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An old SVT & 3 questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AndyGL, Nov 20, 2000.

  1. AndyGL


    Nov 20, 2000
    Wellsville, NY
    Today I found an old SVT in my local small town music store. Wow! What a surprise.

    1. The guy said it's an original 60's model. Does anyone know when they first started making these and how I can find out the real date it was manufactured.

    2. The previous owner sawed the big 8x10 speaker bottom in half and made two 4x10 cabinets...Wacky . I am told the head needs tubes and maybe a power supply. What would it cost to re-tube and buy a new or repair the power supply?

    3. What do you think the head alone is worth? It looks good. The cabinets are a bit (very) ruff looking and I have no idea of thier value now that they have been altered.

    Any help in figuring all this one out would be great.

    Thanks, Andy
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    They started in 68 or 69. Earliest ones have blue graphics on the front panel and used 6146 tubes rather than 6550s. If it says "Magnavox" on the back panel it's from the 70s.

    Chopping the cab is a common mod, the 8-10 cab is a bear to move and the cab is already built as four sealed 2-10 enclosures in one box, so chopping is simple to do.

    Tube prices vary depending on what you're willing to pay for. Good NOS 6550 power tubes made in the USA can run you over $100 each (you need six). Then add in another $100 or so for the preamp tubes. Imported tubes (Chinese, Yugo, Russian) will cost you a lot less but you're still talking $200 at least. Power supply, well is that just new caps or a blown transformer (HUGE diff in cost)?

    Quick guesstimate is you're looking at $300 MINIMUM to be up and running.

    The head alone depending on the actual condiiton and vintage would run from about $300 (i.e. needs a lot of work) to over a grand (rare early model that needs little or no work). Most used SVT heads go for between $500 and $700.

    Chopped cabs in beat shape, figure maybe $300 for the pair, less if any of the speakers are actually blown or non-original (you'd be surprised how many crap speakers end up in SVT cabs over the years).
  3. b30307


    Nov 18, 2000
    Original SVT's ,( true name Super Vacuum Tube - no matter what Ampeg say's now) were made in Ampeg factory in Linden , NJ . First year was 1969; thru at least 1970 , maybe '71. The Rolling Stones test drove a half
    dozen of these for Ampeg on their '69 American tour, ...and hence a legend was born .
    6146b tubes were oddball even at that time . Have been discontinued since the mid 70's . Ampeg started using
    6550a 's early in production . Maybe before they left Linden . History is unsure . Doubtful the amp would still
    have 6146b 's unless it was rarely used .
    Try finding a copy of "the Ampeg story " , published 1998 on their 50th Anniversary. Very cool . Good read even if you don't use an Ampeg . Originally cost about $40 if you can find one . If nothing else contact Ampeg , they
    might have some left . Shoulda never sold mine . Probably collectable now . Good luck .
  4. b30307


    Nov 18, 2000
    Oops ! , I forgot . In the mid 80's I had an original SVT. Was s'pose to be a 1970 model , w/ two cabs ! Geez , was it heavy !
    On the back panel was printed ," The Ampeg Co. - Linden , NJ." . Later models did not have this .
  5. There was a period between the Linden days and the Magnavox era when Ampeg was owned by Selmer, Magnavox bought Selmer/Ampeg in 1978. I'm not sure when Selmer came on the scene, but let me check some of my tube amp books. If it was an original model it would say "Ampeg: Linden, NJ" or something to that effect. I've got a Selmer one (1976 or so). You can ballpark the age of them by the type of knobs and the type of silkscreen on the front panel. There's a rundown of this on a website called "the unofficail Ampeg page," I'm not sure of the url but it should come up right on top of a search of "Ampeg" on Yahoo. Hope this helps.
  6. I have two svt heads that both look very similar. They both have the rectangular pilot light, white rocker switches, black front panel graphics with rounded corners. Which would make them 1976-1979 Magnavox era Ampegs, and on the back panel the one amp says The Ampeg Company (A Division of the Magnavox Company). But the other amp says that it is a Division of the Selmer Co. Is this possible. I thought that maybe they just had a surplus of old back panels that they needed to use up but the back panel also reads V9-SVT Amplifier. The V9 didnt come out until 1975. Doesn't really matter I just thought it was kind of strange.
  7. This is a known anomaly. Several explanations have been rendered. One of which you have mentioned: Leftover plates. The new Ampeg owners (Magnavox) could have had new/updated/additional model numbers (V9, etc.) printed on them at a later time. I can totally see some bean-counter saying, "Hey Phil. I just found 500 SVT backplates that those dolts at Selmer overlooked. Let's use 'em up if we run dry on ours!
    "Yeah Roy, that's a great idea. Plus how 'bout we add a few more model numbers so we can use that same part on all the amps.

    Another explanation I've heard: It's a replacement plate from an older "parted-out" amp.
  8. There is also one on ebay right now. Looks like Magnavox but with the Selmer back panel.
  9. I also have a late 70's Ampeg 810 speaker cab with CTS speakers. Go figure.

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