Y’all, I’ve just had a great day.
I’ve had an Ampeg SVT Classic bass amp (all tube, weighs approximately 2,000 pounds) for 2 years now. I bought it used.
It never sounded right.
It never had the power, the head room, the big fat tone that it should have had.
I bought it because when you’re in the store I thought I was playing loud, but it was not, in fact loud. As soon as it was gig loud, I’d get 2-20 seconds of gorgeous massive bass tone, then it would poop out and sound thin and weak. Like I was playing a 75 watt solid state practice amp or something.
It was terrible.
I heard there was an SVT guru nearby. He doesn’t have a storefront, so I was trying to find his contact number. I called the number I thought was his. A guy picked up, said - sure, I’ve worked on those before, bring it by. I brought it by.
The store where I brought my giant bass amp was filled - wall to wall - with dvd players, vcrs, headphones, tvs, and all sorts of electrical/video repair things.
I was sceptical. But this guy came very highly recommended.
I explained the problem and left my amp.
When he gave me my paperwork, he clipped his card to the receipt. His name was definitely not the name of the SVT specialist I was recommended to.
I noticed this after I had driven home.
I did more asking and searching and got the name and number of the actual SVT guru. We talked on the phone. He doesn’t work on SVTs anymore. They’re too heavy. (He is a wise guru.) But he talked me through his entire process of troubleshooting the rig and said it definitely sounded like a bad preamp tube.
I still needed a bona fide SVT tube guru. I called a friend who makes killer custom guitar amps (shout out to Amps & Cabs — SineWave Amps and Chad!)
Chad had the same line as other guru. He said “I hate working on SVTs. They’re too heavy.” Yeah.
Chad also said it sounded like a preamp problem. He even offered to check it out if I truly, absolutely, desperately needed help. If I could get it back from the VCR repair guy.
I called VCR repair guy.
I told him, hey, funny story - I thought you were someone else. I’m happy to come and take that giant, mysterious, heavy thing off your hands. He told me - “give me another day. I think it’s something in the preamp section.”
Well, hot damn.
Hope, long forgotten, was rekindled.
Yesterday I got it back. Fixed. Sounding absolutely MASSIVE. This is the best I’ve ever heard my P-bass sound. My VCR repair guy buddy did it.
I am a very happy boy.
I know nothing of how amps work. I wish I did.
But - finally, after an epic quest, my amp is working. Huzzah, I say!
It is, without a doubt, too heavy. It is stupidly heavy.
But it sounds better than any other amp I’ve played on.
Until my back gives out, I’ll be lugging it around.
Now I just need some insanely loud gigs.