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A bittersweet day. Goodbye to the SVT

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Thumpking, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Thumpking


    Sep 14, 2010
    I sold my 1978 Ampeg SVT 300W alll tube head to a younger man on Thursday. I am mostly "old school" when it comes to amps, (I have an GK RB700 II also), and I am going down to a 1970's Bassman.

    First of all, IMHO, this amp sounds like no other amp in history for it's class. The 1970's were the "bass heyday" and this amp was right in ther middle of it. So warm, thick, powerful, and punch for days, all while keeping the low end like no other amp ever has, and maybe never will. I have had just about every brand of head and nothing ever came close.

    That being said, at 96lbs and $400.00+ for a good quality retube, it was time. I am glad that it has found a good home. The kid who bought was absolutely flabbergasted at the sound and power of this amp. (I could never turn it up past 1-1\2 without rattling the glass in my home windows). He sold his Ampeg VB4 amp to buy this one.

    So long, my old friend. May you rock on forever! :bassist:

  2. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    That's a nice looking MTI era SVT head
  3. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    So long, SVT !

    BTW, did you also sell the 810 fridge ? If so, will you get the matching 4x12 cab for the Bassman ?
  4. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Those Bassmans are SWEEEEEEET my friend. Don't you worry.
  5. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    He's right, The MTI era SVT's were awesome amps made in Japan between 1981 and 1984.
  6. snowblinder


    Jun 16, 2008
    I have this same amp. The SVT's from this era are, tonewise, truly monsters. One of the best sounding amps ever. A friend's band has a mid-70's SVT (previously owned by John Mellencamp, no less), and I prefer mine. Mine has a tendency to break down though, so....until I have enough cash to get it fixed properly where I don't have to worry about it shutting down at every other show with no warning, it's sitting in its road case in my basement, waiting, while my 800RB + VT Bass fills its shoes.

    Can't wait to play through it again one day though.
  7. Destructobot


    Jul 22, 2008
    I'd love to build an SVT clone that isn't all weird PCB nonsense. Maybe a stripped down preamp.
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    If you have the skill, time and money what's stopping you my friend? Get the soldering iron out! :)

  9. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    OP, tube amps are something you have to learn to live with. Once you do it IS hard to let them go. Age makes us less able to schelp heavy equipment around. In my case I left tube amps behind in the late Seventies and that was a 150W tube amp of my own design and build. I admit I have a yen to get it back but that was thirty years ago, it might no longer even exist.

    When I heft my new Carvin Bx1500 I remember why I went lighter.


    P.S. Make that the early eighties!
  10. Thumpking


    Sep 14, 2010
    Well, I wasn't going to mention "PCB disease" as a reason because it causes people to get a bit upset, but it is part of it. That is one reason I like older tube amps. My Bassman has been hot rodded too to accept just about any power tubes. It sounds sweet.

    I still have the 8x10, but looking at a 2x10+1+15 Mesa Powerhouse stack for it.
  11. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    There are plenty of early Ampeg SVTs still around and working fine, and I believe they were all PCBs. Similarly with early GKs and so on. I have always felt that PCBs per se are not the problem, the problem appears to be that they are difficult to work on in comparison to a hard wired head. Techs seem to almost insist on a circuit diagram for PCBs or else you are in for a lot of cash as they trace through the circuit.
  12. OldHack


    Jan 3, 2005
    Sorry for your loss, TK. Sounds like it went to a deserving home, however. Getting taken out by your SVT in some deserted stairwell is not a thought to relish... although there are certainly less glorious ways to go!
  13. whocaresnotme


    Jun 21, 2009
    Amen, brother Paul
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    mti's are fabulous. but hey, if you ever get the svt fever again, there are plenty out there for ya.
  15. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If some younger feller comes after my SVT, I'm gonna break his shin with my walker. :eyebrow:
  16. I love SVT's!! The only thing that stopped me from bring my 2004 SVT-CL to gigs is the '73 SVT that I just bought off a bro on here.
  17. nobodysfool


    Apr 22, 2010
    Shelby, OH
    I played a gig with a band I used to play in, where we used the Grassroots backline (we opened for them), and the bass rig was a G-K 400RB through an SVT bottom. I LOVED the sound, and remarked that i might get an SVT bottom to the band. the drummer and Keyboard player both said "who you gonna get to move it?"....I got my revenge a few months later when the keyboard player started talking about bringing a Hammond B-3 to the gigs, and I looked at him and said "who you gonna get to move it?" No B-3 and no SVT bottom, but the score was even....
  18. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I know it hurts to let go of a prime trophy like that. But I think you made the right call. I've never been one to hoard a thing when I know I won't be using it enough. (Or schlep a 96 lb head when none of my gigs require half that much power!)
  19. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    How do like the sound of the BX1500 after using a real SVT?
  20. AwkwardLoudness


    Jan 11, 2010
    MI USA
    Most bass amps from the 70s (and since for that matter) were certainly inferior to the SVT. There are only other two amps from the 70s I've played that I think are in the same league: Fender 400PS and Hiwatt 400. But, both of these are far more rare by comparison.

    I hate letting go of great old amps, but sometimes I cannot justify keeping more than 3 or 4.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 5, 2021

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