70s Vintage SVT storage question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DATman, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. DATman


    Jan 18, 2015
    Bozeman, Montana
    Hey, I live in Montana and (as some of you know based on my thread from some months ago), I had a 1977 blackline SVT and Fridge restored — and I am completely in love.

    However, the most convenient place to store both are in my garage.

    Now, it gets cold in MT -- 30 below on occasion, for sure below zero for a few days at least once during the winter. That's outside temps, presumably warmer in my garage, but I am pretty sure the garage hits zero at times too. Probably averages 20s most winter days in there.

    Two questions: is there a temperature issue with storing the SVT head in the garage year around? Then also, is it ok to store the cabinet in the garage? I assume it's less concerning with no tubes or anything, but it's also more of a pain to find space for.

    Any intel on this from you Ampegheads out there? @beans-on-toast ? @JimmyM ?

    Thanks everyone...

    Attached Files:

    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    My house. I'll keep up with them and send them back to you when you need them. I promise. ;)
  3. DATman


    Jan 18, 2015
    Bozeman, Montana
    If you're willing to carry them back and forth, I might be willing to consider. :thumbsup:
  4. saltydude


    Aug 15, 2011
    boston CANADA
    I doubt the extreme cold would be a concern as much as the dryness that accompanied it with the only solution being proper heating and humidity. Maybe just a season or two?
  5. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    People do it all the time. In the garage, a buffalo hide cover would help. :laugh: I spent some time on the prairies and know fifty below in the snow.

    Extreme temperature changes can take a toll on vintage gear. Of concern is expansion and contraction of old solder joints and the coating on transformer wire. You have to acclimatize the cab and amp to room temperature and ensure that there is no condensation before using it. A fan blowing on it can help.

    I'd find a way to store the head indoors. It isn't that big. Get a slip cover for it to keep dust off, it will also allow it to look less obtrusive.
  6. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    I left an SVT head in my shed all winter one year here in Ma (normal lows 20-30 degrees) and it had a problem when I turned it on, don't remember what the problem was but I wouldn't do it, oh yeah, one of the bias pots went open or shorted, forgot which.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I would not want the head out there - find a spot in a closet. Less of an issue for the cab - just make sure to give it time to adjust to temp changes before you use it. And yeah, get a cover. At the very least, get some duckcloth canvas, and someone who can sew make you something that you can slip over it. My other concern would be rodents. Do you want to look in the spring and find out that mice have eaten the bottom speaker cones?
  8. bobyoung53. You might have had the same problem if the amp was kept in your bedroom all winter.

    Good advice to keep the head indoors though.

    Or, you could leave it on standby all winter to help keep all the other stuff in your garage warm and dry, (just kidding).
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  9. Amano


    May 5, 2015
    Planet earth
    Put the head under your bed.
  10. I live north of you in Alberta. In my experiences the only issues I've seen with cold weather storage is the effects of condensation- corrosion, noisy pots, etc.. I've also seen instances where tolex comes unglued from the cabinet.

    My old Acoustic 450 lived in the back of the truck on and off for 25 years. The only issue I had was sometimes bringing it into a warm hall in the winter; there would be considerable condensation until the amp warmed up. I installed a 4 inch muffin fan years ago to assist with cooling. This came in handy also as a condensation dryer after I wired the fan to run without powering up the amp.

    Cold weather generally doesn't affect solder joints.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
    sowilson, DATman and bobyoung53 like this.
  11. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Years ago I had stored another SVT head in that shed (summer though) and when I picked it up and brought it in my apartment, my cat was VERY interested in it, turns out there was a family of mice that had set up shop in a corner of it. This was an early head with a Rototron fan with a cover that fell off and they got in through the fan. Yup, outside is a bad idea summer or winter.
  12. DATman


    Jan 18, 2015
    Bozeman, Montana
    Hmm, I didn't think about mice -- we do have some. Plus the dang magpies came in and ate a whole box of chocolate eclairs we had there for a few minutes. I do have a light blanket on it now, but critters are a consideration.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  13. Hammond organ dealers offered a ceramic lamp socket with a low wattage screw in heater to keep the tone wheel generator ready to spin up on a cold Sunday morning for organs kept in unheated churches. The church mice probably appreciated that as well.
    Slough Feg Bass and bobyoung53 like this.
  14. Cement powder fixes up magpie problems. Just mix a little in whatever they favor, and let them chow down.
    climber likes this.
  15. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    A friend has an old blue line that she rescued from her father's barn. She and her boyfriend opened it up to find a mouse nest and a pile of food in the lower chassis (though fortunately no mice). The amp needs some work, and I've been keen to get a look at it, but they're not too keen on doing anything to clean it up so it's been a door stop in their apartment for the last few years. Has a nice full set of GE class in the lower chassis, didn't get a good look up top.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    My vintage SVT has never been out of Florida since I got it (did do a tour of Europe with Iron Butterfly in 1969, though) and it's beat to shreds, so I wouldn't have a clue about storing it in cold climates. Sorry.
  17. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    You don't look old enough:roflmao:
    JimmyM likes this.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I don't know...I think 8 is old enough for Mom and Dad to let me go on a tour of Europe with a bunch of hippie musicians :D
    DATman, Lvjoebass and bobyoung53 like this.
  19. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Haha! They had some great stuff:
    I was 16 in 1969 and had a buddy who had a VW hippy bus all painted psychedelic with gravestones and the local town cops names written on them. We used to get pulled over everywhere we went, couldn't understand it. We used to blast Iron Butterfly 8 track tapes in it.
  20. Michael Schreiber

    Michael Schreiber Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2014
    Kassel / Germany
    '77 is the birthyear of my Ric and me - please take care of that beauty! \m/ And rather play it than storing it :D
    DATman, beans-on-toast and bobyoung53 like this.
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