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Ampeg SVT 4 Pro perfomance problems PLEASE HELP ME

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by bah0003, May 30, 2012.

  1. bah0003

    bah0003

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    First, let me begin by saying I have researched on TB and all over the internet for nearly a month on this topic, and I have even contacted the Ampeg/Loud tech support... I haven't found out anything, and I do not have an Ampeg service tech within 4 hours of where I live.

    Now on to the question...
    I purchased a used Ampeg SVT 4 Pro around 3 months ago. After figuring out the Mono-bridge situation, and refitting a speakon to the correct configuration following the Ampeg video instructions, I finally began getting some power. I play through an SVT 810e with a Fender Blacktop Jazz, so there should be nothing holding me back from serious volume. However, I can not get this amp to hurt my ears. The Limit Light starts coming on during practice, and I am scared to death of cranking this thing to show volume. My settings are pretty basic, and are set to the SVT setting in the manual. My gain is probably 1 or 2 oclock, and my volume is just under 12 oclock when the limit light starts to illuminate on my low notes. I have run a patch cable from the effects send to return, and it did help a small bit.
    *When I am speaking of lights I am only talking about the yellow limit light, I am aware of how the gain light works*
    From what I read, this amp and cab combo should be too loud to stand near.
    PLEASE HELP ME, because I need this thing to be heard at live show volume... I am/will be playing against two full guitar stacks and a phenomenal/loud drummer. I am willing to try anything!!!
  2. chaosMK

    chaosMK

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    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I owned the 4 Pro for a few years and had similar issues. I was expecting some serious power (whatever it was advertised at back then... 1200 or 1600w) and I mainly remember the limiter going off all of the time.

    My suggestion would just be EQ. You should be able to push enough air with an 8x10. As far as cutting through, cut the lowest lows (which suck up power) and turn off the "bass boost", add some mids. If you are playing metal genres, I always enjoy a Sansamp in front of SVT amps (to brighten/slightly grit things up).
  3. nubs

    nubs Supporting Member

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    hmmm? i am by know means a tech head so honestly i do not have any helpful hints outside this: do you have an ampeg tech or reliable store you can take it too. i have 2 ampeg SVT 4pros, one i gig with and one i use for rehearsal and both will rip your face off! i play in a loud band setting and compete with two loud guitarist who use Mesas and i have no problem holding my own...... let us know what happens, and get it checked out. you'll love it once you get it functioning properly i promise
  4. Milestones

    Milestones

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    I've had the exact same problem for years and have YET to find a satisfactory answer/solution. It's one of the most frustrating things I've ever dealt with which is why I'm changing to a rackmount system. Sorry I can't really help you with solving it, but at least you know you're not the only one.

    Maybe try playing it with the limiter defeated and see what happens? Also try running a different preamp through the Ampeg's power amp, and vice versa - running the Ampeg preamp through a different power amp. Maybe it will help figure out where the problem lies. I don't know much about gear, but I trust my ears and there is something not quite right about the SVT-4's.
  5. dmusic148

    dmusic148

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    Cut the low-lows and boost the low-mids. IIRC these amps go really low, which eats power, similar to SWR amps in this regard.
  6. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

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    Even unbridged it should keep up.
    Depends on the room to. I have been in rooms where I was cranked to the max with a 810e and it seemed like a small blackhole was sucking tone away. Then some rooms a 100watt tube head would be just fine.
    think of the graphic EQ as " fix the weird sounding room thingy"
    instead of the " hey it sounds great when I crank these up thingy"

    Also maybe dont over EQ with the lows possibly do cuts with the lows. Or really approach EQ much different than your normal habits. If she blows she blows. Ignore the stupid blinking lights.
    I hate amps with stupid blinking lights.

    otherwise stay away from bridging and get another 810 cabinet.it is not always about power it is about cone area. With 2 stacks and a drummer it eventually ends up being 2 cabinets. then you wont need to bridge just run both sides.
  7. ransombass

    ransombass

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    I had the same problem with an SVT 4 Pro, so I returned it and got an SVT-CL which was much louder but had it's own set of problems. I now play through an Aguilar DB 751. No problems and it's got power and tone for days.
  8. bah0003

    bah0003

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    chaosMK, I am playing in a more raw old school type hardcore band. I actually tried to cut the lows with my eq and with the bass knob and had a little success. I also just got my programmable bddi in the mail yesterday and haven't got a chance to use it. I was hoping the sansamp would get me a little boost, because I owned one awhile back with a 300 watt peavey head to get some power.

    nubs, one of my guitarists plays a triple rec with 4x12 and 2x12 Orange cabs, The other plays a Dual Rec through a 4x12 marshall cab, so at practice volume (which is kinda loud) I have no issue with keeping up, but once I try and push it any further the yellow light begins freaking out! I bought the amp because the power, so i really hope i can figure something out. I do love it other than that though.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Here's what Ampeg's website has to say about it. Don't know if any of this applies, but a 4 Pro through an 810e rips my face off even when running one side so I think there's something not right:

    "Q7) When I use my SVT-4PRO mono-bridged the volume is not what I expected for a 1600 watt amplifier. What's wrong?

