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Ampeg SVT III Pro = low volume??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by submelodic, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Has anyone had a similar problem with this head?

    The cab is an Eden D-410XLT (4 ohm), so theoretically this should be a 450 watt rig. I have trouble getting enough volume with a passive bass. I crank the master all the way and have the input gain at about 3/4 - so there's some unwanted clipping. I've experimented with tone and eq settings but it doesn't help much. My band isn't super loud, so I don't think that's the problem. I suspect this head is either underpowered or has a problem.

    Aside from the lack of volume, I like the tone of the amp so I'd prefer not to replace it. Any ideas?
  2. I dont know what it is but it does have some kind of problem...that sucks dude...should of got an svt4...hehehe
  3. I know alot of ppl have had similar results with this amp, myself included. I really don't see how ampeg rates these amps. I have one, i used to use it with my SWR henry the 8x8, but it sure didn't sound like 450watts!!!

    I like you like the tone of this amp, but, only at low volumes with an 8ohm cabinet, when i got my 8x8 which is 4ohm) i was very displeased with the volume, and the amp sounded totally different, it was no longer "warm and fat" it sounded "gritty" and was clipping like crazy, and i found myself doing the same thing you're doing, which is running out of headroom.

    I just recently bought a SWR SM-400s which is 500watts briged into 4ohms. Tis amp sound about 10x louder than that SVT3-Pro EVER SOUNDED!!

    THE BOTTOM LINE, the SVT3-PRO isn't for everyone, and i think it's very underrated, i've seen threads where ppl have proved that this head can indeed put 450watts out, and i have seen others claim that it only puts out 300watts, IMO it sounds more like 300watts RMS, but there is NO STANDARD for wattage rating.

    i hope this helps,

  4. ndjx


    Oct 26, 2001
    How does the SVT3 compare in volume to the B2R? Tone as well...?
  5. I had a B2-48 combo, which has the same ampilifer as the B2r. I would have to say that the B2 was louder IMO. It also had a smoother tone, less harsh and "gritty". But, the SVT3-pro has a 5 tube preamp. I overall liked the sound of my B2-48 combo better, but again, this is my opinion. I also felt that it sounded like it was louder and had more power, despite the SVT3-pros rating of 450watts @ 4 ohms.

    i hope this helps,

  6. it's underpowered...

    i sold mine.

    i liked it, but it's quiet, heavy, and expensive.
  7. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I had one and I had the same problem. Bought an Ashdown ABM 300 and it´s 300W are much louder and punchier. It can do a quite good Ampeg growl if you tweek it right.
  8. Thats so wierd i came on tonight to post the exact same thing- I have the same as u, the SVT-PRO3 running a Eden 410XLT, except i use an active bass. Anyway today at band practise, i plugged it all in and i was like *** the only way i could get any volume was with the master, gain, plus the EQ level all the way up, it was very quite. This rig is normally the perfect volume for my band, but today this problem started occuring! i still reckon its pretty funny that we're both running the XLT's and have the exact same problem...
  9. I bet the -10dB button is pressed down. It's a stupid little button on the svt3pro.

    Check it on your unit if you haven't.
  10. I have an active bass, so its always in (its -15dB aswell) so thats not the problem
  11. I have an active bass....but I keep the -15dB button out. Just because it's active doesn't mean the output is way high. A couple of my active basses have lower output than a couple of my passives. You have the adjust the pregain until the red light just flashes for the gain.
  12. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i play a fender precision and a rick 4001. i sold my svt3 because i was not happy with the volume and i bought a sWR SM 400S. i have the same 410 ampeg classic cab and i prefer the SWR a lot. both for the volume and the sound.
  13. :) I've had my SVT III for about 8 months. Sold my SVT 350 H in favor of the three for it's more compact size, lighter weight, more features and that smooth tube preamp.

    The issue of volume is one I've wondered about also. This amp does not seem to have any more headroom than my SVT 350 H had even though it has 100 more watts at 4 ohms. I like the tone much better, however. I talked with several Ampeg techs in St. Louis about this and they say that there is nothing wrong with the amp itself. They advised to turn turn the master volume all the way up and leave it there, and adjust input gain to get the volume you need.

    I've managed through trial and error to get decent enough volume with my SVT 410HLF cabinet (4 ohm) or my pair of SWR cabinets (combined 4 ohms). I use a Tech 21 Bass Compactor compressor to get a gain boost and to even out string volumes (almost always necessary with passive Fender basses, IMO). I can keep up with my guitar player and his 100 watt Marshall full stack - barely!

    I think one key to this amp to get top volume s to push a lot of air. It seems to sound better and less strained pushing more than one cabinet at equal volume levels.

    I've found it a decent enough amp for most club gigs I play. If more volume is needed, you could run your power amp of choice through the preamp out and get all the headroom you need with the good tube driven tone. I haven't tried this, but it should work.
  14. Gman


    Jan 4, 2000
    Indianapolis, IN
    That's how I run mine, and I've never had a need for more volume. I hardly ever turn the gain past the 9 o'clock position. At about 11 o'clock, it sounds like the Hartke 410 is gonna to fly apart.

  15. But thats just the thing, ive had mine for 3yrs with no problem and then all of a sudden last weekend it decided to go all quiet.....maybe it needs new tubes?
  16. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Hmm...varying opinions here. I wonder if SVT-III Pro's built in different years can vary somewhat. I dont know the exact year mine was made but it's got the older faceplate (the one before they updated to the grey). Also, I had a reputable tech look it over and he said everything was ok.

    I'm now thinking about selling it for a more powerful (and lighter) amp.
  17. I have the same problem, when I plug my passive Ibanez in my Ampeg SVT3 pro , I really have to use the EQ and turn the master volume all the way up... with my Yamaha BB1500A active bass, I have enough headroom ... so I guess it's more my Ibanez bass that's the problem.. anyway, I have heard many people complain about this head, it should not have enough power etc ...
    but I have no problems with it (so far...)
  18. Godcreep:

    You have that much difference between an active and a passive? are you using the -15db switch? I use a passive and and active Fender Jazz basses, and the volume level is almost identical - i kick the -15db on when using active, off when using passive. The tone does change a bit between these basses (expected) but the overall volume is nearly identical.

  19. Yo Greg,

    I never use that button, it's always depressed...
    What I should try is that LO switch (ultra low) maybe that should make a difference when I'm using my Ibanez BTB bass ...???
    I also never use the EQ ... what about you ?
  20. well thats why you're having to crank the volume for your passive bass so much. Try using that -15db switch only for the active.

    I use my EQ all the time, but i dont really give any extra gain there, just tone tweaking.


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