1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

NAD: 80's Ampeg SVT MTI!: Re-Tolexed by Yours Truly

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassManPatsFan, Apr 19, 2015.


  1. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Hey guys,

    I've played Mesa Boogie amps for the past 3+ years, with the latest being a 400+. I've enjoyed the 400+ over the past year or so, but there's always been something missing. I've played a lot of shows lately with other bands that play SVTs and there's something so undeniable about the power and lower midrange punch of an all-tube SVT.

    So, when I stumbled upon an MTI SVT in my area this morning, I had to do it. I guess that in a way I've always wanted a vintage SVT and so it's pretty surreal to finally own one. I took the amp to our practice space today to put it through its paces and so far, it sounds absolutely incredible. Playing it through my Mesa 410 cab (which I'll be replacing), it's incredibly thick and creamy, just like an SVT should be. I play both bass guitar and bass synth (a Moog Sub Phatty) in my band, so having the two channels is incredibly useful. I fired the Moog up through channel 2 this afternoon and it sounded just awesome--thick, clear and loud! The real test will be next week or the week after when I get to play the amp in a band setting at rehearsal.

    Anyway, here's the thread from the sale: For Sale - Ampeg SVT: MTI | TalkBass.com Here are some pictures from the guy I bought it from today:

    SVT 1. SVT 2.

    The amp is in excellent working condition, although it's a bit beat up cosmetically. One day, I'd like to rip off the tolex and redo it, but that can wait. For now, I have a couple quick questions for you guys:

    1) I'll need a new cabinet. I currently have a Mesa Traditional Powerhouse 410 that's 8 ohm and I'd rather not use that on a regular basis because the SVT is supposed to be paired with a 2 or 4 ohm load. I don't have the car space or the need for a full 810. I'm a fan of 410s and since I know that many of you guys are big proponents of pairing Bergantino cabs with vintage SVTs, I'm leaning toward the Bergantino HD410. Any of you guys play one of those with your SVT?

    2) What are your favorite sites for finding old Ampeg parts? My amp is missing the foam cushion on one of the metal spring-style handles. I don't have a case at the moment, but will look into a padded slip cover until I go on the road with this baby and need a tour case.

    3) Any suggestions for removing the "Numbskull" painted logo on top of the amp? Is the only option to strip and replace the tolex?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Congrats! Killer amp. Don't overlook the SVT212AV Ampeg 2x12 4 ohm cab. Supposed to be very good.
    I love my Berg NV412 with my Ampeg V4B and Fender Super Bassman . I also like the Berg AE410 with em both.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. Not used the Berg, but highly recommend the SVT 212av for it.

    2. Fliptops Home of Parts for Ampeg Lovers

    3. You could try using some sort of paint thinner, but I'd try it on a small inconspicuous area first. You could also just spray paint over it ;)

    Anyway, great score...MTI's have an undeserved bad reputation, but they are wonderful heads.
     
  4. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Thanks, guys!

    I've looked at the SVT 212AV and it sounds intriguing. Would the 2 speakers be able to keep up with the ~300 watts this bad boy puts out? I read that MTI SVTs are a little less powerful than 60's and 70's SVTs due to their smaller transformers, but still, sounds like a lot of amp for a 212 cab. Gelb music in Redwood City has the Berg HD410, so I might go try it down there this week.

    Jimmy, I've heard others say similar things about the MTIs...yet, after all my internet research, I've found praise for the MTI era of SVTs more often than scorn. Either way, I got a great deal on a killer amp and I hope that it will serve me well for many years to come.
     
  5. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Super COOL. If it were me, I'd just paint over the numbskull, either with black paint, or some other image/logo/name I like better. Hell, I could see myself just stenciling AMPEG over top of that, same as the logo on the front.
     
  6. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Not sure if you guys have seen this:

    Same model! I like the white, but might try something else so I don't steal this guy's thunder. Could be a fun Sunday project.
     
  7. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    BassManPatsFan likes this.
  8. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Good idea. I'll probably take a black sharpie to it for now and maybe will add a sticker.

