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Ampeg SVT-3, GK 700RB-II or SWR 350x?


The brazilian dude

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Hi guys, I have some questions that I find hard to get answers here in Brazil, cause it´s not easy to find those heads around here.

I want to buy a better head and, after some research, I ended up with these three heads.

What is your opinion on these three heads, regarding the sound, the features and the price?

 

Thanks for the help.

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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Most of us are in the US, and we have seen that price structures outside of the US vary. Are your three choices priced about the same for you?

 

I think of the GK stuff as solid work horses. Not tons of features, but solid sound. The SWR may be a bit more "featured". For the full feature list, check them on-line. If (for example), a separate tuner-out jack matters to you, you can see who has it.

 

I think the SWR and Ampeg have lots of different tones available, but it kinda depends on what you want. Do you like that warm, thick sound? Clear highs modern sound?

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

I think of the GK stuff as solid work horses. Not tons of features, but solid sound. The SWR may be a bit more "featured". For the full feature list, check them on-line. If (for example), a separate tuner-out jack matters to you, you can see who has it.

Boy, I think just the opposite. The G-K 700RB-II has tons of features, where most Ampegs and SWR's seem simple to me. The G-K 700RB is biamped, has a four band EQ, presence and contour controls, a boost distortion circuit, 5-string filter, etc. Ampeg's tend to only have a three band EQ with a five way mid-shift, and no contour, presence or filter controls. SWR's have the enhancer circuit and I believe a four band EQ, but I don't think many outiside the Mo' Bass offer biamping. The only feature Ampeg and SWR offer that G-K does not seems to be the octave effect.

 

Personally, I see the GK-700, 1001 and 2001RB heads as being affordable, feature-laden but utiliterian amps. The Ampeg and SWR amps tend to be more pricey one-trick ponies. Of course, Ampeg and SWR offer brand name recognition and signature sounds that even a guitar player can identify, where G-K does not.

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The problem is that I don´t have any way to compare these 3 heads. There are very few information about them over here. What I thought is that these 3 manufacturers are, together, the best bass amp producers. Is this true or the GK heads are inferior to those from Ampeg and SWR´s?

Each one´s features are very clear and easy to find on the sites... What I don´t know is: are there any superiority between the 3? Or they all are in the same level?

Of course, the sound is what´s gonna define my purchase, but I find important to buy a head that is well spoken on the streets, just in case I need to sell it.

 

Thanks for the help...

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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The three amps are all equivalent in quality.

 

You will see those amps on stages all over the world.

 

SWR are brighter, clearer, more hi-fi sounding.

 

Ampegs have a big solid low-end punch.

 

GK is maybe somewhere in the middle.

 

But of course you could use the tone controls and get a wide variety of sounds out of all of them.

 

Good luck on your amp search.

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Yes, it's in your fingers and I will sound approximately the same no matter what amp I use (and I own seven different ones) but we are trying to help our friend from Brazil decide what to buy.

 

Maybe if he would let us stay at his home in Brazil we could come for a visit and advise him in person. ;) I'd love to visit Brazil someday. I love samba music. And dental floss bathing suits. :D

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Well, hello my friend in Brazil.

I own an Ampeg SVT-3pro and I absolutely love it. I have never played through either of the other 2 amps but I have heard a lot of stuff from SWR and I used to play a GK at the studio I rehearse at.

 

Of, course, it is all a matter of opinion. You picked 3 pretty good heads and you will probably like any one of them.

 

If I were you I would pick out your favorite bass players, guys you try to emulate, and find out what their rig is, or what brand. And then try to play as many different products from those brands as possible, then make up your mind.

 

The SVT is a tube pre-amp, I'm not sure about the other ones but I think they are solid state amps. So if you like a warm fuzzy feeling when you play, go for the Ampeg.

 

Peace

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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Greetings for New Jersey, USA. I still have family in Sao Paulo, Brasil.

 

The three heads you have picked are equivalent. Jeremy's description are accurate.

 

You cannot go wrong with any one of the three. What about Tom's question regarding price? What is the price differential?

 

If I had to pick between the three, I would probably take the SWR, all things (like PRICE) equal.

