1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Ampeg SVT-2 Pro vs SVT-3 Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Thraxxor, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Thraxxor


    Jan 24, 2011
    I am currently using an Ampeg SVT-3 Pro. (My set-up is listed below.) I enjoy it, but it's not quite the perfect sound. I'd say a bit "thin" or "horny" and I'd like something a bit thicker. Scooping the mids and using an Aphex 204 helps. I'm considering the SVT-2 Pro to see what all the fuss is about all-tube amps. I have tried the SVT-CL and it was nice, but I was using a low-end bass. That may have been why I was not blown away. Good sound, but not blown away. I love the idea of all tubes and having the 9-band EQ. Would the sound be much of an improvement over the SVT-3 Pro though? Thoughts?? Comments???

    Current Rig:

    Power conditioner -> Korg DTR2000 -> Aphex 204 (in FX loop) -> SVT-3 Pro -> Trace Elliot 4x10/1x15 stack

  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    used to own a 3 pro and it was a very nice amp, but i'm all about the tubes.
  3. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Used to own a 3 Pro but think the CL is MUCH more musical sounding
    Not so sure I track with you rgearding cheap basses though; my opinions on the above were the same with an SX or with a 60 Pbass
  4. BassmanAd


    Mar 19, 2008
    I went the other way, used to have a 2 Pro but now own a 3 pro. That was purely a descision based on my aging back and saving weight though. The 2 Pro is the destroyer of worlds. If I had the money and fully functioning vertebrae then I'd have a hundred of them.
  5. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I've been running a pair of 3-Pros for the last ten years, and even though they've served me well - I'd take a 2-Pro over them any day.
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Thin sounding 3 PRO? If you scoop the mids, well there you go. The 3 PRO sounds like the 2 PRO at lower volumes, and the 2 PRO goes beyond that with plenty of tube growl. I think you need to get the 3 PRO sounding good on its own before you jump over to the 2 PRO. The 3 PRO has plenty of thickness to it if you do not scoop the 200-600hz territory heavily.

    The 2 PRO is not going to sound miraculously different than the 3 PRO. More tube growl and more compression/warmth, yes, but not just automatically thicker sounding with the way you are adjusting your tone.
  7. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    We're talking about two great amps. They are very similar, aside the II's tube power section, they are almost the same.

    If you don't like one you may not like the other! Then again if you don't like these amps I have question your sanity!!! LOL
  8. Thraxxor


    Jan 24, 2011
    My current EQ scoop looks like this:

    33Hz 0db (mid/center line)
    80Hz +6db (3 notches up)
    150Hz +4bd (2 notches up)
    300Hz +2db (1 notch up)
    600Hz 0db (mid/center line)
    900Hz +2db (1 notch up)
    2kHz +4db (2 notches up)
    5kHz +6db (3 notches up)
    9kHz 0db (mid/center line)

    Basically, it looks like a capital M. With my Trace Elliot 300watt combo (12 band) it looked somewhat similar, but with finer adjustments (no boost on the lowest and highest bands though). It sounded a bit better. Any suggestions for EQ adjustment while I'm waiting for a good deal on a SVT-2 Pro?
  9. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Try less boost on your EQ and try not boosting the 5khz slider - just turn the tweeter horn on the cabinet higher. Anything 4khz and higher is coming through the tweeter only. Or you could try Just cutting the 600hz slider by one notch (leaving all other EQ points flat and just increasing the Master Volume. When you cut one frequency and just turn up the volume, you are boosting everything else you like - think of it that way. The other trick to EQ is understanding how it really effects your tone and how to manipulate it to get the tone you need in a live setting. No matter where you play, your rig will always sound different.
  10. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
    I have no idea when I read thing like "The 3 PRO has plenty of thickness to it if you do not scoop the 200-600hz territory heavily." ... when do I set the knobs.
  11. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I will revise my past comment; don't drop the 150-300hz area and you will keep the thickness in your tone. Play closer to the neck and boom, you will have it. The mid selector at position 1 is centered at 200hz. Boost a little bit for added thickness.

    Does that make sense?
  12. pshep68


    Sep 21, 2006
    So, does that mean that at 12:00 on the bass, mid and treble is 200hz?
  13. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    First - do you have the Gain knob up far enough? The Peak light should come on when you play. That's not a "bad clipping" indicator, it's a "good preamp drive" indicator. Saturating the preamp more may make it sound thicker. Don't be afraid to crank it up, you won't hurt anything. If it sounds bad, turn it back down a little.

    Second - there's a bias adjustment on the output transistors. If it's set too cold (too low idle current) it can make the amp sound weak. You may hear a faint fuzz tone in the background at lower volume levels too. After I adjusted the bias on my 3Pro it sounded a lot beefier in the low end. Note that this adjustment requires appropriate tools and skills or you will blow up the output transistors!

    The 4x10/1x15 combination may be part of the problem too. I'm assuming they are both 8 ohm cabinets - so they each get about half the power. But the 1x15 has about half the speaker area of the 4x10, it just can't move as much air, so it sucks power without producing as much sound. Plus the different frequency and phase response of these dissimilar cabinets can interact in bad ways. Try just one cab at a time. If one of them sounds right, sell the other and buy another of the one you like.
  14. bri450r


    Jan 14, 2012
    Greensburg, PA
    I just got an SVT-II and I feel there isn't any sound I can't go to and I am limited by a crappy old Randall 4x10 cabinet right now. For active basses I turn off the equalizer and for passives I leave it on.
  15. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    The Mid selector at position 1 is centered at 220hz. The neutral setting for each knob is 12 noon. You boost a particular frequency if you turn it clockwise, you decrease it if you turn it counter clockwise. The Mid knob can have 5 different frequencies chosen for the Mid knob. The Bass and Treble knobs have a fixed frequency for boosting or decreasing.
  16. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    I thought the 3 pro was thin also. I went to a non pro SVT II pre amp and couldn't be happier. Much thicker sounding amp. My 3 couldn't sound like that reguardless of eq or tubes. I say go with the 2.