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SVT 6 Pro head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by the engine, Mar 16, 2009.


  1. the engine

    the engine Guest

    So I have found a really good deal on an Ampeg SVT 6 Pro used with the 8-10 cab. BUT..... I have read TONS of reviews since I started talking with the guy who is selling it. A good portion of the reviews talk about reliability problems. Some say it sounds amazing for a few weeks and then "craps out". Some say it makes a crackle noise after you play for a while at high volumes. But then others say they have found the tone they have been looking for for years. They say that they can't understand the problems that the other guys are having. Please help! What have you heard? Do any of you have experience with these amps? Thanks!
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    One thing. Check the back, if it says, "Proudly made in the USA by SLM, St Lois, MO." It will most likely rock your world for a long time. If it says ANYTHING else, ..pass.
     
  3. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    I bought mine used and it crapped out on me after about 6 months. However, it is only the preamp section that is broken ... the power section works fine and I have been using it to great effect with external preamps through the "poweramp in" jack. Fact of the matter is, I like it so much more with my other preamps (Alembic F1-X, Trace Elliot V-Type, Ampeg SVP-Pro and Aguilar DB659) driving it that I haven't bothered to fix it. It sports a 2 X 12AX7A plus 2 X 12AU7 driver section in front of the solid state poweramp so I do get a very "tubey" sound only with high headroom outta the unit (though there is nothing like an all tube power section ... particularly when it is manned by 6550s or KT88s). However, in defense of my SVT6-Pro ... there is a reasonable chance that I am to blame for what happened. It is a very deep (from front to back) and heavy unit and I was concerned about the weight of it flexing the front panel when it's rack mounted (the rubber feet that came with it were to big to fit with it racked so it was kinda hangin' loose in my rack). Anyway, I stuffed foam padding over and under the SVT6-Pro in order to secure it in the rack and may have gotton carried away and accomplished _exactly_ the opposite that I'd hoped for. Once it started cutting out, I found that it (un)cut out when I removed the foam padding. It eventually cut out for good. However, like I said ... it sounds killer with my other preamps and I'm lazy so I haven't done anything about it. It could just as easily be a bum tube or a tube that just has to be pushed into the socket tighter. I'm so ham fisted, I've refrained from opening it up to check the tubes ... who knows what additional armaggeddon I might wreak. ;^) BTW ... before the preamp section crapped out, I didn't think it really had the traditional SVT sound so much, but it did sound good and was what I'd call "modern" sounding if I could describe it in a word. It kills with my SVP-Pro preamp driving it though it's a bit on the noisy side.
     
  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I agree, it's nothing like an actual all tube SVT. But, not hi-fi either. I think it spans the gap perfectly. (mine's not broken)
     
  5. the engine

    the engine Guest

    See? That's what I've been finding as far as reviews go. People dig the tone but every other one blows up. It's a really good deal that I've found but this kind of thing makes me nervous. Thanks for the replies and keep 'em coming!
     
  6. the engine

    the engine Guest

    P.S. He's had this one for about a year. He says he has gigged it several times. When did they move to making them over seas?
     
  7. I had one for a while and it was a great amp. Sounds like a louder version of the 3 Pro.

    Don't get too put off by stories of things going wrong- you will get that about practically any amp. People will always post bad experiences when something goes wrong but not write about it when it works as it should. I'm not really sure what Pbassnut was doing with his but it sounds like he may have obstructed its airflow somehow making it overheat(?). As he said- it may not have been the amps fault.

    The 2 things i didn't like about it were: 1- very heavy, 2- Fans are loud.
     
  8. About a year ago.
    It would say LOUD or SLM on the back of the case with place of manufacture.

    I have to say IMO this whole 'don't buy Vietnamese Ampegs' thing is way out of proportion to the number of quality control issues that actually pop up. I've had a USA and Vietnamese 3 Pro uncased side by side and they were practically identical. Many of the components were from the same manufacturer. The quality of PCB's, casing, wiring etc... there was nothing that screamed of cost cutting.

    (dons flame retardant bunny suit):bag:
     
  9. the engine

    the engine Guest

    Ah. Thanks! I kinda figured the horror stories were out of ratio with good experiences.
     
  10. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    No, I don't think it was an airflow/overheating situation as I was a bit concerned with putting it in a two space rack for that very reason but wanted as small a head as possible so I was monitoring closely how hot it was running and it was fine ... probably because I think it draws all or most of the cool air through the front and the sides and expells the hot air through the back and none of those were obstructed by the foam padding I put in the rack. If I was the culprit, it had something to do with the flexing of the front panel from the weight of the rest of the head. One other thing to consider regarding reviews on the web that report unreliability. Some units are VERY popular so there are lots of them out there and a seeming overload of horror stories about them might actually be a relatively low percentage of the overall numbers of them on the street.
     
  11. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    About two and a half, actually. Same difference.

    Actually, the Vietnam units used very much the same components for some time. We shipped them a lot of stuff for their first runs. Matched Mosfets, Wima capacitors, etc. Stuff they didn't have time to source, or didn't have a source for.

    The question is what they did after that. There is no "we" to do the ordering of those things, and ONE guy to make sure it all goes right.

    I don't KNOW anything about the facts, and so I am speculating...... But some of the problems and issues, specifically with 6 PRO units, seem to be ones I would expect if for instance, they were NOT getting matched mosfets.

    DO NOT take this as gospel truth. I DO NOT KNOW what they are or are not doing over there in the factory.

    I can only go by the experience WE had before I personally made a big enough stink that we went to matched mosfets. We had random catastrophic output device failures. A unit would work great and then fail completely.

    That activity quieted down once we did use the matched parts, as I predicted. (We actually HAD requested the matched parts originally, but the then director of manufacturing, who was not widely regarded as "a useful human", wanted proof they were required. He got it, in spades, doubled, but he also got fired soon after.)

    After reading here about units that work fine for a week and then blow, it surely sounds familiar.......

    It'll cost 'em a hundred bucks an hour to get the rest of the story......
     
  12. Hahahaha, that's awesome.
     
  13. the engine

    the engine Guest

    Wow! Now THAT'S some usefull info! I expected to hear from somebody who knew what they were talking about. I didn't expect to hear from somebody who BUILT the things! Ha! Awsome! Thanks for the info. Really! So if I'm getting what you are saying (and I'm not going to hold you to it...don't worry)... If it were going to have major issues it probably would have done so pretty early and NOT after a year of practices and gigs. Does that sound about right or am I missing it altogether? Thanks again!
     
  14. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Yes, most likely it would already be dead if it were going to have problems.
     
  15. Amen to that! I am happier every day when I see that very thing on my Ampeg gear.....SVT4Pro and a 6X10HLF....
     
  16. samson3382

    samson3382

    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    don't know if mine was a dud but i set it up next to my 01 american made 350 watt b2r and the tone was only slightly better and the svt6 had an unbearable electric buzz that got so loud it drowned out the bass if i was within 5 feet of the cabs, front, back, sides, facing, facing away. the b2r was next to silent. tried diferent outlets, houses, basses, cords, power conditioners, cabs, everything. sent it back after 4 days and went back to the b2r. thinking of going with genz benz, a little more expensive but i've heard much better things.
     

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