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SVT guru in northern VA/DC area?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by StuartV, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    I have an early 70s SVT that I think needs some attention. It was fine and then I drove from CA to VA with it sealed in a heavy duty garbage bag in the back of my pickup (under a closed tonneau cover).

    Can any of you recommend an amp tech in the northern Virginia or DC or even southern Maryland area that I could take it to?

    The issue with it is that it works and gets loud. But, it seems like the sound is muffled. The opposite of "bright". Sort of like playing a P bass with the Tone rolled off. My old Ampeg V4 had the same problem last year and my tech out in CA fixed it. I think it was a cap (or some caps) that had died, but I don't remember for sure.

    Possibly related, since I moved it here, whenever I turn it on, let it warm up, and then take it off Standby, it makes a weird noise for a few seconds (right after I take it off standby), then clears up and is fine. Kind of a medium-pitched squeal is the best way I can describe it.

    Also, my tech in CA replaced the fan, but the one he put in is LOUD. I'd really like to replace it with something quieter. I'm SURE the one in there now is way louder than the original stock fan ever was.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Manassas, VA
    I used to use Protech in Silver Spring, but after spending a ton of time and money with two amps that they never fixed, I would never recommend them again.

    I used a good guy down past Warrenton to go over my Marshall Lemmy a while ago and I was very happy. He works out of his home. I don't remember his name off the top of my head, but if you're interested I'll look him up.

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  4. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    Thanks, phish! Yes, please.

    I work in Marshall, so somewhere near Warrenton would be pretty convenient for me. Do you know how much experience he has with vintage SVTs? Mine was a total basket case when I got it. My guy in CA seemed to do a great job getting it going again. But, I haven't play it that much since he finished it, so I won't be surprised if there are still some gremlins to be sorted out.
  5. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Manassas, VA
    I thought I had the guys name in one of my previous threads, but it's not there. It may have been Viking Amps. I just gave them a call and left a message to get a call back. I'll let you know asap if that's where I went.

    Honestly I don't know a ton about him, but I was happy with the price and turnaround time and unlike Protech, he did good work. I did mention my interest in picking up a vintage SVT one day and from his comments, it seemed he had worked on a bunch of them.

  6. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    Awesome! Thanks, Michael. This is not a rush job, so whenever you can confirm that will be great. In the meantime, I've got my SVT 2 Pro and my Traynor YBA-3 (and my little Class D 500 watter) to fill my bass amplification needs. They seem to have weathered the move weather with no problems at all. :D
  7. lowfreqguy


    Oct 18, 2000
    Hi Stuart. This guy is an SVT guru. Happy hunting.
    Paul Mastradone
    Paradocs Specialties
    Beltsville, MD 20705
    Phone 301-937-1895
  8. Mr.Bassie720

    Mr.Bassie720 Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    Washington DC,Silver Spring,MD
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses Spector Strings
  9. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Pete Cage Amps!
    He only does tube amps.
    He's been working on them a long long time!
  10. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Protec had my amp. Couldn't find a problem. Went there and showed them how noisy it was. Then they fixed it well!
  11. sears


    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    LeRoy is the man. Straight up and reasonable too. Nothing against anybody else mentioned (so far) in this thread.
  12. Kinda up the road from you , but there's a guy in Finksburg Md. I don't know his name but he advertises as "The Old Pro". He usually has an ad on the Balto. area Craigslist. I haven't dealt with him personally , but I have heard nothing but great reviews about him. I hear the guy that others mentioned in Balto. is also very good. There used to be a guy named Marty that had a little shop right behind Chuck Levins in Wheaton Md. that did really good work but I don't know if he's even alive anymore (I've been out of that area for a while now.) If he's still in business you can get his number by calling Chucks'. Might be worth investigating though as he's closer to you that either of the other guys.
  13. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I've had nothing but stellar service at both Pro Tec (ask for Mike and tell him Jim sent you) or Prototypes in Kensington MD.
  14. Awesome thread!

    I have a 76 SVT that I know should be looked at, but haven't had any local names. I'm in Reston, so any of these are no issue to get to.

    OP - That squeal, mine does that too. Other that that it seems to sound find when playing, but when not there seems to be a ghost it the machine. Weird low level hums and groans, they come and go. That said, at my last gig it was sounding great. One dude kept saying the bass needed to be louder - I knew he was off the mark so ignored him, until the last song when most people had cleared out. I opened it up a bit more........WOW - I haven't heard that thing sound like that in a long time....amazing!

    Anyway, thanks for starting the thread, and all the great responses, I'll be heading to Baltimore with it I think.
  15. hangman

    hangman Certifiably Used

  16. husky123


    Jul 6, 2006
    Leesburg, VA
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
  17. wow. Didn't even think of prototypes. I grew up in the Wheaton ,Kensington area and they have been around forever.
  18. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Joe and Tommy Lepson are still there although they moved 1/4 mile away from the old shop.
    The studio I was working at in 1984 always sent the tube amps there and Tommy knows more about Hammond and Leslie cabinets than anyone on the planet.

    It does take those old geezers about 5 minutes to walk from one end of the shop to the other, but are trust worthy and they will use the closest replacement part available.

    Pete Cage website looks like he is a tube amp monster as well.
  19. Wow, blast from the past. I mixed for him round about 1994 at a club in F-burg. Load in was up a narrow flight of stairs, so he brought a modified (by him) B-3 that he could get up the steps. I think that was the first time I ever dealt with a Leslie on stage. He and his band were awesome.
  20. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I first met him when I engineered some Root Boy Slim tracks in the mid 80's.
    Used to see him play in DC all the time with that "mobile" B3.
    Not sure if he uses it anymore but he is still a bad a$$ player!
  21. StuartV

    StuartV Out of GAS!! Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Bristow, VA
    Hey, guys, thanks for the all the suggestions, I really appreciate it! Time to make some phone calls...!

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