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SVT Classic

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dan Muller, Nov 30, 2001.


  1. Dan Muller

    Dan Muller Guest

    Sep 28, 2001
    Baltimore, Maryland
    How long should a person expect the tubes to last on this amp, or any other amp with 6550s? I know this is a great amp, but re-tubing it could cost nearly $300. Where are some places that have good inexpensive tubes?
     
  2. Eventhough I love tubes, retubing is a pain, and you have to biased those new tubes. The temptation is too much for me, every time I see an Aguilar Head or Power Amp, 99% of the time I'm ready to whip out my credit card.

    Well, I guess you have to pay to play.
     
  3. Hey Dan,

    If the amp is taken care of, and you check and set the bias regularly, tubes can last years. If you let the bias drift on them you'll chew up tubes very quickly especially if you drive the amp hard. The bias is dead easy to check and set on the Classic. Just turn the bias set screws until the bias LEDs turn green. As for tubes, try Lord Valve or Triode Electronics. Their URLs escape me and I'm in a rush, forgive me :D. Triode will sell you a matched set of Svetlana 6550's for about $150. That's pretty good. I'm buying a set soon. BTW, my SVT was made in 1976 and it still has the original tubes. I don't think it was used much! But that's a testament as to how long tubes can last if you take care of the amp.
     
  4. Tapp

    Tapp

    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    I recommend Svetlana 6550's too Spacegoat unless you can find some NOS GE's (but then you're talkin money). Another alternative is the EI KT90 which is a fabulous tube for bass. It's a rugged upgraded 6550 that's similar to a KT88. I use them in my old Sunn Model T that has an ultralinear output transformer. I haven't heard of anyone using them in SVT's probably because they're more expensive than the Svet's.


    Tapp
     
  5. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    what about Telefunken, Electro-Harmonix, and Groove Tubes? Just throwing some other names out there...
     
  6. As far as I know, the only Telefunkens available are NOS and very pricey, please correct me if I'm wrong. The Electro-Harmonix ones are Sovtek. Electro-Harmonix doesn't offer 6550s in matched sets and matched tubes are essential in an SVT. Triode electronics does sell Sovteks that they match themselves, though. Groove tubes takes other manufacturers tubes (mostly Chinese I think), matches them themselves (very closely) and puts their logo on them. Generally good products, but I think they are a bit overpriced. Paying for the GT name I guess.
     
  7. BassPlayerGush

    BassPlayerGush

    Sep 23, 2001
    PA
    from my expierence with ampeg tubes you can get a good 2 years out of them if you take care of your bass. some factors that might lesson the life of your tubes are: driving your amp hard, letting the tubes warm up prior too playing, just overall time playing, vibrations-such as transporting in a car. im not sure of this, but i was told not to leave the amp near a window, becuase the sun rays may lesson the life of the tubes. im not sure if that is true or not, but i keep it away just to be safe.
     
  8. Tapp

    Tapp

    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    "letting the tubes warm up prior too playing, just overall time playing, vibrations-such as transporting in a car. im not sure of this, but i was told not to leave the amp near a window, becuase the sun rays may lesson the life of the tubes. im not sure if that is true or not, but i keep it away just to be safe."


    I think you meant NOT letting the tubes warm up before playing.

    Here are some suggestions for extending tube life:

    1: Always keep the amp on Standby (I keep it in Standby for 1 minute) when initially turning the power on. If not, full voltage is applied to the tube's plate without any electrons being produced from the cathode.

    2: Try not to transport or cause vibration to your amp head while the tubes are on or are still hot from use. Vibration to the "innerds" of the tube can cause shorts and premature death to the tube. Leaving your amp head in "the sun" should not cause problems to the tubes, may fade your grillcloth or tolex though.

    3: ALWAYS have a speaker load hooked up to the amp head. This may not be a concern if done for a short time, but if your putting signal through the head without a speaker load, then you will eventually fry your output transformer and possibly the tubes.

    Just a few suggestions

    Tapp
     
  9. Gigging 4-7 nights a week + rehearsals, I had to retube my SVT every year.