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Factor in the amplifier repair people your music dealer sends equipment to if it's broken. Even if it's to the manufacturer, this may refer to a local distributor in Brasil that imports them, and then he either swaps products out or sends them to his local repair person for warranty service. Are the repair people experienced? Have they worked with your equipment? What are the pros/cons of the product design from their viewpoint? These people have to know their work to do it every day, and I bet they can give you insight that will help make your decision.

 

Why buy a new Audi if the local garage mechanic's never seen one, the Audi service center is staffed with trained chimps out of the local high school auto shop, and the warranty repair people are 200 miles away and charge double for non-warranty service? See what I mean?

 

For example, you may prefer the GK, but if your amp repair person has never seen one, what are the chances he can fix a defective one? Also, validate the warranty terms with your local dealer; warranties vary according to countries and there are cases where a warranty isn't valid due to trade agreements. Caveat emptor!

 

Oh yeah: I'm an SWR fan. 5 years, two trips to the repair shop to replace input jacks. They may not have a lot of features, but they are DURABLE!

I like GKs as well, but I'm not so certain about Ampegs as their manufacturing quality has varied widely over the decades. Again, caveat emptor!

:wave:

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Guy From Brazil...

 

I have had a GK1001RB for several years. To me it sounds better in loud/live situations than most heads I have tried. It's been flawlessy reliable, runs surprisingly cool at very high volumes, has all the controls and inputs on the front panel, is light weight, and seems to make it very easy to dial in the tones you want quickly.

 

The thing I like best about my GK head is the perception of unusually high head room. The amp never seems to sound like it's approaching it's limits.

 

Frankly...

 

I don't think you could go wrong with any of those heads you mentioned, but I can only speak for the GK heads, as far as having had long term and real-world gigging experience with one of them. Or at least one very similar. The GK1001RB, and the GK700RB are very similar.

 

I think you will be able to get a lot of tonal variation with either of those heads. By I can vouch for the GK head as being able to pass the regular night club grind test, without complaint.

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I have an SWR SM-900 and an Ampeg BA-115 combo. By default, I would agree with the above post that said the SWR's tend to have a hi-fi clear modern sound, while the Ampeg's tend to have more of a vintage, warm and punchy kind of sound. However, I think either of those heads would give you enough options to be able to make either one sound pretty much like the other. I don't think you can go wrong with either. I can't speak to the GK's since I've never owned one, but I'd imagine it falls in the same category.

 

Sorry, I know this probably wasn't much help, but it's the truth as I see it!

 

HTH,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Hey Edendude, the answers you guys have been giving to me are exactly what I wanted.... Not the amp specs, but the personal experience that you have with the amps... That I find more important to know, cause you can never define well an amp unless you own it for at least 2 years...

And, greenboy, you suggested to take a look at other brands... Witch other brands do you guys suggest that have the same quality?

Thanks everyone.

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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Eden and Trace Elliot. The Trace Elliot I just sold, to an Englishman ironically, was switchable for 110 or 220 line voltage. Might avoid a transformer change, if Brasil uses 220. I didn't like the Hartke 3500 I tried out, seemed to lack cojones.

 

 

www.ethertonswitch.com

 

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Pretty much any modern brand that EVER gets talked about here and on other bass forums has the same quality. There just isn't that much difference in componentry or designs for the majority of heads, other than that which is subjective.
.
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Guy From Brazil...

 

Again I have to agree with Greenboy about the reliability and general 'do what they say they will do' credibility of just about all the modern brands of amps you'll hear talked about on this forum.

 

The only gear I have ever had any real disappointments with, was 'Hartke'. And that was several years ago.

 

I currently have a mix of GK, SWR, and Eden gear. All of that stuff has been flawlessly reliable, and each piece of equipment has it's strengths and preferred uses for me personally.

 

Make sure you check out the Eden stuff while you're shopping around. I swear by my old Eden WT-300 head for stellar recorded and low volume tone. Not that it's a bad head for high-volume use. I just prefer my GK head for that purpose.

 

And as Greenboy also mentioned...

 

A lot of this stuff is very subjective and personal.

 

Here's the link to the Eden website, in the meantime...

 

http://www.eden-electronics.com/

 

Be sure to let us know what you finally settle on. And good luck with it.

 

:thu:

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I've played through all three. I own a GK 800rb,rented an SVT 3,and played backline SWR.

