Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

SVT-3 PRO verses SVT-4 PRO

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skel, Feb 16, 2006.


  1. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I had an SVT-4 Pro and I am thinking very hard about getting an SVT-3 Pro. I don't biamp, and I know both of these heads have tube preamps and MOSFET power amp sections. The 4 had a built in compressor that I never used, and I don't normally use any of the extra buttons like "deep", etc. With that said, does the SVT-3 Pro sound pretty much the same as the 4? Of course, only people that have heard both would be able to comment. I always do this - I got rid of the 4-Pro, now, after listening back to some recordings, it really sounded very "Ampeg" and good. The SVT-3 is smaller, less frills - fine with me, and a few hundred bucks cheaper - used.

    Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Skel
     
  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    If I remember correctly, Bass Player did a review on these guys together a long while back. You might try there.
     
  3. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    IMO the 3 pro does not sound like the 4 pro. I have always prefered the 3 pro & i think it sounds closer to an SVT CL that is being played at a moderate volume level than the 4 pro. The 3 pro does not have nearly the power of the 4, but I was always able to get plenty of volume from mine & if you stay away from the "ultra low" button, you should be able to as well. If you are on a budget, you might look for a used SVP CL and pair that up with something like a QSC RMX series power amp. They are high powered & reasonably priced & the SVP CL sounds better than both the 3 & 4 pro IMO.
     
  4. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    I haven't played them side by side but I loved the sound of the SVT-3 and was unimpressed by the sound of the SVT-4. FWIW, the SVT-3 has driver tubes while the 4 does not.

    The SVT-3 might not be loud enough for you depending on if youre playing with a loud rock band, if you're running it into an 8ohm load or if you're using very few speakers.

    Some scenarios: if you're playing with a quiet band with a 4 ohm 8x10, you'll be putting out full power and pushing a lot of air, as it were. If you were playing in a death metal band with two guitarists that use full marshall stacks with an 8 ohm 1x12 cab then youd be lacking in volume.
     
  5. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Here's another scenario- I play in a loud thrash metal band with a hard hitting drummer and loud guitar. I never had problems keeping up with my 3 pro + SVT 410HE/15E stack. But I would definatley be maxed out in a big room with no PA support, which rarely happened. The ultra low button is what kills the power on the 3 pro by sucking out all the mids - dont use it. I have played a 3 & 4 side by side & I agree with lo-end that the 3 sounds better. But I still prefer the SVP CL/power amp combo. I could not get my 3 pro sounding as good as my SVP CL, not matter how i turned the knobs and hey... I think lo-end has one for sale. ;)
     
  6. What 8mmOD said...

    I used my SVT-3 Pro for years on rehearsals and shows with a double 4x10 setup. I loved the sound and to my ears it was very close to an all-tube amp considering the nice grit it had in the sound.

    It lacked balls and sheer power though; don't get me wrong it was loud enough with two cabs (so that it runs at max power on 4 ohm) and enough speaker surface.

    I liked the amp but I did switch to an all-tube amp after using the SVT-3 for a couple of years. I found the balls (that I missed in the SVT-3 Pro) right in an all-tube amp.

    Anyway. The SVT-3 Pro is a good amp with excellent tone. If you use it correctly (enough speaker surface and/or an efficient cab) you'll get a nice and versatile amp.

    I never used the graphic eq (it took more tone away, instead of adding it where I wanted it). I also never used the Ultra Low boost since (like said above) it sucked all power and mids out of your sound.
    I never used the -15dB pad either. I found that that too sucked out some good tone that came from my bass... I just turned the down the gain control instead.

    Oh and turn up the gain (past it the red-gain-clipping LED) and overdrive this amp. That's were it shines!

    Good luck with your decision. I never played the SVT-4 but to me its overkill with its outrageous power and crossover options. (Unless you're running 8 cabs at the same time or something, but we ain't touring arena's, aren't we?) :)
     
  7. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Thanks for the info - I'm gonna go for the SVT-3 Pro. I have a Classic, but for general lugging around I'd like to have the 3 Pro. I was happy with my B2-R, so I'm sure I'll love the 3. I should be able to get a decent one used for around $550.00

    Skel
     
  8. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Cool. I will leave you with this. I DID use the eq on my 3 pro and the last slider on that eq is a level control. When the amp seemed to be maxed out, I reached for that slider and the extra power was there. I also went from a classic to a 3 pro. But after a few years, I went back to a classic. The 3's tone is really good IMO, but what Phyrexian says is also true. When you crank that volume knob, the all tube head has more balls. But it sounds to me like you don't need that much power so the 3 pro is probably a good choice. If you'd like, PM me when you get the amp. I have some setting suggestions that may help you dial in a great tone more quickly. Oh yeah, you could probably find a used SVP CL & QSC RMX850 for under $600 as well. ;)
     
  9. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    yeah yeah SVPCL.. what he said
     
  10. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Thanks a lot. I should have one within a week. I also bought an SVT-II non-pro, so I'll have some options here. One thing I'd like to get an opinion on is this: I have an SVT-410HLF that I'm sure will sound great with the 3-PRO. I also have an SVT-610HLF, and since I just got it, and it's still sealed in the box, I could probably trade it (at GC) for an 8X10E - and I think the 8X10 might fit the SVT-II better, but I don't know. I like low end, but like the rest of us - too much sounds crappy and I'd rather have good definition and nice mids to go along with the all tube power section of the SVT-II. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated - sure, I can try the 610HLF, but GC already hates me, so I'd have a better chance of swapping it if it was still in the sealed carton.

    Skel