Restoring SVT Amp Heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Groover, Feb 20, 2010.


  1. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I just picked up a used skunkworks SVT and it's in need of some parts. I've already checked and contacted fliptops, but unfortunately, they don't have the parts for that particular amp generation.

    Is fliptops the only option when it comes to restoring SVT amps, or are there other resources? (other than eBay).

    The logo seems like it's impossible to find.. I've searched al
    afternoon, and seems like all generations, but the 80's are available. The 80's ampeg logo is different, it's all spelled in lower-case.

    Other things, like the knobs... They are black with a dot (not line)... I'm sure skunkworks didn't just make special knobs.. Maybe they did? Lol

    Anyway, if someone knows of a source for restoring Ampeg stuff other than fliptops, that wound be awesome!

    Thanks!
     
  2. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NY
    There's a place here in St. Louis called Vintage Amp Restoration. I think one of the guys there helped with the Ampeg book. Worth a shot.
     
  3. stiles72

    stiles72

    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I've came across the logos before on Ebay - just gotta keep your eye out for them. Another option would be to look for other less collectible Ampeg amps from that era and rob them of their knobs/logo, like maybe a VT-60. You could always replace the knobs with generics or current Ampeg parts and then resell it back on Ebay.

    DSCN0836.jpg
     
  4. Destructobot

    Destructobot

    Jul 22, 2008
    If the logo in that picture is what you need, fliptops DOES have it. I bought that exact one from them about 3 months ago for my early 70's V2.
     
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
  6. paul_s

    paul_s

    Jan 12, 2008
    Winnipeg, MB
    Did you win that one on ebay yesterday that went for ~$975 USD? With the funky knobs and weird vent-cloth on the front?
     
  7. PM JimmyM, he can point you in the right direction.
     
  8. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Thanks for links and ideas. I wonder why fliptops told me they didn't have it... I guess, I did ask for the original (white). I do like that silver one better too, and it is the correct font.

    Yes, it is the one from eBay. I'll need to replace grille too.

    The big one will be finding the missing backplate.

    Thanks again for replies.
     
  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    great, and here i am waiting on my tax return. need one of those bad!
     
  11. paul_s

    paul_s

    Jan 12, 2008
    Winnipeg, MB
    Oh man, that looked like such a steal, the guy didn't realize what he had there! Congrats on the auction, I really wanted to bid because I've heard so much about those skunkworks heads.
     
  12. Tony Gray

    Tony Gray

    Mar 6, 2006
    What I need is someone who can actually work on one of these. I bought one here almost two years ago, and it's never been quite right. I have had it to 4 different guys, who say , Oh yeah, Ican work on this, and when I get it back, two of them said, don't bring it back. Too heavy, too dangerous, too messed up.

    Anyone know of someone in Florida,Georgia who can fix this beast up?
     
  13. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I think it's a lost cause. You should part it out. I'll take the front grill:(, knobs and backplate to start off with :D

    Thanks again for replies. I'm feeling better about the parts now... if anything, what Stiles suggested is always an option if it gets down to it.... OR I can finally put little pink fuzzy dice as knobs, and pokedotted fabric as the grill.. Hello Custom amps! :eek:
     
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    sorry to hear that. IMO, they are actually very simple to work on, so you must've just stumbled onto the wrong techs (or should i say 'hacks').
     
  15. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I'm thinking a about using the same mesh on the front of the amp as my bergantino, which is I think 1/8" circles mesh (black). There used to be a sponser/banner here on TB which was a place where you could buy parts to make cabs and such... Does anyone remember what the name of that place is, or better yet... Where can I get that same mesh?

    (EDIT: Found this place.. I'll have to compare the exact specs, but looks like as good as it will get: http://www.mechanicalmetals.com/perforatedmetals.html )

    Maybe I will do a slight custom job on it afterall.. If it were all there factory, I wouldn't touch it, but since it's not... I might as well make it my own, then really restore it in the future.

    Are the pot shafts "D" type on this amp? I found this site with lots of options for knobs:

    http://www.banzaimusic.com/Metal/?show=all
     
  16. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Just for visual effect.... this is it:
     

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  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    i know of a couple guys in central florida. www.birddogbobby.com and www.hendrixsound.com .
     
  18. Sigh :(
    I am no big fan of Ampeg, but I've been drooling over those Skunkworks ... maybe it is the idea of hotrodding that makes my skin tingle :D

    Nice catch and really hope you make that monster go boom again!
     
  19. Groover

    Groover

    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    I'm fully diving into this thing. It's all taken apart right now, and I'm finding it to be one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on.

    I'll need some suggestion on what to use to do some restoring. Here is what I'm thinking:

    Cleaning tube sockets. From what I've found online, I basically just need a cleaner that has no lube in it otherwise it will go gunky once back in service and things get hot. Not sure what would be the best product here other than some zero residue stuff from Radio Shack.

    Power chord replacement: I think 14 gauge is what I should use? I want to make the chord about 8-10'.

    Cleaning switches: Something that will clean and lube. Maybe CAIG DeOxit?

    I'll be adding a Speakon in parallel in the back panel. The original back panel is gone, so I'll be rebuilding a new one to accommodate the Speakon... Would be great to get it silkscreened with the correct words on it, but I have no idea how to do that. Ideas?

    I'm upgrading the side handles with handles that came off a USA 410HLF. The original Skunkworks ones are not as padded, and seem a lot flimsier even though they are heavier in weight. I'll probably keep the originals in case I want to revert them back.

    Front grille... I'm going a gazillion different directions with this. I'll need to build a frame first of all to accomodate the front screen/grille, but as far as the material goes.... I would like to find exactly what was used for the skunkworks, which from what I can tell from shotty online pics, looks a tad different that what Ampeg normally uses for their black stuff, which also seems hard to find... Any help on this would be appreciated.

    All knobs to be replaced. I'll probably just use the SVT-CL ones which seem to be readily available.

    There there are the tubes... but that's a whole different dilemma.

    I appreciate an any tips you can provide.
     
  20. Bluesbob

    Bluesbob

    Mar 13, 2000
    Springfield, TN
    Just be aware that if you change the diameter of the power cord or install Speakons you will need to bore and/or ream holes in the sheet-metal chassis - not hard to do with the right tools, just something to be noted.
    Personally (it's all personal, isn't it?), I'd try to restore the amp to as close to original spec as possible. But I wouldn't go crazy trying to find the exact right knobs or what-not. I'd want to get it running right first, then watch ebay for old parts.
    I like Caig DeOxit D5 for cleaning parts. The lube is non-flammable and conductive, and won't gunk up like some automotive lubricants.
    Good luck with tubes. JJ has all the small-signal tubes, but the problem is finding the ones that won't go microphonic, especially in a bass head sitting on top of an 8X10. I have heard of batches from them with microphonic failure rates as high as 50%. It might be better to stick with the originals, depending on how well they work and/or test. I have Sovtek 6550's in my SVT II, but I hear good things about the Valv-Arts. The =C= are always a good bet, but again, watch out for bad ones that can damage the amp.
    Good luck!
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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