    I'm somewhat handy, so I'll study up on Tolex application and set some time aside to re-Tolex the case in a few weeks.
     
  9. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Cool, hardware stores sell a product called Goof Off graffiti remover that you might give a try too. I used it on an old 1963 Blond-tolex fender head-box that'd been spay pained all black. I just let the goof off soak in for a bit and scrubbed the paint off with a soft bristle brush, and then rinsed off with damp cloths. It didn't damage my old original tolex and came out looking fine:

    (although, try it on a small inconspicuous spot on the bottom first, just to make sure it wont damage your tolex)

    hp?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi72.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fi172%2FMybigpics%2Fband%2520room%2FDSCN2909.
     
    BassManPatsFan likes this.
  10. Jwood

    Jwood Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Richmond, Va
    I run a SVT through a 212AV with no problem. My ears hit their volume limit before the cab does.
     
    BassManPatsFan likes this.
  11. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    So I re-tolexed the amp case this weekend! I'll post pics tomorrow--I didn't get the amp back together in time to take any tonight. It was a chore, but I went slowly to make sure I did a good job of it. So far, I'm pleased with the results...interested to see what you guys think tomorrow.

    Does anyone know of a slip cover that will fit the MTI SVTs? Since the case is shaped slightly differently on MTIs, I'm not sure if covers made for other vintage SVTs will fit.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2015
  12. D2F will custom make a cover for your amp. Heck, they may already have the template for it. I used them to make a cover for my Marshall head; service was good and fairly quick.
    On the cab side of the question, can you fit a NV610 into you vehicle? That's a cab I would be on the look out for...
    Fishheadjoe
     
    BassManPatsFan likes this.
  13. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Thanks, I'll check them out.

    I probably could fit a NV610, but I actually bought a Berg HD410 a few weeks ago. Loving it so far! This amp is incredibly punchy, warm and musical. So far I've been playing it at the rehearsal space with my band, but I have a gig at an outdoor festival at the end of the month, so that will be a good test of the amp's power.
     
  14. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Ok, here we go:

    Before pics are above, but here's another one on my makeshift workbench:

    Before.

    I didn't take as many pictures during the whole process as I had planned to, but here are few:

    FullSizeRender 8.
    FullSizeRender 4.

    And here's the finished product:

    FullSizeRender 7.
    FullSizeRender 2.
    FullSizeRender 5.

    The amp is from the 80's, so I had to channel the vibe with some "Deep Space" tolex from Mojotone. It's not actually tolex, but rather some kind of plastic/vinyl/cloth hybrid. I spent the majority of my weekend taking the amp apart, stripping the old tolex and applying this. It was actually more difficult than I expected, but I think that's mostly due to my inexperience and my lack of patience for waiting for contact cement to dry.

    Anyway, I'm please with the result! Time to track down a quality cover so that I can keep the new covering looking as fresh as it does now.

    One more quick question: my amp is missing the sticker that I've seen on the back of older SVTs with the serial number. When I was taking it apart, I found this on the chassis near the power tubes:

    FullSizeRender 3.

    Is that my serial number?
     
    Tbone76 likes this.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Could be the serial, I don't know. Serials mean nothing with MTI heads, though, so hey, let's call it the serial number anyway ;)

    I thought you had some sort of granite finish applied to it at first. Turned out pretty cool. Might want to take some white paint to that logo to make it look newer, but that's an aesthetics choice and subject to tastes.
     
    BassManPatsFan likes this.
  16. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Could very well be. Below is the serial number on an MTI SVT. They were made over the period of 1980-1985 as I recall so they may have changed the numbering and font. Those type of stickers come off easily. The one in this image is peeling.


    MTI serial number.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
    BassManPatsFan likes this.
  17. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    Thanks for the serial number guidance! I know it doesn't matter too much, but I plan on including the amp on my separate insurance policy for expensive gear along with my basses and they usually ask for some kind of identification number.

    I'm ordering a D2F cover tonight. Love this amp so far!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.