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SVT 3 Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JVbass, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. JVbass


    Feb 15, 2009
    Cleveland OH
    I am thinking about getting one of these amps. Does everyone who has played one feel that it is under-powered?
  2. No. But u have to use the graphic eq level slider control to get the FULL volume capacity.
    I never needed to, but just sayin'
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Cranking the gain using your ears and ignoring the lights also helps.
  4. It does get a rap for being underpowered but IMO a lot of this is user error. For example:

    Once a band playing before me wanted to use my SVT 3 Pro. No probs. The guy set up and hated it - ranted about why it was so quiet. When I got on stage I saw why - he didn't realise that the far right slider was the EQ level. It was part of the nice pretty curve he had all worked out and the EQ volume was set really low along with his treble sliders.
  5. +1 to both above posts.
    I once saw UK dance act Crazy Penis & bassist was using a 3 pro & SVT 810.
    Had the clip light running virtually all night & it sounded clean & nice.
    Must've had enough stage volume-big 3000 seat theatre
  6. JVbass


    Feb 15, 2009
    Cleveland OH
    Thanks for the replies. I wanted to stay around the 500 watt range, and I know that may limit my choices. I was also thinking about the pf500, but the hybrid looks good to me. Is there anything about the pro 3 that you don't like? Jimmy?
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm just not a fan of traditional solid state amps in general so any that I've owned just didn't hit my buttons the way tube amps do. Surprisingly, I do like micro amps, though. Don't know what to tell you on that one...that's something that everyone has to decide for themselves.
  8. MaceTheBass


    Mar 15, 2009
    The 3PRO tube preamp is great imo.
    A 4 ohm cab and you're fine.
  9. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    I bought mine ten years ago, I love the all-tube preamp. It has enough power to push my 8-ohm 2x10 loud enough to keep up with the drummer on stage, anything louder than that really ought to be up to the PA.

    As others have pointed out, you need to turn up the Gain knob and push the preamp hard to get the full power out. The Peak light indicates a healthy signal level in the preamp, not clipping in the power amp!

    It's also worth mentioning that the output stage has a slightly finicky bias control that needs to be adjusted correctly in order for the power amp's transistors to work to their full potential. Biased too cold, the amp sounds weak and may have some background distortion. I adjusted mine recently, the improvement in clarity and solidity of the low end was quite noticeable.

    This is something you can adjust yourself, if you have appropriate skills and equipment - see http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/svt3pro-bias-setting-437406/#post5806246 for example. Or have a good tech do it, it should cost only a bench fee.
  10. RSNG


    Sep 6, 2010
    I wasn't happy with mine at all, until the guys on this forum told me how it works. The owner's manual is pretty useless.

    I'm still a devout all tube SVT guy, but I'm really starting to like my SVT 3 Pro. I usually use it with a BSE 410 HLF. It's got a nice fat punchy sound. I occasionally run a line out into the PA. But that's not really necessary for most of the bars I usually play at.

    My old guitar player came out to see my new band last night. When I played with him, I hadn't figured out the SVT 3 yet. He said it's like I got my old sound back now.
  11. Absolutely! I have a 3pro and a B410hlf as my back up rig, its a bit of a monster! But, as many have said, it takes time to get used to the way the 3pro works. However, take time, be patient and you'll be rewarded with a power house of sublime tone.
  12. prd004


    Dec 3, 2010
    It's definitely not underpowered, and I used one as my main amp for 18 years never a problem.

    Out of any amp I've ever used extensively, this one is the hardest to get to sound good. It takes some getting used to.

    These days I use my SVT-VR, but the 3Pro is a good piece of gear
  13. As others have said you need to push the preamp hard. I have my gain set at around 1:30-2:00. Peak lights solid most of the time but the sound is rather clean.

    The slider for the eq can really unlock a lot of clean volume in the amp as well. One thing that had worked well, for me at least, is running my compressor though the effects loop and pushing the gain up on the compressor to drive the power amp harder. Really allows for a much more range on the master volume control.

    Granted I run it though either an 8x10 or a 2x15 most of the time, I rarely take it above 10 on the master control. It stays clean nearly all the way through the masters range. Incredibly loud how I have it set up.
  14. Into 4 ohm cabs, they have solid power.

    I believe they get an undeserved reputation for low power
    because people misunderstand the peak LED. It is supposed to
    flicker on the SVT-3 PRO. Many people think of the peak LED
    as a "clip LED" which is never supposed to blink.

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