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.
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.
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.
I believe we should take a look at three things here: the speakers themselves, inputs and outputs and the controls.
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.
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.
So, after checking the documentation, I found the following info:
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
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.
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?
Here are the advantages and disadvantages I came up with during the test:
- Loud and punchy bass sound
- Highly respond level
- 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.
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.
- The FLY 3 is an innovative, cutting edge 3 watt mini amp which combines two channels, tape delay and the Blackstar patented Infinite Shape Feature (ISF) to create the perfect compact and portable guitar amplifier
- It packs a punch with big TONE, even at the lowest volumes. The ISF allows you to infinitely change the sound.
- The FLY 3 also features tape delay effects, allowing you to make amp output resonate during play
- The FLY 3 also comes with an MP3 / LINE IN jack built in, allowing you to connect to MP3 player, mobile phone, laptop, tablet etc. and jam along to your favourite tracks; the Emulated Output jack can also be used with headphones
- Capable of being battery powered
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.
- Compact and light-weight design, easy to carry
- Built-in distortion effect
- Designed with 3 adjusters: Drive, tone, vol
- Aux in jack lets you play along with cellphone or MP3 player
- Comes with a splitter plug allow you to connect two headphones simulta
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.
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.