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Microphone Month 4

Ampeg SVT-3PRO 450-Watt Tube Preamp Bass Head Reviews

5.0 stars based on 10 customer reviews
Questions about the Ampeg SVT-3PRO 450-Watt Tube Preamp Bass Head?

Questions about the Ampeg SVT-3PRO 450-Watt Tube Preamp Bass Head?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Jared Kalish

    If you're a bass player who’s looking for the classic Ampeg tone, look no further. Having three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp section really helps bring out the warmth and depth of your bass. You can even drive the tubes to your liking with the Tube Gain knob. One of my favorite features of this head is the amazing EQ section. You're able to really dial in the sound you're looking for and then go over to the 9-band graphic EQ and tweak the exact frequencies you want. Simply amazing!

  • from Houston March 21, 2017Music Background:
    Bass player, piano, sound engineer

    No substitute!

    I owned the 1st series of this Amp that I bought in the 90's. It finally gave up the power supply, and parts are no longer available for it. So I used something else since I didn't have the $ to replace it. Finally, my Sweetwater rep, Ed Nystrom let me know about a "B" stock that was available, and I got it. Had a bad hiss out of the box. Tech support over nighted a couple of new tubes, I popped them in, and voila, I am back in business with the best bass sound I have ever had. I really had missed my ampeg, and especially the compliments I was accustomed to receiving about my superior bass sound. Once again, Ed and Sweetwater came through for me. I didn't even have to ask for the overnight delivery. My SWR Goliath III is pumping again! There simply is no substitute for quality, and it has the Sweetwater 2yr warranty!

  • from Aartrijke January 10, 2016Music Background:
    Music theory school for three years (classical)

    The best of the best!

    First of all, many users complain that this amp had not enough headroom - volume and it's a very weak amp. Well, I'm here to tell you otherwise :-)! I've been playing bass since 1998 and this is by far the best amp I've every owned. I used an Ampeg B4R and HK Quantum 600 but they don't even come close to this beast. But, before we go any further, this amp only works with great gear. I use this amp with an Ampeg SVT 610 HLF cabinet, a Boss ME50B and Ampeg SCR DI pedal combined with a Spector Euro 6 LX Bass and Mayones Slogan 6 L Bassguitar and with the -15db pressed in, I will never bring the gain higher then 9 o clock and the master at 11 o clock, tube voltage at 14 o clock and the EQ at 50 % level. Because your ears will bleed ;-). The sound is amazing, from deep beefy lows to cristal clear slapping, this amp does it all. You need some time to figure this amp out, at first you might be dissapointed by the sound but after a few hours of testing, tweaking, experimenting,... you will get the sound that you need and you are on your way. This amp has endured ten years of gigging, recording, rehearsing and has never let me down. Ok, two times tube change in ten years but that's about it. And the best of all, at every rehearsel and gig they tell me to "TURN IT DOWN" ;-). In other words, let your ears be your guide and this amp will rule them all!! And I also did a test, this baby runs 450 watts at 4 ohm's without any problem!

  • from Jackson, KY October 15, 2014Music Background:
    Praise and worship Bass player

    Best Bass Amp

    I got this amp in along with the new Ampeg Heritage410 and I'm blown away. Best sound I've ever heard for bass and its definitley proffesional quality. Great service here to with my sales rep. Thanks for a amazing amp.

  • from Smithfield, RI February 18, 2014Music Background:
    45 year Rock Musician

    Ampeg SVT-3PRO - classic Ampeg sound without the sore back

    Back in the late 70's I had an SVT with the old "fridge" 8X10 cab and found that now I missed that "Ampeg" sound. Sweetwater hooked me up with the SVT-3PRO. I put this on an SVT410HLF cab and WOW! It's the 70's again without the sore back from weightlifting the old rig. The range of tonal control is amazing. The tube gain control really let's you shape the tube preamp response. The "ultra-hi and lo" switches make dramatic shifts in tone at the push of the button and the EQ is superb. I play 5 string bass and my "B" string has never sounded so good. My guitar players both use Marshall half stacks and this rig has no problem keeping up. My Hartke 3500 just became my backup head, but I don't think I'll need it.

  • from California February 11, 2013Music Background:

    Solid kickin sound

    Excellent bass head great features for my reggae career, on the road in studio anywhere its awesome. bless!

  • from Baltimore, MD January 19, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Hobbyist

    Great Amp

    I have had this head for about 7 years now and the tone and power is great. I have it paired with a 410hlf cab. It gives you that great ampeg tone! This thing is also built like a tank. I have it mounted in a rack and was backed into by a mini van before a gig. Still worked with no issues.

  • from Columbiana, OH December 27, 2016Music Background:
    Assistant Engineer Wall of Shadows Studio and Session Bass Player.


