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Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head

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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 n...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

It's the original all-tube monster bass amp, the classic of classics!

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.

FEATURES
300W tube power 
3-band tone/five-way mid selector/low and high boosts
Normal and padded inputs
Tube protection circuitry
Fan cooled
Slave output

Emulate, schmemulate. If you want REAL tube tone, you gotta get REAL tubes. Make the investment today. You'll never regret it.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
AmpegSVT-CL Classic Bass Head
 
4.8

(based on 53 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (47)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Pros

  • Excellent sound (3)
  • Good power output (3)
  • Warm / comfy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Best Tone Available Bar None

Let's get one thing straight, this is the tone you're looking for. Every recording you love, every live band that blew you away, this is the tone they had or were trying to...Read complete review

Let's get one thing straight, this is the tone you're looking for. Every recording you love, every live band that blew you away, this is the tone they had or were trying to emulate. There isn't any higher to go, this is the last amp you will buy. I want to issue a couple warnings though. First off, this thing is HEAVY. Start doing curls and push ups after you order, you're gonna need it. Second, be prepared to replace your tubes. My power tubes went out in the first year, right around 150 hours. It's difficult to blame anybody, sometimes they're just bad. I got away with replacing them for about $160. Third, pair it with an 8x10 and don't skimp on your cable. It'll pay you back in the long run. Finally, understand the changes you're making going to an all tube amp. It will be worth it but it requires some extra care and consideration when using and transporting. If you're just a hobbyist or play small venues, this amp is too much for 95% of you. It's huge and loud. But it is the best amp on the market, end of story.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Be very careful

I have played this amp since 1999 and due to the fact that its at least an all tube pathway-you do get warmth and fluid low end. However, it still amazes me how few...Read complete review

I have played this amp since 1999 and due to the fact that its at least an all tube pathway-you do get warmth and fluid low end. However, it still amazes me how few understand that this is not your 60's or 70's or even 80's SVT for that matter. When SLM took over Ampeg they redesigned the SVT's preamp radically from the original. It simple english thats exactly where most of your tone comes from. The new SVT-VR came into being because there was a demand for that original 'sound'. I promise you that if you place a SVT-CL next to a blue face SVT from the early 70's they aren't even in the same universe sonically. That original bad boy will destroy this sterile cousin. If you don't really care about sound than ignore this and continue to play this ok amp. If your going to bother spending over $1500 on a tube bass amp pay attention and listen to the real mccoy or the new VR...its no accident why they made it...word to the wise...do your homework.

Reviewed by 53 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best Tone Available Bar None

By hommytoffman-Jdim1

from Iowa

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

Let's get one thing straight, this is the tone you're looking for. Every recording you love, every live band that blew you away, this is the tone they had or were trying to emulate. There isn't any higher to go, this is the last amp you will buy. I want to issue a couple warnings though. First off, this thing is HEAVY. Start doing curls and push ups after you order, you're gonna need it. Second, be prepared to replace your tubes. My power tubes went out in the first year, right around 150 hours. It's difficult to blame anybody, sometimes they're just bad. I got away with replacing them for about $160. Third, pair it with an 8x10 and don't skimp on your cable. It'll pay you back in the long run. Finally, understand the changes you're making going to an all tube amp. It will be worth it but it requires some extra care and consideration when using and transporting. If you're just a hobbyist or play small venues, this amp is too much for 95% of you. It's huge and loud. But it is the best amp on the market, end of story.

