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Who bought SVT or V4 when they first hit the market?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DavidEdenAria, Nov 1, 2018.


  1. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Also, what amp or amps were you using before?

    Not sure of the price back in the very early 70's but they surely were not low priced compared to other amps.

    Did Hiwatt immediately become a major competitor in the bass power wars? Marshall?

    What else was in the shops besides SVT and V4 in this power range in that era?

    Thanks in advance! I recall as a 10 year old some of the Ampeg gear in 1969 here in the midwest (Kansas City area), mostly B15 and other 60's Ampeg guitar amps.

    I use to get Ampeg mixed up with Ampex for some reason as a curious kid in awe of the powerhouse amps LOL!
     
  2. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    I had a V4 back in the 70s, it was a beast.
     
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  3. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I have vintage Ampegs. No reason to replace any of them. They do a good job.

    At the time there were many other choices: Sunn, then Acoustic, of course Marshall, Fender, Carvin, Garnet BTO, Traynor, Heathkit, Silvertone, etc. Some used hi-fi amps.

    More wealthy bands were using Voice of the Theater speakers like the A7 for PA. They were something to behold.

    Companies could move fast when designing and bringing new products to market. There was a lot of competition and everyone adapted.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wasn't playing when SVT's and V4's first hit the market, but I do have one of the very first SVT's ever made. Picked it up in like 1990 or 91, though. Before that, I had a 73 V4B but it burned up in a bar fire. And before that, I had an Acoustic 136 combo.
     
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  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    SVTs became very popular in Providence, RI around 1973-4. I did't buy one, as I was using an Acoustic 301 with a Marshall major tube head. Most of the SVT rigs I saw and heard had two cabs. Yes, two 810s.
     
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  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I still miss my Acoustic 136. Wish I were fit enough to want to find one, LOL. A couple of years ago, I almost bought one from QSC's Bob Lee. :thumbsup:
     
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  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would probably appreciate it more today than I did back in the day, but like you, I have no desire to get another one when I have combos that are just as powerful and weigh less than half of what the 136 does.
     
    Jim Carr likes this.
  8. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Lets see, in 1978 i saw glam heavy rock band 'Angel' in a small auditorium, the bassist had 2 SVT heads and 4 cabs that were sort of aimed inward....guitarist several V4s....vintage P bass and a Stingray, what a SOUND...the 1st Stingrays i heard live were Angel and Bad Company.
     
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  9. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    I’m a little older than you, and grew up in KC at that time. Quigley Music was the place for me, I could literally walk there from my house. They were all about Fender and Kustom(which was everywhere as they were made just a 3-4 hour drive south). Lots of Bassmans and Showmans went out of there. Only in the early 70’s did they pick up on carrying Ampeg. The Jenkins Music chain had the American made Vox stuff, plus Kustom and the underwhelming Gibson amp lines. The Toon Shop in Prairie Village had Sunn, which is what I went for(a used Sorado, which was the budget version of the 200S)after not being too impressed with an upright Bassman. Mission Music in Johnson County had Marshalls(as did Quigley’s eventually)but they didn’t really figure into the bass world. They did carry Ampeg and Kustom. Quigley’s also got some Sunn in, then there was Pro Shop on Broadway(turned into Big Dude’s)which had a little bit of everything. I forget who had Acoustic or Traynor, and the only Hiwatts were out of a place in Lawrence, as far as I can remember. Overall, when I did see an Ampeg, it was a B25 or V4 instead of an SVT.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  10. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    As expensive as SVT’s were, distribution of Hiwatt in the US was limited, and they were insanely expensive, which limited their appeal.
     
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  11. spankdaplank

    spankdaplank

    Jan 19, 2003
    Philippines
    I had been using an Acoustic 150 SS head with two 2x15 Acoustic cabs. It sounded so bad that I made a badge to cover the one on the cab: "Flatu-tone Anomaster" with a cartoon drawing of a sphincter. I was a wild and crazy guy.
    Around 1972 I was sick of losing the volume wars to the guitarist's 100watt Marshal stack. I came into a little money ( I forget why) and immediately drove down to Manny's Music on 48th Street in Manhattan in my '67 dodge van. I wanted an ultimate weapon. Manny himself waited on me and showed me a rig he had on consignment. It was used by John Lennon's backup band Elephant's Memory for his Madison Square Garden concert. You can actually see the rig in the videos of that concert.
    Original 6146 tubed SVT and two V4B folded horn cabs. Good thing I had that van. Volume wise, it was like bringing a Howitzer to a BB gun fight. I actually only used both cabs a few times at outdoor gigs. The head was stolen a few months later. I wound up using one of the cabs for several years of roadwork. I was young and still in shape. Just remember, back then the kind of gigs we were playing had no FOH. You were on your own to be heard, and in the case of the V4B...felt.
     
  12. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Too cool! The volume wars, thats what im interested in with no FOH!

    I have the 4x10 version of that Acoustic 150 and a very serviceable guitar amp....not for bass....no way, i feel your pain.

    I got to Manny's once in about 1982 being a midwest kid.....the young salesman kid tried to sell me a used BC Rich Bich and a Boogie SOB....should have bought both and he went on and on about Rockmans as well calling them "dynamite" LOL!
     
  13. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    What did 'Broadway Clique' use in the early 70's?

    Saw them several times at local colleges....did you see them?

    Yep, mom bought her sheet music downtown Jenkins for piano...i remember Gibson mostly.

    I thought Pro Shop on Broadway had more British stuff mixed in....my bud Michael in the KC area has a Hiwatt 2x15 cabinet with a V4B...stellar...he has a SVT 8x10 as well.
     
  14. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Jeez, that was so long ago, but they did have Marshalls as I recall. Never saw Broadway Clique, they were too ‘straight’ or show-biz; the bands I’d go see, with my transportation limitations, were the Chesmann Square and Backwoods Memory, and the ones that would play at Volker Park on Sundays, like Stonewall, Mystic Number National Bank, and Morningstar, plus the folkies like Danny Cox and Brewer & Shipley. Cowtown Ballroom and later One Block West was more of my scene.
     
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  15. tbird46553

    tbird46553 Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2012
    North Central IN
    I bought my V4B in 76. It was a demo/floor model. I think it's a couple years older because it has metal toggles. I think I paid around $400. Still rockin' it when there's enough room on stage:bassist:. Otherwise I use it for practice every Thursday.
     
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  16. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I had a 1970 SVT in the late 70s and early 80s. I bought it used and think I paid around $175 for the amp and $125 for the cab. The rig was stolen in 1984.
     
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  17. Hey Jimmy, I recently picked up a very old V4B. It was previously owned by Mark O’Connor from the Dixie Dregs. How can I date this amp?
     
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  18. Here’s some pics....

    E48634F1-CDDE-46D2-B916-B75B839922FF. F06F1A44-9B99-439F-A56A-B1624C91A2A0. CA5D0C53-1542-48D0-A16D-C5536ACA4966. E9F11057-8A61-42B7-A12C-8265B399B547.
     
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  19. I purchased my SVT new in 1975 I paid 1200.00 for the head
    and I purchased two 4*10 cabinets (the stack) they were 500 something each.
    I later 1977-78 switched the stacks out for 3, 8*10 cabinets that were 900 something each added an additional head
    Yeah and you ask me why I'm deaf ha ha ha huh?
     
  20. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I eyeball it to be around 1974, maybe earlier.

    There could be date codes on some resistors and the can capacitors. The metal knobs tells you that it’s an earlier model. The are date codes on the pots. Most are hard to get at. Look on the hum balance pot for a code starting with 137, it will be followed by a year and week of the year code.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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