Hmmm...Vintage SVT Content

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by Bassomatic, May 2, 2008.

  1. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm considering buying my buddy's vintage SVT head. Can I run it with, say, a 4 x 10" Goliath cab, or do I have to track down another 4 10's or even an 8 x 10" (not worth it, probably, based on the size of the majority of venues I gig.

    Also, he claims he got it re-tubed and re-biased within the last couple years (has sat completely idle in our rehearsal spot about that long). That said, I remember the rig sounding like G*d 4 or 5 years ago, and then going downhill a bit. He doesn't remember the last bit, but then again I was the guy running through it.

    It was modded by the Letters to Cleo guy from whom my bud purchased it. I believe the only mod is an added fan with a separate switch. It's probably about a '73 or '74.

    What would you think a head like this would be worth?
     
  2. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    There are alot of variables involved when trying to valuate SVT's. Since Ampeg has closed down its US manufacturing operations, we're sort of in the middle of a price spike since collectors and players are trying to snatch up the US models, especially the early 70's era stuff. I've seen the heads go for $1-2.5k depending on year, model, and condition. The fan mod won't really affect the value since this is a gigging amp not a collector piece. Honestly, it's a great mod to have and should extend the life of the tubes.

    If you think the tone has degraded over time, you should have a tech give it a thorough inspection, test all the tubes, and see if any of the tone caps are deteriorating (not uncommon for 35 year old amps). SVT's are expensive to recondition & maintain and they're heavy as hell to transport so owning one requires some dedication (i.e. it needs to be maintained regularly and you'll need to carry spare tubes & fuses to all your gigs). Make sure the tone is worth the extra time, money, and labor before you throw down that kind of coin. Oh, and you'll probably want to get a padded flight case for it to protect your investment and to ensure all those tubes don't get battered during transport.

    In regards to speaker cabinets, SVT's are really potent amps so if you're going to use a 4x10, make it a good one. Oh, and if you get something with a tweeter, turn it all the way off. SVT's aren't really voiced for that kind of top end sizzle IMHO.
     
  3. padavis

    padavis Supporting Member

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    Me and my dad have been trying to figure out how to make his modern SVT Classic sound good. He had the 4x10 Ampeg cab with the tweeter the really nice fancy one and yea it was not cutting it. He got just a basic single 15 ampeg cab and its been night and day how much better it sounds. All the growl and warmth and big sweetness of those classic sounds are all there now. I wish I could have talked to you a couple of months ago! haha we would have saved some serious heartache and SVT/self doubting. So, bassomatic dont even bother with the 4x10s just go get a 15 or two... trust us!
     
  4. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Just FYI - I played a house rig once that consisted of an SVT, Ampeg 1x15 and 4x10 cab (no tweeter). It sounded fantastic.
     
  5. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I don't know about value- but I love Letters To Cleo's "Aurora Gory Alice."
     
  6. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, Letters to Cleo was an amazing band, that amp has more mojo than I think most people will give it credit :)
     
  7. gdcx

    gdcx Silver Supporting Member

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    I used to run my vintage SVT Head (sold it :BITCH) through and eden 410XLT (4ohm). Used to dial the tweeter way down to about 9:30

    It was a different sound than the 810 for sure ..but it sounded GREAT!

    I say go for it.

    FWIW - when I saw Letters to Cleo, I remember that he was using an SVT Head through a 412 Cabinet....and playing a really cool Gibson Gold Signature LP Bass too.
     
  8. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, I ran it through my Goliath bottom yesterday, and I'm going to have to buy it.

    Unreal.
     
  9. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Crap would really love to have it, but a bad time for me right now.
     

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