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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...Read More

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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 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

BOOM!!

By Taylor

from Ny

About Me Professional Musician

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.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 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

    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!

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      The best for a reason

      By Hellraiser

      from Ontario, Canada

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Expensive Maintenance
      • heavy

      Best Uses

      • Causing Earthquakes
      • Home Studio
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

      I never knew how great these things were until I got to use one at my bands last rehearsal. This is the best amp I've ever heard or played through, and now I understand what all the praise for it is about. This thing is LOUD, but also the clearest I've ever heard my bass sound, even while playing a 5 string tuned to drop A with distortion, while also competing with two ENGL half stacks (guitarists). I bought a Hartke Kilo a while back, and for about the same price I could have gotten one of these used. Wish I did that instead. This thing sounded great right from the get go, hardly any tweaking or knob turning needed. Even people walking by our rehearsal room through the hallway were commenting afterwards on how clear my bass sounded from outside the door!!

      Now a couple major setbacks, this thing is very heavy and also very expensive to maintain. There are usually alot of them used for great prices, however, the cost of new tubes when the time comes can be an issue.

      Either way, despite being pretty pricy brand new, I think you will quickly put that behind you once you hear this thing in action.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Best Tone Available Bar None

      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.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Awesome Upgrade

      By Jimmy Two Fingers

      from The Milky Way

      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.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (7 of 9 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

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      amazing amp, a great buy!

      By Hate it!

      from New York City, NY

      Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

      I just got this amp (used) and i must say, it IS the perfect amp/cab. I got it home and a literally smile ear to ear when i hear the tone it creates. Its so warm, and bassy, yet so punchy and clear, its amazing. I've been trying to find this tone for a long time, and now i finally have it.and if you don't like the weight, just picture everytime you move it as a workout :P

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 2 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.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      In a Class by itself

      By Buildcity

      from DFW, TX

      Comments about Ampeg SVT-CL Classic Bass Head:

      Buildcity; I made a review and hope y'all understand I stated 5881 tubes instead of the 6550's the Ampeg uses. No slam on 5881 tubes intended! I had four 5881 boxes in front of me when I was writing the review. I hate when that happens. I own two of these SVT-CL's and they are heavier by the pair! Get as many as you can. No regrets.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      In a category all it's own

      By Buildcity

      from DFW, TX

      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.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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