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Ampeg SVT-CL; reliable or not?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ubernaut, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. ubernaut


    Apr 10, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Any SVT-CL owners out there have any reliability problems or other bad / nice things to say about the amp and its reliability? Tubes failing, cutting out, not working on the night of a show ???????

    Let me know

  2. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I'd first pm psychobassguy to get his opinion about your post. He's very knowledgeable about tube amps.
    Years back I owned an SVT-CL, then an SVT2-Pro. Both were reliable. I experienced a power tube failure when I re-tubed my 2-Pro, but I think the tube was at fault, not the amp.
    My opinion is that the CL will be a very reliable amp.
    I've read posts about vintage SVT's that are over 30 years old and are still knocking down walls with the original tubes. I'm not sure if this is true, but it sounds believable to me.
    I've been told by a friend who restores tube Ham radios that the tubes of yesteryear were of a lot higher quality and they have an incredibly long lifespan.
    So if it makes you feel a little more at ease, I'd shop around for some NOS GE 6550's. I hear www.lordvalve has great prices on NOS tubes.

    But I would'nt worry at all, the SVT-CL is a really nice amp. :)
  3. Years ago when Ampeg introduced the SVT-CL, Bass Player reviewed it. The unit they received to review was badly damaged in shipping. It had been banged around enough to break the amp's wood enclosure. They placed the tubes back in the sockets and turned the amp on and it worked perfectly!
  4. ubernaut


    Apr 10, 2004
    Los Angeles
    The reason I ask is because I have always known about ampeg and their popularity. Go to any show and someone is using one. However I just found out that anything made after 1985 is really just a Crate. I dont like Crate. Crate (and Peavey) reminds me of psuedo famous hair bands from the 80s. But, I have also heard bad things about the ampegs when magnavox owned them as well. It seems everyone has a story and a side.
  5. Thunderfunk


    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    Don't go replacing tubes in an old tube amp unless they're definitely broken or failed. I've seen American made tubes last 30-50 YEARS! :)

    Dave Funk
  6. Saying that any Ampeg made after 1985 is "just a Crate" is wrong! Yes, SLM owns both Crate and Ampeg but General Motors owns both Chevrolet and Cadillac. Does that mean that a Coupe de Ville is nothing more than an overgrown Chevy Metro? Of course not! Crate and Ampeg appeal to different segments of the market.
  7. notanaggie

    notanaggie Guest

    Sep 30, 2003
    Actually, YES IT DOES.
  8. Man, do I have a used car deal for you! ;-)
  9. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Don't you think this is an unfair stereotype? :rollno: Ampeg and Peavey make quality stuff in my experience. Sure alot of those old "vintage" amps are still are around today but there are a lot more in the landfills.
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The SVT Classic that I owned for about a year was completely reliable. Made a lot of gigs with it and had zero issues. No idea what the long-term situation is, unfortunately.
  11. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    I preach the SVT CL every chance I get. Bought mine in 1990 and have done NOTHING to it but retubed it three times. I play alot so go figure. It has beer spilled on it, guitar players punch it, that dang thing kicks arse.... that and my 8-10. It is a mud slinging machine. I lately have GAS for a solid state due to my desire to get a cleaner sound but I am one happy camper with my SVT. If rock a rolla is what you crave this is the ticket.
  12. notanaggie

    notanaggie Guest

    Sep 30, 2003
    Well, the claim is that a Cadillac is an expensive Chevy. Not that a Chevy is a cheap Cadillac.

    The claim for CratePegs is that they are just expensive Crates with a different logo. I suppose there is a point of view towards this, they are made by the same company, with presumably the same attitude towards expenses. And they both use PC boards that look similar in general appearance and parts.

    Truthfully, I don't think its quite that bad. They may be made in the same place, but they generally have thicker metal, nicer pots, bigger transformers and heatsinks, etc, etc, etc.

    And it ain't as if other are a lot better.

    I see that Mesa Boogie is now using the very same cheap-ass PC mount tube sockets that I first saw in a Crate nearly 12 years ago. The ones with the three mounting points that solder in. Does that make the dual rectifier (I think that's what I saw it in) a "mesaCrate" (or a "CrateaBoogie"?)?
  13. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    One of my heads is case-in-point. It's a '73 with what I'm pretty sure are the original GE6550A's in it, and it still makes 280 clean watts.