directly mounted onto the PCB?