Why the SV20 H/C is almost useless (to me anyway)

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by Bergstrom, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Bergstrom

    Bergstrom Member

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    1. It is extremly LOUD! Even at 5W I would say. The venues I play tend to have from 50 to a couple of hundred ppl. Problem ’solving’: adding some sort of power break between the amp and the speaker.
    2. It’s quite difficult to have a good comp sound and then be able to switch to solo, when wanted. Problem ’solving’: adding some sort of attenuator in the effects loop, and then maybe adding a stomp box that lifts the signal again.
    The issue here is that to get a good working horse, you need to tamper with the sound and volume, so much that the original sound is, well gone.
     
  2. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Just sounds like it's not the right amp for you.
     
  3. Freddy78

    Freddy78 Member

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    Marshall Amps are loud specially the NMV ones :applause::applause::jam::jam:
     
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  4. Sir Don

    Sir Don Well-Known Member

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    Each to their own I guess.
     
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  5. Madfinger

    Madfinger Well-Known Member

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    Yeh. Doubt when Jim Marshall threw a v8 under the bonnet of a Bassman he had church bands in mind.
     
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  6. lonewolfsx

    lonewolfsx Well-Known Member

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    These kind of threads always crack me up. One person finds 20w way too loud at a real venue, here I am sitting at home playing my 100 watter wondering why anyone would settle for "just" the 20w version. It's been years since I played out but I find it hard to believe you can't get a fantastic tone and have a good solo volume boost with minimal effort - volume pedal in the loop, mod in a master volume across the loop, attenuators etc etc.

    Now if you wanted an amp you could plug straight into, with no pedals, and have plenty of overdrive, a footswitchable solo boost, and a good master volume... then of course you're going to be disappointed by the SV20 because it's not designed to do that unassisted.
     
  7. Noam Bukowski

    Noam Bukowski New Member

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    I was just jamming wirth my new SV20C. My daughter's watching tik tok clips with her headphones on, in the same room as me. Channels bridged, volume controls at 4 (normal channel) and 5 (high treble). I have the treble and presence controls quite lower than the middle and bass, cause I was playing my tele and didn't wanna cut anyone's head of.

    The definition of "loud" is different for everyone I guess. For me, at 5 watts, I get enough room to get the tubes hot enough so they releace the right juices, and I still don't get ear fatigue after 5 minutes.

    Going quieter than this without seriously compromising on "the" classic Marshall tone...Mission impossible imo. The 10" speaker, 5 watt mode...The next best thing for when you wanna play at night or you're in an appartement....would probably be some sort of modeling amp.

    I'll agree though, for most people, in most rurar areas...Even the 5W mode might be too loud to reach a bit of break up, and the 20W with a cab will sound great live, but obviously doesn't give you a clean pedal platform for a bunch of different shades of fuzz/overdrive.

    You can play whisper quiet with it at home though if you DON'T bridge the channels. I just 'attenuate' the volume with the volume control of my compressor or eq when everyone's at home. But again, it's indeed definitely NOT an amp for everyone :)
     
  8. Noam Bukowski

    Noam Bukowski New Member

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    This.

    Even without any tricks or short cuts, the SV20 really is a plug&play amp imo. Just not if you're into a style of music that requires more than a one trick pony amp. If you are though, you have a couple of pedals, and you know how to use your guitar's volume control...It's a solid amp, and a pretty decent bargain too considering what the Mesa/Friedman/Victory alternatives go for.

    I know wattage isn't the absolute objective measurement of perceived loudness, but still...If 5watt is way too loud for you, you might just want to look at different brands of amps :/
     
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  9. IOSEPHVS

    IOSEPHVS Well-Known Member

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    The SV20 is a single channel amplifier, designed to be used in a studio. I agree with @Maggot Brain; you bought the wrong amp.
     
  10. BftGibson

    BftGibson Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly , all my amps work at any level. Prefer playing at drummer level cause that is "live music" reality. But do come way down for writing quite often & learned these amps into 4x12's are amazingly hi fi & have some nice depth at barely on.Sit right in front of them on the floor & get most of the riffs at night at super low level into a looper for forming next recording. Then the volume being brought up adds the goodness. Simple pedal can goose fine for low level.
     
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  11. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    Why wasn't a master volume model chosen. Studio Classic would fit your needs. Studio Jubilee maybe even better.

    I'm actually one of the few that thinks these amps loudness are a touch overstated.

    Speaker choice and sensitivity has a bearing on loudness. My best advice to keep the volume "reasonable" is 5 watt mode and into a 96db 12" speaker. A Heritage Celestion G12M20 or EVH 20 are very good options. I do this for home use with my SV20H. A quality 10 like a G10 Greenback, 95db, is another excellent choice. Also, normal input and a good pedal pushing things gives even more play for overall volume.
     
  12. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    This is how many people use NMV amps in small venues. I also agree that a master volume amp would be better here.
     
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  13. Chris-in-LA

    Chris-in-LA Well-Known Member

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    So OP plays in venues of 50 to 200 people and 5 watt mode is too loud? He does mention comping, does that mean jazz?

    I find Plexi style amps to be very responsive to the guitar’s volume controls. Why not turn down for comping and turn up for solos?
     
  14. marshallmellowed

    marshallmellowed Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you've got the option, return it and get the SC20. Otherwise, sell it, or acquire what's needed (attenuator, re-amper...) and learn to use them with the amp. There are ways to get there with the SV20, but you'll have to do a little more work than with a master volume amp.
     
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  15. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Hmmm...maybe I'm doing something wrong, I can get a good low volume tone out of any of my amps (see signature below). Maybe its not quite as juicy at higher cranked volumes BUT it is dam good!! Sometimes so good that when I turn up for rehearsal or live stuff (pre-china virus) I sometimes find myself struggling to readjust the EQ for a great louder tone.
     
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  16. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    We play a smaller venue here, a pub really, that might seat 50. It is sadly a quiet room. 5 watts to the pin would be too loud there, it really would. The band I played there with has a lame drummer as in quiet. There is such a beast, believe me. Barely hits them.
    In any case, SC20 with the MV would be totally fine in that room, if you look at say a V30 or similar 100dB speaker, then 5 watts is pushing 107 dB at 3 feet so people in front won't be able to give drink orders. It's a pub!
    Put a MV on, and you will have headroom for a boost in loop. Use an OD up front and volume control.

    SV is the wrong amp for the OP.
     
  17. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    i keep reading threads like this and keep thinking that if you have one of these terrific NMV Amps which for some uses, is still too loud when switched down to 5W, then you just need the very simplest possible attenuator to let you go down some more steps, without changing the tone. Obviously Im thinking of our design in the workbench section, but even simpler.

    When you take the amp and go from 20W to 5W, that's a -6db reduction for 1/4 the power. Suppose you had a fixed box, one jack in, maybe two out, no switches or knobs, to do another -12db. You can apply that to the 20W and 5W amp settings and now you have 1.2W and 0.3W. You now have four evenly spaced power steps, 20, 5, 1.2 and 0.3W. We know this will work with this amp because the design would be a subset of our now well proven reactive attenuator design. Build it in an evening.

    Im just putting this out there as an idea, but Ill draw a schematic if anyone is interested.
     
  18. ken361

    ken361 Well-Known Member

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    Pump those tubes! or buy a Line 6:)
     
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  19. RCM 800

    RCM 800 Well-Known Member

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    or an SD1/TS9.
     
  20. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    This is why I tend to throw out the suggestion every now and then to grab a Whirlwind Gold Box D+ copy for the SV. Not the buzzy current MXR version. There's other pedals of course that will fill this duty but it's a vintage voiced amp so my theory always is find a good current version of what a guitarist would have had way back which wasn't much. Really cuts down on the bubble gum flavor choices out there for one thing and those are the tones we seem to constantly chase anyway. If i had to use my amp dialed back like the OP's situation i would definitely turn to it and use the normal channel. This effect reminds me a bit of the high treble channel in that it needs some girth behind it either through volume or in a lower volume situation the normal channel gives it that. You still need some volume but there's a lot of play there. Balanced with the amp you can still ride the volume from clean to dirt and is similar to the amp cranked on its own.

    I know the amp can be loud and saying well it goes down to just 5 watts is being a bit misleading to somebody interested. It's not a big a fall from 20. But at the same time this amp can be used for a lot of situations. A couple of pedals like that and few well placed speakers for different purposes it can be tuned for a lot.
     

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