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Scored SVT II.....how to get the best out of it

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fair Warning, May 28, 2011.

  1. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    Wow....saw this early SVT II on CL and thought I would give it a good loving home. Ended up getting it, including an SKB case for 4 bills! Have cleaned it out inside and out, and will take all the tubes to be checked and will biase the tubes upon re-installation. But it cranked up beautifully with no issues when I got it home and hooked up to an 810!

    So since this has only a "Volume" knob, what is the understanding of how much gain the preamp gets, versus how the common CL and all the rest operate. Any other setup techniques that can be offered?
  2. I can't answer your questions but 4 bills for the best SVT ever definitely puts you in the Craigslist Hall of Fame.
  3. mountainmike


    Feb 12, 2011
    I'm looking for an SVT-II (non Pro) myself. It's hard to find in Holland, like most sought after Ampeg products. Even looking across Europe doesn't help a lot. I'll be following your story here. Congratulations, and good luck!
  4. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I used to own one of these and it was the best SVT I have ever owned. Wish I still had it. Just crank the volume and forget about input gain - it starts compressing naturally quite early with the best valve grind I have ever heard.
  5. jetofuj


    Jun 16, 2008
    Man, I know what you're feeling. I'm looking for one as well.
  6. Congratulations on buying one of the best bass amps ever made. Ever.

    Suggested usage:

    1. Plug it into an 810
    2. Plug a p-bass into the SVT
    3. Turn it on, take it out of standby
    4. Bask in the glory of your iconic bass tone. Done.

    I much prefer the non-master volume SVTs; the Classic and the SVT-II Pro are my least favourite SVTs, though they still kick most amps right around the block and back again.

    If you need some dirt, put a VT pedal in front of it. That's how I run my SVT-VR.
  7. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.

    I use and recommend a VT pedal in front of mt SVT-II (non-pro) and my vintage blueline SVT too, but not just for 'dirt'. Unless I'm gigging outside or someplace where I can crank these tube heads up fairly loud, I prefer the way my VT pedal slightly compressed/thickens the tone and feel to be very similar to when my SVT's are cranked up.
  8. Cheers for the previous advice guys - I ended up scoring one of these amps a few weeks ago.
    I hunted out this specific amp over others based on advice here on TB (and other places like Ozbass)

    But I'll have to disagree with this last statement.
    Mine gets very dirty without any pedals at all if I set it right.
    Just engage the graphic and push the mids and bass up to max (or close to max based on taste)
    You may have to drop the 40Hz to reduce boom...
    I get the heavy overdrive sounds the VT wishes it could get!!!!

    Just be mindful tho - if you do this, the amp may hum and hiss a bit, so I got my amp fixed - to how it SHOULD have been made.

    My '91 SVT2 had the wiring loom for the Graphic about a cm from the trannie.
    Even with everything in the graphic set at unity I had a noticeable hum and an increase in noise floor.....***??!

    The good fella I took my amp to told me just about EVERY SVT ever made has some kind of lazy-engineering\cost cutting fault in it.
    So my techie not only replaced and increased the size of the filter caps, but added a piece of metal (and grounded it) over this wiring loom to shield it.
    Now I can boost everything as high as I like with next to no hiss/hum at all....
    Wanna make the most of your SVT2 ???? ;)
  9. bring the noise

    bring the noise

    May 18, 2011
    So can you get the overdrive at lower levels?
  10. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    This thing cranks! Does not have any humm or hiss until you get the volume over 8-9, but I dont reckon that I will ever need to be cranked up there. One treble pot post is bent, but it works and I dont move the treble much anyway. The underside compartment near the fan was full of gunk-fuzz. Other than that, all the electronics look tight. The power tube set are Russian......to think what this thing could sound like with some high end tubes!

    As for the snot....it comes out relatively easy at lower levels than was expected. Much like the V4B I had.....but this thing has alot of super power to it. Amazing how much I can crank up the low end on this.....stuff started falling off the walls all over my studio....and that never happened before with the CL.

  11. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Well good for you, but how can you possibly disagree that I prefer using my VT pedal for lower volume gigs???

    Unless you've spent several years gigging my SVT's with my VT pedal in my bands, you dont know squat about my rig and got nothing to disagree with me about here dude.
  12. Whoops!
    re-read your post, sorry andersbass - seems I thought you'd typed something else!
  13. real talk
  14. bring the noise

    bring the noise

    May 18, 2011
    What years were these produced? Are they pretty much like the original svt with more eq and in rackmount form?
  15. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    Pretty much, they were produced in the very late 80s to very early 90s for maybe a 3~4 year run.
  16. bring the noise

    bring the noise

    May 18, 2011
    Do you know how many db the eq boosts or cuts? I can't tell in pics I have seen of these amps.
  17. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The best info I can find is that for vintage amps, each control was a minimum of +/-12db, mids were +/-20db (product manuals on Ampeg V4.com | All Ampeg All The Time). The SVT-CL/II-Pro manuals both list treble as +/-12bd, mid as -15/+12db, and bass as +/-12db. I couldn't find a II non-pro manual online but I didn't really look that hard.
  18. bring the noise

    bring the noise

    May 18, 2011
  19. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    The SVT-II eq range is +/- 12db. on all frequencies
    The eq section level-slider ranges from +8db to -10db.

    Here's a link to the owners guide:--> http://www.spengler-music.co.uk/SVT11300.pdf

    Cool, no problemo man :cool:

    Yep that's about it, they were made from the late 80s til about 94 when the pro-model came out.

    Congrats, you should join our little gang here} http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/ampeg-svt-ii-appreciation-thread-303286/
  20. Inverness


    Dec 21, 2007
    Marina, CA
    I've got one... almost considered parting with it a month ago. What a mistake that would have been!

    I've got mine running into Aggie cabs - GS410 and GS212. This thing is pretty much the embodiment of the greatest rock tone ever. I do have a setting that is very aggressive, where the mid selection switch is all the way to the right (1.8 kHz?), mids are almost dimed, bass at 2 o'clock, and treble at 10:30. Turn down the tweeters on the cabs (not a problem with your 810), and the most-metal midrange thonk hits you square in the face. The EQ section I use to roll off the highs and make the sound more... ahem, "normal."

    I will say that at the lowest of volumes (volume knob around 9 o'clock), you will probably need to add an OD or boost pedal in the front to get some dirt. I have a Sansamp PBDI currently doing that job, but I'd like to try an Aggie Agro pedal.

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