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Anyone Familiar With The Ampeg SVT3-Pro?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ryevick, May 12, 2011.

  1. ryevick


    Dec 19, 2009
    I am an OTR truck driver and I am out until next month but have come across a deal on an SVT3-Pro back home that needs a decision now. From what I've heard and read about these heads being awesome, I am also wondering if this head will be too much to have indoors practicing, kicking back on the sofa playing at low volumes... I know solid state stuff usually has no problem at low volumes but this is tube (which is a good thing). I may also be moving soon... not sure where yet, so I really do need to think about this. Can it be played at low volume levels and still deliver it's sound? Just FYI I would probably go with an Ampeg SVT-410HLF. I have a feeling this is a noob question and as far as tubes go I am totally a noob :D.
  2. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    An SVT3-Pro is probably a bit more than you need for living room practice, but the volume knobs on tube amps work just as well as those on SS amps.
  3. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    SVT3-Pro is SS power, with a tube pre section. Not an all tube amp.
  4. JP Morin

    JP Morin

    Mar 15, 2011
    That's a keeper,
    This one of the best sounding ampeg head IMO, I sold one to get an svt-4pro for a power trip and drive my 2 - 4 ohms cabs, but the svt-4 sounds a bit less well.
    This lacking the additionnal tube, placed after the normal tube preamp, used to drive the mosfet amp (solidstate I think), and the tube gain control which change the tube voltage, this giving a little more sweet tube texture to the sound that the svt4 doesn't have... I like that feature very much and wish this could exist on the svt4...

    I admit that's this head has a lot of power to only play at home... but you can crank the tube preamp to get the texture and sound you want, and set the master at low volume and it will sounds well... (That's what we do when we don't practice with the drummer at our practice) and use a small cab to not move too much air...
  5. JP Morin

    JP Morin

    Mar 15, 2011
    Go for the 410hlf too... Really more punchy and fat than the 410...
  6. ryevick


    Dec 19, 2009
    Actually I think I may go with a HyDrive HX410 or HX115 cabinet. I like the Hydrive design.
  7. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I've used a pair of these for just over ten years and they have great tone, and are solid amps. If its too loud for at home practice, just turn down. There's a whole host of threads about folks who feel they are overrated for power/output - but when paired with a 4 ohm load and the gain structure set right - they can deliver more than enough juice. If the price is right, go for it.
  8. rok51


    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I used one for ten years as a gigging and practice head. I had some noise 'artifacts' on occasion...where there was an 'afternote' with a little distortion after playing a single note and letting it decay...but I could never hear it unless no one else was playing and I really obsessed over it...I really enjoyed the amp and had very reliable service from it.

  9. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL

    Sounds like the MOSFET bias needed adjusting. I had both of mine done a couple years ago after similar sounds, and it brought them both right back to sounding good for just a bench fee.
  10. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    I love mine it respondes well to tube rolling. great head !!!! I have had it for at least 10 years with no probs.
  11. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Oh, yeah! I've had one for 8 or 9 years, and I like that I can get a good sound at any volume. I like it to the point that I've used it as a preamp (taking the DI out, not even through a speaker) for recording.

    Make sure you turn up your bass and the input gain on the amp so that you see the "Peak" light flash when you play. That isn't a "clip" or "limit" indication, it means you're getting up to the signal level where you'll start to hear some tube character in the tone.

    And note what was posted earlier about setting the bias on the MOSFET output stage. If you hear a little fuzzy background noise at low volume, it's almost always due to needing a bias adjustment.
  12. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    Get it. While it may be more amp than you'll need for home practice, there is a master volume knob! Better to have more amp than you'll need as opposed to less. These things are great, have been playing one forever, it's been a war horse!
  13. joshwilkesbooth


    Jul 17, 2009
    Like I said in the other thread, I think this head is awesome. I disagree with your cabinet choice, but to each their own.
  14. Kermin VH

    Kermin VH

    Aug 21, 2006
    I own the exact setup you're talking about (SVT3-PRO and 410HLF cab), and I've had it for 10 years now (wow, has it been that long? Jeez...). I LOVE this amp and cab! As stated previously, turn your gain knob up til the little red LED just flashes when you hit a string hard. That'll get you into some "tubey" tone, and then you can open up the tube gain control to get into some really expressive tone, even at low master volumes.

    I say jump on it if the price is right. Super reliable, super tone, and if you ever get into a situatuion where you need the power, it's there (450W @ 4 ohms, which is the load the 410HLF is).

    Good luck, man!
  15. ryevick


    Dec 19, 2009
    You suggested the 4x10HLF... is the SVT-410HLF from Ampeg not what you were referring to or are you talking about me debating on a Hartke HyDrive HX410?
  16. ryevick


    Dec 19, 2009
    Well, I just bought it! This is a pic of it and the description that was given. I talked to the guy and it sounded like it was in fairly new shape, a made in USA model and I got the price down 10% ($420 including shipping)... now for a cabinet... I have some time for this one and as joshwilkesbooth suggested (along with this head), I am looking hard at the SVT-410HLF from Ampeg but I don't want to rule out the Hartke HyDrive HX410 until I can do an A/B. I do play a 5-string so I am also wondering if one of these cabs will do me justice instead of a 15" but I'm thinking it will be fine (can only afford one).


    "This amp is in great condition works great, plays great, looks great. There are no problems with this amp looks new."

    YouTube - Hartke Hydrive 410
  17. jetofuj


    Jun 16, 2008
    SVT-3Pro + 410HLF is a popular rig, but still this cab might be really muddy. If you want more clarity and faster cab then Hartke is a way to go.
  18. Kermin VH

    Kermin VH

    Aug 21, 2006
    I've not played through the Hartke, but IMHO, I disagree with the statement that the 410HLF can get muddy. I'm sure it could depending on how the amp's EQ is set, but I play a Schecter 5 string, with the B tuned down to A, into my 3-PRO into a 410HLF, and I have no issues with it getting "Muddy", "Boomy", or "Farting out". I think it's actually less muddy than most standard 410s, IME. I attribute it to the ports in the cab, but I'm not an engineer, so I can't say that with any certainty, just what I've experienced with my 2 ears.

    As always, let your ears guide you, and good luck!
  19. ryevick


    Dec 19, 2009
    I have created a new thread if you would like to weigh in, I'd appreciate it.
  20. pedulla1


    May 14, 2005
    I've had this same issue with two 3-pros. I can understand if it was the Mosfets but I also bought an SVP Pro, the preamp and it
    exhibited the same sound after a while. Don't know...

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