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Vintage SVT vs SVT-CL?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Arthur Poon, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. Arthur Poon

    Arthur Poon

    Jul 13, 2003
    In the early 80's, I used to borrow my friend's mid 70's SVT stack for big gigs. It's tone and volume were outrageous! In the past I've owned an SVT-CL, then an SVT-2 Pro, which I ran through an Ampeg 810E cab. No offense intended, but I was less than impressed with the maximum volume of either head. I even retubed the 2-Pro with NOS G.E. tubes-alas, no increase in volume. The max volume was loud but not clean enough for my taste. After my stack started gathering a lot of dust I sold it. I'd still like to have an all- tube head for that awesome tone. I've tried the Boogie 400+,it sounded great and compared quite favorably side-by-side vs an SVT-CL at my local G.C., but I've always been a fan of the Ampeg tone. I remember my friend's vintage SVT had tons of headroom, volume, and was a very clean sounding amp. I'd really appreciate opinions from owners of vintage SVT's: How does the tone & volume of the SVT-CL compare to your vintage SVT? Or should I just buy the Boogie 400+?
    Thanks, A.P.
  2. This is an, ahem, <i> interesting</i> question on this forum; tends to even bring out SLM to defend their product. Do a search. You'll see what I mean and also where I stand.
  3. :D

    All I'm going to say about this is that my 1976 SVT (with original power tubes, BTW) is louder and sounds better than any CL or 2-Pro I've ever encountered.
  4. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Both good... IF you can move it around!!!

  5. Arthur Poon

    Arthur Poon

    Jul 13, 2003
    Thanks, PSB. I had to look a bit but I found a somewhat heated discussion regarding this question. I was hoping it was'nt that I had bad hearing loss! My two Cratepegs had a really good tone, but to get adequate stage volume(loud guitarist+hard hitting drummer=earplugs and frustrated bassist)I'd have to push the input gain almost to distortion and dime the master, which did'nt translate into a clean enough(for me, anyway)tone. My friend's early 70's stack was so powerful and sounded so good-I wish I could've bought it. As I posted earlier, the Boogie 400+ sounded louder than the SVT-CL, and I liked it's tone. Have you had any negative experiences with the 400+?
  6. 400+'s are nice amps. They need better tubes and a checkup for cold solder joints along with adjustable bias control to be all that they can.

    For volume, the vintage SVT is a lot louder and the older cabs are louder too. I played one of my vintage SVT heads through a new SVT 8x10 and could not believe how much the volume difference was. To be fair, that cab wasn't broken in, but the tonal and volume difference was HUGE.
  7. JerryH


    Dec 13, 1999
    Helsinki, Finland
    I have not tested the newer Ampegs but you're safe with older Ampegs. I have some of them (SVT '72, B15S '72 and SB12 '65 and V4 don't know the year) and they all are good sounding, reliable and powerfull. The SVT '72 really kicks ass.
    The newer one might be good but you cannot go wrong with vintage Ampegs, just keep in mind that they might require some maintenance.
  8. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    You mean people from SLM actually discuss their products here at talk bass? That's great since they don't even answer questions on their own message board. Believe me I've tried to get questions answered there, it's not worth the effort. Could you tell me who here at Talk bass works for SLM? I'd like to start a discussion with them about their products. Thanks

    Arthur Poon, Why don't you just get another vintage SVT? I see them on ebay and bassgear.com all the time.
  9. Sorry I'm too busy litigating against them per your earlier suggestion. Can't discuss specifics and all. ;) (That wink means absolute and total sarcasm so no one mistakes that for an actual threat of lawsuit, BTW.)

    It's not hard to figure out who supports SLM here. It's not necessary for me to point them out.
  10. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Sorry. My misunderstanding. I thought you meant that actual employees of SLM discussed/defended their products here on Talkbass.
  11. You didn't misunderstand. That IS the implication.
  12. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis

    My email is in the profile......