(11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

perfection

By tube lover

from Canada

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

Of all the bass amps I have used over the years nothing compairs to the sound of an all tube ampeg. The simplicity of the new classic makes it even better. I have owned the original blue line back in the seventies and it is highly over rated. Shure, the new classic sounds a bit different but I find all the changes for the better. They finnaly got rid of the useless second channel and gave the one channel more flexibility with a five position mid range. I found the blue line to have nice tone but was alot mushier in the bottom end and just not nearly as tight or punchy. The new VR isnt supposed to be as mushy in the low end as the original but I wouldnt waste the extra money for an extra usless channel and a less versatile midrange. Try a new classic out and form your own opinion. I am speaking from experience and I love this amp. I know my review will not be popular with those that still own the old one but young players deserve to know the truth about equipment and not just hype that is popular on the net. This whole vintage thing has gotten so overated but being a bass player who has used alot of vintage equipment for many years i welcome the improvments. Trust your own ears.

(8 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

It's not the VR

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I have played both the SVT CL and the SVT VR thru an SVT 8x10 cab and there is a big difference sonically. The "vintage" tone pumped out by the SVT-VR is something the SVT-CL comes close but does not deliver. The price point on both of these amps suck unfortunately, so my advice would be to shop for either of them used. SVT-CL is a good amp don't get me wrong, I just think it's priced rather high for what you get. If you're about to spend that much on an amp, save a little more and get an SVT-VR or get a real vintage 69 to early '70's SVT

(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Awesome Upgrade

By Jimmy Two Fingers

from The Milky Way

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

There is no substitute for tube sound. Period. I have used many high-end solid state heads and tube preamps to power an 80's model Ampeg 8x10 cabinet over the years but my sound was always been lacking a certain something. I finally found what it was lacking with the SVT-CL.Tube compression and depth is where its at. No solid state amp will ever come close, ever. I used to fidget with a 31-band eq, compressor, etc looking for that sound so easily found just turning on the CL. They now have found a home in the junk box, I dont need them anymore.I play weekly in different venues, and it takes me about a minute to dial in the sound I want based on the easy controls; the mid switch makes it so easy... bottom end is tight and slapping sounds awesome. D.I. box, dont need it anymore either, I plug direct into the head and just smile. Its so easy to get a great tone from this monster. I jump from an 80's model fretted P-Bass with active P-J electronics to a Fretless Jaco Jazz during the sets and they both sound great.This amp just rocks. Funk, Country, Rock, it does it all with more headroom than I will ever need. Turn up the preamp and it growls sooo good. Best piece of equipment I have bought in 20 some years. It will be the last amp I ever buy. Pricey, but I'd be throwing my money away if I bought anything else. Its worth the money if you are serious about having a great bass tone.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head

By SteelAngelOpera

from Arizona

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

It's an Ampeg so it has to be good,right? Well it ain't good.....it's awesome . I play though a SVT410 HLF, best sounding set up anywhere.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The best amp for rock and roll

By ElectricAlchemy

from Virginia

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

Before buying the Ampeg SVT-CL I did a lot of research. There area many reviews out in the internet that give the impression that the SVT-CL is somehow inferior to the SVT-VR reissue and that it doesn't have the tone of the reissue. I believed the hype and purchased the VR - I ended up returning it and exchanging it for a CL in a few days. The VR was all growl, but the CL is simply a more versatile, prettier amp. I wish I had read a review like this when I bought the VR. If all you want to do it old school rock, then go with the VR. But if you want to play jazz, funk, pop as well as rock, stick with the CL. It will give you all the growl you need and then more. It is a really, beautiful amp and I am very happy with my purchase. Nothing beats the sound of a tube amp.

(5 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

LAST ONE STANDING

By SUNN-MON-nq6Ms

from Antelope, California

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

IN 1972 THERE WERE ONLY 3 BASS AMPS FOR THE PRO:Ampeg SVT, Acoustic 370 and Sunn Coliseum Bass, I played through them all. Great amps, I went with Sunn. No Regrets. Only the SVT is still made and in "Cream" Jack Bruce never used Hartke. He used MARSHALL. Stop whining, wasting time and making excuses. Boom Boom out go the lights. Buy it. Don't make the mistake of buying G-k. Eden, Hertke and Trace Elliot. We voted with our wallets and the SVT is the last man standing.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Best

