Some questions about 'Drive-buttons' on several AMPEG SVT's

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Phyrexian, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Hi there,

    I've read on the Ampeg Message Board that the preamp section of the SVP-Pro is the same as the SVT-2 Pro.
    Does this mean that the SVP-Pro has the same kind of 'DRIVE' (to overdrive the sound) as the SVT-2 Pro?
    Or is it different?
    Might the 'overdrive' of the SVT-2 Pro be a result of the overdriving of the preamp or the power tubes?

    Also whats the difference between the sound of the drive-knob on a SVT-3 Pro a SVT-2 Pro and SVP-Pro?


  2. I can't help you with your question, but I'd like to say that I have an SVP-PRO, and have the drive control about half-way up even if I don't overdrive--it's punchier that way.

    I'd assume that the drive on the SVT-2 does the same thing, but I'm not sure. I think overdriving power tubes is just a question of putting too much gain into them.
  3. Sprinkler

    Sprinkler [account disabled]

    Jul 31, 2002
    They do what they're supposed to. solid tone.

    Also, whatever you buy, don't buy a laney linebacker!

    Michiel(from belgium ^^ )
  4. Dear Davy0,

    what happens (soundwise) when you turn the drive button fully clockwise?
  5. I used to own a IIPro. It had the "drive" button and all. I found it to have almost no affect on the tone (all the way up or down). It was the most useless of all the thousands of knobs on that amp. Keep in mind, even though I purchased new it "could" have been defective (the drive function, that is). You should get your hands on one to really satisfy your curiosity. Overall, I liked that amp. Mostly for the DEEP THUMP that could be dialed-in with the EQ. I have no experience with the Preamp only.
  6. you might want to search the website (forums) for an answer...good luck.
  7. Well,
    the Ampeg Message Board ain't very helpful...
    There's like only 500 registered users and not many topics, so that's why I posted here.
    But no mind-reveiling replies yet...

    Keep 'em coming... ;)
  8. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I agree Ampeg's message board is lame. You are much more likely to get good information here at TB. I owned an SVT3 pro for a couple of weeks. The drive knob seemed pretty useless. Didn't seem to make much difference in tone (distotion/clean) no matter what combination of turning it up or down along with turning up/down the pre amp gain. The amp just seemed to have a low gritty distortion all the time. After a cople of weeks my Ampeg dealer allowed me to trade it in on an ampeg B4r that I liked much better. Nice clean tone! It also has a "texture" button that gives you that gritty distortion when you push it in. The texture button does work real well with the pre amp gain allowing you a small amount of distortion or alot. Pretty cool considering there are no tubes in the B4r. :cool:
  9. What happens? Not much! Bottom line: Don't make the same mistake I did and expect much from the Drive knob. Based on your above comments it has piqued your interest like it did mine. I like Ampeg and the IIPro but I believe the drive knob is a marketing snow-job.
  10. yeah!
    i noticed that too at the shop where I tried out a SVT-3 Pro. I turned the knob fully clockwise and back and it didn't distort or alter the sound a lot (not to mention jack **** at all). Like has been said, this whole 'drive'-issue might be a marketing toy from Ampeg to 'drive' the sales of the SVT's. ;-)
    Perhaps I'd better go for a SVT-5, a B5R or SVP-BSP (or maybe a distortion pedal) to get an overdriven sound...
  11. You guys say it doesn't do anything? I know it does on the SVP- you just have to clip the input until the red lights go on; that's what the manual says.

    Despite the sound difference when the drive knob is turned up, it gets a nice fuzzy distortion when you crank the gain. Maybe it works differently on the preamp?
  12. Well as far as I know Ampeg doesn't call it a "drive" knob anymore. It's listed on my 3PRO as "tube gain" and more accurately on older SVT3's as "plate voltage". Ampeg doesn't claim (with the 3PRO) to really overdrive with the tube gain. It makes the response a little faster. I do notice the tone is a bit muddier when the tubee gain is turned down all the way. But there definately is some grit to the tone when you turn the gain up all the way so that the peak light turns on.
  13. LPpt


    Sep 13, 2005
    Porto, Portugal
    I've been using a svt-3 pro for a couple of months now, and I do notice quite a diference in perceived sound when playing in a band. The sound cuts through much better when the tube drive is up.
    As far as tone is concerned, there is a little "tubey" warmth added to the sound, although not that noticeable. (ime)
  14. Akito


    Dec 1, 2003
    ok that's weird. I used to own an svp- trying to remember which one it was, and I played another in a music store in DC. I could get a ton of distortion from them both. I have since gone with an eden pre and various pedals for od and distortion. Everyone's mileage varies I guess.
    Funny thing is, in that DC store they had an old Ampeg power amp that they used to demo the pre. It had some cushiony vinyl on it and dark blue trim. It was the best sounding power amp with that pre I have ever heard, and I have never been able to even find a picture of that model anywhere. I sort of wish I had just bought the whole thing at the time, it nailed that super deep overdriven tone I am always looking for.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I currently own the SVP-Pro and used to own an SVT3Pro. The Drive on the SVP is definitely not the same as Tube Gain on the 3Pro. Turning Drive clockwise increases distortion, as you'd expect. Turning Tube Gain counterclockwise increases distortion... that seems counterintuitive, but it's because counterclockwise reduces the voltage going to the tubes, so in that respect it makes sense (tubes distort when too hot, but also when not hot enough).

    For both units, you need to run "in the red" (clip light on) to hear overdrive. Even then, the 3Pro overdrive didn't do much for me. The SVP overdrive is better, IMO.

    P.S. Don't worry about the red clip light... it's not a danger signal! You won't hurt anything by running in the red. Just don't clip the graphic EQ (has its own clip light) - it's solid state, and sounds like poo when overdriven.