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SVT vs. SVT vs SVT

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Sep 4, 2005.


  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Tube amps are something I have yet to try, and am planning on buying the grandaddy of them all.....the almighty SVT.

    I know very little about these, and would like some input on where to start, and the differences between the different eras.

    I am looking to get: 60's-70's SVT, 80's model SVT, or maybe even the current SVT CL (classic) head. What are the ups and downs of each? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. 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 responded to a similar topic on the ampeg forum awhile back, here is a combination of my posts.

    Ampeg "Blue Line" SVT's, which were manufactured by Unimusic in Linden NJ sell for the most these days. Magnavox bought Ampeg in the early 70's and the "Magnavox years" are second to the Blue Lines in re-sale value. The earlier the year, the more its worth to people. Ampeg production eventually moved to Japan in 1980 (bought by MTI). The MTI SVT's generaly sell for less than the afore mentioned and there are some differences. Production moved back the the USA when St Louis Music took over in the mid 80's & they produced a limited run of 500 SVT HD heads built to the original specs (nicknamed "skunkworks".. i added that for mowhawk... and HD just stood for "head"). In 1994 the SVT design was changed to the current production style and was renamed the SVT CLASSIC.

    So which SVT better? well if you are going by collectors value I'd say- 1. Blue Line 2. magnavox (earlier the better) 3. SVT HD 4. SVT (MTI) 5. SVT CL and most importantly- resale value depends on the mechanical & cosmetic condition of the amp.

    The plus side of buying a new Ampeg SVT Classic is for starts, a 5 year warranty, and of course chicks dig new amps. You also know that you should not need to service it for quite some time. a/b a vintage SVT with an SVT CL and decide which one sounds better to you.

    I have recently seen early 70's SVT's recently selling for $1200 - $2000+ (US) on ebay. Selling price will depend on the condition of the amp & even the type of tubes that are in it. A vintage amp stocked with NOS tubes in good condition will sell for more.

    Within the last few years, vintage SVT's have become hot sellers and seem to hold their value better than the newer models. You may find one that is a great price & in great condition, or you may unknowingly buy one with shot tubes and a bad transformer. Bottom line is you should be prepared to possibly spend some money of tubes & repairs if you buy a vintage amp.... and that is something you won't need to worry about with a brand new SVT CL.

    BTW, I am not mentioning "how they sound" because I believe that subjective to the listener. One person may like the vintage and another may like the the re-issue... neither is right or wrong, its all a mater of personal preference.
     
  3. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    IMO the SVT isn't the 'granddaddy' of amps unless it's a real vintage beast. The newer CL's and later 80's etc don't sound too crash hot for their name.. If it's not a 70's or so, i'd prefer a Mesa 400+, Sunn or Trace tube amp, YMMV.
     
  4. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    I've never played the old svt's but the new one sounds great to me. I guess it depends on your other gear and the style of music you're into as which you would prefer tone wise.
     
  5. My SVT II has never let me down, tonally that is, amazing amp and i think it beats the hell out of current production amps

    8mmOD, is the SVT HD your talking about the "Skunkworks" ? ( i guess it must be)

    As has been said, its all down to your preference, but theres definatly something great going on with the blue line SVTs, very sweet
     
  6. nysbob

    nysbob

    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've been playing through a Magnavox era SVT for over 20 years - sounds great & is super dependable. If something ever happpened to it, I'd gladly plunk $1200 down for another one...
     
  7. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Looks like I just wound up with a 77-78 model, thanks to fellow tb'er and pitter Todd4ta.

    He snagged a KILLER score on a 69 blue line as well!

    To go with this head, I also picked up a newer 810e. Thanks for the help all!
     
  8. 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.
    well there ya go. i have a '74 SVT & '73 SVT 810 in my arsenal. play the crap out of it! :D
     
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Cool! Can't wait to check it out!
     
  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'll let you carry it too :)
     
  11. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Considering what that will weigh, I'll stick with my Mesa/Berg at a combined 150 lbs or so....which is as much as your cab alone! :D
     
  12. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    So you're saying yours is much smaller than mine? I think we all already knew that :D
     
  13. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I've owned both an SVT-CL; and later an SVT2-Pro. IMHO neither head had the same tone nor the outrageous volume of an early 70's SVT head that I used to borrow.

    I'd personally look for a late 60's/early 70's model, but that's just me.

    - Art
     
  14. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio

    That's not what Bobblehead said. :p
     
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    So much for your idea of going with a smaller rig, eh Tim? ;)
     
  16. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Yep, I am quite the impulsive GAS'er :)

    I do still own a 2x10 I may buy a cheap small head for, and maybe buy a pod for the really lazy days. :D
     
  17. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    Let's just say I had a great day at the GC Labor Day sale!!
     
  18. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    LOL, you could say that!
     
  19. Interesting read