Hey there Bottom Dwellers! need advice for a guitar player buying a 100w SVT tube Bass amp

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by MRscratch, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I'm saying. I have 3 Ampeg 810s and one of them is a 2013 Heritage. I paid $500 or less for each one of them. I have 2 SVTs. My A rig is a 2 non pro with my "Eat $h17" cab ( '96 "Dark era"). Yeah it's heavy, but sooooooo worth it. I have never played a more dynamic, bad ass sounding amp in my life.

    The V4B is a great amp. And the 2x12 isn't really the matching cab ( unless it's a reissue V4B or something.) Your bass player will love it.

    Pros:

    Sounds F'ing amazing

    Lighter than an SVT

    Less tubes, therefore less maintenance than an SVT ( although you still want to take it to a tech every so often for service. Think of it as insurance)

    Sounds F'ing amazing

    Sounds F'ing amazing



    Cons:

    It's 100 watts and will likely not be loud enough on it's own, without PA support, with a loud band. Especially if the drums are miked and especially with a 2/12 cab.


    If you normally have PA support, you're set.
     
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  2. MRscratch

    MRscratch Member

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    That's why I think the V4-B sounds like the right amp. It sounds great and I think the 2/12 for it will be just fine.
    As I stated, we don't really play all that loud but we like to have good sounding gear.
     
  3. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I ran into this a few months ago. 100w through an 810, sounded killer, the amp was at the limits of it's headroom and clipping nicely but not too much. Guitarists use a 30w Orange 2x12 and a 45w Mesa 1x12.

    I keep trying to make 100w work through a 410 but it's never enough headroom. It's a shame because 100w sounds sweet, it just won't cut.
     
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  4. MoPho

    MoPho International Man of Leisure Silver Supporting Member

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    If you have (or have access to at the places you play) a PA and you mic stuff up, I'd skip the bass amp and run him into a Tech 21 VT pedal then into the PA. This will allow your sound guy to keep the bass in it's appropriate space in the mix and y'all aren't having to haul a crap ton of stuff. If you don't mic stuff up, that VT pedal into a class D amp then into a 4x10 will go far. <- That was my last rig before I switched to a Helix that could cover both bass and guitar duties.

    Sure, I wanted an SVT and 8x10 at one point but it didn't make sense for the in-and-out gigs we were doing.

    Sorry, don't know how to do the quote thing so I'll post this here for another's thought on the big rigs:

     
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Member

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    It's not the first time I hear this, but non the less I never really understood it.

    The fact that some bass players seems to be unable to hear them self with less than this kind of wattage.

    I've been in a band that was pretty hard rocking and noisy playing through a 60W tube amp using a 1 15" cabinet, with a hard hitting drummer, a guitarist that played through a 50W tube head and a 4 12" cabinet and another bass player playing through a 100W tube amp and a 2 15" cab.

    With the same outfit and setup I had no problems cutting through in small typical bar sized venues without any PA backup, other than for the vocals, either.

    It did probably help that I drove the amp for all it could take and that I had the chore of playing a more melodic bass with a tone emphasizing more of the highs and mids than bass though, but to prove my point, at other instances I've also played through a setup utilizing a 50W amp with a 115 and a 215 cab, in a similar noisy rock outfit on big stages at open air festivals, taking care of a more traditional bass, with no issues, though admittedly my rig was either DI'ed or miked up at those instances and we had stage monitors available.

    At the moment I have no problems cutting through in a band playing a quite heavy variation of rock, with a drummer and a guitarist playing through a 100W amp using a 412 cab, with my bi-amping setup consisting of a 120W SS combo equipped with a 15" unit and a 50W overdriven tube amp with a 15" cab.

    Also I very much doubt that bands of the past, where 100W bass tube amps were pretty much as loud as you could get, had to deal with sounding like "...and justice for all" by Metallica (the record where the bass is mixed down to inaudible levels, thanks to the major jerk and screw up, much overrated drummer Lars Ulric, who is probably more talented as businessman than he ever was or will be at playing drums).

    Anyway to answer OP, in my opinion a 100W tube amp should be plenty sufficient for competing with a 20-30W guitar amp.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  6. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I've never heard the 10x figure before. I suspect it's a mix of bassists typically running 3x the power of the guitarist (300w SVT vs 100w Marshall), combined with the idea that solid state requires 3x the power of a tube amp (Ampeg SVT vs SVT4-Pro).

