I went with the SVT-3

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wes Whitmore, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I went in for a GK400RB as a backup for my ill GK1001, and walked out with a SVT-3. They didn't have any new in box GKs in the whole store, and I got a pretty good deal on the SVT-3, 2 space rack bag, and another Boss TU-2 Tuner. I paid $699 for the SVT-3.
    I have been unbelievably happy with the tone of my GK1001 and spector 4 string. I haven't planned on replacing it with even the new 1001. I do remember back before I got the Spector though. I couldn't get the wormth out of my EDA900 or my other Ibanez bases, but that doesn't mean much. Each bass sounds different.
    What I did like about the SVT-3 is the EQ that is in it. I dont use EQ or drive at all with the GK, but before I would turn on the knobs like it was a game to try to get the warmth out of it. The SVT-3 has more EQ bands, plus a parametric, so it has more EQ flexibility. If I'm going to use EQ, I wanted the flexability.
    I also thought about how I already have a Gk amp, so maybe I should diversify a little bit.
    Lastly, Reputation of this thing seems pretty good. A tube preamp doesn't hurt, either.
    I hope it works out well. I plan on putting it in the 2 space rack bag, and going back to a pedal tuner for portability. It will be running though my Ampeg portabass 210.
  2. rayzak


    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Hey Wes,
    Good score, man. I've always liked that head... good price too. Make sure you post a follow-up telling us how you like it.
  3. A little tip from an EX owner of a SVT3 PRO at times the power can seem well a little lacking in this amp.Turn the 9 band eq on and boost the end slider volume up to full while leaving the other sliders flat. The extra volume is great and it doesnt alter the tone of the amp.

    My best sounds were with the 5 way selector on no.4 and sometimes no.5 with ultra low and ultra high both out. Ultra low is ok but it sucks out all the mids and is lost in a band mix. I liked it and should of kept it, but i sold it for the SVTCL ( what a mistake ) and then sold that for an Ashdown ABM500

    Enjoy your amp
  4. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    I'll try it tonight and let you know.
  5. dmrogers

    dmrogers Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Eastman, GA
    I hope you enjoy your SVT as much as I have! I have had mine for several years now, and it sounds great. For about three years, I played it with a 4x12 Peavey cabinet. Great sound. Last year, I started a new gig in a cafe. Lower volume, quiet atmosphere, so I purchase an Aguilar GS112. Still great sound!!!!!

    The above post was right, with my 4x12 cab I would set the frequency selector at 4 but with the Aguilar, I get the best tone with it in the 2 position.

    Enjoy! :)
  6. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Well, I have been home for a couple of hours, and put the SVT through it's paces. It's a completely different amp than the GK. At first, I wasn't that impressed. It didn't sound like the GK. There wasn't a warm E string complimented with what I think was the exact amount of midrange and highs that the GK has been doing since day one with the spector. It didn't seem as "quick" as the GK was. I still don't know if this is true because many people comment on how they think the GK is a very quick reacting amp. It could be our imagination.

    A couple of problems were keeping me from getting a decent sound out of this thing. First things first, there are too many ways to alter the sound! The EQ, the parametric, the high and low boost buttons, the gain of the preamp, how much tube you want brought into the signal path, midrange center selector...The list goes on. The GK basically has a 3 band EQ and a drive knob. It either sounds good in 5 minutes, or it isn't going to sound good. After about a half hour of tweaking, I just decided to bypass the EQ all together, and simplify things. I set the parametric in the "rock" position as is in the manual. Thinks were starting to sound better. The lowest notes were starting to get that rounder sound that I like. It's not a boom, but it isn't thin either. I am working on setting up the right amount of mids and highs now, and walking the tightrope of excess noise. I'm sitting right in front of the amp, facing it with my bass, which is making it worse. There are no less than 4 ways to make this thing hiss. The GK would hiss too if you cranked the treble, but that was the only way to add his. When I take a couple of steps away from the stack though, it goes away. Morely of story, this amp can probably be set to sound like the GK, plus just about any other sound you are looking for. Its very loud too. I haven't even ripped into it much yet. Oh, I also found I like the sound better if I crank the master to 10, and use the gain as the volume. I know that isn't the way to keep your preamp level strong, but I still like how it sounds better.

