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Should I get an Ampeg?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FLV, Dec 3, 2018.


  1. FLV

    FLV

    Sep 14, 2013
    Last year I've decided to go lightweight and sold my old Trace Elliot head & cab and got myself a full Markbass stack - a lightweight traveller 2x10 cab plus a used Markbass II head. I did like the sound, although I can't say I was overwhelmingly impressed. The weight made a world of a difference though. However, after a month or two the LM II head died on me during one of the rehearsals. Most of the power section got fried up, and there is little chance of rescuing it.

    Long story short - I'm looking for a replacement. I could go with the Markbass again (although I'm not so keen to do it now obviously), or I could go back a little bit and get myself a good reliable used SVT III Pro (I've found one from 2002 in a really good state). Granted, it's a lot heavier but it seems a little bit more trustworthy plus whenever I've played one over the years I always wanted to get one.
     
  2. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I had a TE and it was a good head but ultimately not the tone I needed.
    I bought a 3 Pro and hated it. It was in for solder trace repairs twice and never really sounded like an Ampeg to me.
    Didn't love the 7Pro enough to keep it but do love my SVT-CL as well as SVP pre-amp.
    The PF 500 / 800 get a lot of love here and are bargains on the used market.
    The 500 had reliability issues when first released but that was straightened out on later revisions.
     
    FLV likes this.
  3. FLV

    FLV

    Sep 14, 2013
    Does the III require a lot of maintenance? It seemed pretty sturdy for me, except for the bias issues.

    I'm also tempted to buy a PF500, however when I checked one I had a feeling that the DI out is a bit noisy compared to the III.
     
  4. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I think the majority of the 3 Pro's are very reliable; they just don't sound very much like an SVT to me.
    I'm not sure about the DI's on either one.
    Not sure how much power you need but the old Mesa Walkabout can get close to an SVT tone (at least if you like a clean tone). 300 watts, 2 tubes, and I believe they will become less expensive on the used market when the new version hits in a few weeks.
     
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  5. Good sound and lightweight? PF 500 or PF 800. Great sound and who cares what it weighs? SVT Classic. They both sound better through Ampeg cabs. My two favs there are the trusty old 8 10 (who cares what it weighs) and the 2 12 (I care a little about what it weighs.)
    BTW , I've played through a couple of different Mark Bass rigs and didn't really care for either of them.
     
  6. Kriegs

    Kriegs Peace

    Feb 14, 2018
    MA/ RI area
    The answer to that question is always a resounding YES! :thumbsup:
     
  7. FLV

    FLV

    Sep 14, 2013
    Thanks for the answers y'all. I've bought it and it should arrive on Friday. Can't wait to test it! :D
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. lespaulbass

    lespaulbass

    Jul 27, 2018
    oh yes.
    I love Ampeg amps.
    They are all good. The big ones are GRAND.
    Right now, I have one with 1 15 inch spkr -- it's loud and clean. I love it.
     
  9. johnpbass

    johnpbass

    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Which one did you decide on FLV, if I may ask?
     
  10. FLV

    FLV

    Sep 14, 2013
    The SVT III Pro. It was tempting to get another lightweight MB head, but I've decided to get something a little bit more tubey. I'm keeping the cabinet though, it's super compact and sounds good. If I'll need to gig with a superlight setup then I still have the trusted IEM/Preamp combo.
     
    JimmyM and johnpbass like this.
  11. FLV

    FLV

    Sep 14, 2013
    It's here! 2002, USA version and in a great condition! IMG_20181207_131245_616.
     
    kobass, Zbysek, JimmyM and 3 others like this.
  12. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Just like mine (bought new in 2002)! I've said it before, and I'll say it again to a new 3PRO user: don't fear the "Peak" light, it should be labeled "Ampeg goodness."
     
    Zbysek and FLV like this.
  13. TrevorG

    TrevorG

    Nov 30, 2012
    U.K.
    Went to see Richard Bona a couple of weeks ago. Despite being a Markbass endorser he had an Ampeg stack (4X10 and a15 along with the new Markbass five string which sounded fabulous). I love Markbass but his sound was great. Sat beautifully in the mix without any trace of the tubey overload. I'll always be a Markbass fan but Ampeg are classic amps for a reason.
     
    Zbysek and JimmyM like this.
  14. FLV

    FLV

    Sep 14, 2013
    So far so good, but I've been getting a bit of a fuzzy sound even on lower gain/master settings, particularly on highes and lowest notes - could be a sing of a wrongly set bias?
     
  15. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    Ohhh a 3 pro cool

    Liked the mark bass story.

    I've overheated every one I've touched.
    Hate those dam things
     
    Jim C likes this.
  16. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Mine was solder traces; twice
     
    AlexanderB likes this.
  17. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Yes, that's exactly the symptom of wrong bias (too low). I get the impression they were very cautious about the bias setting at the factory because it's very easy to destroy all of the output transistors in an instant with just a tiny bit too much of a turn of the adjustment. Better to set them a little low at the factory and risk a little fuzz than set them too high and risk burned up amps.

    There's a thread SVT3Pro Bias Setting with a lot of good information. Pay special attention to posts from Jerrold Tiers (who was an amp designer at Ampeg), and note all the cautions about how touchy that adjustment is.

    Setting the bias correctly brings out the best in these amps. If you're not 110% confident that you have the skills and tools to do this yourself, find a tech who knows these amps and have them do it.
     
    Zbysek and FLV like this.
  18. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    In other words you went from a Italian lemon to a " American" lemon.

    In case you missed the hundreds of issue threads on this one.
     
    AlexanderB likes this.
  19. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    If you're replacing a Markbass I'd look at Quilter, Mesa Boogie or Aguilar.
     
  20. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    I used an SVT3-PRO for about 8 years, powering a Mesa Boogie 210 EV and 115 EV to pretty loud levels. I had no issues or problems and loved the tone. My experience is that these are great amps.
     
    Zbysek likes this.

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