IN TODAY’S TRULY GLOBAL MARKET, it’s tougher and tougher to keep product manufacturing solely in the U.S. and keep prices in check. It’s a hard business reality that’s led to no small amount of unhappiness on the “bass street,” especially when it comes to certain specifically iconic American products. Well, sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease: Ampeg, who caught some flak for moving their manufacturing to Asia, is actually relaunching their American production line, with a new series of ultra-high-end SVT products designed and assembled in the U.S.A. And it was done in direct response to customer feedback.
“For most of our customers, this move [offshore] was seamless,” says Pyotr Belov, Ampeg’s Director of Musical Instrument Amplification, quite diplomatically.
“However, there’s a select group of customers and artists who really crave U.S. made Ampeg rigs. We hear you loud and clear!”
You can guess which products will roll off the new premium U.S. Heritage line in Woodinville, WA. It’ll be an SVT-CL head (with specially-selected JJ preamp and “Winged C” power amp tubes) and SVT-810 and -410 cabs (with U.S.-made custom Eminence drivers). They’ll run concurrently with the offshore line’s very-similar-but-notidentical models, so vintage purists can put their money where their mouths are and choose accordingly. The Heritage Line MSRP’s are $3,299 for the SVT-CL, $1,799 for the 810 and $1,249 for the 410. Hey, premium means premium.
Belov also relayed a tidbit some might find interesting. “Every Heritage model has a hang tag that is hand-signed by the bassist who completes the final test. Since we are located near Seattle, we frequently have our endorsing artists in house, and they sometimes help with our ‘test drives.’ So pay attention to the signature on the hang tag because you never know who might have played it.”