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My ampeg won't stop peaking!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Calvan, Sep 26, 2008.


  1. Calvan

    Calvan

    May 13, 2008
    San Diego
    I have an Ampeg SVT 3 pro, running through an 8x10. I'm playing a Spector Legend 5 custom. Gain is about 50%, Hi Low and Brt are all in, Bass at about 60%, Mids about 65%, Treble about 65%, Tube Gain at about 70%. EQ boosts low mids, slight cut on hi mids, and slight boost on treble. Bass preamp: bass and mids about 80%, treb about 70%.

    My problem: my amp is at an almost constant peak. the manual says the little light should only slightly flicker with a semi hard touch. i play with a fairly medium strength, but even when testing at a light touch it flickers. the light is almost all the way on the whole time in band situation. i dont know what to do about this. on 9 out of 10 days i love my tone, but the amp peaks. if i make adjustments to the amp so it doesn't peak, i completely lose my tone and all the beef behind it.

    any body know what is causing this? any suggestions on amp settings or anything that might help solve this?

    i'm going for a tone that is beefy and punchy at the same time. lots of presence so it cuts through. please try to keep this in mind if and when suggesting settings.
     
  2. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator

    Mar 26, 2006
    CHI/NWI
    Try adjusting your mids up, and lose some of the bass. turn the EQ on and jack the gain all the way up on it.

    The 3 Pro is a little underpowered for a 8x10 IMO. Without enough watts, that 810 will never sounds beefy or punchy.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A 3 Pro not enough for an 810? I've used one many times with an 810 and it puts out a lot.

    The trouble, though, is you have to crank that gain way up and pretty much ignore the light. That light is an input light, not a clip light, and you can light it up pretty steady, actually. You can crank the gain pretty high before you hear distortion, so use your ears and set it as high as you can get it. Sounds better that way, too.
     
  4. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator

    Mar 26, 2006
    CHI/NWI
    My SVT-CL lights up an 810 with plenty of pedal to spare. My SVT-3 pro couldn't light a 4 ohm 4x10...

    Again, just my opinion, but the 3pro was never enough amp for me.
     
  5. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    Kinda sounds like you're cranking that bass EQ a bit too much and running out of headroom.
     
  6. Calvan

    Calvan

    May 13, 2008
    San Diego

    so its not "bad" for the amp at all if that light is lit bright steady and constant?

    this amp was and still is my first "big rig". before that i just had little personal use amps. as of lately i've been wanting to check out some new stuff, but like i said, 9 out of 10 days i love my tone, so why fix what's not broken? but the other day out of those 10, i just don't seem to get the umph out of it. could be the amp... but i would think it would be more consistent. i usually end up changing the battery in the bass, and it seems to help, but i don't think i should be needing to change the battery every 2-4 weeks?

    thanks for both of your replies.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Nope. Might burn tubes out slightly sooner, but not by much.

    And don't worry about that 10th day. Happens to us all, no matter what we use.
     
  8. The curse of playing bass
     
  9. Calvan

    Calvan

    May 13, 2008
    San Diego
    do you mean coming from the preamp that's in the bass? or do you mean my amp settings?

    this is something i've always been a bit confused on. i got this amp when i was a bit younger and didn't know a whole lot, since then i've been playing catch up to know about all the details. isnt the SVT 3 like half solid state and half tube or something? or is it all tube? how often do the tubes need to be changed? how do i know when they need to be changed?

    thanks again for replies. they are helpful
     
  10. I use this same head, which I'm happy with. I'm definately no expert, but as I understand it, the preamp is tube driven so you get the tube tones, but the acutal amp is soildstate driven.

    I use an active bass and never have had this problem though, I keep most of my eq pretty flat, I bump the mids just a little, and the treble a touch as I only have a single 15 with no tweeter. I run my gain on the bass about 50 - 75% and the gain on the head just to where the light flickers if hitting the strings hard, but I usually pluck lightly. Sorry that I don't know more about it, thats just how I run mine.

    Oh, I also just noticed that you said you are running your low, high, and bright on the head. I have found that on mine it sounds better if leave mine off. When I ran the low button on, it just seemed too boomy....but then again I'm running a single 15. Maybe once I add a 410 cab that will change.
     
  11. Isn't the preamp in those spector legend boost-only? If it is and you have your eq knobs at 80%, it's possible that you are sending a very hot signal to the preamp. Did you try using the input pad on your amp?

    Also like it was said before, the input led is nothing to really worry about.
     
