Post Number: 542
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 2:23 pm: |
I guess the title says it all.
I have an opportunity to pick up an Ampeg SVT VR at a fairly reasonable price.
Has anybody here played a series I bass through one of these amps?
I would appreciate any impressions, thoughts and opinions.
Post Number: 1481
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 2:40 pm: |
Early 90's Metallica live = Series II through SVT's (SVT II rackmount) Youtube link
Post Number: 3602
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 3:36 pm: |
Hi Slawie, I have played through one of those a number of times as they have been provided as part of the backline on some festivals I've played at this year. The cabs were also Ampeg and as I recall one gig was 4x10 and 1x15 and the last gig was a 4x10 cab.
I played my series II 5 string through one at my last festival gig at the beginning of August and both myself and the keyboard player were completely disappointed by the sound of the rig. The best description I could give is that it was lacking clarity, sounded like a very cheap bass amp and the sound had an edge of distortion on it. I'm not that knowledgeable about bass amplification to be honest and the one i have is the first one I've ever had so I have nothing else to compare it to really. It could have been faulty or even a problem with the cab. I have another festival this weekend with the same backline company but I'm taking my Mesa boogie head and will be using that instead even if I have to use it as a DI box.
The saving grace was that the stage monitoring was good.
Post Number: 1005
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 5:34 pm: |
I didn't have a Series, just a Rogue, but had used a SVT-III Pro for a long time with it. Consider that I'm not a rocker and my SVT isn't a all tube amp (some friends says that they are a totally different beast), but had the same impression Jazzy wrote about. Also consider that, tone wise, I'm more fond to fusion bass tones than Geezer Butler ways.
I associate Alembic to a "hifi" sounding bass (clarity, open glassy tone and fast transients), and feel the grit Ampegs have compromise that somehow. Also seems that tubes sort of compress the transients and although it makes my tone deeper, I miss the top end clarity... Can't describe what bothers me (and this tone could be appropriate for rock) but it sounds less distinctive to me, less "Alembicy" somehow.
Post Number: 1006
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 5:48 pm: |
I trade my SVT for a Carvin digital head (BX-500) and a Epifani neodimium cab, recently. I'm much happier now, although it has a tube pre and a built in compressor, so this bad impression is probably due to the fact I was using it with a cheap cabinet...
Post Number: 552
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 6:35 pm: |
Like Mario, I played a Rogue 5 through an SVT III for a long time. I did use 410 and 115 Ampeg cabs though. It sounded way better than the 400W Peavy I used previously. Mario nailed it though, it makes good Geezer type noises. When I needed a bit more power for a string of The Who tribute band gigs, I robbed the QSC 1400 from my PA mains rack, bought a pre and wondered why I didn't do this years before...
Post Number: 268
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:07 pm: |
I always knew that I wanted the F-1X and QSC to power my bass. So I purchased two F-1X's and then two QSC 2450's , 2 1x18's and 2 2x10 (all bag end) Then I got the Lexicon MPX Effect unit. I have since lightened my load and just use the 2:2x10's and got a new QSC PLX 1804. After hearing Stan's rig I wanted something like it.
Post Number: 1615
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 10:08 pm: |
I used to see Robert Gordon, the Secretary of Entertainment, with Gil Scott-Heron with his Series I into a classic SVT in the early 80s and it sounded amazing. However, my experience has been almost universally negative with those amps. They always seem to have a veneer of distortion that just doesn't go away. They provide a classic sound and it probably even sounds fine to others, but for me it's always a struggle.
YMMV, so I'd suggest trying it out before you buy.
Post Number: 543
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 11:38 pm: |
Hopefully someone outbids me or;
I can flip it or,
I have to get myself a passive P Bass!
I used one (Ampeg not a VR model) at an outdoor festival last summer and was not overly impressed with the way it represented my sound. What is a very good summary was Jazzy's recollection and I thought it was just me not the inherant short-comings with the all tube lead-sled.
Thanks again guys
Post Number: 492
|Posted on Thursday, September 05, 2013 - 11:44 pm: |
doesn't stanley clarke play out of svt's? i seem to remember seeing his set up with a couple of 1600's.
i have a 1600 and an ampeg 4x10 cabinet. i love them both, but i've been having some trouble with the svt recently and have been using my markbass more. thinking about getting some epifani's, too.
but either way, i've played my series 1 through the 1600 a lot, and i have no complaints. i tend to like the "dirtier" sound that some have described that ampeg offers, though.
Post Number: 47
|Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 12:30 am: |
I've used SVT's with the "Fridge" (8-10's) but for the last few
Years my choice has been a NV610 Bergantino with various GK Fusion heads ; just got my Fusion MB 800 last month.
Except for the improvement it 's hard to tell the difference.
