amp on Ebay

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassman60, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. bassman60


    Jun 5, 2001
  2. bassman60


    Jun 5, 2001
    well, not sure if that link works or not, but it's an SVT classic, looks to be in brand new condition. The current bidding for it is 815. What do you guys think? This guy has good feedback, but I'm still a little nervous about buying something this big off Ebay. any suggestions?
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    SVT classics are very nice amps. They sound great. Probably as good as anything out there in my opinion. If Ampeg would endorse me and give me three or four of them, I'd play them in a heartbeat. But I would never recommend them to a self-supported player. They are probably the most expensive amp in the world.

    If you use the the amp everyday and play it fairly loud, you are looking at a re-tube about every two years. That's about 500 bucks.

    When I was in high school, (fifteen years ago) I bought a used SVT tube amp (1973 model) for $275. In the 2 years that I owned it, I spend almost $1000 on it. Re-tube, output transformer. Power supply.

    I swapped it for a SS Ampeg Head. It logged thousands of hours on it and it never blinked. Some of its tone character, I actually prefered.

    Perhaps getting a newer one would be better, but the fact is tubes are expensive to maintain no matter how you look at it.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Love SVT's, even the St. Louis Music ones. Unfortunately, I think by the time that auction pulls close to the end, the price won't be far off a new one. Auctions tend to get macho towards the end for highly desireable gear and the SVT is a very macho amp.

    An A-1 seller history has been reliable for me in past auctions.
  5. Were you using solid gold tubes or something? A retube and bias job by a competent tech shouldn't cost more than $200 or so. Sounds like you got a lemon.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Wow. I need to go to your guy.

    An SVT uses 6, that's SIX, 6550s. Good, high-powered, A-class 6550s run between $60-80 a pair. So you are looking at $200 or more for just the power tubes. Depending on how good you want the amp to sound.

    You also have three 12ax7s in the preamp. That's about $50-60. And three 12au7s in the secondary gain stage. That's another $50-60.

    Add a couple of hours on the bench for installation, biasing and a drop of solder here and there for this wire or that post, throw in Uncle Sam's share of the pudding and you just dropped $500. Maybe a little less. You can always use cheap tubes and it isn't likely that every tube will need to be replaced, but you are looking at cash.

    As for my SVT, it wasn't really a lemon. I think I lost the output transformer and the power supply because it was old. I got rid of it because I was logging 20 or more hours a week on the head. I couldn't afford to keep it going. Also, I was playing out of town so much, I could afford to loose it on the road.

    My main point is to make sure this person understands that tube amps come at a price beyond what it costs to get it to your door. The overhead for them is far above and beyond that of a SS amp.
  7. Didn't realize that you were talking about preamp tubes too. There's usually no reason to replace them when retubing an amp (unless something terrible has happened). But even so, you can get a sextet of Sovtek 6550's (which he recommends for SVT's) from Lord Valve for $138, plus five 12AX7/12AU7's for $44. Figure an hour for biasing and a general going-through at $65 per hour. That comes to $247.00, $197.00 if you don't do the preamp tubes. Just to be safe I'd say give yourself $250 for power tubes alone, $300 for adding preamps. If you were using NOS tubes, your prices may be more in line.

    Regardless, that can add up for someone playing 20+ hours per week without sponsorship. I' don't really blame you for getting something else, and I do think your advice is good.

    FWIW, I just retubed my Mesa Buster. I got a sextet of Svetlana 6L6's and a JJ/Tesla ECC83 for the driver section for $114.00. Since Lord Valve can supply Mesa spec tubes, all I had to was pop the new ones in. Yeah, I know it's not an SVT, but it still sounds darn good.
  8. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    What's the use of arguing. Maintenence of an all tube amp is very costly. $200 or $500, it's still alot of money. :)

    I have an SVT-2 PRO I got as a Floor model when Sam Ash lost ther dealership & the tubes were starting to go. I call Ampeg & I said the tubes were bad & I sent them a copy of the receipt w/the old tubes & got 6 new poweramp tubes. I bought new pre-amp tubes just to be sure & the head is a KILLER. The only donwside is the weight. :(

    P.S. The newer Ampeg Classic heads are SELF BIASISING. You just have to get a matched sixtuplet.

    As for getting it off eBay, I've bought & sold alot of equipment off there, but always felt weary about tube amps. They're very tempermental. I'd hate to get stuck w/a <font color=yellow><b>LEMON!!!</b></font>