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Just got an SVT II...needs some work

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KablesP, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Hey guys, I just grabbed an SVT II Non-Pro for 150$ on ebay. The thing is that it, at the least, needs tubes and an ouput transformer.

    What I want to know is...

    -Is it worth fixing up?

    -Should I flip it how it is and get what I can for it?

    A new transformer will be 250-400 and a set of tubes will be in the same range. Along with the shop costs of someone doing the work.

    I have never played one of these but I know they are great amps. I currently play a Peavey Mark VIII which is awesome as well. Just wanted something with tubes.
  2. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    there was a thread about heyboer transformers for the svtVR, might look into that.
    if the rest of the amp is in good condition then i don't see why not fix it.

    do you have a good tech you can take it to? that might be difference in getting an amp fixed well in a reasonable time vs. sinking money into it and not having it work at all or well...

    also are you certain the transformer is out?
  3. Well here is the OT http://www.fliptops.net/catalog/p-100607/output-transformer-for-vintage-ampeg-svtv9
    Tube set around $350. So figure you'll be in for around $800 plus labor (included purchase). It will be a fine amp when back running again but you'll be in pretty deep just to "try" a tube amp? Are you sure the OT is bad they were pretty tough to blow (or is it missing).
    Without the knowledge to DIY my suggestion is to flip it without knowing if the OT is bad or if it IS missing. You could wind up $1,000 to 1,200 all in by the time you are done. If the OT went bad there is sure to be other damage that will need repair including a tube socket or two, resistors and or caps.
  4. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Thanks, man.

    I looked all over and the cheapest I founf was around 250 I think. But that might just be for the vintage SVT heads.

    I am messaging an amp tech now on whether he thinks it will be worth the fix up. I have not had anything done by him but I have heard good things through other people. There are tons of amp heads in Philly so that won't be a problem. Price? That might be.

    I am in no rush to get the amp back as I am not playing many gigs at the moment.

    Here is the ebay auction, the amp did not come with an output transformer or tubes. The shell is pretty beat up too but if I could spend no more than 500 (on top of 200 for the amp) then that would be a win for me. Even if I do sell it I could at least get my money back. Or have a great amp for fairly cheap.

  5. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    i'd sell that and find a working one.
  6. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    My condolences on your loss. I had the opening bid on that auction at $0.10. I had thought about rebuilding it to be an ugly bitch, but I stopped paying attention when it went over $50.

    I asked the seller if he could guarantee that the OT didn't take out the PT when it failed. He refused to guarantee the PT.

    The math just doesn't work out. I called Ampeg/Mackie about parts and they told me that the proper OT for that amp isn't made anymore. So now you're looking at finding an expensive reproduction transformer or cobbling up some sort of makeshift replacement.

    A drop-in Mercury replacement costs $400. Even if you looked for a cheap generic replacement or had a wholesale supplier you can't get anything decent for less than $300.

    So here's how the costs are adding up:

    $200 sunk cost ($150 bid plus $50 shipping)
    $400 output transformer
    $300 tubes
    $900 spent before you even get to start paying someone to look for existing problems in the circuit, and you don't even know if the PT is good or not.

    I think you're upside-down on this deal. You can buy a perfectly good / working SVT-2 Pro for that much if you keep your eyes peeled long enough. At this point I'd look at parting out the amp.

    LMK if you'd be interested in selling what's left after the two PT are gone. I'd be interested in the boards.
  7. As Mr B is very much the amp tech, you just talked to one! :)
  8. This is something that I would take on as a project doing all the work myself. For someone with no technical knowledge of how to SAFELY work on a tube amp with more that 600V inside, no way.
  9. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    See, the thing is that I don't really need a new amp. I kind of (stupidly) figured I could fix it up kinda cheap or sell it for what I got it for. That shouldn't be hard.

    Seems like it will go back on ebay. Would it be worth parting out? I have to imagine someone out there would spend 200 bucks on almost a whole amp for parts for their working SVT.
  10. Thanks Paul, an I'm with WE above if it went over $50.00 doing the repairs myself I would just back away. Unless I had no respect for my customers. If he just had money he was willing to burn knowingly....even then I would try to talk him out of it by the looks of the case.
  11. Good luck to you.
    A working SVT doesn't need many hard parts except..........spare transformers maybe. I hope you come out okay!
  12. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Thanks for all the help guys.

