Bad Information from the Reliable Source… Replacing Tubes in the Mystical Ampeg SVT?

This weekend revealed some interesting perspective on Talkbass, the internet, and my beloved bass guitar amplifiers.

I blew a vacuum tube in one of my amps, and when I searched for tech support, I came up with nothing. In fact; after six hours of Googling and phone calls, I still had no facts, so I was forced to establish my own. I suppose in some realms, that statement wouldn’t be too unbelievable, but when the amp that you’re working on is the worlds “most popular” amp, then why and how is there a lack of information on it?

I should clarify, that I found NO lack (absofuckinglutely NONE) of people “acting” like they knew all about it, and I found no lack of click bait on the subject either, but when I needed to separate fact from fiction, one room was empty and one was full.

Once again, we see that everyone running to ditch the old ways in favor of technology, was not a good thing. When I was a kid, if 300 people needed information, they all went to the library and read a book, which was authored by a documented authority, and then everyone was on the same page.

Tech support is the world and it’s priceless. The internet is a completely lacking and idiotic means to obtain facts when you need them, and yet “we’ve” made it the only game in town. This is why you need to patronize companies who stand behind their products, even if it means paying more.

The SVT is the most famous/ popular bass amp of all time, and yet, there’s a massive lack of knowledge on it. So now I’m wondering, do all all of the people who speak with authority on it, really not have a clue? The answer is definitely “Yes”.

For well over 30 years, I’ve heard that tubes have to be burned in, matched, and replaced in sets… And when I went to Talkbass for information on the SVT, those three things were consistently emphasized by most users. However, a closer look revealed that there were some big holes in the logic. So I called up the worlds leading musical instrument specialists, and I asked them about it… They responded, just as with Talkbass, “match tubes and replace in sets”.

On the surface; I have two authorities on bass guitar gear, both confirming the “old wives tales” that I’ve always heard about tubes, but even a rookie like me, see’s that the facts don’t add up.

So if you’re attempting to match and replace in pairs, then it’s impossible to replace tubes in an Ampeg SVT, without replacing all three in a bank. And since you can only buy tubes in sets of one, two, or four, then you’d have to buy four to replace a bank, which would leave you with one, brand new, unusable, $50 tube, and two perfectly good, unusable, used tubes. How has this never been mentioned by anyone?

I’d like to give credit to the two users on Talkbass, who knew that an SVT had triplets. It didn’t solve my problem, but it sure made sniffing out the bullshit a Hell of a lot easier. It all goes to show that information is king, so ask yourself, how much of what you know, do you really “know”. I’ve just found out that a lot of what I’ve always heard, is apparently nothing more than creative marketing, which was formed into and old wives tale and then passed down through the ages.

When you need help and your money is at stake, don’t take the Internets word for it… get a book if you can. Anyone who took the time and money to write a book, likely had verifiable sources, which you can trust. Always follow your head. If it doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not.