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SVT running on 4 tubes

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by hectorjcm800, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. hectorjcm800


    May 16, 2008
    Mexico City
    Hey guys,

    I put some money together, originally for a camera lens, but last tuesday went to some musician's flea market for some guitar picks, and saw this amazing 70's SVT head lying on the floor (the one with the rocker switches) in excellent cosmetic shape. Old Ampegs are not that common down here, nor they are that coveted, BTW. So I asked for the price and they wanted the equivalent of about $500 for it. Have a deal!! Yeah, but for that price something must not be right, so I asked the owner about the amp's condition. He tells me it lacks a couple of power tubes, but it runs well despite its crippled power section.

    So I remember these things are tougher than Panzers, some SVT stories about em running on 5 power tubes, and that my buddy has a VT-22 that was brought back to life after it blew up catastrophically because of a broken impedance switch and some serious cranking involved, so i'm not that worried.

    Today I decided to load my cab into the van and test drive it. It turned out that the owner was this guy who repaired amps and electronics (I don't know his rep so I'm not talking about his expertise), who plays bass since the dawn of the summer of love (showed me some pics), and maybe he is the original owner, since he even has the original paperwork into this very old ampeg envelope. The amps looks like it's been in storage for a long long time, and shows very little wear for an amp this age.

    I reluctantly tested the amp through a small cab from the guy, which blew shortly after, and then through my own 8x10 cab, without punishing it too much, and the thing sounded great for a crippled $500 SVT. Arguably better than my much more expensive CL head!! (I could really tell my personal playing touch from my friend's, who also tested it, unlike my CL, which is great, but sometimes every player sounds the same through it). Both channels working, all rocker switches OK. No annoyingly scratchy pots. Even the fan was working ok!

    I also noted it was a little bit lighter, unlike some people who actually claim the opposite about their old SVT's, and found the old styled handles much more forgiving on my hands. I liked that, since lifting the CL head is a pain in the A**.

    So, as you can see, I really want to go after this one, and make a nice restoration work on it, which I think it deserves. So, do you Ampeg experts think this one is good for it? after all I don't know how many years (or decades) the amp has run on 4 tubes, but I really, really dug its tone and sturdiness.

  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    buy it. buy it now. tell no one until you do.
  3. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    at that price it would be foolish not to buy it and then run 6 6550's in it.
  4. hectorjcm800


    May 16, 2008
    Mexico City
  5. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    You need to buy that amp Quick before someone else does.
    Get it re-capped re-biased and a couple of nos GE 6550's.
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009

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