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The thruth about SVT's please

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by yamaha, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    OK, so lately, there's been a lot of anti-SVT-CL/AV out there. Reliability apparently being the #1 concern of most. And from my research, questions, and opinions of many in the music business, it seems to be at least to a point to be true, but how true is it really.

    Example 1 : A local seller of many brands told me recently that his authorized tube repair guy for many brands had 6 or 7 SVT's in for repair, and no other bass heads at all. But doesn't SVT's pretty much outsell all other tube heads by about 5:1, so it's almost ''normal'' isin't it? (well, anyway, in Montreal, it is). All the local music stores carry Ampeg (or most) and many have at least 1 SVT on the floor. Only 1 store has a 300pro, 1 has a 200AD, etc...

    Also, with the reliability problem, once it's taken to the technician, is this problem fixed forever, or does it come back regularly. If it's covered by the warranty, not a huge problem, even though it's never fun to have a problem onstage in the middle of the 2nd song of set 1.

    I've been gassing for all tube, and the 300pro is way up there (features & tone), but too huge. I won't gig with it much because of it's size, so why get a 300 watt all tube head for rehearsal. The AD200 is nice, very nice, but not too much tonal options, and its so Orange, lol. And costly. The SVT comes in 3rd (for me), but it's still way up there.
  2. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Not sure if there is a question here or just a statement.
    I bought a used V4B in approx 1975; still has the original tubes and has never caused a moments trouble. I do move it gently and wait for the tubes to cool berfore moving it at all.
    The last amps that needed service for me was resoldering bad traces on a 3 Pro circuit board and bad transistors on a Trace Elliot.
    BTW, my USA SVT-CL has never caused a moments trouble either.
  3. Hard to tell really, but I suspect that any tube amp has got to be a bit more labor intensive in nature, i suspect Ampeg is no exception, didn't help that they moved manufacturing overseas.. there has got to be something lost in the transition and initial setup of the amplifiers to a degree at first.
    I think you should give the Peavey VB-2 a listen if possible... sounds unique and definately tubey... and it still has that legendary bullet-proof Peavey quality!
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    If it gets brought to a good tech, it gets fixed properly. A sloppy tech won't fix it right.
  5. And that's true for any brand or model of amp!
  6. kdogg


    Nov 13, 2005
    True, except in the case that the problem is due to bad design or inferior components. My american made SVT-CL was in the shop 4 times before Ampeg sent me a new Korean made CL. After all the dissapointment, and down time, I sold the Korean CL to a local buddy who plays bass in another band. He's never had a lick of trouble with it. Go figure. :(
  7. TIMD


    Dec 8, 2009
    I have had SVT CL for about 6 or seven years and never had a single problem. If they were not quality people would have stopped playing them 30 years ago. they are the industry standard for a reason.
  8. tb420


    Sep 23, 2008
    I've been to hundreds of shows from bands just out of the garage to stadium gigs and ~ 80% of the bass rigs are SVT with 8x10's.

    That said, a few months ago I saw 4 local bands play. One had a Carvin Redline, the other had a Peavey dinosaur head and the last had a SVT VR. The only one that had an issue was the guy with the SVT. Sound cut out during the 2nd song. Stood around fidgeting with stuff in the back for 2 songs and once he got it working, had to sit for 2 minutes on Stand By.

    If I were going to buy a SVT it would be MIA. Nampegs are not reliable, plain and simple.
  9. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Tube amps are fragile and they need periodic maintenance. Many people treat their gear roughly; that's OK for most SS gear, but not for a tube amp.
  10. steveinohio


    May 27, 2007
    I've got a nampeg that I got used. Only issue has been a bad pre tube. Great head!
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    nothing gets fixed forever, but yes, once a problem is fixed, it should last a good while. of course, tubes can be unpredictable. some will last decades while others last 3 weeks. but i find svt's just as reliable as any other amp out there. there was a run of bad qc at ampeg when they first moved to china, but it seems to be better now since getting rid of the idiot in charge of screwing things up.
  12. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    I didn't realize you'd heard I lost my job. :)
  13. Govier966


    Apr 28, 2009
    New York
    svt's are great but there pretty heavy and expensive to re-tube. Ive never heard many complaints about the all tube svt's but I have heard about reliability issues on some of the MOSFET models.
  14. "They" would be witch owner of the Ampeg name, the orignal owners, Magnavox, MTI (the worst era to date IMHO), SLM or the current owner LOUD Tech.? :rollno:
  15. i'm not sure where you've heard this myth?
  16. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Clearly, you have not owned a nampeg, plain and simple :)

    I do. I'd wager that the very guy that had the VR, in your post, was having issues with voltage sag, JohnK_10 had modded his to combat this, I did the same......
  17. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
  18. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Would you be using 220v, instead of 120v, where you're at?
  19. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Also - just because an amp is on a techs bench also doesn't mean it's broken or defective. They could just be in for general maintainance like to have the tubes changed and the bias set. Sometimes perceived issues can also be "user error". Not to say repair issues don't arise, but you'd be surprised how many people don't read their owners manuals and then when the amp doesn't make the sound they want, or acts a certian way - they take it in to have looked at (or they just send it back).
  20. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    What's an owner's manual ? , LOL
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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