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Fat Overdrive on my SVT-3

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Phyrexian, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Hi there,

    quick and stupid question, but I didn't finf answers with the search-option... neither did I find a direct email adres to contact Ampeg so:

    Yesterday I cranked the gain on my Ampeg SVT-3 Pro. This resulted in fat overdrive sounds which I really love actually!

    Now, the manual of the amp says absolutely nothing about possible overdrive sounds coming out of the SVT-3.
    So now I'm a little scared to damage my amp/tubes because of this text in the manual:
    GAIN: This serves as the input level control for the amplifier. For the best signal to noise ratio set this control so the Peak LED (#3) flashes when you strike a string fairly hard.
    PEAK LED: This LED flashes when the signal level into the preamp (excluding the graphic EQ) approaches clipping. Adjust the Gain control until a strong signal from your instrument causes this LED to flicker.

    The sample settings for 'rock' say that the gain can be set 'to taste' so I guess that when you get overdrive from the amp (and you like it that way) that it'd be alright, not?

    Thanks, I'd like to have a clarifying answer from co-SVT-3 owners...

  2. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada

    I don't think that you need to worry about overdriving your preamp section. I crank up the DRIVE on my SVP-PRO preamp all the time. That's why it's there!!!



    (my own home page.... imagine that!)
  3. That's true, but the manual your preamp says that it's normal to do that to obtain overdriven sounds. The SVT-3's manual delivers no info on this issue.
  4. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    I still wouldn't worry about it at all. Ampeg gave you a Tube Gain control for a reason. It does say in the SVT-3 PRO manual that "This tone can also be distorted, depending on volume level."

    Preamp clipping doesn't generally hurt anything at all, and the Ampegs appear to be designed for this exact purpose! Clipping your power amp is more of a problem, but more for your speakers than the amplifier.



    (my own home page.... imagine that!)
  5. Hi Boys and Girls,

    I'm back again with another SVT-3 Pro question (shut up, I hear you thinking 'ow, no, not again...' ;) )

    In my band I use three sounds:
    1) clean sound for some songs
    2) slight grit/overdrive sound for some songs,
    3) distortion sounds for some other songs

    I tried out so many overdrive pedals and I found out that for my needs, the EBS MultiDrive is the BEST pedal. However I like this pedal for the distortion sounds. I like the overdrive from my amp.
    Now, I'd like to know it I could use a clean-boost pedal to drive my amp in its own natural overdrive?

    So my amp is set pure clean (gain until it flashes at peak). The clean-boost should drive this amp into amp-overdrive. And the EBS should do the distortion tricks.

    What pedals are good for this?


  6. maybe i'm an idiot, but wouldn't any pedal that has a level and drive selection work? i have a boss bass overdrive, and it acn be used as a clean boost just by turning the balance all the way to dry (no overdrive) and adjusting the level and gain to get the boost i want. i don't think i'd recommend using the boss pedal specifically though, i haven't really found mine to be all that good.
  7. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    I have a 3pro as well, but i usually keep it clean. is it just me, or does the tube gain knob not really do anything? I don't think it should be bad... oh and 12AX7 tubes are cheap... try emailing Ampeg.

    Good Luck
  8. Hi guys,
    thanks again for the replies. I found out that I don't need the real real clean sounds of the amp in my band. My band plays heavy rock (ala Kyuss) and I always need the little grit from the amp ovedrive. For some songs I use fat distortion from the EBS MultiDrive.

    The TubeGain does something though. I noticed that the sound gets a little more 'compressed' when this knob is turned clockwise. Tighter sound. More aggressive also imho. I always have it on maximum. I also found out that the effect of the Tube Gain is more noticable when the Gain-knob is on higher settings. Note that this Tube Gain knob is NOT a drive button like on the SVP-Pro preamplifiers...


  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    That's all very true. Edit: except I think more compression occurs when Tube Gain is counterclockwise (minimized).

    FYI, I got a surprising amount of distortion from my SVT3Pro the other night when I maxxed the Gain and minimized the Tube Gain. I was using an active bass with fairly hot output. BTW the distortion was usable IMO: soft on top, not all raspy/buzzy. I don't recall making dramatic EQ changes to achieve this (I'll have to play with it a little more).