Dismiss Notice

Welcome to TalkBass.com!

Register your free account to unlock features including:

  • Post messages or start new discussions
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Upload images and video to our gallery
  • Enter free giveaways
  • Get rid of this notice, and much more :)

Another Ampeg 3 pro manual question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sandwich5027, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. sandwich5027

    sandwich5027 Banned

    May 6, 2013
    After reading many threads on how to set up 3pro for volume and gain issues......I still am confused on manual's suggestions on settings!

    Ampeg says Master volume up and gain for volume with tube gain at 10.Many players here on TB say to do the opposite of that and crank input gain first till red light is on, then use master as volume. But Ampeg says nothing about cranking input gain at...wouldn't Ampeg's manual be correct by saying to NOT crank up input gain? And if Ampeg's manual is wrong, why do they only suggest one way of setting input gain and master on every type of style of music..Not one time at all do they go gain cranked..If they invented this red light wouldn't they talk about it?..They actually have amp set for cleanest sound on all examples (gain for overall volume/tube gain at 10, for LESS tube sound, it's more SS that way) Apparently, to get more tube sound you should have tube gain to 0 and crank gain till red light is on...Why would tube hybrid fail to mention other half of their settings? Not very good for marketing (half the people want to return this amp after they buy it)... They didn't show ANY tube sound settings....
    Maybe cause we're all wrong and should set by manual's suggestion...hence all the volume concerns over this amp...When you crank master then gain for volume this amp is friggin loud.....Does any Ampeg expert know answer to this confusion of manual vs TB suggested settings?
  2. hodgy


    May 5, 2004
    Bothell, WA
    Tech Support- Ampeg/ Mackie
    What sounds good to you?
  3. sandwich5027

    sandwich5027 Banned

    May 6, 2013
    Both settings sound fine. I do prefer the tube sound so I set as TBers suggest and crank gain...but I like tube gain on 0...though it's hard to tell much difference. ..people said their volume decreased if they set tube gain at 0. I have more volume at that setting. Im using a 65 p with eden 212xst cab and this head sounds great and loud.
  4. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I am confused by your post.
    If you like tube gain you don't set tube gain to '0' you set it to 10. You have input gain, master volume, and tube/ solid state gain. They used to call it plate voltage. The tube/ solid state controls the amount of tube your preamp uses. It is a hybrid tube pre/ SS amp and also a variable Tube/ SS pre. All the way off where you said you like it is using the solid state preamp style. If you like tube (even though you say you like the opposite) Set tube to 10 put the input gain at 12 o'clock and mess with the master for actual volume. This should stay clean sounding. if you want more dirt turn up the input gain to when the red clip light starts to move. Total red clip light usually results in preamp distortion. Sometime good. Probably not for your uses as specified. You don't really need a manual with this amp unless you want details on the tone shaping specifics. I would ignore it if it makes things more confusing.
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. sandwich5027

    sandwich5027 Banned

    May 6, 2013
    The video even says at 0 the tube gain is more tube....on 10 it acts like a ss amp at 300v

    You have it backwards. ..see this is the problem with the understanding of the 3 pro...watch the dino video on youtube....Even there Dino doesn't say to boost input gain till light goes on....on other ampeg amps he suggests this...but not this one...hence my question of what the hell is the true factory intended setting
  7. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    20 year user here. It works both ways, lately I have leaned towards cranking the master and using the gain to control the volume but I did the reverse for years.
    Try them both and go with the one that works better to your ears.
  8. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    20 year user here as well. All over the world with it. Here is the manual link. You are giving the mosfets more juice when you crank it to 10. This is what 'acts' like a tube driven power section. More voltage to a tube makes the tube work harder. The harder the tube is driven the more characteristics of a tube will be present. What is confusing it Ampegs words by using descriptors like "thickened" and "compressed" as those are usually reserved for tube characteristics not the other way around.
    From Section 113:
    "The tube gain control varies the high voltage supply to the preamp tubes. This allows a variety of characteristics from the power amp and replaces the limiter found on typical SS power amps. At '10' the voltage is at maximum, providing a dynamic, highly responsive tone. At '0' the voltage is at a minimum , offering a thickened, more compressed tone. This tone may also be distorted, depending on the volume level. In between settings are best for preventing harsh distortion when driving the power amp to its limits. The effect of this control increases from moderate to dramatic as the power amp is driven harder."
    But I am probably just reading it wrong.
  9. It's been a while since I've owned a 3 but... I think you have it backwards there. Giving the driver tube more plate voltage increases its headroom and makes the tone cleaner. Decreasing it means the preamp will hit the rails earlier giving more distorted compression (as the manual states). It's definitely a subtle effect and more noticable at higher volumes. I used to get a stage mix that was just a tad too loud, then dial back the drive knob until the bass sat in juuuuust right. Awesome tool when used properly.
  10. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    Well. Considering more than 1 person is calling me out. I should recant. And I need to say to the OP. YES. It is a confusing 'feature'. Apparently I have never understood it. But then again I have never read the manual. :p Sorry chaps. Logic does not work with this one. I still dont get teh more juice is given to a tube the less it characterizes a tube sound. Calling it 'Tube gain' is just stupid on Ampegs part.
  11. sandwich5027

    sandwich5027 Banned

    May 6, 2013
    Yes it's confusing....so I guess we'll just say there is no actual suggested setting at all.

    But I am certain tube gain at 0 more tube sound, 10 more SS sound.

    BTW even if I crank input gain on 10 I have 0 distortion that people speak of....Red light will stay on whole time, but a relatively clean sound non the less....weird
  12. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    That is weird as I could get mine to break up even with plate voltage set to 10 for more SS. I swear my 1st gen Pro is engineered opposite:eyebrow:
  13. Yeah its pretty confusing.

Play guitar too? Become a founding member of TalkGuitar.com