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Ampeg SVT 3 Pro Overdrive Suggestions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Robman, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Could any of you Talkbassers give suggestions on overdriving an SVT 3 Pro without effects. I know its all in the gain, tube gain and master controls, not to mention EQ. I was just wondering if anyone had any guidelines or a place for me to start?

    Also, should I worry about clipping? I'm using Avatar cabinets; B212 (2x12 rated at 1000 watts) and SB115 (1x15 rated at 600 watts) - the SVT 3 Pro is rated at 450 watts into 4 ohms. Ampeg suggests that the clipping light should flash and not stay on. The times that I've tried to OD the amp, the light stayed on continuously.

    I've always used a clean sound, but I have an upcoming gig where a warm, slightly overdriven tone would be nice.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated :)
  2. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    The curse of the 3Pro... most say it lacks the power they need, unfortunately.
  3. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    I've notice that not many TBers like the 3 pro. Mine has served me well since I've had it. After messing around with the gain, EQ and mids, I have the sound that I was looking for - for this particular gig. It took me a while to get what I wanted from this amp, but I got it and I'm happy with it. :smug:
  4. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    I dont know if this works for you, but I once heard a guy say (in relation to an Ampeg SVT-CL mind you).... "If trying to get it to overdrive in a hurry, and all else fails, crank the mids"

    It worked, but holy string noise Batman.
  5. sdbassman


    Jul 15, 2004
    I've overdriven mine by mistake which results in a lot of distortion. Not the good kind either, more of a speaker fart distortion. I have a 400watt 1x15 and a 540watt 4x10 and feel that the head barely keeps up. I still get plenty of volume and tone, so its not that big a deal.

    My only suggestion is to crank the master and tube gain. Use the gain to control volume, and fiddle with the eq a bit. You should get a nice fuzz going without clipping or "bad distortion".

  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    IME, "bad distortion" comes from the graphic EQ. Leave that switched out... there are plenty of other EQ options on the 3Pro.

    For "good distortion", turn the Tube Gain control counterclockwise and the input Gain control clockwise, and don't worry if the clip light's on all the time. (Make sure to compensate for the increased Gain by decreasing Master volume... you don't wanna hurt your ears or your speakers).

    Reducing Treble and turning off the Ultra Hi and BRT switches can reduce the buzziness that comes with the distortion. If your speaker cab has a tweeter, try turning that down or off.
  7. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Thanks guys. I really appreciate your input. I'm going to try everything suggested and see if it comes out better than what I've done so far.
  8. Keentwist


    Mar 22, 2004
    You should get ample volume with the master cranked and the gain set at about 12:00. I generally leave my EQ flat.
  9. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Thanks Keentwist. But I have found that even in a 3 guitar band, Gain at 12 o'clock and Master at full is too loud. Lots of people say the 3PRO lacks power. Mine is more than enough for my weekend warrior gigs. :)
  10. Keentwist


    Mar 22, 2004
    Well I said ample :)

    Anyhow yeah they are loud enough for me. A pair of 4x10's and the setting I mentioned above is loud. :eyebrow:

    Anything other than hard rock I could get away with just one of my cabs easy at a typical bar gig. :cool: