View Full Version : Vintage Ampeg SVT questions from a guitar player...
01-11-2010, 06:05 PM
Maybe my first and only post in the bass forum hear but...
The bass player in my band is looking to upgrade from a solid state Trace Elliot head/cab setup he has and we went to the guitar store and found a 70's Ampeg SVT head that was killer. Big and heavy and a little beat but it sounded huge and amazing and we were both pretty sold on it. Asking price was $1300.
My questions are what (if any) are newer alternatives to this (that maybe don't weigh 500 lbs)? what issues with unoriginal parts or parts on the verge of breakdown should we look into? a big question is what cab would be best? we tried it through a 6x10, an orange 4x10, and an orange 1x15, then the 2 oranges together. Either orange cab on its own couldn't handle the power, but together they were great, but also $1600 and a lot to carry. Looking for the best combo of size and ability to handle the 300 watts of tube power.
Thanks and I'm sorry if this is a beat topic or if there are a lot of threads covering this (:horse).
I'm guessing this is a later 70's Black Line SVT for that price unless it is quite beat up.
THE cab to have is the 70-73 8X10 flat back 4 Ohm cab loaded with CTS AlNiCos.
An SVT head weighs around 85 pounds. The cab is 135 pounds plus the dolly.
If your bass player wants an SVT lover's recommendation in a NEW amp.
Go for the Reeves Custom 225.
Fat Rich Warm Punchy and 61 pounds.
I have several demos of mine on YouTube.
01-11-2010, 06:46 PM
awesome thanks for the info man!
Wait till you play guitar through it! :-)
LIVE AT LEEDS!
There's an excellent review of the Reeves in the archives of Bass Gear Magazine
256 watts RMS into 4 Ohms.
All tube, all hand wired, built road ready in Ohio.
Take a look at the SVT in question and try to match up the SVT
face plate graphics at Fliptops.net
The day I ordered my Reeves 225,
I passed on the cleanest dead mint Blue Line SVT anyone had seen in a long
time for the same price.
SVT's are very good sounding amps, no argument there,
but they were not completely bullet proof.
My '73 broke down on me mid-gig twice in 7 years of ownership.
I paid $1500.00 total for the head, two 8X10 AlNiCo cabs, covers and dollys
back in '73, just to put things in perspective.
01-12-2010, 08:46 AM
Thanks so much for the solid info!
The Reeves looks and sounds great but is definitely out of his price range for now unfortunately. Any other heads in the 1000-1500 range (new or used) that might fit the bill?
01-12-2010, 08:51 AM
I looked at the fliptops website and I'm 99% sure it matches the early svt heads blue one. Which says its late 60's or early 70's. That's based on it having 4 inputs and midrange on the first channel. Should he jump on this for that price if it looks good on the inside? Its beat up but not terrible.
01-12-2010, 08:54 AM
And that its blue with a square grid around the inputs. Can I double check the serial number or anything else to verify its age? What color should the switches be?
01-13-2010, 05:33 PM
$1300 for an early-'70s SVT is a pretty darn good price if the thing is in reasonable shape on the inside. They are often considerend THE best-sounding SVT ever made.
Another option for an all-tube-boat-anchor is the SVT-CL. It's only slightly different in flavor than the original SVT, and they can be found used under $1000 if you shop carefully.
I happily used an SVT-CL for quite a while, and loved the sound, but the weight eventually got to me and I went looking for another option. I found sonic bliss in the Aguilar DB750 (tube pre, ss power amp). It gives me everything I love about my SVT sound and something more - AND it's about half the weight. I got my DB750 used for $1200.
01-14-2010, 01:12 PM
Thanks again I'll check those out. Went back to play it and noticed there's a slight hum and the guy at the store said his tech checked it out and claims the hum 'cant be fixed for a reasonable amount of money'... I don't know anything about these amps but it sounds fishy. Thinking it might be a red flag and time to continue the search....
Keep the suggestions coming though. I appreciate it!
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