How often do I need to change the tubes in my Ampeg Svt-3 Pro?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Shiggs, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Shiggs


    Oct 24, 2004
    Hey guys,

    First off, I'm new to this forum so if this topic has been posted or I am in the wrong forum, please let me know. I'm still trying to get used to all the features on these forums :)

    Anyways, I bought a used Ampeg SVT-3 Pro head a few months back. According to the receipt I got from the previous owner (he purchased it new from guitar center), the head is about 1.5 years old now. He has never changed the tubes since he had it. I believe only a total of 20-30 hours have been used on the amp.

    Anyways, right now I'm in the market for a new cab (thinkin' about the ampeg pr410hlf) to go along w/ this head and when I try my head out with different cabs, I want to make sure the head is in top notch condition.

    Does it look like I need to replace the tubes soon? How do you tell? I'm still a newbie and am trying to learn all the tricks of the trade. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    oh, one last quick question. How often should I change out the 9V battery in my stingray 4 bass? I've had it for 8 months or so and have used it quite a lot.


  2. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    No, I'm fairly certain you've got quite a while before you need to replace your tubes.
  3. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Depending on how much you play it, you should be thinking about changing the battery in your Stingray every six months or so. Preamp tubes like the 12AX7 and 12AT7 or is it 12AU7 that are found in your SVT-IIIPro can last about 10,000 hours. So you should be good to go for quite a while.
  4. Shiggs


    Oct 24, 2004

    yeah it's got 4x 12ax7 and 1x 12au7. 10,000 hours? wow really? Are you talking about "shelf life" or "playing life". heh, I'm sure it's not THAT high if it's playing life, but I agree with you that it probably has a long life ahead.

    I have played a lot on my bass in the past 8 months w/o changing the battery. Guess I should do it like you said, every 6 months.

    Thx guys!
  5. ZZMorgan


    Sep 6, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I bought a used SVT3PRO 2 years ago. Recently, the sound was getting very distorted, even at low volume. There is a certain amount of grit you expect from an SVT as its signature sound, but this was getting too much. I replaced the tubes and everything is fine now.

    So, I'd say your ears will tell you when it is time to change the tubes. They should have many years of life. But if you get a bad set, or if the amp is bumped a lot hauling it around, or any number of other reasons, they might start to fail early.

    ZZ Morgan