 

Headroom: GK all the way. This amp seems to perform at much higher levels without topping out and squeezing.The Ampeg is not far behind. The SWR doesn't even come close.

 

Reliability: Probably all equal. My GK has been through hell. The only repair needed was some solder joints that worked loose.$30. Swr is used for backline all over in the states and the Ampeg I mentioned has been a rental for at least 2 years without a repair that I know of.

 

Tone: In my opinion,similar tones to both the Ampeg and the SWR can be coaxed out of the GK. I personally dislike the dry,scrapy tone of SWR and can't seem to dial it out every time I use one without sounding muddy. I think you really have to like the scrapy highs (lots of players do). I see the SWR sound as a very specific "love it or hate it " type of deal.I personally like my highs to be up more around 5kville (and just a bit). Its all too "nails on chalkboard" for me and thats what they sound like. Its their sound. Not for me. The Ampeg sounded good,but I was able to get a fuller,(go ahead and flame me)warmer sound out of the GK. They just have a certain color in the lower midrange that I like. It pokes through the mix,but doesn't have to be harsh to do so.

 

I might be in the minority as far as bass tone goes. I don't like alot of finger noise and click. I try to dial in just enough stringiness to keep it from being mush. It might sound a bit rubbery to some,I suppose. Just enough rattle to growl when I want it too.

I would totally agree that there are more brands to look into and that going with something that can easily be maintained in your area is a good idea. Don't dismiss rack gear either,if its available at similar prices.

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I don't get how a solid state Ampeg can be compared to a CL or SVTII. They sound totally different to me. I'm not one of those "tubes are king" guys either. Maybe its just me,but Ampeg seems to be trying to fool people. I think the SVT 200Ts and III's sound closer to GKs than any tube Ampegs. Maybe a bit woofier. Maybe I'm nuts.
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The problem is that there simply aren´t ANY Eden material around here. I mean ANY. I discovered this brand over the internet, and it was surprising to see how many people use it. Guess they look too ugly for the brazilians (hehehe...).

After some research, I liked it´s sound, but, as you guys have said, if I buy it, it´ll have to last forever or I´ll be in trouble.

The separated Pre/Power option is gonna cost at least twice the cash.

I own a Hartke 3500 myself and, after 3/4 years, I´ve came basicaly to the same conclusions you did (with some other things). Hartke is well spoken around here, I guess I´ll be able to sell it for a good price...

Guess the other brands that I see around here are Laney, Peavey, Marshall, Warwick... Not much... There is also the Bass Podxt, but that I´ve already discarted...

In my experience (that lacks information) the Peavey stuff sounds just cool. Laney I personaly DON´T like and the Marshall and Warwick´s stuff I´ve never heard it. Do they have unique unique sounds? Or they just sound like someother amp?

 

Thanks.

(man, I really have to thank you lowdowners. You are helping ALOT.)

Please, forgive my english, I don´t speak it very well
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If Peavey is available, it's definitely worth consideration. I agree with greenboy that most brands have similar quality (in that price range), however, Peavey gear seems to last; very durable.

 

Testimony might be the fact of how many old Peavey products you see lying around in rehearsal studios, band PA's, backlines, etc. Or is that because there was a larger population because Peavey was relatively dominant in that market?

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Donut, I've been using an old SVT-III for about five years now. I'm looking for something lighter, but the more stuff I play the more reluctant I am to part with mine. Its just 350W at 4 Ohms and with one 8 ohm cab I sometimes get the limit light to activate, but I guess I've just become accustomed to the tone. I never use the EQ and run pretty flat. Why do I like this fairly generic amp? I'm not sure.

 

 

www.ethertonswitch.com

 

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Originally posted by way2fat:

Donut, I've been using an old SVT-III for about five years now. I'm looking for something lighter, but the more stuff I play the more reluctant I am to part with mine. Its just 350W at 4 Ohms and with one 8 ohm cab I sometimes get the limit light to activate, but I guess I've just become accustomed to the tone. I never use the EQ and run pretty flat. Why do I like this fairly generic amp? I'm not sure.

Because its a great amp.I like 'em. The only two points I really had about it is that I liked the GK better,and that I don't understand how people can say that they work and sound like the all tube CLs and IIs.
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