    "Check your Speakon plug, it should be wired for +1 (positive) and +2 (negative) on the amp end. The cabinet end should be wired in the standard fashion, which is +1 (positive) and -1 (negative). Be sure to depress the stereo/mono-bridge button."

    Might be dumb stuff you already tried, but it bears repeating. Also, disengage the limiter. Sounds like it's engaging at a very low threshold. Can't remember how the limiter works on those things, but I have never played an amp that had a good onboard compressor or limiter and I think they're absolutely useless. If that doesn't work, you might want consider replacing a tube or two, and if that doesn't work, then you'll have to consider that crazy drive.
  10. bah0003

    bah0003

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    Well thank you all for quick responses!!! I am praying that this sansamp will compliment my amp in amazing ways! I am playing in a indoor shed but my gear is also out in the hallway while the guitars and drums are in the shed. I am going to try and cut the lows a little more. I guess the oddest thing to me is without my master volume knob at the halfway point I getting this dang light! I am going to hunt down someone who fixes amps in my area and see if they can just do a quick sweep through and check connections and minor things like that.
  11. bah0003

    bah0003

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    JimmyM, as far as monobridging goes everything should be spot on... ive seen WAYYY to many post about that, and they make me second guess myself everytime so I end up double checking it. I have considered cutting off the limiter and just seeing what happens, and I believe i would be able to hear if anything didnt sound right. My next venture was to mess with tubes, and my guitar player just so happens to have a few of the preamp tubes i would need laying around. Thank you for the advice!
  12. bah0003

    bah0003

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    As far as playing through a second 810; dont think that hasnt been stuck in my head!!! I have a feeling that I will push that idea for playing live, and my band shouldnt have an issue with that bc a huge wall of sound really makes an impact on a crowd at a local show.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    You are correct that if you have any sense at all, you'll hear when your speakers are in distress and you won't need a limiter. But if the limiter kicks on that early, it makes me think there's something out of whack with it. But I don't own a 4 Pro and I don't really know enough about them to make a call about it over the internet. Fortunately, one of the main designers of the 4 Pro is a regular on here and I'm sure he'll have some advice for you when he gets off work.
  14. bah0003

    bah0003

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    Man, some advice from him would be a blessing! And thank you for your help as well!
  15. delysid

    delysid

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    bah0003, did you purchase this amp on eBay with a Gator rack case? :p


    I came across a sweet deal on SVT-4 PRO with an 8x10 and I played on that head for about 2 hours total to realize that it wasn't going to work for me. I play with heavy attack, germanium fuzz pedals, and a low tuning. The only consistent tones I could get without the limiter going crazy sounded terrible or lacked in volume. I've played a Peavey MAX 160 that sounded extremely better than the SVT-4 PRO.

    I sold the head in November and made my money back on the entire purchase: free 8x10 plus $200 in profit.
  16. bah0003

    bah0003

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    I actually bought it off Craigslist from Tampa FL. It was $750 in a skb case with a furman power conditioner, korg rack tuner, dod compressor, and a boss overdrive pedal. I have sold the boss od pedal, and gave my buddy the compressor for his startup studio. I got my sansamp programmable and it's helped substantially! However I'm stil paranoid bc now it's louder with no light even though the limiter isnt blinking. I am going to run next practice with the sansamp as my preamp and see how that goes too. I am starting to believe that my preamp is to blame for all of my headaches
  17. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

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    OK...... No, I'm not a "main designer" for that amp. that would be George McKale, but I DO know about it, and the power amp is related to one of mine.

    The power amp limit light can come on (along with the limiter) for all sorts of reasons.....

    1) getting to full output..... i.e. the output voltage swing is as much as the amp can do.

    2) Some form of distortion due to an internal problem

    3) Protection cutting in and causing distortion because of something to do with the speaker load, cables, etc.

    4) connecting in bridge mode, but not actually setting the bridge mode button

    5) some otehr problem that may account for why it was cheap on Craig's List.....

    How can this happen at lower than expected volume?

    a) speaker impedance is higher than the ideal load (is the 810 known to be OK?)

    b) you think you are in bridge mode, but actually you are NOT

    c) you have the "suck button" on..... that would be the "ultra-low".

    d) some other EQ issue, "smile" EQ, low boost, etc..... the 810 is not the best low frequency speaker, and if you wastea lot of power trying to get lows out of it, you may not get very loud.

    e) Preamp tube issues

    f) there is an internal problem.

    e)?????



    From the description, it sounds like the unit is OK, you didn't hear distortion when you switched off the limiter, so probably the amp is in bridge mode OK, or solidly NOT in bridge mode.

    That leaves EQ, speaker load, tube problems, etc.

    yes, the amp should be pretty darn loud in bridge with even one 810....
  18. floridagatorfan

    floridagatorfan

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    sounds like something wrong with the 810 to me.. maybe a phase issue or impedance issue, my 4 pro is loud as heck with a 410 without bridging
  19. floridagatorfan

    floridagatorfan

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    also i find that i have to crank the gain kinda hard with passive basses to get volume, with my active basses not so much
  20. DanRJBrasil

    DanRJBrasil

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    crank the gain till is red all the time, only yellow is bad red is good, and then you'll have your volume, my fender jazz has low output I crank the gain almost all the way, when I use it without my vt

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