    I probably won't even unpack it in hopes that it sells back quickly.

    ON a side note: How does an SVT compare to a VT Bass +Tube Power amp?

    I was thinking maybe a Peavey Classic 120.
  13. The VT or VT deluxe come very close to an SVT even with a SS power amp.
  14. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    I know that this is really going to surprise people, but in general, a complete, but non-working SVT is only worth about $200. Incomplete amps are worth less.

    There seems to be a disconnect for a lot of people in assessing what a dead / incomplete amp is really worth. Everyone understands the new cost, or the used cost for a working amp, which are pretty high. But broken basket case amps without tubes are darned near worthless. They're only worth the scavenge price of their iron, and if the iron's gone...

    Why so little? That's because good working amps commonly sell for $900, tubes cost $300, and because the labor to rebuild them isn't cheap. As you see, replacement parts on an uber-amp are ridiculously expensive, and If you have to buy any expensive parts, the repair doesn't become cost effective and the amp ends up being parted out.

    the other problem is that due to the nature of these high voltage / high-power amps, if one of them ever sustains a critical failure in which the protection circuits don't work to protect the amp, it tends to self-destruct. It's not at all uncommon for a blown OT to take the PT along with it. I was afraid to bid on the amp under any assumption that it had a good PT. I limited my bid to what I'd be willing to pay for boards that I assumed would be burned out, with the assumption that none of the iron would be salvageable.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd hope that the PT are still good and that you can recover most of your investment by flipping the transformer set to someone who is looking for parts. If the transformers are good then you should be able to get out whole. I'm not at all interested in the iron, but if you'd be interested in parting the amp out please let me know, as I would be interested in the damaged boards.
  15. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    I currently use a VT Bass and I really like it through most amps I play. And even then, the amp is only usable because of the pedal.

    I should be playing a lot more shows once my band gets its live show ready and some more tunes written and I wanted to have a "pro set up" I guess you could call it.

    In all reality the VT bass has made me really happy...I was just gassing and was hoping it would be a cheap fix on an expensive amp.

    Dumb move :) Lets hope it doesn't cost me.

    For anyone interested in these kinds of projects...THis might be a better buy, but money will still have to be put into it if you can not fix it yourself.

  16. I was watching that auction as well, didn't know it would be so expensive or difficult to replace the tranny. I had an SVT2 non pro this past year I didn't need it in the end & sold it. I have had all the VT bass pedals, have the VT Bass Di currently. While I really like them they don't produce the same heft or roundness in notes that an SVT will. I wouldn't bother with a tube power amp with a VT bass, they produce a power tube pushed kind of tone as is.
  17. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013

    I was thinking of parting the amp out as well as trying to sell it as is and get what I can.

    How hard would it be to disassemble the amp?

    Besides the PT, and the Boards, is there anything else valuable in it?
  18. Pass but thanks!
  19. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    Somewhere around here there's a thread within the last couple of days where I mentioned what sort of assembly/disassembly is involved in working on these amps. It's a PITA.

    There's also a web page that discusses disassembly. Let me look for it ...

    Here you go:


    It's not what I'd consider easy. It's actually sort of tedious, more so on the Pro amp than the non-pro because the Pro amp has more complicated / larger boards stuffed into the same space.

    It'd be very easy to cause damage to the boards and ruin them if you wanted to separate them from the carcass and you had a handling mishap, so I wouldn't recommend doing that. It's very easy to flex the PCB, and flexing the PCB could easily cause traces to crack, break, or lift off of the board, solder connections to break, etc., rendering it all worthless.

    From a practical standpoint, if you part out the amp the only sensible way to do it would be to un-bolt the transformers and disconnect them by their plug-in wires, and leave everything else intact. The sell off the iron separately.

    I would not recommend disassembling the carcass, as once the iron is out there's nothing else of value in the amp other than the boards, and the boards are very likely to become damaged if you go removing them from their protective shell. Anyone interested in the boards would want them to be left in the chassis. the chassis isn't that valuable on it's own, it's disposable. The only chassis part that people ever try to recover is a nice-looking faceplate, and this one is pretty scabby looking. Not really worth buying as an upgrade.
  20. KablesP


    Oct 29, 2013
    Thanks Wretched,

    In your opinion, if I put it back on ebay would I be able to get my money back?

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