Very impressed with my SVT-II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skel, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I just got an SVT II (non pro) yesterday. It was retubed 6 weeks ago with Svetlana 6550C's, and the previous owner explained that a couple of the tubes are NOS because they biased closer - neee to open it up and look. The filter caps were also replaced when the guy had it retubed. It came in a 6 space SKB rack.

    I don't know what it is, but this amp sounds soooo good, especially through my SVT410HLF. I first tried a Classic and a V4BH, but the tone was just not there for me. Maybe it's the 5 band EQ, which I use. I had the volume on "1" last night and my wife asked me if it had to be so loud! The fan noise takes about 10 minutes to get used to. Also if you power it down, you get a nice "pop", unless you put it on standby first. What a pleasure it is to play through this amp. I read these sounded closer to an original SVT, which I've never played through, but I'm starting to "get it" now. The previous owner told me the louder you go, the better it sounds, and it sounds great on "1".

  2. The more they warm up the better they sound! I always get to the gig, set up fast and, with ***Standby ON and cabinet connected***, power up. I let that baby sit up there for 20 to 30 minutes before I plug in and go. When I plug in for the first song of the first set it sounds amazing. And as the sets and the night goes on, the amp just keeps sounding better and better! Tubes may be higher-maintenance, but they actually LIVE!

    As for volume... don't get me started! We only mic the singers (vocals), the bass drum (triggered) and snare - the rest of our sound is actually stage throw - amps and cabs crankin! I play with 2 guitar players who both use Line 6 heads (300 w per side each) and Marshall 4x10s. The drummer is also in a Rush Tribute band, so you can imagine his attack... And I am the one getting yelled at about turning down! LOL

    Love that SVT sound!

    ***Do NOT power on your SVT, standby or otherwise, without having a proper load (your cabinet) connected!***

  3. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Yea - thanks for telling me. I never power a tube amp up without a load, and the correct load. I will connect an 8-ohm cab though - I believe this is totally safe, as the amp puts out enough power to drive a 4-ohm load, so it doesn't drive the speakers as hard as it should, but honestly, when you're dealing with a tube amp, I think everything about it is pretty analog and not exact. I'd probably be surprised if I actually did a measurment off the O/T taps.

  4. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Is this the first SVT that "varied" from the original SVT?
  5. Your beliefs don't change reality. Use the rated load or lower.
  6. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I think this is fairly important for people to know (like me). I respectfully disagree with you. Especially on going lower - I'd like to get some more input from others on this. I *believe* going lower is for certain dangerous to the amp. I believe going higher by double (i.e., amp=4-ohm, cab=8-ohm) is not.

  7. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Not so....

    With a SOLID STATE amplifier, you are correct.

    With a TUBE amplifier, you should use the rated load. That is why there are taps on the output transformer.

    What CAN happen if the load is too high?

    1) Some amplifiers use feedback around the output transformer. Without proper loading, the transformer may not provide correct phase feedback, and that may cause oscillation, either an audible squeal, or an oscillation at above-audio frequency. Neither is good for the amplifier, output tubes can be "worn out" in seconds to the point where emission and power output is very low.

    2) "Spike" voltages from transients may be considerably higher because the "reflected impedance" is higher than designed. That can cause damage of varying severity. In an amplifier that already "pushes" the tube ratings, that can be serious.

    What CAN happen if the load is too low?

    a) Current in output tubes and output transformer will be higher than designed. There may be some extra heating in the transformer. The tubes are being worked harder than normal, and will likely not last as long. However, there really isn't an "instant damage" scenario.

    So, with too HIGH a load impedance, there are a couple ways that significant damage can occur instantly or fairly shortly.

    With too LOW a load impedance, there is a way for tube life to be reduced....

    I know which I pick........ And I have company.... it was not uncommon in older amps for the output jack to be wired to short the output if no plug was in it.

    Now, there is no guarantee that you will have damage from high load impedance.... all designs have some tolerance in them. But, there is no guarantee that YOURS isn't close enough to the wrong end of the range to have a problem.

    Your choice, your risk.
  8. I have been GASsing for one for years!!!
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Serious, as in breached insulation in the output transformer windings, or arc-over on the tube sockets necessitating their replacement, just for starters outside of the tubes themselves. Those problems are more often seen if the amp is run with a fully open (infinite) load, like say when a Marshall impedance selector fails. You'll find a number of websites that opine that a 2:1 upward mismatch is usually OK, but high powered tube bass amps are a scary venue for determining whether that holds true on your nickel, IMHO.
  10. Larzon


    Jan 15, 2005
    You should be, it's a very nice amp!
    I wrote in another thread that I liked the Acoustic 320 better (tighter and more punchy midrange), yes that's true (for me). But, it doesn't mean that I don't like the SVT-II, on the contrary, I like it a lot.

    Get a 4 ohm cabinet for the beast!
  11. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado rock. Thanks, and I stand corrected. Sorry, Psycho Bass Guy. I have to be honest - typing "Sorry, Psycho Bass Guy" makes me laugh!

    I'll stick with the exact impedance matches. And this amp is a dream - the more I play it, the more I love it. There must be an "I'm hooked" thing with SVT's.

  12. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Congrats! Welcome to the tube club :D
  13. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Thanks, but I have to be honest. I hope I'm not alone here, but I currently own (but haven't received yet) an SVT-3 Pro and a B2RE. I liked the B2R I had, and I tested a 3 Pro - it sounded great as well. Obviously I like Ampegs, and the B2RE will give me more of a Hi-Fi tone, I think. The 3-Pro will be a great back up head, or main head, especially with the ported 4X10HLF. Now all I have to do is trade my SVT-610HLF for an 8X10E, which I think is the ultimate cab for the SVT-II.
  14. mattvon


    Jan 22, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yes, and has been said above--welcome to the club! It's a great head, weight be damned! :cool:
  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 my SVT II nonpro in 1989 and played it for years.. I put it away about 6 years ago.. The past 6 months it is out and I am using it on gigs.. There is nothing like it.. I just retubed it and am doing a recap next week.. Then most likely rebias it..
    This amp has an addicting sound.. When ever I pull it out on a gig I get compliments from the band and people up close... It is built real solid. It is heavy too... I dont use a compressor when I use the SVTII.. just bass, cable, amp, speaker... whewww...
  16. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Just about all tube amp players have a SS head as well, but that doesn't take away from the tube head you have :p . Anyway, as for the cabs, look for a Bergantino NV 610 before you try the 810. I find the tone similar, but the 610 is louder and goes lower.