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Ampeg SVT builds?

cryptozoo

Member
Messages
189
This may have been discussed here already, but are there any builders out there making replicas of the '70s Ampeg SVT tube heads?
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,055
Isn't "Ampeg" making some sort of SVT Classic? It's probably not as reliable.

I've never heard of any boutique versions. There are so many originals out there, I'm not sure there's much market for new ones. I do believe that there's a lot of refub activity going on. Replacement iron is available from MM and possibly Mojo.

[update]Ampeg is planning on a more accurate SVT and it will be ~$2,800 msrp. /13 is supposed to have a 200W version.

http://www.ampeg.com/products/classic/svtvr/index.html
http://dividedby13.com/tbl200.html
 

zzmoore

Member
Messages
7,158
This may have been discussed here already, but are there any builders out there making replicas of the '70s Ampeg SVT tube heads?
I have discussed this topic with Paul Ruby and others. Not the SVT exclusively, but rather high powered, all tube, bass heads in general. It has been slow going at best, as there is much more acceptance for "hybrid" amps in the bass community in comparison to guitar. Would be happy to discuss my findings with you if you like. Just send me an email sometime.
 

devinb

Member
Messages
2,030
Ampeg amps are now made in China, I believe...

I used to have an SVT Classic that was made in the USA...great sounding amp.
 

Robal

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,302
The early SWR amps, which pushed the idea of a light weight hybrid (tube preamp, solid state power amp), were in large part a response to two negatives of the SVT: the weight and cost of retubing the amp. I think the original SVT is a classic and a great rock amp, but hauling one around to gigs is a PITA. When the bass player in my band replaced his SVT with a earliest SWR amp prototype, we were pretty happy with the tradeoff.

I've noticed that every now and then another amp company comes along with an all tube bass amp with substantial wattage (200+ watts) but the models do not last too long in production. I would love to own an original SVT is good shape with matching cab myself.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,356
I played an SVT Classic after owning and touring with an original '73

The classic doesn't hold a candle to the real thing.

I've not had a chance to play the hard to find USA, SVT VR model, but it is supposedly much improved.

The amp that has my interest now is the Reeves 225 Watt Bass Head.

http://www.reevesamps.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=50

FEATURES
Two channel preamp design with bright and normal volume controls
Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence tone controls
Master Volume
225w via four KT-88's
Three 12ax7's, One 12AT7
Hand wired turret board construction
Active/Passive input selector
Switchable 4,8,16 ohm impedance switch
Transformer balanced XLR line out
freq response 2.5k-40hz

PRICE & DIMENSIONS
Custom 225 Bass Amp Head
24" (width) x 11-5/8" (depth) x 11-13/16" (height)
59 lbs
 

Bassomatic

Member
Messages
12,337
The amp that has my interest now is the Reeves 225 Watt Bass Head.

http://www.reevesamps.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=27&Itemid=50

FEATURES
Two channel preamp design with bright and normal volume controls
Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence tone controls
Master Volume
225w via four KT-88's
Three 12ax7's, One 12AT7
Hand wired turret board construction
Active/Passive input selector
Switchable 4,8,16 ohm impedance switch
Transformer balanced XLR line out
freq response 2.5k-40hz

PRICE & DIMENSIONS
Custom 225 Bass Amp Head
24" (width) x 11-5/8" (depth) x 11-13/16" (height)
59 lbs


looks amazing.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,356
The original SVT head was bad enough at 85 lbs.
My Hot Cat 100R is killing me at 65 lbs.

SVT Nano!
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,587
i've played the short-lived usa-made svt vr, and ampeg nailed it! (right before they bit the dust, sadly.) it blew away the classic.

peavy, of all companies, has a tube bass amp with a switching power supply, a clever idea that at least removes the weight of one of the two giant transformers needed. i haven't heard it, but it seems like a promising idea.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,356
The person who decided to move Ampeg right as they finally built what bass players wanted should be SO FIYERD!
 