(with apologies to Groucho )
Post Number: 3417
|Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 2:02 am: |
I used to use an SVP-PRO pre-amp / QSC power with my signature and rogue and loved the tone which was slightly 'growly' but I had to stop using it as the DI was a bit noisy. Since had it fixed but I'm using Mesa Boogie now.
Post Number: 173
|Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 10:13 am: |
Can't answer you re: Series bass through that rig, but I'll offer the following advice:
If you have an opportunity to obtain quality gear at a reasonable price (and you have the room to store it) - get it.
The two important words here are "quality" and "reasonable".
Don't know what kind of price you're looking at, but a USA-made SVT VR is a quality piece of gear and considering the recent increased outsourcing of Ampeg manufacturing, you have a pretty good guarantee that it will not decrease in value.
It's been my experience that you will find a use for it, either to make music or as trade bait or to flip for more $$ than you paid sometime in the future.
I have a pile of quality gear that isn't being used regularly at the moment, but it has been used in the past and probably will be again in the future - if for no other reason than to assist me with paying my bills or funding another purchase.
Music store advice:
You make your money when you buy.
Post Number: 3017
|Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 12:28 pm: |
I have a rarely played through SVT 400T because It is not really my sound for bass ( SERIES I ) .
However , ____It was well constructed in the USA before the era that AMPEG outsourced manufacturing. Also, It has really good possibilities of interconnect-ability and versatility. many input/output variations . It has been used by me for a drum amp for my Roland drum kit , a keyboard amp and even a vocal monitor amp and occasional bass amp . Every time I start the process of getting rid of it I look at all of those inputs and outputs and then decide to keep it. LOL ____ I am a fool for interconnect-ability !
Post Number: 335
|Posted on Friday, September 06, 2013 - 3:48 pm: |
I've played my SJ through an SVT a few times. It's not a Series I though. A very good amplifier, but not my total cup of tea, but that is such a personal issue.
Post Number: 3605
|Posted on Sunday, September 08, 2013 - 4:20 pm: |
Hey slawie I had the same rig today at my festival but used my boogie walkabout head in the a peg 4x10 head instead and the distortion was still there so I called the techie who said they had used the cab all day with no complaints. I noted to him that the other bands were rock bands so that distortion is not going to be as much of a problem s it is to me.
So it seems the sound problem may have been more the fault of the cab all along. So treat my previous observations with caution.
Post Number: 1007
|Posted on Monday, September 09, 2013 - 8:14 am: |
One time one asked Geezer Buttler about how he got his fuzzy tone, he answered: 2 blown speaker in cabinet...
Cabs really have lots to contribute with tone.
(Message edited by mario farufyno on September 09, 2013)
Post Number: 2032
|Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 12:26 am: |
Although I'm not sure of the history before that, Ampeg's generally favorable resurgence in the 90's was after it was acquired by St. Louis Music, one of the big behind the scenes wholesalers who had been around forever, known by most for their partnership / import relationship with Kazuo Yairi and the Alvarez and Alvarez-Yairi brands. The Kornblum family had re-established production through facilities in Arkansas and had really done a good job of re-introducing and re-establishing Ampeg.
Following the passing of the elder Mr. Kornblum, Ampeg was sold to Loud Technologies (based in Washington State, they also own EAW, Mackie, and Martin Audio), another one of these big conglomerates, who promptly shuttered the Arkansas production facilities, canned the production employees, and established production in Viet Nam.
Taking a play from the Henry Juciewicz Method, despite ostensibly lower production costs, they halved the product line and kept prices the same and/or raised them somewhat, forever endearing themselves to most of their dealers. I keep waiting for a YouTube vid of Vic Wooten or Steve Bailey on a factory tour . . . . . lately they've been trumpeting that some items are NOW produced once more in the US of A. Yippeee ! !
J o e y
Post Number: 544
|Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 1:45 pm: |
Well I was out bid on the head. I did not really want it but placed a bid anyhow, then suffered the anguish of being the highest (only) bidder on the ebay auction. Fortunately for me the bidding ramped up until the last 30 seconds, pushing the price up to $1545.00.
The amp was made in Korea.
I find that I am more of a hi-fi guy and warm to newer technologies. I am really enjoying my current amp so I feel going for an old school amp would, for me, be regressing.
Thanks to everyone for their input, insight and assistance.
Post Number: 3022
|Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 3:07 pm: |
I can relate to the "anguish of being the highest (only) bidder" when after the fact of having bid one feels regret of having made the bid. All is well and one rejoices after finally someone has outbid you ! I have been there and done that __LOL !
Post Number: 175
|Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 3:54 pm: |
$1,545.00 for a used Korean-made Ampeg head...
I guess some dreams can come true on ebay.