    Thanks for the help in the settings. I did a search and found some pretty good stuff on settings. I also read a few reliability posts on this amp and my other choice, the GK 1001 (or 400rb). I felt that I might have made a better choice for reliability, but I also read a bunch of posts where people sold the SVT for another amp, or worse yet, a GK. The good thing is I already have one GK, so I get the best of both worlds.
    Did I make the right decision? Who knows. Once I get a good sound for messing around in the house, I am sure I will have to adjust it for when I jam with the band. I think that I now have the ability to completely sculpt my sound on the fly. All in all, I would have one either way, as long as the GK didn't blow up on my again!
  7. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    It's been a week, and Im really starting I like this amp. I didn't at first compared to the GK, but I think just about any sound can be produced with this. You just have to know what you want, and start with simple changes.
    Dislikes...It's 26 lbs. It's the heaviest amp I have every had. It;s still lighter than some poweramp setups though. A plus is that it is a tank. It's heavy because it is made of a thick chunk of metal. Maybe this will translate to a more reliable amp. What kind of reliability issues are you guys finding with these?
    I think it has plenty of power. I must not be as power hungry as many, and I always have PA support.
    Does anyone carry a heavy head in a soft rackbag? It looks like Warwick is the only company making them with metal rings and hearty enough to trust a 26 lbs amp over my sholder. I have a Kasey cases 2sp rack for now, but it's hard to trust those plastic rings for long.
  8. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I have the SVT3-PRO as well, and ran into the weight issue pretty quickly.

    I avoided the soft-rack bag and opted for SKB's rolling rack.

    It's a roto-molded shell with metal rack mounts. I have a 5-space model for a Furman AC conditioner, patch bay and future effects unit.

    The wheels are like roller-blade wheels, so it's a smooth ride over about any terrain, and they are spaced apart, so you don't end up "flopping", like you can with narrow wheel bases.

    It's deep, so I used to store cables and such in it when traveling.
  9. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Oh, boo hoo. :crying: 26 lbs too heavy? :eyebrow: :spit: God help us... :rolleyes:
  10. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    Come on guys, I carry the SVT3 head under one arm and my bass in the other hand...along with my coffee mug!

    But seriously, I know what you mean about there being almost too many tone controls. The SVT3 Pro has a bunch of them. I very much like the basic tone I'm getting and my bandmates seem to like it too, but I would prefer a footswitchable tube overdrive control as opposed to footswitchable EQ with volume.

    If this was my wishlist, I'd like a four-button footswitch like the Fender TBP-1 preamp with EQ / Mute / Overdrive / EFX in-out all on one control. Truly gig-worthy.
  11. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Or you could just get the Fender TBP-1 preamp and stop wishing. :smug:
  12. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    I've actually thought of that. I recently picked up a Peavey Max preamp which I'm actually pretty impressed with. I sold my SABDDI and purchased that for recording. It has a lot of sounds in it, especially with solid state and tube channels that are combinable. Next practice, I'm going to plug the Max into my Ampeg's power section and see what it can do.

    Afroman has posted some of his findings regarding the TBP-1.

    The option to go with separates is also interesting from the standpoint of cost. It seems that most of the integrated heads I'm interested in (with the exception of the Yorkville XS800H) are quite expensive. You can get into a separate pre / power set that is very good quality for surprisingly little compared to some of the brand name and boutique heads.

    The problem with the Fender preamp is that I haven't seen it anywhere. Fender dealers I've been to have lots of Squier starter-packs and MIM P-basses but usually don't stock the upper end of the line.
  13. pedalnote


    Jul 19, 2002
    San Francisco
    I've been reading this thread, and just about every other one that talks about the SVT3 Pro, and finally sprung for it this morning. $550 used, with 3 years left on the transferable warranty. Then I went down the street and bought an Eden D210T and D115T. $450 for the two. Given what I've read, I don't think I got ripped off, but someone thinks otherwise let me know.

    Took it to the studio, and agree with the above posts - there's too many ways to manipulate the sound on this thing, not including the atenuation knobs on the back of the Edens. I had been playing through an old Peavy combo - TNT 100 - which my bandmates affectionally called the "Farttone."

    I'm gonna have to learn how to use this thing quick, as we have another show next Friday at a club that holds about 200 souls. I'll write back with my experiences next week.

    For the time being, with my limited knowledge, the SVT3 sounds great, and is much louder than the Farttone.

    Thanks to all the above again.
  14. and i thought i had it bad with my SVT, its only 80-85 lbs, its a bloody lightweight compaired to others!

