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70's Ampeg SVT vs. newer Ampeg SVT-CL

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by As the sun sets, Mar 25, 2003.


  1. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    hey folks. i am wondering what the differences, pros and cons, advantages, and disadvantages are between the 70's ampeg SVT's and the current Ampeg SVT-CL's. i have played through an SVT-CL at guitar center, but i didn't have much time to fiddle with the settings or anything.. but from the experience i had with it, it sounded good. i played through an old ampeg V4-B at practice the other day, and it just felt SO right to me. the classic ampeg tube sound. it just sounded awesome with my rick and the music we play. i know the SVT-CL's can go for around $750-$800 or so used (maybe more/less... i'm not sure, actually) but i'm not sure how much the 70's SVTs go for. i am pretty sure i can sell my 400+ (if need be... if i can't find a trade or something like that) and buy an SVT without any loss. i figure i can get $700+ for the 400+. can people please let me know what you think about the two amps? it'd be a great help. i'm not in any real immediate rush here, so i want to find a good deal on a good amp here. my mesa 400+ is definitely a great amp, but the ampeg tube sound is just what i'm looking for. my current rig is: mesa boogie 400+ (6-band EQ, not 7), 1978 rickenbacker 4001, through an Aguilar GS412 cab (amazing cab.) If anyone can help me out with this it'd be great. i come here and browse every once and a while (i'm usually over at harmony-central) and this place is great for finding out any info. thanks a lot, folks. any help is appreciated! :)
     
  2. Never played through an SVT-CL but used to own an SVT II Pro. Now I own two late 70's SVT's. The difference is like night and day. Get a vintage one if you can find one for a good price. I think they are going for $700 to $900 US most of the time.
     
  3. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    thanks. i'm not sure if the SVT-II and the SVT-CL use the same preamp or what, but that info still helps. my friend has an SVT-II that's a little broken, and my 400+ sounds better than it.. but i think the SVT-CL sounds different/better. do you think a straight-up trade: my 400+ for an SVT (vintage or CL) would be a good deal? i mean, the 400+'s go for $800~ so i would think it would be.
     
  4. I think that would be a good trade if you are looking for that Ampeg sound.
     
  5. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    really? that's good to hear. i haven't seen many SVT's floating around for sale... so it's kind of tough. i would really love that SVT sound.
     
  6. First, whatever you do don't let anyone hoodoo you into thinkin' that the old ones are unreliable. That's not to say that you should expect just any Vintage SVT you pick up to be up to snuff.

    The most important thing you should do (and go ahead and budget for) is take it straight to a tech to be thoroughly serviced. Everything. And not just any tech. Take the time to find one with SVT experience. There is a difference. Chances are he'll need to undo & redo some things that were bungled/overlooked by some yahoo years ago.

    At that point it'll do you for a very long time. They were built to last; back when companys had yet (en masse) to begin making an art out of making things cheaper.
    I used to own a CL. Great amp. If I couldn't have an old one I'd kept the CL.

    The greatest difference to me is in the mid-range. Mine has this "fuzzy" warm thing goin' on in the mids that is just unreal and not to be found anywhere else.
    I think you're dead-on. Since you're not in a rush you will not have any trouble finding a solid SVT for around $800.
    I used to own a IIPro also. I think the Pre-amp is different than the CL's. The IIPro has more tubes in the pre. The IIPro had too many knobs and an EQ I never used but it was a good amp too.
    I'd do it for a vintage one but not the CL, if it was me.

    Good Luck and keep us posted!
     
  7. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    thanks a lot! that was a great response. so you think it'd be a good trade for a vintage SVT? that sounds good to me. i know a guy just one town over who has done work for my father for quite a number of years and i am pretty sure he knows SVTs, but i will check with him to see if he does. thanks a lot for your help!
     
  8. From what I've seen and heard the Boogie sells new for around $1400, right?

    I don't follow the used Boogie market so I don't know what they are but I'd think $750 to $1000 would be fair for one that works.

    Value-wise (IMO), I'd put a premium on the vintage SVT because you can't buy them anymore down at any store. They quit making them in 1979 (<---according to me; some will debate this). I could buy a new Boogie tomorrow morning, I think.

    So yeah, "I" would do it and feel good about it.

    Keep in mind that the hardest thing about the SVT is waiting on the right one to come along.
     
  9. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    yeah, the used 400+ market is usually inbetween $750-$950 for one in good working order, etc. (i got a killer deal on mine.. $541! :D) i found one person who might be able to sell me theirs. it's a 70's SVT (not sure which year) - i found the ad in the Harmony Central classifieds, and the guy was saying $800/bo. I emailed him and he said he is waiting on an SWR 750 that he ordered, and if he likes it, he'll be selling it. the only thing is, there is another guy in front of me in line waiting for it. hopefully that guy will bail (or find another amp to buy) so i can get this one. he gave me a link to a picture of it... here it is.

    any idea what year that one might be? he said it's in good condition. this is what the ad says:

    "This model has the white rocker switches across the top. Looks and sounds great. Professionally re-tubed and brought back to spec."
     
  10. I've already answered this on HCBF (LRH) :D
    +1 to what King of Amps said.
     
  11. That's NOT a '70s SVT.

    That is an early eighties MTE-era SVT. MTE was the name of a corporation that bought the Ampeg "brand" from Magnavox around 1981-2. Some of the components and assembly was done in Japan. It is identifiable by the black-faced control panel, the white graphics, the "cut-out" in the wood along the top edge, and most peculiar the badge is on the right.

    Some prefer this era SVT but most don't. Other than the debut models of 1969, these were probably the shortest lived.
     
  12. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    ahhh okay. good thing i posted the picture! thanks for pointing that out. i think i'll have to wait it out and find a real 70's one. know anyone selling theirs? :)
     
  13. Well the Classifieds here at TalkBass will surprise you once in a while.

    There's a poster here named Andyman that had one not too long ago. He could have sold it already though of course.

    Ebay has 'em in spurts. Sometimes there will be four or five at once then none at all for three months. Usually the sellers have zero feedback and only occasionally posess the amp. :spit:

    I'll keep ya posted.
     
  14. As the sun sets

    As the sun sets Guest

    Dec 10, 2002
    N. Easton, MA
    thanks a lot man. i constantly check the classifieds here at TB for stuff. i have a for sale ad up, and a want-to-buy ad up.. but have gotten no responses to either. i'll keep an eye out!
     
  15. I think he ment MTI era SVT (Music Technology Inc.) Still closer to vintage sound than a SVT-CL. Had 12AX7's instead of 12DW7's for pre tubes. There was also a limited run of 500 SVT's by SLM (St. Louis Music) sometimes called a "skunk works" SVT that is a lot like a vintage SVT as well. But very rare. Seen a few on ebay over the last couple of years.
     
  16. red40

    red40

    Mar 25, 2003
    Wilmington, DE
    I've seen 70s SVT close for around 800-1000 on eBay, search the completed items to get an idea of what they close for. Usually the 70s ones are listed as SVT "vintage". I'd say 2 or 3 a month turn up there. If you see one you like I'd recommend just using the buy it now feature if the listing has one.
     
  17. There's a LOT more info on this subject than what's in this thread. A search perhaps?
     
  18. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    Anybody know anything about the "Skunkworks" limited edition reisuues?
     
  19. Absolutely. If you do a search for posts about SVTs or for posts by PBG you'll find a lot of information on them.