    Watcha want?
  13. Owned an SVT 2-Pro had the same problem with volume that you had. Now I own two late 70's SVT's. I would never go back to a SLM tube amp although I do own an anniversary 810 cab. My vintage 810 sounds great but is starting to eat speakers (voice coils) but it is almost 30 years old.
  14. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Very interesting Ampeg Insider. I did a search on your name and this is the one and only post you have here at Talkbass.:meh: Nice try. I was born at night but it wasn't last night.
  15. Arthur Poon

    Arthur Poon

    Jul 13, 2003
    Thanks for your opinions & advice. I'm looking at vintage SVTs on ebay. The only snag I can see is that there's only one competent tube amp tech in my area and he only does repairs/maintenance on a part time basis. This means IF you can get your amp into his shop, you'll wait an eternity for it to be finished. Question, folks: Once I buy a vintage SVT would it be advisable to ship it to a repair shop outside of my state for maintenance? If so, which shop(s) have the best reputation?

    Thanks for your help, TB'ers!
  16. You might try Nashville Amp Service for maintenance. They have a website: http://www.amprepair.com/ampeg.htm
    I have almost all of the weird tube types if you need any (12DW7, 12BH7, 6C4).
  17. Yes, I agree. Todd (owner) has experience with the SVT. He knows about the idiosyncrasies of the SVT which is very important. It will take time though, they're BIG amps. He does excellent work because he doesn't rush it. He'll go all the way through it and from then on it'll require very little maintenance.
  18. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Not sure what that is about......I registered Friday and haven't been back in the office until now....so not much time for any other posts.

    In any case I have been checking out the forum from time to time, and finally registered mostly due to your own post about not getting replies. The product manager subscribes to Talkbass but doen't have time to watch all the posts, so its fine with him if I do it.

    AS far as the "insider" part is concerned, I don't think I could get any farther "inside" since there is a decent chance that whatever product you are referring to, I designed it or part of it, or know the guy who did.

    So...what can I do for you?

    J Tiers
  19. I have a general question. Would you please post here why SLM-Ampeg so drastically changed the SVT? From the first 1969 models thru even the 1987 "Skunkworks-HD" models (built under the SLM umbrella) the heads were basically similar in construction and sound. But after SLM's run of 500 SVT-HDs there was a drastic change in sound and design? Who made that call? Why? Does he/she realize that it does not sound even close to the original sound? Does he/she care? Thank You for offering your time and consideration. Please post back what you discover.
  20. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I hope we are not guilty of hijacking this thread by going in this direction. PBG suggested that folks from SLM have been posting here at Talk Bass defending their products. I found it hard to believe that he was reffering to you, since your one and only post here at talk bass was the one I quoted earlier in this thread. I have a few questions (as I'm sure others do)about the current and earlier product lines at SLM but I am not sure if we should hijack this thread. About a year or so ago I asked a simple question about my old SVT 200T on the Ampeg message board. I wanted to know the frequency boosted when I pulled out the bass boost button on that amp. It is different than the frequencies boosted and or cut on the current models such as the SVT3 pro. That question never got answered and the post slowly slipped off the message board at Ampeg.com. No big deal. I then noticed that the only way any question got answered on Ampeg's message board was if another visitor answered it as opposed to someone at Ampeg answering it. That is why I found it hard to believe that anyone from Ampeg would take the time to answer questions here when they don't seem to have the time to answer questions on their own message board. If I am wrong, I stand corrected. I would suggest that you look at Carvin's message board for a good example of how to stay in touch with your customer base. If you have been lurking here, then you know that there have been several threads questioning the accuracy of the stated power output of your current line of bass amps. Why not jump in and either challenge or confirm those statements. Others like Bob from QSC and Rich Briere (I believe worked for Sunn amps) have talked about their products here. If you don't want to do that here, at least do it on your own message board. I'm sorry if this reads like a rant, but I am a life long Ampeg user who is slowly starting to dift away. I sold my last Ampeg cab after it started falling apart on me after less than a year of weekend use. I expect my new Bag End cabs to last quit a bit longer than that.

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