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Which preamp tubes SHOULD an Ampeg SVT-4 Pro have as standard?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fender32, Oct 1, 2005.


  1. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Please can someone tell me which preamp tubes (brand and exact model type) an SVT-4 Pro is supposed to leave the factory with?

    I've just re-mortgaged my house to buy one, only to find that it has 1 x Groove Tubes 12AX7R and 2 x Electro Harmonix 12AX7EH tubes in it. :bawl: That doesn't look right to me! Do I need to go and slap the guy who sold it to me as "NEW" (****ing eBay) :mad: , or has he done me a favour? (Seriously, I need to know if a new one would come with two different brands of tube in).

    More importantly, which of the Groove Tubes models would best suit this preamp for an authentic SVT "growl" tone? Are the 12AX7Ms (Mullard copies) worth considering, or would they be too mellow to overdrive?

    All opinions welcome! :)
     
  2. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Those are probably the stock tubes, but I dont have an SVT-4 on hand to open up. I think few SVT-4 users are tube savvy enough (its a solid state amp after all) to think of changing the tubes. Those are probably perfectly good preamp tubes. How is it sounding?
     
  3. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Groove Tubes aren't all that. Just find what you like, and put them in. Preamp tubes are cheap, so it shouldn't matter that much, unless it sounds like ass.
     
  4. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :meh: Well, that's a very sensible question.

    The truth is, I've just got the amp and am only able to plug it into a mixing desk at the moment (until I can get it to the rehearsal room and plug it into my cabs). So far, the sound seems a little flat and uninvolving, but that's probably because I'm comparing it to the sound of my Bass Pod through headphones (although that just sounds crappier the more you turn it up through an amp, I find).

    The reason for my concern is twofold: firstly, I want to know if I've just paid over the odds for a used amp that was sold as "new" on eBay and secondly, I want to keep a spare set of valves and would like to know which ones this amp was designed to run with.

    That said, some people on this forum have accused the SVT-4 of being dull, mediocre, uninvolving etc. - perhaps they're right? :bawl:

    (someone reassure me, please)
    ;)
     
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    If you want overdrive, you should have gotten a tube amp.
     
  6. or just wait until you have tested it with your cab?
     
  7. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    I wanted "the option of overdrive, without the compulsory hernia". :eek:

    Asking for the moon on a stick, wasn't I? ;)
     
  8. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Mmm hmm? Remember when you started out on bass, probably in the days before great forums like TB? Wouldn't it have been good if you could have relied on the helpful advice and opinions of people who'd "been there" and actually used the gear that you were interested in? It'd certainly solve the problem of what to do if you didn't own a music store and could order, test and dissect equipment at will.

    Well, sadly, I have to rely on the opinions posted here to guide me, as I don't have a Gold Amex card and have to buy a lot of my equipment without trying it out first. Worst still, I DON'T OWN A TIME MACHINE!

    So, now I do own an SVT-4 and I want to know which preamp valves produce which kind of sound.

    :help: Any offers please?
     
  9. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    with that amp? use the stock ones until they die, then replace with JJ or EH. add a sansamp bddi for a traditional "svt type growl"
     
  10. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Good advice, thanks! :)

    I wanted to get a spare set of valves (to be prepared), so I think I'll look to EH for those.

    Also, you're the second person to suggest a SansAmp BDDI for the "growl". I actually had one just before buying the SVT4, but it was "duff" straight out of the box :crying: , so I never really found out what it could do. Perhaps I should look for another one? :meh:
     
  11. Jimmy P.

    Jimmy P.

    Apr 5, 2005
    Tokyo, Japan
  12. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    My Svt 4 Pro has Groove Tubes in it for stock tubes, it is not here right now for me to check the exact number on them, but I do know they are 12AX7's of some sort.

    I don't think you made a mistake by buying the amp, of course, I may be a bit biased, since that amp has been a major component in "my" sound for close to 5 years now. And I would never accuse it of being dull sounding. Or mediocre.

    I am, however, considering getting rid of mine, but it is not because I don't like it. GAS has hit me, and I just want something different now. Starting to get bored with the same old-same old. :rolleyes: So, the hunt for a new amp and cab has begun for me. Yay.
     
  13. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :) That's what I wanted to hear! Thanks Ryan.

    By the way, what kind of amp are you looking for now and what should it do that the SVT4 didn't do (just curious)?
     
  14. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    No problem.

    Right now, I am still up in the air about getting rid of the head. It is not that it doesn't do what I want it to, actually, it does everything I need/want it to. My only reason for thinking about it is simply for the fact of getting something different. I have been looking into Eden's WT800, the Thunderfunk 550, Mesa's 600, and GK's 1001RBII. As of right now, I am for sure going to replace my cabinet (SVT410HLF) with probably an Aguilar GS412. After I have gotten the new cab, I will then decide if I want to pursue getting a new head.
     
  15. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Interesting! :cool:

    I think I've read most of the posts on TB concerning this amp and a lot of owners have said the same thing; that the Ampeg/Ampeg speaker and cab combination doesn't quite give the clarity that they're after. So, your choice of Aguilars may well be the way to go first (although, I'm certainly no expert on this matter).

    I was also interested to read that you use a single 4 x 10. Most of the guys here seem to be using multiple cabs and so their connectivity options are wider. I'd be interested to know how you connect yours: 1/4" jack fron one side of the stereo amp, or mono bridged (if the 410HLF can withstand that)? If you do use just one of the stereo channels, is it best to swap from one cahnnel to the other from time to time (to even out the wear and tear), or am I just being silly with that suggestion?

    As I blew most of my gear budget on the amp :meh: , I'm also starting off with a single 4 x 10". It's a Hartke XL410 and I'm hoping that it's bell-like calrity and quick response, will bring out all of the tonal possibilities from the 4 pro. :smug: I'm only rehearsing at the moment, so volume isn't a big issue yet. Hopefully, by the time we're ready to play some gigs, I'll have found a bit more money for another cab (and maybe, some poor fool to help me carry it all)! :D
     
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Hopefully the Aguilar cab will satisfy me for now so I don't end up spending more money on a new head right away. :meh: I also got the chance to run my head through an Eden 410XLT at a gig we did with another band about a year ago, and I was extremely impressed with it through that cab. Seemed to be quite a bit louder (I believe the Eden's are much more efficient than the Ampeg cabs), and had more clarity. So, we will have to see what I end up going with. Heck, I might go the cheaper route and go with a pair of Avatar 212's.

    I used to run 2 of the 410HLF's for the first couple of years. It was a bit of overkill for the gig I was doing, however, so I ended up selling one of them. I have been mono-bridging into the one cab for a few years now, and haven't had any problems at all. Keeping in mind, though, that I am pretty careful not to over-EQ, or to drive it overly hard. My master volume never goes above 12-1:00. So far, so good, I guess. I really like the headroom I have.
     
  17. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :confused: So, do you think I should get one of those "Speakon" cables and run both channels into the Hartke? It can only handle 400w @ 8 ohms and the manual warns about checking the compatibilty of speaker cabs when mono-bridging (hmm, now there's a clue)! Would I gain a lot tone-wise, or would I just increase my chances of popping a speaker cone/ear drum/window etc.? :(

    What d'ya think?
     
  18. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I would try it using just one side of it first and see if you are happy with the results. I really don't want to tell you to run it mono bridged and end up blowing speakers. Go ahead and try it, but just be careful about how hard you drive it.