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SVT3-PRO Reliability Issues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kennyhoe, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. I tried searching for these in the forum but didn't get any results. I am interested in one of these and do not want to spend 1300 CDN. on an item which i'll have to take back to the shop repeatedly. can anyone tell me exactly what these problems are, and what might be another reliable head i can get that compares to the svt3-pro
  2. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I've had an SVTIII Pro since 1994. When I first got it, it had a loud pop when turning it off. I returned it to Ampeg, they replaced an out-of-spec diode and it's been fine since. I also had the cold solder joint problem on one of the rear panel jacks...taken care of under warranty, about six months after getting the amp. It's been through a lot and keeps going. Mine has a distortion in the amp section that makes my horn tweeter sound like it has a blown diaphragm...but only on a few notes, and then only if you stand there, alone, framming on the strings(obsessive, anyone?). I can never hear it if I'm playing with anyone else. I really like the tone of this amp. The first time I played it, it was like 'going home again'. Much has been said about this amp's lack of power. I tend to agree...if you are expecting an amp that is 50% louder than an SVT's 300 watts. Not close. However, even before having PA support, the amp was never shy of volume in our blues/rock band-even outdoors. I use two cabs with it and that makes a huge difference. With one only (even a 4 ohm cab), it was pushing itself in a medium-large room, and in over its head outdoors. The connectivity of this amp is wonderful. It has every patch point and in/out that I want. The DI works great...all the soundmen who initially wanted to mic my cabs commented afterwards how nice the bass tone through the DI was. Though I have replaced it onstage, I still use it in the studio...it's a keeper.

  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    I've heard stories too.
    Mine fell in the stairs, down the van, it suffered several electric injuries, some idiot spilled coke on it, and it still worked perfectly.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've had one since 1999 or so; it's my backup rig. I've only gigged with it a couple of times, but I've used it fairly regularly for loud rehearsals.

    When I got it, it made intermittent crackling/popping noises; most likely the tubes. Being that it's not my #1 rig, I never got around to retubing. Then I read a post here where someone said they "burned in" the tubes by leaving the amp on for 24 hours straight. I figured what the heck, and left mine on for 36 hours. Amazingly, the intermittent crackling and popping has almost completely disappeared.

    No other problems. It's a cool little head, and I wouldn't hesitate to gig with it if (goddess forbid) my #1 rig goes down.
  5. thanx for all the replies guys.

    well, i currently play in a punk band in small-medium sized venues (up too 300 people crowded together). I need something that will be loud enough for that. Do you think that an Svt3 and either a bse410 or svt410 will be able to do that?
  6. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    Here's the dilemma. The amp really likes 4 ohms. Actually, it probably loves 8 ohms, but it's kinda lethargic there. I'm not familiar with those two 410 cabs you mentioned. If they are reasonably efficient, in that sized room, I'd go for it. If you get an 8 ohm cab, you can always add a second one as finances permit. Mine seems to respond better to two 8 ohm cabs than it does to one 4 ohm cab. FWIW.

  7. I just scored a pre-owned one for my back-up rig at around $900 cdn, shipped (woohoo!). the tone is quite something,loving in.
    The handy thing with (most) tube gear is that any "problems" are often remedied by a simple tube swap. Haven't had an issue with power to date, amp seems sturdy enough to me. I like it!