    And on the note of warmth from an EDA, ive found i get a really warm sound with just the magnetic pup on, cut the piezo right out and its really warm, does lack a bit of definition by itself (ive been contemplating sticking another pickup in there, but rolling the piezo on just a tad helps fix it, you probably dont have it anymore, each to thier own :) )
  15. Pedalnote,

    Very good price on the Edens.They get loud without much juice so they should work great with the Ampeg.Let us know how you like it,should be quite a step up in tone.
  16. I am going to get a used WAlter Woods.
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If you build a cable that end's in a banana plug and use that to plug into the Eden you bypass the horn.

    That 15 is pretty light (nice sounding though) so pay attention to the low end while you're playing or it will smoke ... I picked up a 115T with a blown driver recently . I dropped in a JBL 15 (K140) and it rocks. I'm building a pair of D115 clones for use with JBL's at the moment. I like that cab design a lot!

    Just set everything flat, use whatever buttons are available to take as many of the tone shaping controls out of the circuit. Now adjust one ting at a time. Personally I'd keep the graphic flat if at all possible, find my sound using just the rotary controls and the 'switches'. When you go live, use the graphic to control the room with (hopefully) subtle tweeks... now, isn't that simpler ?

    YMMV but when confronted by too many options, I tend to go back to the simplest setup and build up from there.
  18. pedalnote


    Jul 19, 2002
    San Francisco
    Blues Bass 2 - Thanks for your input. I truly appreciate it. When I first contacted the seller, I thought they were XLTs. It occurred to me afterward they were the DxxXT's. What a knucklehead. Anyway, I thought they were still a pretty good price and so picked them up the next day. Glad I did.

    4Mal - Thanks you to for the info. However, here's the dumb question of the weekend - what's a banana plug? Also, the SVT3 has a jack for a "speakon" cable, and the Edens have what appear to be smaller RCA style or something jacks next to the 1/4 inch mono. Right now, I have a single regular speaker cable running from one of the SVT3's mono jacks, down to the D210T input, and then another from the D210T output to the D115T below.

    Thanks to everyone!
  19. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Those would be the banana inputs. If you go to a Radio Shack and ask, they should have a banana plug in stock. The Banana connector is incredibly simple. If you see that the 1/4 inch connector is 2 conductors, tip and ring, then the banana is also two conductiors side by side. Make the cable by starting with a pre wired 1/4 to 1/4 speaker cable.

    1. cut off one end of the cable. Open the jack to see which color conductor is wired to the long leg on the jack. That one is the ground or - conductor.

    1. strip about 1.5 inches to 2 inches of cable 'jacket' to expose the conductors of your speaker cable.

    2. strip maybe a little less than 1/4 " of insulation from each conductor.

    3. Using a small flat blade screw driver (or a small Allen deending on the brand of banana plug ...) loosen the set screw on the inside of the 'leg' on each side. DO NOT LOSE THE SET SCREWS! I usually take them all the way out just so I can keep track of them.

    4. Run both conductors through the hole on the back side of the banana, opposite the legs.

    5. Separate the conductors and give the bare wire a little twist to keep it fron psreading under pressure.

    6. Insert each conductor into a leg, re-insert the set screw and tighten.

    The black 'sort of rca looking' connector on the Eden is the - connector. Make sure that when you insert the plug into the cabinet that you get the correct '-' color going to the black connector!

    You need
    small screw driver
    wire stripper
    premade speaker cable, preferrebly with screw off, not molded end
    banana plug
    15 minutes tops ...

    I would run the 15 full range and run directly from the head to the 2x10 with a 1/4 inch cable. You might want the horn and attenuator on the 2x10 cab.

    I do have to warn you that you may like the sound of the 15 and tweeter rather than the 15 alone. It get's down to a matter of taste so like any experiment this may be successful or not from a tonal perspective.

    Good luck. Sounds like a really nice rig! That was a good score on the Eden cabs. I actually like the sound of the T series over the XLT's and they have to be easier to move around as well.
  20. pedalnote


    Jul 19, 2002
    San Francisco
    4Mal - You are the man. Thanks so much for a clear and complete instruction book.

    One last dumb question -

    "I would run the 15 full range and run directly from the head to the 2x10 with a 1/4 inch cable. You might want the horn and attenuator on the 2x10 cab."

    Does this mean not to run the cabs in series? Right now, I have 1/4 speaker cable from one of the mono jacks on the SVT to the 210, and then another from the 210 output to the 115. If (actually, when) I make the new cables, how do they get hooked up? And incidentially, do you know how the speakon from the SVT3 works? Should I somehow be using that with the banana-plug terminated cables?

    Thanks for the time and trouble.