Alvis

Member
Messages
3,388
About 10 years ago I had a Fender endorsement.This is when they were using the Sunn label .They had an amp called a 300t I believe that was an SVT knockoff.They wanted to give our bass player one but he was too proud of his 70s SVT.
I always see those Sunns in pawnshops when I have no money.They also had one called the Rumble bass and Bassman 300

Peavey put out that Classic 400 a few years ago but then stopped

Next amp endosement I get,Im gettin bass gear,that's it

My SVT is one of the black ones from 1981 (MIJ I believe) Ive bought 2 of those and they're built to take it .Only problem in 10 years was a blown fuse for using too small of a speaker cable
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,062
About 10 years ago I had a Fender endorsement.This is when they were using the Sunn label .They had an amp called a 300t I believe that was an SVT knockoff.They wanted to give our bass player one but he was too proud of his 70s SVT.
I always see those Sunns in pawnshops when I have no money.
Fender still sells it, as the Bassman 300.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,356
I've talked to Doug Stalters at Vintone Circuits about building a hand wired
semi-vintage Blue Line Circuit, only we're discussing a way to
make it a quick connect 2 piece head with a separate Power and Pre-amp
section.

This would make the amp infinitely more portable and still easy to set up.

It's either that or I find another original and have it completely refurbished,
and then you're still dealing with 85 lbs.
 

bluestarbass

Member
Messages
78
Im surprised no ones mentioned the mesa or orange high power bass amps. They obviously sound nothing like an SVT but those are the 3 I see most prevalent. The orange is a loud 200 watts and the Mesa 400+ is a beast also, i think it might be 500 tube watts. The cost of retubing something that large has kept me from buying one to play out with. Id love a b15, but Id need something that would put out alot more wattage live. I use a 1000 watt solid state ampeg and it does just fine.
 

alanbass1

Member
Messages
1,166
I find the Orange a little underpowered for two 'loud' guitarist type bands (as mine is) but it is a sweet amp. I have an original '74 SVT but rarely use it as the weight just got to me when I had to start carrying it around for myself. I wouldn't part with it as it has been through so much with me but I would always grab my Eden WT800 when I'm off to a gig.
 

57special

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,803
The thing about the Ampeg isn't just the power, but the tone, especially when plugged into a Fender bass. I've played other very loud bass amps that don't have anywhere near the definition down low, or the growl. I would like to see an SVT w/o all the unneccessary (IMO) preamp controls, and just the one channel. Would cut down on the weight a bit, and certainly on the noise.
 

Nick Sorenson

Rocketfire Guitars
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,050
I remember the V4B Ampeg. That was a cool amp as well. Not quite as big as the SVT but had great tone at I believe 100 or 120 watts. I listened to it through a 1-15" and 4-10" all in one huge refrigerator size cabinet and it sounded great! Then I plugged it into a modern 15" cab with probably an eminence and it was worthless. It sounded like a solid state Crate bass amp at best! The tone COMPLETELY disappeared.

So... my conclusion there is that a big part of the SVT or vintage Ampeg Bass sound for that matter is wrapped up in speakers and of course cabinets too.

Not to get too long or bore anybody but I have turned an old Fender 100 watt Tube PA into a Twin Reverb (same iron), and for use as an all tube bass amp I built the normal channel with a little extra phat-ness. I was extremely disappointed. The highs were nice and mids were tight but the Output Transformer didn't pass nearly the Lows as my solid state power amp did connected to the same preamp stages. I think for the most part, solid state is better if you're shooting for nice lows. I also think with the right preamp (tube) and a good boost pedal or slight overdrive you can very closely approximate the sound of the SVT at slight clipping. And it's much lighter to carry around. Good speakers help a ton!

The thing about the Ampeg isn't just the power, but the tone, especially when plugged into a Fender bass. I've played other very loud bass amps that don't have anywhere near the definition down low, or the growl. I would like to see an SVT w/o all the unneccessary (IMO) preamp controls, and just the one channel. Would cut down on the weight a bit, and certainly on the noise.
 

goneracin

Member
Messages
1,712
While its not a direct SVT clone, or a clone of anything, I just finished my first bass amp. It combines parts of the b15 (6sl7) and the tonestack style, with more power (4 kt88) and a better power section. I just got some short clips of it from the owner up on my site.
Sorry for the spam, but bass stuff is so limited, I just wanted to lay this out there.
 




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