#1
I got an Ampeg SVT-CL about 9 months ago now. I won't lie, I'd never played one before in my life, and purchased it purely on their reputation after saving up for about 18 months (due to massive tube-associated GAS). Initially I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread - it sounded (well, still sounds) pretty great and I had finally got my taste of that "Classic Ampeg tone". Since then, I've had to replace the power tubes twice (which is damn expensive) and I've come to realise that unless I'm pushing the gain (which I pretty much never do), the difference in tone (in comparison to SS) is nigh negligible! Also, the thing is damn heavy to lug to rehearsals/gigs...

For all these reasons, I am considering reverting to SS. I can get more power and reliability for a fraction of the price (and weight) with very little difference in my clean tone - and that, bass forum, is where you come in. I come here now because the Ampeg fanboy in me is screaming "GET A 450H YOU ****", despite the fact I am well aware that there are much better brands/options available. I need reccommendations for an alternative...

tl;dr - Disenchanted with SVT-CL, reccommend me some good SS alternatives!

**(If it helps, I like to keep my tone pretty trebly while retaining a punchy midrange and a solid, tight bottom end... no homo)**

Thanks for any help!
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#3
I've heard of them, not really done much research. Will have a gander at them
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#4
Look into the GK RB 400/700 heads. they are really great sounding and reliable.
2002 PRS CE22
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#5
Your description of tone reads like 'I want everything all the time' lol. I can't fault you that desre, but it's funny.

I'm going to be completely honest and say that I don't really hear that much difference between various SS bass heads. I own a 500-watt Ashdown EVO II and it's been a very reliable workhorse for me. It'll eeeeasily fill any kind of club venue, with the right cabs, and I've found its tone to be pretty flexible. I generally run my POD X3 as a preamp for it, but doing that, when it goes through the ashdown's pre as well it really fattens up the sound nicely. I also use it standalone, and it does a great job there too.

If I didn't have it, I'd probably look into a Gallien Krueger RB, or maybe one of teh MarkBass MoMarks, so +1 to Rob Friday's suggestions.
#6
I use an Ampeg SVT3- Pro amp, and love it. Its fairly cheap if you go used, and its a SS/Tube hybrid. It has a bunch of preamp tubes that really warm up the tone.
#8
I'm going to say TC Electronic RH450 - I've played one once, and I still really want it!
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#9
Thanks for all the feedback so far guys, I'll check out all the aforementioned...
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#10
I've gotta say... those little Markbass heads look sexy as hell, bet they sound it too! 800W at under 3 kilos? That's hard to believe!

I've pretty much narrowed it down to the following (out of the current suggestions...)

Markbass Little Mark III
GK MB500
TC Electronic Classic 450 or BH500
and the Ampeg nut in me wants an SVT3-Pro...
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
Last edited by Flaming Bass at Nov 19, 2011,
#12
I think your Ampeg is biased wayy to hot. You shouldnt be chewing through power tubes anywhere near that quick.

Edit: lol @ 12 tubes in the Big Block. Try like 4. I have one
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
Last edited by consecutive e at Nov 19, 2011,
#13
If you're looking into lightweight heads, look into Eden and Genz Benz too. Both brands can be pricey new, but are a bit more attainable used, they make some great stuff.

You can't really go wrong with Markbass either. I'm over the honeymoon period and I'm still singing praises about my Little Mark II.
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#14
Quote by consecutive e
lol @ 12 tubes in the Big Block. Try like 4. I have one

Same here my v12 only has 4 tubes.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#15
Quote by consecutive e
I think your Ampeg is biased wayy to hot. You shouldnt be chewing through power tubes anywhere near that quick.

Edit: lol @ 12 tubes in the Big Block. Try like 4. I have one

Oops, mistake, 12 "tube driven MOSFETS".
#16
12 in the Big Block Titan. Not the 750.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#17
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Two recommendations:

1) Try out an amp before you buy it.

2) Look into MarkBass a lot. It sounds like it would be a good fit for what you want.


Yeah definitely gonna do my best to try before I buy this time, definitely liking the Marbass heads

Quote by consecutive e
I think your Ampeg is biased wayy to hot. You shouldnt be chewing through power tubes anywhere near that quick.


It's not the bias I'm afraid, I did it myself originally then had the bass tech at my college and the 'bass guy' from my local music store check it over - both of whom said it was fine.. The first set I had to replace was due to the amp not working 'out of the box' anyway..

Quote by Tostitos
If you're looking into lightweight heads, look into Eden and Genz Benz too. Both brands can be pricey new, but are a bit more attainable used, they make some great stuff.

You can't really go wrong with Markbass either. I'm over the honeymoon period and I'm still singing praises about my Little Mark II.


Will have a look at their gear too haha! Trying to keep my options open because I can't really try out a lot of bass gear without driving to a city to be honest...


Thanks for all the help so far guys, I appreciate it!
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#18
Okay, so after a fair bit more research I am still torn between 4 head for the following reasons...

