The reissue Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head brings back in all its glory a classic big stage amp that was the choice of players in the '60s. There's no question that the SVT-CL delivers 300W (to either... Read More
The reissue Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head brings back in all its glory a classic big stage amp that was the choice of players in the '60s. There's no question that the SVT-CL delivers 300W (to either 2 or 4 ohms). Its tube array includes 2 - 12AX7s in the preamp, 2 - 12AU7s and a 12AX7 for drivers, and six - 6550s for power. Controls include 3 bands of tone, a 5-way mid selector, plus ultralow and high boosts. Other pro features on the Ampeg SVT-CL Bass Head include normal and padded inputs, tube protection circuitry, auto-fault mode, fan cooling, slave output jack, 4/2-ohm selector, user biasing controls, and 3-position AC polarity switch. 24"W x 11-1/2"H x 13"D. 80 lb.
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Reviewed by 9 customers
Displaying reviews 1-9
This thing is a pain to lug around but it's worth it. Before you take it anywhere, get an ATA (safecase) case for it. I've had this thing take 5 foot falls before and it would have been a goner without the case. Although they are all made in China now, I am one of the lucky ones who got a USA model right before they stopped making them here. Now to talk about tone. This amp is incredibly warm and punchy. Depending on what cab you have it running into can also make a huge difference. I currently run it through an svt410hlf and the sound is huge. I started off running it through an 810 swr goliath and it gave me a super warm sound. The low end is almost overbearing with the low boost on. I tend to keep the high boost on and the low boost off. Once I find my sound (which is pretty easy) I just leave it and make smaller adjustments with my SansAmp and compressor. If you have the money, buy it. There's a reason professional bassists use it all around the world. I would suggest buying a used American SVT-CL. Look hard and you can find a good deal.
I bought this used from my local guitar center and it is definitely a great buy. I play genre's stupidly deemed, "Metalcore," or "Hardcore," or whatever and when paired with a sansamp bass driver pedal you can get that really round but controlled rattly tone most bands like that get, even in tunings like drop C. I outpower my band with the master vol. at 2 when combined with my 8x10 cab so volume isn't an issue. it isn't very versatile but it definitely doesn't need to be, and the high end and low end boosts (white buttons ) make a huge difference. Definitely get this if you can
Waited 4 months to recieve the Ampeg SVT CL. Looked forward to matching it up with a new 810E cabinet. After proper warm up on day one the Amp preformed well, however on day 2, a far different story! The power switch warms the Amp up in a standby mode, the accompanied standby switch then allows the Amp up to play. When taking the Amp out of standby, I'd get a loud almost feedback type hum. I went right to the troubleshooting section of the manual and ran a check to make sure everything was hooked up properly... I got the rig to play again, however I wasn't convinced the Amp was now working properly. Day 3 same story, an annoying hum, so I brought it back to GC. The positive here is that Guitar Center checked it out and acknowledged there was a big time problem with the Amp, giving me a bunch of options on its replacement. In this case 5 stars to GC. I'm a little concerned with Ampeg quality and at this point I don't think I'll order another SVT CL to replace it. Hopefully for Ampeg this was just an isolated incident.
I received this head as a gift for my 15th birthday a few months ago. I plugged in my bass and I was amazed by the clarity at such high volumes and how the highs cut through the band and how the lows gave a wicked bottom end that the whole band could ride on. I especially liked the high and low boost switches which came in handy. They could provide extra highs for slapping, and lows for more bottom end. I am running this head through an Ampeg 610HLF cab and am VERY pleased with the reliability and sound of the head.
I purchased a new SVT CL and 810 cab and was pretty happy with the sound until it failed 3 times needing repair twice and finally a replacement. The replacement failed within a couple of months. It's been in the shop 2 months now. Ampeg told me I needed to continue waiting until the hard to find parts are found and the amp can be repaired. There's no idea when this might be. I paid a lot of money for the amp but I've been without it for 4 months in less than a year because of repairs on two different units. I don't know why Ampeg's product quality is so poor or why there customer support is lacking but I would recommend choosing another manufacturer. I would think that Ampeg would value their customers. But they don't.
You'll find in reviews around the web that there's a general consensus with bass players and this amp. "It has 1 sound which it does very well". I've come to disagree having owned this amp with an ampeg 410-HLF classic for 6 months now. This amp would have a shallow tone range *if* it weren't for the Ultra high and Ultra low settings. Those are the two white buttons you can see in the picture. Example: Let's say you want a jazz/funk setting so you do Gain: 8 bass: 5 midrange:8 treble: 6. You play a riff but something is still missing...so you hit the Ultra high button, switch to the bridge pickup, and slap a few notes. It becomes funk. If your more into rock tones then you can back off the high end and hit the ultra low button and your good to go. One thing to keep in mind is *THESE AREN"T AMERICAN-MADE ANYMORE* Still it�ۡ���s an incredible amp, but this might be a deterant for some. Also, if you have a 5 string the low B gets kinda muddy. This can be fixed with a compressor or a BBE sonic maximizer pedal which is a must have for any bass player who gigs regularly or plays in a room with poor bass freq acoustics IMO. Lastly, if you buy an Ampeg bass head, pair it with a ampeg cabinent (if you got the $$). They are made to sound good together. This amp pairs incredibly well with an American P-bass, Rickenbacker 4003, or Stingray.
I just bought a new SVT-CL and haven't been able to stop playing it. I'm powering an Ampeg 810 cab and the sound in incredible. This head will power 2 810's without working hard and that will be my next purchase. I play in a band and our entire sound got better with the addition of the Ampeg bass sound. If you're on the fence as to whether to purchase one or not, go for it. You won't regret it.
If you are in the market for a top-of-the-line bass rig than you shouldn't look any further without trying out the Ampeg SVT-CL. The clarity at high volumes (given that the speaker cabinet is quality) will make the little hairs stand up all over your neck. It seems these days that the tube driven bass amp is a dying breed and it may be the weight of the amp (this one runs nearly 80 lbs) or the fear of maintenance costs including tube replacement. Either way, I'm not convinced to trade in my Ampeg. There is plenty of head room with this amp as well; in the band we've got three guitars, one of which is a vintage Vox 30 watt that really cuts through the mix, and I've yet to have to turn the volume past 3! There are tone knobs for bass, mid and treble, so there aren't a lot of effects built in, but if it's your bass you want to hear, you'll get wicked crisp, pure tone with this amp!
When my band finally started playing some big shows, we all bought stacks and this was the head I chose to power my 6x10. It sounds great and I love it. You need to buy one now.
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