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Ampeg Skunkworks SVT-HD


guitargod0dmw

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So I found a dead mint 87' Skunkworks SVT with a matching 4X12 cab. I'm doing a ton of reading on them and the consensus seems that they are decent amps.

 

Any info on the 4X12? I know they made a Geezer Butler 4X12 in like 2002 but discontinued it shortly there after. I'm not sure if it's older than that though...like from 1987. I can't find any info...

 

Anything that I need to know about the SVT other than the obvious (i.e. have it checked by a tech)?

 

I'm going to play it after work and we'll see I guess.

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Is it a 412HE?

 

Nope...it was an SS-412AR. 300 watt cab, looked exactly like a straight 4X12 guitar cab (shallow). I couldn't find much info on it after doing some quick searching...but it sounds like they might be a guitar/bass cab...if not just a guitar cab. It was made by SLM, so that puts in right into the mid 80's as far as dating it goes.

 

The SVT was another story. It was nice, but certainly not for the price they're trying to get. The tolex wasn't perfect, the pots & switches were all scratchy, the tubes did look relatively new...overall I'd say it was in good to very good shape. It sounded pretty good, but I wasn't able to really crank it up in the store. An orange light under the grill cloth came on and stayed on as I was playing it too...not sure what that was for. I'm not positive, but I think I might have blown one of the speakers in the cab too.

 

The guy said they've had this thing since the store opened, 6 years ago. In fact, the guy said 25% of their used gear has been there since they opened, which is all incredibly expensive. Hmmm...I wonder why it's still there? They were unwilling to separate the head & cab...I have no interest in the cab nor do I need it at all.

 

They wanted $2349 for both. I'm not historian, but I certainly do my homework. Everything that I can find on these amps puts them in the $1000-$2000 range depending on condition. This thing is less than perfect and needs some work. He did say their tech would go through the whole amp and clean all the pots & switches and make sure it's in perfect working order before going out...but I know their tech...and I don't trust his work at all.

 

I had him work on a tube amp of mine a few years back. I brought it back and fourth 4 different times to them, wasted 2 months of my time...and $400. It still does what I brought it in for in the first place...but I gave up on them. :facepalm:

 

I'm wondering if it's worth it to call them and try to get them to just sell me the head...but at a much lower price. I don;t think I'd pay more than $1500 for it, but with all the things it needs I'm not sure that's even a decent price. What was the stupid orange light for?

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If I'm not mistaken that is the standby-power light. I think it only comes on when it is switched off standby. Does this have the brass plate on the back? I had a real early SLM SVT that was built with MTI parts and it had the light on the chassis as you described.

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If I'm not mistaken that is the standby-power light. I think it only comes on when it is switched off standby. Does this have the brass plate on the back? I had a real early SLM SVT that was built with MTI parts and it had the light on the chassis as you described.

 

 

I thought it was on while I was playing it...but I might be mistaken. It was close to the center of the amp, but shifted to the right side a little...if that makes sense.

 

Yeah, it had the brass plate...it was 094 of 500.

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Yeah, it had the brass plate...it was 094 of 500.

 

I've got number 100-something at the store down the block from me. They also are asking over 2k for the amp itself IIRC. Seems steep. You could talk me out of the 1979 SVT I restored for less. :D

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I've got number 100-something at the store down the block from me. They also are asking over 2k for the amp itself IIRC. Seems steep. You could talk me out of the 1979 SVT I restored for less.
:D

 

Yeah...very steep. I'd be willing to bet that the shop that has this one bought it for $1000 or less. He said they got it out of the local paper...the guy probably didn't know what he had.

 

Oh yeah? Like how much? :)

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The Skunkworks SVTs carry a premium because they were hand built by the original Linden, NJ guys with mostly original parts, particularly transformers. They're not the same as the MTI SVTs at all. That being said, my sense of it is that you would be better served finding a good condition 70s SVT like the one Kindness mentioned, unless you're into collecting.

 

The prices for old SVTs just keep going up though. I paid $1400 CAD ($900US at the time) for mine in 2000 and I was offered $2500 CAD for it recently.

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The Skunkworks SVTs carry a premium because they were hand built by the original Linden, NJ guys with mostly original parts, particularly transformers. They're not the same as the MTI SVTs at all. That being said, my sense of it is that you would be better served finding a good condition 70s SVT like the one Kindness mentioned, unless you're into collecting.


The prices for old SVTs just keep going up though. I paid $1400 CAD ($900US at the time) for mine in 2000 and I was offered $2500 CAD for it recently.

 

 

I'm not really looking to collect, I want to play it. I'm still not sure of exactly what I want though (SVT, CL, II, II Pro).

 

I was figuring that if I could get a collector amp at a good price, why not? I don't think it's gonna happen though. They seemed perfectly content keeping it there until the right buying walks in 15 years from now. They had a beat to {censored} 79' Stingray there as well...$3000.

 

I guess in their store, they don't actually like to sell things. I'm not really sure how they're still in business...they're selling Boss pedals at list price. Yet there is a Sam Ash at the other end of the parking lot. Anybody that buys a Metal Zone for $130 when they could walk across the street and get it for $90 deserves to be shot.

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They were all hand-built until the later SLM models. Personally, I'd rather have something assembled by the original production assembler ladies than something built by engineers. ;) I agree with everyone else not to pay a premium for this amp. The cabinet is a 'SS' series cabinet that goes with the 'SS' series of solid-state guitar amps, SS-35, SS-70, SS-140, etc.

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The cabinet is a 'SS' series cabinet that goes with the 'SS' series of solid-state guitar amps, SS-35, SS-70, SS-140, etc.

 

 

That's what I was telling him...but he didn't believe me. He was insistent that it was a bass cab, mainly because it came with a bass amp. He kept saying (repeatedly mind you) "It's a bass cab because it came with this amp..."

 

It's by far the worst music store I've ever been to. Good stuff, insane prices, total morons running it that only know about Marshall amps and shredding guitars. Bob Pieper owns it...and that's what he plays.

 

Any idea what something like that is worth? $200?

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