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Looking for advice on an SVT

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by moff40, Oct 18, 2013.


  1. moff40

    moff40

    Oct 18, 2013
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses
    Hi All; I'm new to this board, but have been playing bass since the '80s.

    I've been looking around for a used SVT in my area, really hoping to find a '70s model, or even a VR (preferred) or perhaps a CL, but I only seem to come across AVs and 1990s Classics (with the logo in red and blue on a black faceplate, and are called "Classic", not CL).

    I understand the AVs are essentially CLs in "vintage" clothing, but can someone give me some advice concerning the "Classic"? Is it worth looking at, or were they generally not well regarded? Is it the same as the CL with just different stencilling?

    Like I said, I'd prefer a Magnavox or a VR, but haven't come across any that are reasonable in price...

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    CL is short for classic...
     
  3. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Oct 18, 2012
    Texas
    You should be fine with either. Play it for yourself to decide.
     
  4. moff40

    moff40

    Oct 18, 2013
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses
    I surmised CL was simply abbreviating "Classic", but wondered if it was indeed the same model with different graphics, or if some circuit change had happened concurrently with the nomenclature change. I had a Magnavox SVT, an early (aluminum-knob) V-4B, and a later B15 through the 80s, but each got sold for different reasons (I wish I still had all of them now), so wanted to grab some of that vibe again.

    What I'm taking away is that the CL, Classic, and AV are the same beast with different cosmetics or graphics, the Heritage is a US-built CL, and the VR is as close as I'm going to get to an original in a modern Ampeg. Correct?
     
  5. I normally play/record through my Magnavox, but recorded through a 90s CL not too long ago and didn't like the way it sounded at all. Probably had a lot to do w/ the engineer, but man... Just didn't sound good. I can't imagine they're that different, but who knows.
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep, same great amp but uglier looks :bag:
     
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The CL/AV is channel one of the vintage/VR amp with an added master volume control. If you want a CL to sound closer to a vintage amp dial the master up and control your volume with the gain control.
     
  8. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Oct 18, 2012
    Texas
    The heritage ones are supposed to sound just like the old school ones from the 70s.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Any SVT is a good one unless it's broken. I've played them all and I have loved them all, regardless of model, year of manufacture, location of manufacture, or what changes they made to the designs over the years. They all sound remarkably similar to me, and I'm always happy to use whatever SVT shows up on my fly gigs as well as my own 69 SVT and my Heritage SVT-CL.
     
  10. moff40

    moff40

    Oct 18, 2013
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses
    So, presuming it works OK and doesn't need a new set of tubes, do you guys think that $899 for a used "red and blue logo" SVT Classic with flight case is a decent deal, even if I have to pay $65 for shipping to my local store?

    I'll probably trade my Vietnamese 3-Pro in on it...

    Or should I just bite the bullet and order a VL?
     
  11. Alex1984

    Alex1984

    Jan 16, 2010
    Vancouver
    Take the CL + case. But be sure you factor in a trip to your tech as part of the price. It'll be great!
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's quite a good deal IMHO, but if you really want a VR, you should get what you want.
     
  13. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    I just picked up a VR on craigslist, and as much as I want to believe it sounds the same as my '69...the '69 sounds better. The 'feel' of the VR is identical though and that's what matters most.
     
  14. WretchedExcess

    WretchedExcess

    Jul 29, 2013
    IME the recent production SVT can be pretty commonly bought used at $900, but that's without a case.
    I've seen good ones go for less but they get snatched up faster than you can blink.

    IMO any recent production SVT in good working condition with good tubes, with a flight case, is a good deal at $900. You shouldn't have any problem getting your money back out of it if you needed to.d

    My personal recommendation would be to get a model that has a master volume.
     
  15. moff40

    moff40

    Oct 18, 2013
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses
    Thanks.
     
  16. jmcorn

    jmcorn

    Jul 4, 2012
    South Carolina
    Praise and Worship bassist member #1232
    I have a SVT 2 non pro version (early 90s model)and it sounds great now that I have a 810 stack to play it through.
     
  17. moff40

    moff40

    Oct 18, 2013
    Vancouver Island BC Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Basses
    Well, I procrastinated too long. I told the local store to bring it in, and it was sold this morning... Grrrr!

    Back to the search.
     
  18. Look at it as a sign. A better deal more to your liking may pop up soon.

    And thank you for titling this "AN" instead of "A" SVT. Drives me nuts. You da man. :)
     
  19. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    Odd....my favorites are the ones that don't have a master volume, but that's just me. :p

    There is no such thing as a bad SVT. They've all been great amps, from the first, through to the newest, and all in between.

    I do think the oldest ones, and the new VR's are the prettiest though, with those multi-colored "classics" being the ugliest, and the plain-jane black box CL's being the boring-est....but who listens with their eyes?.....they all sound great.
     
  20. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    The problem I have with my SVT, which is a very early 1980 MTI with Magnavox circuitry, is the work it needs. It has not been recapped, so there's a tuneup in my future that will cost me a few hundred at least. Just beware of the cost of bringing a tired SVT up to snuff.

    Still, it will be totally worth it whether you get a CL, Classic, VR or early 'blueline.' I chose the earlier Magnavox curcuitry, but I also found a good deal. Wait for what you want. Patience.....
     

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