By nada

from KC

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I had to purchase a back up for my american made and compared it to the new vietnam version, which I've had for about 6 months now. No noticable distinction. These have always been awesome and still are. The tone is simply excellent.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Dream Amp--Look No Further

By DrewDog

from L.os Angeles, CA

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

After spending weeks reading reviews on top-quality bass heads/cabs and then finally playing those same heads, I went where my ears told me to go and parted with no small chunk of change for my dream rig (SVT-CL and SVT810E). I tried high-end Aguilars, Edens, GKs, Ashdowns, SWRs...then I plugged into the SVT-CL and knew instantly that this was my sound. Just tonight we played with it for the first time. My drummer, guitarist, and I knew after the first song that we now sound like we SHOULD sound. No question! Anyway, it all boils down to taste and purpose. Certain genres "require" specific sounds--we prefer that Cream/Zeppelin/Hendrix sound: lotsa tubes. Those solid state or hybrid "boutique" amps were nice to look at, but they are less organic, round, and complex in tone than the Ampeg is. For me, the difference was similar to that between ripple and fine wine. The "boutique" amps lacked personality; they didn't really speak to me in that warm and creamy yet punchy and clear tube voice that has rich lows, penetrating mids, and non-abrasive highs. But those lows! My very hard-hitting drummer now thinks his kick drum sounds like paper. Of course, the 810s are perfect with it. The rig really brings out the best in my already cool Jazz Bass (Geddy Lee). It's loud, it's heavy, it's everything all these mad reviews say...and more. Don't mess around. Get one now. You'll think your bass is the voice of god.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

In a category all it's own

By Buildcity

from DFW, TX

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

Resonant, deep, full, mellifluous, mellow, rich; loud, powerful, stentorian, thundering, thunderous. Resonates your whole body, makes the difference! Gets the people moving with you.I like to call it Velvet Thunder. The ancient Hammond B3 tube organs can make thunder like this also. Ampeg set the standard and no one has equaled it yet. One thing tho', don't drop it, the 5881 tubes hate that, makes em arc internally and make popping noises. My tube tester doesn't check for this so it's a bear to swap and check tubes. This head is heavier than most 2-15 PA Cabs! So be careful. If you want to be in demand, get this.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

world's best amp!

By Hank-zdoi_

from Orlando FL

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I have owned many bass amps in 30 years, NOTHING compares the sound of this monster. 1000 watts of solid state doesn't come close. If you want the most deadly heart stopping lows with 100% clarity, this is the absolute best. I run thru the 410 Ampeg cabinet stacked on another Ampeg 1-15. It knocks the pictures off the wall!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Cant Beat The Tone

By Musicman-xBgsY

from Lake Havasu City, AZ

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I just bought one of these along with the 6x10 and oh my god, the sound that this puts out is amazing. It has the sound that I have been wanting for a long time. Every time I play everyone tells me how awesome it sounds, even at practice my band mates are still blown away by the great tone. If you have the money you must buy this you cant beat it.

(3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Nothing special

By MeBass

from NYC

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I've used this amplifier on numerous occasions (both American made and newer Vietnamese models) and I could never really get the tone I wanted out of it. Believe it or not, but I liked the tone I got with the much less expensive SVT-450H more. It seems to be built pretty solidly, but as far as tone goes, it fell far short in my opinion. Ampeg customer service seems to fall short too from what I've heard. I went with Aguilar instead and I've never looked back. I'd recommend any bass player who wants quality, tone, and excellent customer care to do the same. Ampeg is not the king of bass amps anymore.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

No regrets. Worth the cash

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I spent 5 months saving up for this head as well as the ampeg 8X10 cab. I got it home dailed it in and hit one note on my fender bass and the entire house rattled and the master was on 3!. The tone is so warm rich and clear and it makes my presence on stage far more heard. I loved ampegs when I played them at music stores and most of my favorite bassists use ampeg. But after owning this rig, Im set for life as far as choice of amplification goes.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