MB Little Mark III vs GK MB500
As far as I can tell, there is a considerable amount of love for these two on the net - apparently the only massive difference being in the tone (MB being warmer and rounder, GK being more trebly and punchy). Now, I like my tone to have a zing to it, which I could never get using just my SVT, hence why I use my Tech 21 VT Bass in my pedal chain even to this day. I can't decide between these two because part of me wants the zing and punch from the GK, whereas the other half of me is screaming "Get the MB! You can have the zing from the VT AND a nice round bottom end as well!"

Leaning towards the MB for best of both worlds...


TC Classic 450 vs TC BH500
I couldn't find as much out about TC Electronics, but I don't want to dismiss them straight off the bat. Other than the size/wattage, I don't really see much difference between these two but if anyone knows anything an bit more in depth about these, any help would be appreciated...

if all else fails, SVT3Pro is still on the cards...
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#19
I have the TC BH500. Fantastic head, the only thing I don't like about it is that the tuner isn't chromatic.
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#20
Can't go wrong with any of those suggestions. I'm partial to Ashdown's looks.
Quote by breakdown123
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#21
Quote by fleajr_1412
I have the TC BH500. Fantastic head, the only thing I don't like about it is that the tuner isn't chromatic.

What is this sorcery?!? Meh, I have a chromatic floor tuner anyway

Quote by CLIFF_BURTON
Can't go wrong with any of those suggestions. I'm partial to Ashdown's looks.

I don't know what it is about Ashdown... just doesn't appeal to me tonally somehow (played em live before). All seems very shiny and pretty looking but somewhat lacking in the noise-making end...
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#22
Quote by Flaming Bass
What is this sorcery?!? Meh, I have a chromatic floor tuner anyway

I highly recommend you give one a try if you can. The progorammable presets come in very handy!
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#23
The GK RB series is waaay better than the mark bass or the GK MB series.
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Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
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Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#24
Since when does opinion = fact?
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1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
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#25
Quote by Robbgnarly
The GK RB series is waaay better than the mark bass or the GK MB series.

Oh hell, only just realised your original post said RB not MB haha, I'll do some research on them ones too!
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#26
Quote by consecutive e
Since when does opinion = fact?

Since I was born
Yes that is my opinion, but I'm sure most bass players will agree.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#27
I doubt it. I don't for starters. Don't get me wrong I like the RBs, the ones I've played. There's a few different models and the difference doesn't lye in the wattage . I really liked the MB I had, it had a really nice crisp cutting tone same goes for most of the MarkBass stuff I've tried. "Better" is subjective to the user, and where they're manufactured doesn't make a "better" amp. 90% of Ampegs these days are Asian made but still plenty of pro players use them, and obviously people don't descriminate on Italian made stuff either
Basses:
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1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
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Squier Precision Bass TB
#28
I just figured since he has an svt, and likes that kinda grity bass tone, the RB can give a tone kinda like that. The MB and markbass stuff isn't bad, they just don't do the gritty bass stuff aswell IMO.

Yes most Ampeg is asian made, and no they are not as well made now. I just fixed a 2007 SVT-3 pro, and it is very cheaply made compared to another SVT-3 pro(2001 model) that I replaced pre-amp tubes in. The boards are cheaper and thinner, and I can only speculate what else has been cheaped on.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#29
As far as I can tell the MBs are just scaled-down versions.. If I end up going GK, I'll probaby stick with the MBs purely for portability
USA Fender Precision w/ Badass III + SD 1/4 pounders
MIM Fender Jazz
T21 SansAmp VT Bass
Gallien Krueger MB212
#30
Quote by Robbgnarly
I just figured since he has an svt, and likes that kinda grity bass tone, the RB can give a tone kinda like that. The MB and markbass stuff isn't bad, they just don't do the gritty bass stuff aswell IMO.

Yes most Ampeg is asian made, and no they are not as well made now. I just fixed a 2007 SVT-3 pro, and it is very cheaply made compared to another SVT-3 pro(2001 model) that I replaced pre-amp tubes in. The boards are cheaper and thinner, and I can only speculate what else has been cheaped on.

2007 would've made it one of the first Asian Ampegs, which there were heaps of horror stories about, these were the Vietnamese ones I think? The more recent ones get a heaps better wrap.
The GK MB Fusion should get you a decent bit of grit, you could always look for a cheap Tech 21 VT Bass pedal if you wanted to retain a bit of your Ampeg tone for when you want it.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
#31
Yep it was a made in Vietnam SVT-3, The Ampeg sound is there, just not the build quality.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#32
You never really answered Consecutive, it sounds really weird that your amp has had these issues. unless your doing long gigs at full over driven volume and leaving the thing on sitting there it shouldn't need new power tubes that often, and preamp tubes hardly ever. It might be biased to hot, or your knocking the think around and causing it to go microphonic, using cheap tubes etc. Also are you selling the SVT to fund your next purchase?
#33
If you want a bit of a tube like tone without the maintenance and the weight of a tube amp, take a look at the new MarkBass TTE 500

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/markbass-randy-jackson-signature-tte-500-500w-tube-bass-amp-head

It's getting some pretty rave reviews.

I have the GK MB500 and I am pretty happy with it, very punchy indeed but try out both MarkBass products as well if you can. I would use a Tech 21 VT if you want a bit of grit though. It's all about preference

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#34
TTE500s are wicked heads. Got to play one for a bit, they're insanely loud and very, very versatile. Expensive though.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB