Can I get anymore grit out of my SVT 3, or just get a PF 50T?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shababy32, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. shababy32


    May 2, 2015
    Hey folks, it's been a while since I've been on here, and it feels good just to listen, learn, and laugh at what everybody has got going on!
    Anyway, I've got an old SVT3 Pro that I have had for a few years. I like the amp. Its not an SVT Heritage, nor any of the 100%, Grade A USDA Prime Tube goodness, but I was on a budget and I do like the amp.
    My question is this. Is there anyway I can get more overdrive or grit, or nasty out of it? I've got JJ's 12AX7's in the preamp section or whatever, then I have a Tung-Sol 12AX7 and a 1950 something NOS Sylvania 12AU7 that leads into the mosfet Poweramp. By changing any of these tubes (and I'm assuming it would be the latter 2 tubes) give me anymore overdrive that sounds good?
    One more thing. Would it be better just to sell it and get a Portaflex PF50T? I've not played one, but they seem to sound good on clips. Are they as loud an SVT 3? I know the SVT3 is like 350 watts and the PF is 50, but I've seen 15 watt guitar tube amps blow 800 watt class D amps out of the room.
    Anyway, hope all is well with everyone and y'all have a good day!
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    How about an overdrive pedal?
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Crank up the gain and don't worry about any flashing light on the preamp. Try running a hot signal from a clean boost or OD into your SVT3. This will allow you to overdrive the front end of the amp.

    You could also try running a high gain tube in V1. In my experience current production Tung Sols and Chinese 12AX7 have a lot of gain...for a slight fee, tube vendors will select high gain tubes for you. I find the JJ ECC83S is fairly low gain but may break up fairly early in some circuits...use this to your advantage.

    The PF50T will not be as loud but you will get the benefit of all tube.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
    BrentSimons and InhumanResource like this.
  4. shababy32


    May 2, 2015
    I appreciate your advice. I will say this, I usually am running my gain at Max, and for whatever reason, it sounds just as clean as if I had the gain halfway. I do have a Solidgoldfx Beta. Believe me, that is one of probably one of many OD's I've had, but for me, that SGFX is more my speed than any bass OD I've tried.
    Would biasing it or rebiasing it help? If I'm not mistaken, don't u have to rebiase it if u change out any of the back tubes? AU7 and or the 12AX7?
  5. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    No, the bias affects only the MOSFET output stage. The driver tubes are completely unaffected by it.

    What bass are you playing through it? How are the controls on the bass set? Can you get the "Peak" light to come on pretty solid?

    I play a Jazz (with an extra pickup) into my 3PRO, and with the gain at about 3:00 it gets pretty thick & crunchy. If you have a good signal from the bass and the amp still sounds clean and the peak light isn't lighting up, maybe it's time to roll some different tubes in the preamp?
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Are you running both your Gain and Tube Gain at max?

    Small signal tubes such as 12AX7 and 12AU7 are self biasing, so you can roll new tubes in with no worries.
  7. shababy32


    May 2, 2015
    Hey Dave. I've had numerous overdrive's. From Behringer to Barefoot, and from Joyo to Catlinbread. I've had the Solidgoldfx Beta longer than any of em. It seems to have the sound of a tube amp overdrive or complements my amp better than the others. Still, to me, there is not a pedal on the market that can substitute for a SVT or most all tube amp overdrive. It sounds like heaven to me!
  8. voided3


    Nov 11, 2008
    I’d definitely try pushing the amp’s front end with a clean boost first. As also mentioned, it might be worth swapping the preamp tube in the 3PRO. That said, if you have your heart set on a tube head and have the budget, ultimately you won’t be happy until you have one.
    BrentSimons, JimmyM and Wasnex like this.
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    FYI, the operation of the Tube Gain control may be a bit counter intuitive. From the Manual:

    The tube gain control varies the high voltage supply to the preamp tubes. This allows a variety of tonal response characteristics from the power amp and replaces the limiter found on typical solid state power amps. At “10” the voltage is at maximum, providing a dynamic, highly responsive tone. At “0” the voltage is at minimum, offering a thickened, more compressed tone. This tone may also be distorted, depending on volume level. In between settings are best for preventing harsh distortion when driving the power amp to its limits. The effect of this control increases from moderate to dramatic as the power amp is driven harder.
    PotsdamBass8 likes this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    +1. That said, a Beta's a really nice pedal for OD. BTW, a 3 Pro will definitely get way louder than a PF-50T. Not even close, really. But t0000000000000000bZ!!!
    BrentSimons, SirMjac28 and Microbass like this.
  11. shababy32


    May 2, 2015
    Well, I have a Fender American Standard and i took the pickups out and put some Ulyate pickups in its place, plus sometimes I'll take the pickgaurd off and I have another pickguard that I've got those EMG Geezer Bs. In em. I also have a squire 70's VM Jazz bass. I completely gutted it and settled for the DiMarzio DP 125 or 145s. They have the poles u can raise with an Allen wrench and it sounds amazing. The red light stays on constantly because I use my Beta as a boost alot, and I also have an Earthquaker the Wardon compressor that I kind of use as a boost also. With all that goin on, sure I can get "distortion." I don't know. I've heard some clips of some overdriven svt3's and they sounded great. No boost, with the exception of the eq.
  12. shababy32


    May 2, 2015
    Hey Jimmy! So, what do u like better? The SVT 3 or the PF 50T? I have never actually played one, but I can only imagine if hooked up to a SVT 4x10 cab or the SVT 115he, it would have to sound killer.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I will always like a full-on tube amp better than a hybrid or SS. Used to have a 3 Pro, though...very good sounding amp. But while 3 Pro wins for volume and has a killer sound in its own right, 50T wins for me tonally.
  14. Engage the graphic EQ section, and push ITS volume up to the max, AND the gain control to the max. ????
  15. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    I always found this to be confusing as a young player. "But I want dynamic AND distorted!" For me, the input gain seemed to have more affect on the tone than the tube gain did. The could have been down to tube choice.

    I loved that 3PRO. It served me well.
    Wasnex likes this.
  16. Interesting. I'm fairly sold on JJ's - I use 4x ECC83S in my V-Type. They do sound great compared to the stock 12AX7's, but I would like more grit (albeit the V-Type is a cleaner amp). I went with these as I thought these were high gain 12AX7's...

    This maybe my favourite ever response to a tube vs ss/hybrid/class D question. :D
  17. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Dial the gain up way high (don't forget about the slider next to the EQ) and use master for volume control. I can't imaging the pf50 would be equally loud unless you run a more efficient cab with more speakers.
  18. The PF50T that I've played for a few hours is creamy and delicious or gritty and grimy - I LOVED it. That being said I can't afford one and while it is a LOT more powerful than your conventional 50W amp (perception) it's not close to what you have.

    If you're stuck on Ampeg stuff, they have a cool rack mount all-tube preamp with like 7 billion 12AX7 tubes inside it they sell to give you desired tones - I can't remember the name right off top of my head but I find them for sale occasionally on CL for around $250 used and I think I checked and saw they are still available new. I can go back and look or maybe someone here can fill you in on that. I know a dude that swears by his but I have not had an opportunity to play with one.

    Edit: the one I am familiar with is the SVP-Pro
  19. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    cheechi likes this.
  20. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Changing preamp tubes isn't going to get it done I've been down that long and expensive road and in my opinion, if you aren't pushing power tubes you won't be happy.