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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lowfrez, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. So, i just recieved my henry the 8x8 hadn't used my amp head for about a week, plugged it in, and guess what, I had a mild distortion!!! Which got progressively worse with increase in tube gain. What could this be? I really don't think it's my cabinet since it's brand-spanking new, though i haven't had a chance to try it out with another head...... So, is this a preamp tube? or something else? I have never owned a tube amp so, i dont' know when the tubes are bad. I brought the amp to the local dealer in town to be checked out, so i'll know tomorrow what it is for sure.

    One more thing, the local dealer said that, the head isn't warranted thru him.......is this true? Do you have to take it back to the place you bought it from to be serviced under warrantee?
  2. Gman


    Jan 4, 2000
    Indianapolis, IN
    I had similar problems with mine tonight. Can't really say it was distortion, I just couldn't get the normal clean tone that I'm used to. I don't understand. I'll hook it up to another cab tomorrow and see what it sounds like.

    I think what the dealer is telling you is that he's not an authorized service center.

  3. yea, i think we're having the same problem, it's not really distorted, but, it's not the clean tone of the amp like you said.
  4. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    When I use to own an SVT3-pro It did the same thing you two are talking about. I used it with an Ampeg Classic Series 4x10 cab (that was used). It came and went, so it was kind of weird. Finally I just traded it in because of GAS. If you guys find out please post because I am curious. That was almost two years ago....Good luck.
  5. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Just went through the same thing myself. Fortunatley my Ampeg dealer allowed me to trade my new SVT3 Pro back in on a B4R and I couldn't be happier. I hate to say this but I think the amp is Supposed to sound like that! believe it or not some people like that gritty distorted tube sound. I took my 1st SVT3 back and had Ampeg send me a new one from the factory, but it sounded the same. The distortion is coming from the tube gain section in the power amp. If you run a patch cord from the pre amp out to another power amp the distortion will be gone. If the amp is new I would suggest trying to trade it back in for another model.
  6. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Also I didn't notice the distortion with an 8ohm speaker. It wasn't until I used a 4ohm load when I heard the distortion. Also any Ampeg dealer should be able to take care of you. That amp has a 5 year warranty but I don't think it is something than can be repaired because it's really not broken.
  7. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    One of the gigs I was at - this hardcore band had an SVT4-Pro and I remembered it doing the same thing, that gritty sound. He was using an old SWR Big Bertha cab. The bassist told me he loved that tone and it did not bother him.

    That's when I told myself to trade it in for a SWR. I just assumed that there was not a problem with the head -its just the way it is. I'm into a more clearer, warmer, and tighter tone I guess. I don't know, anyone else out there have the same thing happen to their SVT? For the longest time I asked so many bassist about their SVT's and that gritty tone coming out...no one had an answer, even Ampeg (never responded)
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I am using an SVT4 Pro and haven't had this trouble yet. (is the key word there "yet"?)

    I am getting a nice, clean, yet very "ballsy" tone out of mine. Not distorted or gritty. I seriously hope mine does not start doing that to me.
  9. cb56, that's exactly the problem, i went back and forth between my 8ohm hartke and the 4ohm swr. I didn't notice any distortion at 8ohms.

    Anyway, i just got i back from the dealer and they said it was running at %100!! I guess i just didn't know that it was gonna sound like that with a 4ohm.
  10. Gman


    Jan 4, 2000
    Indianapolis, IN
    I worked with mine some today, and narrowed it down to tube gain and EQ. I've never used mine at 4 ohms, so I can't say about that.

    I bought the Ampeg because I wanted the warm tone. Something I didn't hear in the GK and SWR heads. I'm still happy with it. But I definately have learned that what you hear in the music store isn't what you'll hear in the mix.

  11. Gman, that's the exact same reason that i bought it was the warmth of the tone, but it gets alittle dirty with a full load.
  12. I have a SVT3-Pro and like the sounds I get from it. The only way to get it to go away is to turn the tub gain down and don't turn the preamp up a lot. This is an Ampeg amp and this is the sound that they make. Tubes, when driven will give you this sound. I don't mind it, but if you don't like it, I understand b/c it could be annoying. I like my 3 pro, but I might still get something else here in the future.

  13. Don't get me wrong jim, i love my 3-pro too, but i thought something was wrong when the tone changed drasticly from one cabinet to the next
  14. I have only played mine with my BSE410HLF cab, which is a 4 ohm 4x10. I have never tried it with other cabs, besides in stores. I might be getting a new cab(s) so I might hear something different then!

  15. idealtracks


    Dec 18, 2001
    I have owned several Ampeg heads over the years and used to absolutely swear by them.... but my @1994 SVT-III Pro did the SAME distorto-rama thing described above...

    I figured the fuzzy distortion that wouldn't go away (which first appeared last year, about a month before I caved in and bought an Eden) was caused by bad tubes since it had been quite a few miles since I last changed them out... so last month I finally bought the 5 replacement tubes... but to my dismay the distortion remains!!! If there's a home remedy I'd love to know it too. I moved to an Eden head last year but kept the Ampeg (partly for sentimental reasons I guess) to use at home so for me it's probably not worth the money and trouble to send it in for repairs.

    * And this sound is NOT the "good" or "classic" Ampeg distortion that so many folks love - this is an overdriven sound that will not go away no matter how low you turn the gain / adjust tube blend knob.

    BTW - my move to the Eden went well - but I sometimes found myself missing that growl that I associate with Ampeg... so I now supplement the Eden with an Ashdown pre-amp and am pretty happy for now!
  16. :confused: :confused: :D I am very happy to say my SVT 3 pro has a nice smooth AMPEG tone and i love it. I play it through a SVT 6x10 (4ohms)
  17. Funkster


    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I love Ampeg Tone to but My SVT3 sh*& the bed on Fridays gig for the 2nd time (Good thing I have two), If something fails once ok but when it fails again after a month out of the shop it's time to go! I'm going to look into Eden or Agiular gear for my second rig! I'm keeping the working SVT3 but not the one that keeps dying.
  18. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    maybe the old-style SVT-3's might be a bit more reliable? I know this is true for SVT-4s.


    I found that pic on eBay to help illustrate what I meant by old-style ;)
  19. ZZMorgan


    Sep 6, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I was getting horrible distortion from my SVT Pro3 until I replaced all the tubes. I chose JJ/Teslas for their clean sound. There are cleaner ones out there, but they are mor expensive. I compromised between tone and price and hit a pretty nice middle ground. I can at least play through the amp now without out the heavy distortion I was getting.

  20. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I've got the SVT-3Pro. And I love that punchy, gritty tone. True SVT. :D

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