  12. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Turn down the bass boost on your bass. 80 percent is too much and is probably overloading your preamp.
     
  13. rbonner

    rbonner

    Sep 25, 2008
    WOW Calvan, it sounds like you have all the buttons pushed on this amp to get it to do what you want it too. I run a pair of SVT-4PRO's not the threes to a pair of 810E's and the 4's dont have enough power for me. My philosphy in sound is, turn everything off, all the buttons and set everything to neutral, get the gain right and then start making the tone controls do what they need to. MY GAIN control which is the pre amp's gain on both our amps comes up until when I hit a string hard it just blinks, My amp has a power limiter which has led's too but I run the limiters OFF. Your amp has a tube gain, which is the voltage control on the pre amp voltage... Start in the middle. Turn the master up til you get the volume you want. I think you will be short of power, but anyway... Now adjust the minimum of controls to get your tone. Me personally I let the amp do the talking for the AMPEG SOUND. See if your preamp lights get under control? I run an active jazz and mine behaves itself. Let us know how it goes, BOB
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No problem...you have a nice rig that should be capable of a lot.

    First off, Gearhead meant cranking the tone knobs and graphic EQ. It's almost always better to cut frequencies than boost them. You can send an amp into premature overdrive if you do it. And it's also almost always better to have the volume with the graphic EQ to be the same as the volume without out. Extremes can be fun, but they almost never work in a band context. When I had a 3 Pro, I left it flat all the way across. Sounded great to me.

    As for the tubes, I don't know how they break down as to which tubes do what, but it's not an all-tube amp because you don't have power tubes. Some are preamp tubes and some are driver tubes, that's all I know. And you should only replace tubes in it when they go bad, which could be tomorrow or it could be 50 years from now. And only replace the tube(s) that are bad. I've got some 40 year old tubes in some of my amps that work as good as the day they were made. You'll know when they go bad. You'll get distortion at low gain settings, or maybe the amp will quit working entirely. I'm no expert on them, but I know if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  15. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator

    Mar 26, 2006
    CHI/NWI

    I can't find the thread that I saw this info in, but the head is actually designed to be quieter so that the graphic EQ can act as a boost channel. Turn the EQ on, but leave it flat, and crank the gain all the way up. I wish someone would have told me that when I still had my 3pro, I might have kept it.
     
  16. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    Atlanta
    I played miune cranked all the time and never had this issue.

    One thing you must do is dime the GEQ Level Slider, then use the master volume for output control. I dont remember my exact settings but I ran the Ultra Low Boost on, had the Bass on about 6, Middle Selector Knob on #2 position with the Level on 6, Trebile on about 5, and the GEQ Boosted in the Midds.

    I kept my input gain so as the light only came on with a hard hits.

    That being said I had to crank this baby in a full band setting. I played mine with the SVT 4X10 HLF at 4 ohms.

    I got rid of it when I stepped up to a preamp and a 2600 watt power amp. Dont have no headroom issues now. :D
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF

    Dec 22, 2007
    New Westminster, BC
    The 3Pro is plenty loud, like Lowendgenerator said, the preamp is pretty quiet. Try running a DI or something into the Poweramp in and see what I mean.

    Anyways, back to the issue: You have an active bass. Have you tried the -15db pad?
     
  18. Calvan

    Calvan

    May 13, 2008
    San Diego
    to be honest i'm still not entirely sure what it does. it seems like all it does for me is cut my output level and the loudness drops at least 50%.

    thank you guys so much for all the replies. keep em coming! every perspective helps! i have not yet had a chance to experiment with all this info, but i should have the time tomorrow, and will let everyone know how it goes. thanks again guys
     
  19. Calvan

    Calvan

    May 13, 2008
    San Diego
    i dont know what the bolded is.... can you clarify please?
     
  20. Calvan

    Calvan

    May 13, 2008
    San Diego
    what do you mean by "dime" the GEQ? i know you are talking about the EQ output level slider (the switch that's all the way to the right on the EQ, right?), but what does dime mean?

    you are right about the EQ acting as a boost. in the manual it says to use it on all the time, or you have the option of getting a foot switch in order to use the EQ as a boost channel for solos and whatever else.

    but when you say "crank the gain all the way up," do you also mean the GEQ level slider? or do you mean the actual gain control (which is furthest left on the front of the amp)?

    sorry if my ignorance of my own amp is frustrating at all. again, i'm trying to play catch up. better late than never i guess.
     

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