#1
Hi. I'm primarily a guitarist, but I picked up bass a few years ago. I'm looking to upgrade to a gigworthy amp sometime in the future, and I noticed a lot of my favorite bands seem to play Ampeg SVTs, so I've been looking at those but I'm new to bass amps and not quite sure what to avoid. I have no specified budget for now. I see the SVT 350 heads going on ebay for what seems like a reasonable price. I see some mixed reviews, some people love it and some say it's cheap crap. How is it tone-wise? Does it come anywhere near to the sound of a tube ampeg? I know it's SS, which I don't mind if it's at least decent enough for playing in a live setting. I'm new to bass amps and don't want to wind up getting something analogous to Marshall's MG.
#2
If you not going to shell out some serious cash, I would avoid Ampeg. The cheaper models are underpowered and don't have that classic Ampeg tone that your craving.

I would look into some Ashdowns, some Carvins.
#3
Quote by Captain Insano
If you not going to shell out some serious cash, I would avoid Ampeg. The cheaper models are underpowered and don't have that classic Ampeg tone that your craving.

I would look into some Ashdowns, some Carvins.


he's/she's right
I play bass!
#4
+1. If you can't afford the Classic or Pro series gear, I'd steer clear of Ampeg. And don't forget the used market! There are tons of higher-end Ampeg amps on Craigslist and Ebay that will perform much better and give you the tone you're looking for. Don't waste your money on what you can immediately afford; if possible, save up and just buy what you really want. I made this mistake many times, and I ended up wasting a lot of money
"Comedy's a dead art form. Now tragedy, that's funny." -Bender Bending Rodriguez
#5
Hmm that head isnt great and you have to try amazingly hard to get anywere near an ampeg tone. Look on ebay for an svt 3 pro same basic setup but much better and has more wattage. If you live in the Us there are always some going.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
#7
Heads up: tube isn't all the rage in the bass world. Many many pro bass players go solid state, it's just a matter of different sounds, nothing like the guitar world in that regard.

That said, Ampeg's solid state stuff is, IMO, not very good. Their low end stuff is all around lacking, and even their nicer tube preamp stuff like the svt3-pro, sound weak and empty comprared to that traditional ampeg sound. If you're going solid state (which is absolutely fine, and preferable for most people) don't go ampeg. Other's will disagree with me, but you should just go try some of these out and see for yourself.

If you want a warmer "rock" sound with solid state, people will guide you toward ashdown. If you make the plunge into tube, there are a few other options cheaper than ampeg-but different sounding. If you don't want that warm sound and go for something more transparent, your options will open up a bit; Carvin will be the first name thrown about on this forum.

If you want a cheaper tube sound for sure, start by checking out the new peavey head-IO don't know what it's voiced like. There's also a traynor tube head that is cheap, I love it, but it's not voiced like an ampeg.
#8
I disagree that all the SS Ampeg gear is poor; check out the SVT4-Pro, 6-Pro, and 8-Pro. All three are high-quality amps with plenty of power and tonal flexibility.

I think the reason these amps get a bad reputation in terms of tone is because people go into them expecting to find the all-tube SVT tone, and are disappointed. What did you expect, though; it's a solid state unit! However, each amp does have a very good, characteristic sound that needs to be taken on its own, as opposed to being compared to an all-tube amp.
"Comedy's a dead art form. Now tragedy, that's funny." -Bender Bending Rodriguez
Last edited by mountaindew88 at Nov 21, 2008,
#9
Ive personally owned a SVT-4PRO and found it to be very thin and weak, the 6PRO is a much better head.

However the SVT-4PRO is a hybrid not a full SS head so it has some tube character to it.

The SVT-350 is just a B2R in a SVT style case. If you want it then just get a B2RE even though I think they are some of the worst heads I have ever played.
Its very thin and sterile, dont buy it just because of the name.
Gear: 08 Fender MIA Jazz bass,
American Peavey Millenium Plus 4,
GK 1001RBII,
Mesa/Boogie RR215,
Schecter C-1 Classic.
#10
I disagree that all the SS Ampeg gear is poor; check out the SVT4-Pro, 6-Pro, and 8-Pro. All three are high-quality amps with plenty of power and tonal flexibility


My experience is based on the svt-3pro and svt-4pro.

Ive personally owned a SVT-4PRO and found it to be very thin and weak


This is my qualm with both of these amps. Now I didn't crank the svt4-pro, but the 3 also seemed over-rated for power.
#11
Thanks for the replies.

It looks like a can get an SVT350 with a 410HFL cab for 500$. Ideally, I think I'd like to go for a tube SVT, but that is the cab I want. Would it be a good idea to just grab both while I can and swap out heads later? The cab goes for 749$ new, so it seems I'd be saving 250$ and getting a free head with the deal if I go for it. Right now I play guitar in my band, and our bassist is using my Roland Cube 30 Bass, which has to be turned up so loud it starts to distort and sounds like fart. I'm thinking that if I let him use the 350 and the cab for now, that would at least let him get up to band level volumes and sound acceptable, if not with the best tone. Is this a good plan or could I still do better for cheaper?
#12
Well if those are your only options then yes go for it and swap the head later. That cab is actually excellent it packs more punch then half an svt 8x10. Some peoplw will disagreee but i like it personnaly i like the svt 4 pro and im looking to get it basically for the amount of headroom.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul