Ampeg SVT 210 AV Review – American Average

A lot of amplifiers have been created. A lot of them have specific features and requirements. However, there are still classical amplifiers, that simply do their job. Let us take a look at one of them.

Ampeg History

As many other companies producing amplifiers Ampeg was founded in the 70`s when the rock wave was overwhelming. It was yet another time, when a group of talented engineers and sound designers united to make even more powerful equipment.

Their attempt was successful, Ampeg amplifiers were received warmly in the whole America, and later in the World. There were hardly any rough moments in the development, so the company continues growing up till this day.

Now Ampeg has six unique lines of amplifiers and some more of different audio equipment. Today we will take a look at one piece of their production only, mini amplifier Ampeg SVT 210.

Physical Characteristics

The first thing you want to learn about the equipment is how big it is. How much it weighs and what it is made of. This is important  in terms of planning your studio. It would really be a pity, if you purchase a powerful amplifier, and simply can not find a place to install it. So, here is this basic information:

The weight Ampeg SVT 210 av weighs 26.3 pounds (which is almost 12 kilograms). That is pretty default weight for compact amplifiers. Compact enough for one person to carry it.
The dimensions This amplifier is 25’’ *13’’ * 11’’ inches big (which is 640 * 330 * 280 in millimeters). Again, pretty average size  for an amplifier like this. The only unusual thing is rectangular shape, which is not convenient in terms of stacking. However, there will be no problems with fitting this amp in any kind of studio.
The material The body is made of birch plywood and has a thin metallic grille, that covers the front panel. Durability is not outstanding, but Ampeg SVT 210 av can survive transportation and little hits easily. However, water contact or strong heat are highly likely to damage the amp.

Okay, now go check you studio, whether it has enough room for placing a device like this (I am pretty sure it does). Without further hesitation let us proceed to reviewing the sound producing system itself.

Technical Characteristics

I believe we should take a look at three things here: the speakers themselves, inputs and outputs and the controls.

The Speakers

Ampeg SVT 210 av has two 10’’ eminence speakers. That`s a clear advantage, cause most of the amplifiers of this size and price range have one speaker only. The speakers work at the power of  200 W with the nominal impedance of 8 ohm (impedance doesn`t have influence on sound by itself, but you should only stack equipment with matching impedance).

Inputs and outputs

There are parallel ¼ inputs and outputs. They are good for connecting instruments and microphones, however there is no auxillary input, which limits a variety of possible combinations a little.

The controls

Again, the basic stuff only is available. Volume control, mute switch and gain. This is enough for simple practicing, however if you are looking for some sound experiments or just love spicing your vibes with reverb or delay effects you`ll need extra equipment (I`ll mention it a little bit later).

Now we  are done with the technical part as well. The only thing that should be done before checking the sound test results now is looking through the features, that the developer himself thinks are the most important. Here they are.

The Features

So, after checking the documentation, I found the following info:

1970s design

Well, I can not say that this feature is not cool. It is cool indeed. However, I think that style of the device is not the most important thing ever. On the other hand, if the amplifier does sound good, than adding some unique design is a nice idea.

Designed for stacking with micro VR amplifier

You`ll find the brief review of this amplifier a bit later, for now all you need to know, is that Ampeg SVT 210 av is meant to be used not by itself, but in combination with other piece of equipment.

Convinient handle

Not the sort of feature you are exactly waiting for, but if it is already there, why not? The amplifier is already compact and comfortable by itself, so improving its` strong sides to make them even greater is a nice idea.

Steve, 32, Ampeg Engineer

  • We were mainly focusing on creating the amplifier that works properly and produces the nice sound. SVT 210 av does exactly what it has to do. There is no excessive stuff, that nobody uses anyways.

While technical characteristics seem pretty impressive, it feels like this amplifier lacks some features. Well, the features do not matter that much if the sound is great, right?

Sound Test

Here are the advantages and disadvantages I came up with during the test:

Advantages

  • Loud and punchy bass sound

The cabinet does its` main function really great. Two speakers powered by 200 Watt produce really great volume.

  • Highly respond level

Whenever you change the settings this cabinet reacts as it has too. There were no such situations, when you need to rotate the knob all the way to feel the difference. Sound changes smoothly, so you can combine the adjustments and get exactly the tones you want.

Disadvantages

  • It needs a head to work properly

Let me explain. This cabinet is designed in such way, that it can not be adjusted with the built-in functions only. You need to purchase a bass cabinet controller to properly adjust everything. Otherwise you`ll just get the very basic settings, which sound creepy.

Related Products

Good news here is that it will work with any controller, so if you already have one you can use it. Bad news is that it is only possible to properly adjust this cabinet using the Ampeg controller only. Let me quickly explain what this thing is.

The recommend Ampeg VR Basshead is a compact box (13 pounds of weight only and 10 *12 * 5.5 dimensions), that can be connected to Ampeg SVT 210 with the special built-in foot cups. It allows to properly equalize the sound and adjust the bass. In case you are not ready to purchase that as well or just feel unconfident about working with such amount of equipment, let me show you couple amplifiers, that are built in everything-in-one-box style.

BlackStar Fly 3 This is really compact and multifunctional amplifier that has plug-and-play option. It consists of main 3’’ speaker , that has all the controls, the extension 3’’ speaker that can be connected when more power is needed and some cables.

Being a really budget and compact device it provides nice sound, which, however can not be compared to the sound of bigger and more powerful amplifiers.

MetalBay Mini Amplifier This is a super small amplifier, that can be connected to basically any device, right inside, without any wires. It has rechargeable battery and super small size. However, the power is not that high of course. Will be perfectly suitable for travelers.

These were the related products, I wanted to show you. Choose wisely whichever you pick. My recommendation here is to look for feedback in the internet and to ask people who have a lot of experience in music industry.

Conclusion

Here are some moments I want you to remember about Ampeg SVT 210 av amplifier and the Ampeg Company itself:

  • Ampeg is an old American company, that successfully managed to survive hard 70`s due to the quality of its` equipment.
  • Ampeg SVT 210 av is a compact, yet really powerful set of speakers, that provides excellent quality of  bass amplification.
  • For proper adjustment you`ll need a head, preferably manufactured by Ampeg as well. Trace Elliot head was tested, but the adjustment results were not really significant.
  • In case you need something simpler, there are small amplifiers, that need no wires and are ready for using without any adjustment. They are much less powerful though.

Finally, if I were to give you the advice, I would recommend to pick the amplifier that will fit your goals the best. If you are looking for studio practicing, band performances and hard training, better save up some money and purchase powerful cabinet, head, and use it.

If you are a simple traveler or a complete beginner, get yourself something compact and cheap, just to understand what it feels like to work with amplified sound. And remember, that there is never too much practicing. Keep training and your results will improve. Good luck.

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