    WOW! This is one of the best sounding heads I've heard in recent time. It doesn't give you the exact tone of a CL but it comes close if you push it. Don't listen to the people that say this amp is under powered. They are wrong.

    I'm running mine through a SVT410HLF. This thing will bring the walls down! The tube front end really adds a flavor of that old school Ampeg tube sound that all of us Ampeg aficionados love. The 9 band eq really adds a something I've never heard from a Ampeg head before but in a good way. This head is very flexible.

    I mainly play Extreme Metal. Think Cannibal Corpse and The Faceless. This head will keep up and give you the sound your looking for all day long. I can't believe how much gain this head has and the headroom is impressive.

    Overall this head is built pretty well and should hold up just fine on the road. The fan isn't too noisy but you might want to isolate the unit in another room if you use it to record since the fan isn't dead silent.

    Now for a small issue I had with my unit.

    To be fair I did purchase this from Sweetwater as a demo unit. As such you really don't know what it might have been subjected to or why it was returned if that was the case. After a few weeks of using my new amp I started to get a crackle over the speakers.

    After isolating the issue to make sure it wasn't any outboard equipment or interference, I determined it was the amp. Now I do tech all my own gear so I went to work on the problem.

    Disclaimer: To be fair I never contacted Sweetwater about the issue since I really didn't want to deal with sending it back. I'm sure they would have taken care of me though without any hassle.They always do.

    The problem was easy to fix. There were several cold solder joints on the main board under the header where the umbilical cable attaches. I did need to pull the main board from the chassis and retouch several solder joints. However after that was done the issue was gone.

    This isn't to say yours will do this but since I had a malfunction It's only fair that I post my experience.

    Even given the rocky history this amp has had, and even considering the issue I had with mine, all in all I'd buy this amp again. It just sounds really darn good.

  • from January 28, 2016Music Background:
    Lead Vocals/Bass Player (Alternative/Rock)

    Absolutely LOVE my new Ampeg SVT-3PRO!

    Through trial and error over several years, I've finally found the punchy yet crispy clear sound I've been looking for! The EQ is fantastic! I'm still dialing in but completely satisfied!

  • from Austin, Tx February 15, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Bassist, Guitarist, & Vocalist.

    My First Ampeg...And The Best On Stage Tone Ever

    I've been playing bass professionally for about 40 years. In that time, I've only played two other brands of amps...Peavey and Trace Elliot, and loved them both for the bands I was in at the time. But the time had come to update an aging rig, and so here we are.

    My requirements were that the next amp were that it would be rack mounted, weigh under 30 pounds, have graphic EQ, and have a true class AB power section (sorry...I just don't like the class D digital stuff).

    The Ampeg SVT-PRO3 quickly emerged as the front runner. A quick call to my Sweetwater Sales Engineer Rick, and two days later I've got my amp.

    I opened it up to make sure the tubes were still seated and look at the build quality. I spent a lot of years designing automated concert lighting, so I know a thing or two about road-proofing a piece of gear. I'm happy to say that everything I would have done to protect the circuits in a ten grand moving light were done in this amp.

    It went out for it's first show last night. I was a little nervous, as it was the first time with my full system (wireless, pedals, compression, etc), and sound check was going to be pretty tight. Up went the rig, and after less than five minutes of tweaking, I had the best sound I had ever heard on stage. I didn't even have to use the graphic EQ.

    I'm "one of those" bassist that plays with a pick, and getting the right balance of clarity and grind without getting strident can be a little tough. The SVT-3PRO nailed it for me.

    The only reason I didn't give the amp 5 stars is that I wish the input was a bit more sensitive, and having two Speakon outs would have been nice (I would gladly loose the 1/4" speaker outs).

    So yeah, I get it now. With tubes in the tone stack and power amp drive section, this amp is pretty darned close to the original SVT, at about 1/4 the weight. And the five year warranty...that's just gravy!

  • from Pembroke, ON Canada August 15, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    This One Does It All

    After my previous bass amp blew up for the second time, it was time to go shopping for something more reliable. I knew that an Ampeg wasn't going to disappoint, so it was between this and an SVT-CL. Glad I went with the 3-PRO. It covers any style you can possibly think of. The EQ section is very responsive and intuitive and doesn't take much time to dial in. I only use the graphic EQ to get more volume (it actually provides more than the master) It has that classic SVT tone without having to crank it. I consider myself a modern-purist, so if you want that SVT tone but don't need 300W of ALL tube power, pair this with an Ampeg 410HLF, and you'll be set for the life of your bass playing career. (unless your already playing stadiums and arenas, then you don't need this review).

Questions about the Ampeg SVT-3PRO 450-Watt Tube Preamp Bass Head?

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