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SVT tips

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dinobas, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. dinobas


    Jun 14, 2000
    Newark Delaware
    Hello. I just bought a '70s Ampeg SVT head and I would like to know anything anyone can tell me about this amp...setup tips, different ways of setting up the input, etc. Thanks
  2. 1)If the tolex is beat up enough so you don't care, put some side flush snap handles on it. You can always fill em in when you recover it.2) Cancel your Gym membership.
  3. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    3) lift with your legs
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I'd recommend you put a piece of foam between your SVT head and your cabinet to reduce vibration.

    Congrats on the vintage SVT! :)
  5. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Make absotively sure you do not jolt those tubes with power when turning on the amp. Make sure the standby switch is on before you power it up. Then let it warm up for a few minutes before you switch it off standby.

    Ditto the comment on the foam, particularly if you play loud. You don't want to vibrate those tubes any more than necessary. A one inch piece of foam under the head will provide sufficient cushion. You can also replace the feet that came with the heads (available at Fliptops and elsewhere)...there are 6 of them and they screw into bottom of the head and sit in the metal cups on the top of the 8X10.

    DO NOT open up the back of the amp and mess around in there unless you know what the heck you're doing, or you may die. There are lethal voltages in there. Let an expert do it. If you're an expert, great, then you already know about this unique feature of SVTs.

    Make sure you match ohms to the cab(s) you are using. I believe tube amps are in fact LESS forgiving of ohmage mismatch than solid state. If using one cab, make sure its a 4 ohm.

    Have a techie check it out and add a grounded power cord unless it already has one.

    Have it serviced every year or so...don't be alarmed that you may have to have a tube or two replaced occasionally. That goes with the territory.

    I use the normal input with no boost on treble or bass, slight boost of low mids.

    Yes lift with your legs, not your back. Don't trust anyone else to carry this for you, do it yourself. I'm 53 years old and I haul around these heads as well as the 8X10 bottoms every weekend. You'll get used to the haul, and you'll likely not be satisfied with any other tone, once you have used this for awhile. The best tone I have EVER heard live comes out of an old SVT head with 8X10 bottom. When your guitar player compliments you at each gig on your tone, you know its good.

    Enjoy it for the rest of your bass playing career!

  6. The biggest thing to have checked regularly is the bias which is easy for any tech to do (I do it myself) and you will need 6-rubber feet only if you also have a vintage 810 cab, only 4 will work on the newer cabs (and "Fliptops" does offer special feet that will isolate the head from vibration but they are very expensive) the ones I use are made by a company called Penn Fabrication and can be obtained from Partsexpress. It also can't hurt to have a spare tube or two as well.
  7. dinobas


    Jun 14, 2000
    Newark Delaware
    Thanks to all who replied!