GOOD but not GREAT

By Vintage J-Bass Magic

from Ontario Ca

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I bought this amp in 2000 to backup an ailing 1969 SVT and there is no comparison between the two whatsoever. I am glad to see ampeg has released a vintage reissue which is kind of telling on themselves as they have been marketing the classic as the real deal SVT...which it is not. Form fits function and what you find in the preamp of the classic and the original SVT are miles apart and so is the sound. If your going to spend $ on this amp do yourself a huge favor...either never hear an original 60's or 70's SVT (Or possibly the reissue)....and you'll be fine. If you buy this and place it next to the real deal you will discover that the tone and authority is not even in the same ballpark...period.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

The best sounding amp Ive ever used...period

By if u want a T-Bird dont get the Epiphone

from Germantown, MD

See all my reviews

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

At first I wasnt sure if I wanted to spend the money on an SVT. I had been playing through a lot of different amps and not getting the sound I wanted. After going to music shops almost every weekend just to play through it I ended up getting one. The warmth you get from the tubes and the sound you get no matter what cab your using is incredible. The only downside I saw was that the Classic dosent have an FX loop. I just run the FX staight through and it honestly dosent affect my tone at all. If you really need an FX loop then get another cheaper amp that you can just pull out for the one or two songs you use FX in. Im playing a Fender Jazz and a Gibson Thunderbird V through a rack of FX, the SVT-CL and and SVT-410 HLF...and I couldnt wish for anything els.Thoses new SVT-VR are really nice but why do you need to spend more green on a two channel amp that has no footswitch (to change channels you have to take out the input cable and put it in another jack) and less EQ for both channels? I dont think so. The extra price is bassicaly for the differnent color, the rocker switches, and the better sound, but dont listen to me, go try them both out yourself. If for some reason you dont like the sound, try a different one because all tube amps sound different, even if there the same brand and model.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

the tubular beast

By kevinonbass88

from cincinnati oh

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

i've owned boutique and cheap amps solid state and tube (mesa boogie,trace elliot,hartke,bugera,david eden,swr,peavey,to name a few) and svt has the best warmth and low end tone i've heard. not to mention a load of headroom and volume. i had the wt-800 david eden and it sounded like a toy compared to the svt classic. they are expensive and you will get a workout lifting this head but if you want tone and power buy the ampeg svt classic or svt vr. the solid state ampegs are not good sounding tone wise in my opinion but most likely you will be happy if you get an american made ampeg svt classic.

(3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Be very careful

By AmpegBlueMan

from Ontario

Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

I have played this amp since 1999 and due to the fact that its at least an all tube pathway-you do get warmth and fluid low end. However, it still amazes me how few understand that this is not your 60's or 70's or even 80's SVT for that matter. When SLM took over Ampeg they redesigned the SVT's preamp radically from the original. It simple english thats exactly where most of your tone comes from. The new SVT-VR came into being because there was a demand for that original 'sound'. I promise you that if you place a SVT-CL next to a blue face SVT from the early 70's they aren't even in the same universe sonically. That original bad boy will destroy this sterile cousin. If you don't really care about sound than ignore this and continue to play this ok amp. If your going to bother spending over $1500 on a tube bass amp pay attention and listen to the real mccoy or the new VR...its no accident why they made it...word to the wise...do your homework.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

BOOM!!

By Taylor

from Ny

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

    Just an amazing amp, clean, clear, you don't just listen to this amp, you feel it. Hands down this is the best sounding amp I've ever played on. Q. The amp sounds great live but how about recorded? I went direct an through a mic (C414), all that warmth shows up on the recording. My advice, save up your nickels and eat your Wheaties (the beast is heavy) treat yourself right an get yourself one.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    This has been an excelent amp for many years.

    By Dre

    from Buffalo, NY

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Powerful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Performances

      Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

      This is the greatest sounding product on the market. I think!

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