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SVT cosmetic restoration

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by THB_bassman, Feb 5, 2006.


  1. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    My '73 SVT is in nearly perfect working order, (couple preamp tubes, no biggie) and now I'm seriously thinking about redoing the cosmetics, ie: new tolex & grill cloth, re-chroming the corners, and either re-lettering or replacing the faceplate with a repro from Fliptops.

    Anyone use their faceplate? It looks to be an exact copy.
    While it's not original, it may be my only choice, or is it?
    I cannot see how one would go about re-lettering a faceplate. My hands are certainly not steady enough to freehand it, and I don't know any other way to even attempt it.

    Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated.:meh:
     
  2. timv

    timv Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Chandler, AZ
    I considered redoing the cosmetics of my old 70' SVT also but think I will leave it as is, it adds character and history to it. I did just recently install some correct grill cloth so it looks pretty good now. Here are some before and after pics.
     
  3. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    Right Tim,
    I get the whole character thing, but mine's a little rougher than yours, and plus I just prefer the nicer look. It's all road wear, for sure, but none of it is "my" road wear.
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mailm...m/ph/mailmanmike@sbcglobal.net/my_photos
    I think that grill looks great on yours, nice job.
     
  4. timv

    timv Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    Chandler, AZ
    Yeah, I think that style face the writing wore off pretty easily. I probably would cosmetically fix up that one also.
     
  5. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Just a quick warning, just like with refinishing vintage basses, you'll take a chunk out of your resale value by doing this.
     
  6. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    I dont quite agree with that. Maybe if it was modified internally, but I dont think fresh tolex, grill cloth and a new faceplate will hurt the resale value if its period correct.

    But chew on this. My '74 SVT had been restored to mint before i bought it. I don't know what your playing schedule is like, but now I worry about marking up the amp everytime I use it. Ask yourself, do you really want to worry about that?
     
  7. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    I'm not really concerned about resale value, and I think once it's restored, any wear on it will be OK with me, since it'll be my wear.

    Different strokes, for sure.
     
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I think if I were to ever get a vintage SVT, I may have it redone in the spray-on finish that is near-indesctructable. Doesn't look all that different than tolex, not to mention it doesn't suck. Resale value be damned.
     
  9. Rickenbackerman

    Rickenbackerman

    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    All three of my heads have repro faceplates from fliptops - I think they look great:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    As do I...thanks for that input. Are they pretty accurate reproductions? material, thickness, lettering accuracy, etc?
     
  11. Rickenbackerman

    Rickenbackerman

    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Not really. The original early 70's panels were brushed aluminum with flat silkscreened graphics. The repro is stainless (shinier) and the graphics are gloss epoxy.
     
  12. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    Thanks for that info...that's a puzzler to me.
    But if it looks "close enough" I may go for one.
     
  13. Rickenbackerman

    Rickenbackerman

    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Well the graphics look awesome if you ask me - they look just like the original, with nice sharp edges... That pic above doesn't really do it justice... I think you'll like it!
     
  14. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    Oh, I didn't mean to say it doesn't look great, it does. You seem to say it looks just like the original, and that's a good thing.

    What puzzles me is the choice of stainless over aluminum on the repros.
    Seems like it would cost more for that material. I do like the idea of the epoxy lettering, though. Should be much tougher and last longer.

    But, What about the option of having the lettering re-done on my original plate?
    Does anyone offer this service?
    I can go over it myself with a sharpie just to read what it says, but it looks half-assed and stupid to say the least. Without a template or a pattern, it's gotta be too tough for me to pull off.
    Thanks...
     
  15. svtb15

    svtb15 Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
    I got a repro from Fliptops. It took months to arrive but it looks great. Almost non detectable from the original. The brushing on the aluminum is a hair more coarse than the original. BUt the lettering is nearly exact. And it is easy to install if you have any mechanical skills. My lettering was completly worn off so I went for it, but I still have the original tucked away. Currently i am looking for a mid-range coil for my 1972 SVT.
     
  16. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    OK- now the debate begins...

    I have Rickenbackerman sayin' the repro faceplates are stainless, and svtb15 saying it's aluminum.

    Only one of you is right...right?

    Right.
    ;)
     
  17. Rickenbackerman

    Rickenbackerman

    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Unless they've recently changed materials, it's stainless. The giveaway is that they weigh almost twice as much as the originals.

    Funny story - I actually got the first one I own from the guy who made them. He eventually sold them all over the course of a year or so. When fliptops.net started up, I think they contacted him and talked him into doing another run of them, and they bought them all.
     
  18. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    Thanks Rickenbackerman,
    whatever it is made of, it appears to be the only option for someone like me.
     
  19. svtb15

    svtb15 Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
    I just got mine about 4-5 months ago.. Not Aluminum like a what a snow shovel is made of.. Hey, but I may be wrong. It very well could be Stainless. It has the apearance of Stainless because of that brushed look on alot of stainless steel samples have. It could also be Tempered Aluminum.. which is a harder aluminum. It feels llight like Aluminum and when you tap on it is duller sounding than stainless is.. Years ago I worked in the aerospace industry and we worked with Tempered Aluminum al the time and this feels and looks like that to me .It has the apearance of the front of an EDEN but not gold/yellow color..
    Here is a link to my amp
    http://www.kirkpowers.com/gear-pics_11.html
    and here
    http://www.kirkpowers.com/gear-pics_7.html
    Whatever it is made of it looks much better now.
     
  20. THB_bassman

    THB_bassman

    Oct 11, 2005
    socal
    This would tell...is it magnetic or not?
    Thanks.

    By the way...nice looking faceplate, whatever it is. It LOOKS original!
    Cool.

    I'm still guessing what year mine was made, based on the features of its appearance... looks like yours.
    Serial number is 48631 (from the paper inside of the head....the number on the back of the amp is missing.)