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Vintage Ampeg SVT as an Investment?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PolkaHero, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I have a CD (cash deposit) that just expired recently. I also have an opportunity to purchase a vintage Ampeg SVT 8x10 stack in good working order (early 70s model), appears to be all original, for a decent price. Should I renew the CD with interest rates as lousy as they are right now, or purchase the Ampeg and hope the value will rise if I properly maintain it? It probably won't get alot of live use as I can't see hauling this monster around. Probably just use it as a "practice" amp! :D
  2. Renew the CD and give me the guys number and address so I can buy it.
  3. This is hard for me to say but here goes: Don't do it. :bawl:
  4. By sheer numbers, the SVT is NOT attractive to collectors; it was too "common". Add to that most pawn shops go by Blue Book, who gets their values from SLM (wouldn't want the old beastie to show up their current product, now would they?). A MINT SVT is valued at $5-600. If you want the thing to play through, get it. If not, let someone who will have it. SVT's have held steady in price on the players' market for the past ten years, so I wouldn't expect its player value to rise too much either.
  5. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999

    Are you sure that Orian (Blue Book publishers) goes to SLM for the info? They claim to go to dealers, of course that is just a claim, and even if they did go to current Ampeg dealers for the info, how the would those dealers know how much vintage SVTs are going for on the market unless they take a significant number of them in for trades and resell them. I don't think many vintage SVTs get into Ampeg dealer shops, so the whole pricing aspect of vintage SVTs in the Blue Book is suspect, IMO. Maybe Orian should go to Ebay to find out how much old SVTs are going for, I'm sure a heck of a lot more of them go through the Ebay system than ever see the inside of an Ampeg dealer's shop. I was told that the Blue Book is really designed to give the dealers an edge when taking trades...they can show the customer the book and say, "Hey I'd really love to give you more for that XYZ item, but as you can see, I'd lose my shirt on resale." The whole Blue Book thing is silly, and smart buyers should point that out to dealers if they try to use that tactic. More accurate information on musical instrument prices can be seen by perusing Ebay, other instrument sales sites, want ads, and the websites that give summaries of how much musical intruments sold for.

    From Orian Research Corp (Blue Book publishers):

    How do you determine the used prices?

    The used prices are derived from dealer surveys gathered nationwide. Dealers are asked to provide the "selling price" and "days to sell". The used price is then calculated based on what an average store could sell the product for in 30 days or less. The price has proven to be an accurate reflection of the actual marketplace. The data is also reviewed by a Board of Advisors who are selected for their expertise in used equipment.
  6. Amen!

    One would think that venues such as Ebay would go a long way towards obsoleting "Blue Books". World-wide up-to-date access to market prices trumps subscription-based publisher printed info IMO.
  7. Orion SAYS they interview dealers, but while the rest of their prices fall at 70-90% of actual worth, I find it extremely suspect that a vintage SVT is valued at 50-60% while an SLM SVT is just below original retail. Blue Book prices, however inaccurate, are used by insurance companies and banks as well as pawn brokers.
  8. If you watch Antiques Road Show, many people are amazed at the high prices some things are appraised at. That leads people to think that antiques are a good investment. But for most antiques, if somebody had put their original purchase amount in the bank and just left it there, they'd have far more money in the bank after twenty or thirty or a hundred years than the antique is worth. Sure, occasionally somebody pays $1 at a garage sale for a $10,000 lamp, but those are the exceptions.

    In reality, things are only worth what somebody will pay for it. Put $1000 in the bank at 5% and after 20 years you would have $2653. Will somebody pay you $2653 for the amp after 20 years???
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I heard that blue-book was in the $900-1200 range for refurbished vintage SVT heads. Just the pre-Magnavox ones maybe?
  10. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    Thanks for all the advice, guys! I've decided to put the money into my Roth IRA for this year. I can still use the SVT for practices and maybe I can get permission to use it if our band plays any outdoor shows.

    I noticed SVT heads in decent shape go for around $700 on Ebay. I have no idea on the cabinets as these are probably a nightmare to ship.
  11. Luckydog

    Luckydog Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    "I noticed SVT heads in decent shape go for around $700 on Ebay"

    Polkahero, you should be aware that any old tube head you buy will very likely need work, to include caps, tubes, etc to get it back to "great condition". I would not be surprised that any old SVT head from Ebay would need over $300 in parts and labor. If I were buying I would factor that into the equation. Just because someone says it works, doesn't mean it works "correctly" or up to spec.