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Kudos to Ampeg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eskimo Spy, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. Eskimo Spy

    Eskimo Spy Supporting Member

    May 27, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    I bought a new Ampeg Heritage SVT-CL about a year ago. It always had a little bit of noise, and at first I found it annoying but acceptable, but it kept increasing over time. It sounded like static, and it would come through both the cab and the balanced out.

    So, I called Ampeg to get warranty work done on it. They sent me to a local repair shop in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The bad news is, I dropped it off December 3rd, 2012, and I didn't get it back until February 2013. The good news is, they fixed the problem (although there are some issues that I discovered once I got it home, more below).

    Part of that fix was replacing the power tubes, which Ampeg paid for well outside the 90 day warranty for said tubes. Hooray!

    The only problem is, the repair shop used Sovtek tubes (Winged C tubes were in there prior to the repair). I called Ampeg, and told them that I was a little upset that I had not been told they were giving me lesser tubes (IMO). They shipped me out a full set of 6 JJ power tubes, no cost to me!

    While there are a couple of other issues specific to the shop I have to address (they put the head back together sloppily), I have to give Ampeg full marks, they really handled this the right way, even when some of the issues were caused by the shop and not them.

    So, three cheers for Ampeg!
     
  2. mcm

    mcm

    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    That's great to hear.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Hooray good service!
     
  4. hodgy

    hodgy

    May 5, 2004
    Bothell, WA
    Customer Support- Ampeg/ Line 6
    In my severely biased opinion, all Heritage amps should be sent directly back to me for repair, not some service center. What the service center does is something we have no control over, hence the Sovs instead of the current JJ's (though I personally prefer the Winged C's). You want proper service, send it back to the source. Just my 3 cents.
     
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Hodgy;
    in a warranty situation like this, would Ampeg cover the shipping?
     
  6. Eskimo Spy

    Eskimo Spy Supporting Member

    May 27, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    I was told by Ampeg support to take it to an authorized service center, FYI. They're the ones who told me where to find a list of authorized repair shops on your website.

    I would have gladly sent it back to you guys had I known this was an option, especially in hindsight, as the the repair shop I used ended putting the front grill back on incorrectly, put the head unit in incorrectly (it was not sitting over the grill properly, but that may have been due to the grill being put back in incorrectly, which seems hard to do!), and didn't fully tighten about half the screws, along with a couple of other issues...

    I'll keep the name of the place to myself, but you know who did it, and I would suggest removing them as an authorized repair center. I certainly won't be returning there for any repairs, and now that I know I can, I will send all warranty repairs directly to Ampeg in the future.
     
  7. I think you may be causing hodgy's blood pressure to rise. Them's his children they did that to :D
     
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Truth!
     
  9. Eskimo Spy

    Eskimo Spy Supporting Member

    May 27, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Well, I hope the second explanation above explains why I did what I did, although I don't see that lowering anyone's blood pressure...

    :bag:
     
  10. hodgy

    hodgy

    May 5, 2004
    Bothell, WA
    Customer Support- Ampeg/ Line 6
    Oh, Man! Keep the horror stories coming! I think we are going to take a new look at who we use for service centers in the future. I've been told that all Heritage should automatically get back to me, but apparently that memo wasn't circulated to everyone in the support group.
    Chef- I'm almost positive that we would. It's most definitely cheaper to just ship it here and get it done right within a few hours and back to the customer in a couple of days than having it sit there and rot in some cold, damp (I picture these service centers as a dungeon-like basement with moss on the walls) service center for months.
    I think I may have to start a thread just for service center horror stories. Unless one already exists?
     
  11. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Musicians want the left hand and the right hand to be doing different things, but when it comes to a large company, not such a good thing.

    I hope that you have a good supply of Winged C 6550's Hodgy, this doesn't look too promising.
     
  12. RSNG

    RSNG

    Sep 6, 2010
    I used my SVT 3 PRO for the first time at a 4 hour gig. The next day, I turned it on in my living room. There was a loud pop, and it was dead.

    I called the dealer that sold it to me. He told me to take it to the local authorized repair shop. I thought that was kind of unreasonable, since I had just bought it.

    I called Ampeg. They immediately shipped a new amp to the dealer; overnight, as I remember. The replacement has been working great for 10 years now. I'm very impressed with Ampeg products and their customer service. I don't think I'll ever buy any other brand of amp.
     
  13. hdracer

    hdracer

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I would be real PO'ed if I bought a amp with Winged C's in it and they gave me Sovtek or even worse JJ's as a warranty repair.

    No kudos from me, that's lame
     
  14. 10 years ago "Ampeg" was owned by SLM. "Ampeg" is now owned by LOUD Tech. Just being clear that Ampeg is a brand that is bought and sold. What happened 10 years ago may not be the experience today. SLM transferred warranties to second owners, LOUD Tech does not, just as an example.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    LOUD has replaced quite a few broken amps under warranty with new ones without even waiting to get the old one back. And they sent the dude a matched sextet of JJ's after getting Sovteks in his Heritage. I don't see how they can do much better than that.

    Besides, if you want to get downright technical about it, the SVT is not a "true" Ampeg product since the originator of Ampeg, Everett Hull, sold in 1967 and would have NEVER allowed a 300w amp on his watch. I think it's time to let that "brand that's bought and sold" stuff go by now. Yes it is, but it's still just as much Ampeg as my 69 Blue Line SVT.
     
  16. Don't be so sensitive Jimmy. Someone who had a warranty experience with a previous owner should be at least aware that new owner's of the brand name may not respond the same way. Any owner of that brand may be better or worse, that is a choice they can/will make. That was my point.
    An owner of a new LOUD Ampeg may have a different experience than when he dealt with SLM Ampeg so don't slam the Ampeg brand name if you get different service than you used to.

    I remember not very long ago LOUD response was very poor to say the least, more recently they have improved vastly!
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    And I was right there slamming them good when their service was lousy ;)
     
  18. Yes you were a driving force. :)
     
  19. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    A full revalve for an issue and not getting some or all valves back is a tech alarm bell for me.
     
  20. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I was a repair tech for SLM for many years. It was a shock for many of our customers when Loud first took over and stopped in the field warranty repairs and instead went to "replace only." I couldn't even get anyone at Loud to answer the phone. I'd let it ring for hours and maybe on the 3rd or 4th day someone would finally answer. An owner of an SVT was very unhappy when he learned he would have to ship his amp back, at his expense (packing included) to get a warranty replacement. (There was no reimbursement for a store to send it back.) I am very happy that Loud finally came around and went back to authorized service centers. I retired from the tech biz before that happened.

    I remember when Fender "tightened" their authorized repair tech program. Techs had to take a lengthy (many pages) written exam, send pictures of the workbench, have completed electronics training, send a list of all tools and diagnostic equipment etc. I had been doing their repairs for years, despite being self taught. After a couple years of not being able to do warranty work, Fender offered me the tech authorization because of my involvement on FDP, giving out tech advice. I did have to take the test, which I easily passed. When I asked our store rep about the new program, I was told it was to "minimize fraudulent warranty claims." I told him, anyone who could pass their test, would have no problem slipping fraudulent warranty claims past them.

    Line 6 had the hardest test. I didn't enjoy working on Line 6 stuff, but I did pass their test.

    I too would prefer Winged C over JJ, but I have no qualms about JJ tubes. They can run a bit dark in guitar amps but for the right amps, they are great. I run Winged C 6550's in one of my Bassman 100's. (6L6's and EL34's in the other.)

    I love Ampeg. I ran an SVT from 1975 until 1983, and use an Ampeg head now.
     

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