Ampeg Relaunches U.S. Manufacturing With Premium Heritage Line

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.
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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.”

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Ampeg Heritage SVT-CL, SVT-810E, & SVT-410HLF

THE AMPEG SVT HEAD IS A STALWART. Paired with an SVT 8x10 cabinet, it occupies a singular space in the bass-rig hierarchy. Players who crave massive volume and projection into a room with unparalleled punchiness and tube-y texture know that the SVT is the automatic go-to—just look at the average pro-level backline: SVTs are everywhere. The SVT achieved this status thanks in part to remarkable longevity; it’s been in constant production in one form or another since 1969. One substantial change, though, was the shift away from U.S. production that accompanied Loud Technologies’ purchase of the brand from St. Louis Music several years ago. While Ampeg has touted the quality and reliability of its Asian-manufactured gear, the clamor for a return to U.S. manufacturing was loud enough to precipitate the Heritage Series, Ampeg’s new high-end line that’s exclusively made in the U.S.A. at Loud Technologies’ Woodinville, WA facility.