    Not saying I necessarily agree with it, it kind of depends on how much cab you're running, what your tonal end state is (clean vs overdriven vs distorted bass) and what your situation on stage is (rig is a stage monitor vs rig fills the club). Toss in BEADG or C# or something and you might need more headroom than the guy in EADG.

    Myself, the only time I've gotten 100w to work was through an 810. It's never been a volume issue as 100w+410 is plenty loud, it's just too far into overdrive for my tastes.
     
  7. royd

    royd Member

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    The 10X number reflects a variety of points.

    Bass speakers are often/usually less efficient than speakers for midband or treble so require significantly more power to produce than do higher frequencies at the same volume levels.

    Our ears are more sensitive to midrange and treble frequencies... so we need more volume down low to sound the same volume

    Most bass players prefer at least the option of having a clean sound at a high volume... hence more power.
     
  8. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Member

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    Yeah, that would make sense, if you were plugging your bass strings with a feather.

    My experience tells me something quite different than your theory.
     
  9. sprag

    sprag Member

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  10. musekatcher

    musekatcher Member

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    Sounds like you know how to trade, so try it and see. Should be a good step up from a Rumble 40. If the 2x12 is weak, you can add or replace with more cabinet. I do recall a thread on Talkbass about a guy who tried everything, and was never successful with the V4B's volume in his band. Many chimed in that it was a great amp, but not strong enough for some rock bands. They went on to say the SVT was heavy and powerful for a reason, but it was out of his price range. Just be aware, you may be headed down the slope of more power, bigger cabinets, a 6x12 equipment trailer, second mortgages....;)
     
  11. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    Don't forget that in the world of bass amps watts aren't really watts. A 100 watt tube amp is roughly comparable to a 200 watt analog solid-state amp which is roughly comparable to a 400 watt switching amp.
    .
     
  12. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    If the bar that you're playing has an arena sound system that makes sense but I think it's kind of selfish for a bass player to expect that he's entitled to that much space in the sound system in most joints. Especially when it's just because he's lazy.
    .
     
  13. MoPho

    MoPho International Man of Leisure Silver Supporting Member

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    I have my own PA and we've been running everything through it so everything is mixed. Guitars and bass through modelers.
     
  14. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    The V4B/2x12" is a killer rock bass amp. Dial in the low end conservatively, the be liberal with the mids and it's usually plenty of push for a band.
    Otherwise, the GK MB Fusion 800 is killer for a powerful, lightweight head that can get some grit without the expense and frailty of a full tube head. Pair it with a GK NEO 212 II cab and you have the same to less $ spent and a much lighter amp with more oomph.
     
  15. royd

    royd Member

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    Actually that is not true. Watts are watts are watts as long as they are measured the same way... 100 watts RMS = 100 watts RMS. It is true that different construction types have different distortion characteristics but that is a different issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  16. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    That has not been my experience.
    .
     
  17. royd

    royd Member

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    As I understand it, that has to do with the distortion characteristics. When a tube begins to distort, it does so gradually and in a very musical way. So, that 100 watt RMS tube amp at .5% distortion (or whatever the number is) may be putting out significantly more than 100 watts at a higher distortion level but still sounds very musical. The class D is not nearly as pleasant at distortion, and as I understand it doesn’t go into it nearly so gradually. For a metaphor, it is more like falling off a cliff than beginning to roll down a hill. So what you are hearing is actually more than 100 watts on the tube amp at a higher distortion level, it is not that the tube watts themselves are louder. If you require the 100 watts at a specific level of cleanness, then the tube would sound exactly the same volume as any other construction type if all other factors - preamp, speaker efficiency, etc - were equal. Now, if you don’t mind or if you want the power amp distortion then a 300 watt tube amp may indeed sound as louder or louder than a 500 watt of some other sort running clean. And distortion in the power amp section is completely different than distortion in the preamp section.

    If you search on Talkbass, agedhorse, who designs amps for Mesa and used to work for Genz Benz, has talked about this misperception a good bit.
     
  18. Mighty Melvin

    Mighty Melvin Member

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    Well, next time I need to know how loud I am I'll look at my slide rule.:)

    (Not that I don't appreciate your efforts.)
    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017

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