Ampeg V4B vs Marshall JCM 800
I'm spending my tax return on a '72 V4B and had a few questions regarding this lovely amp.
I play in a very loud psych-metal group and have been running both my '76 V4 412 and Avatar 412 (both with Deltalites, both sealed) out of a Hartke LH500 while my guitarist has a Marshall JCM 800 (100w) stack. The overall mix has been sounding nice for the past year minus me not getting the tube tone I've been craving. My question is whether or not the Ampeg will be able to keep up and if not are there any mods or changes in tubes I could have done (or do, if they're not too far over my head), or am I going to have to run an additional power amp to get the volume i need?
I haven't been able to practice with it yet because it's still at the shop so I guess I'm wanting to hear a little preliminary input.
I wouldn't think 100 or 120 (even tube) watts will cope with that. Not CLEAN at least
Try 300w tube...
saying "versus" is a little off putting. you and your guitarist are on the same team. his 800 has a master/gain, he can use that to get heavy, overdriven tones at a slightly lower volume (i know those things SCREAM, but try it). the v4b will sound awesomely loud when you crank it up. they should jive together.
one of my guitarists uses a 100 watt JMP - non master version. we make it work :)
It should work fine, don't be afraid to ask him to turn down a bit.
keep adding v4s
In a classic rock band. .... Maybe. In a metal group....no, not against a jcm 800.
There are no mods you can make to a 100w tube amp to make it a 300w tube amp ;) Your answer greatly depends on the rest of the band's volume. Since we can't hear them, there's no way to tell, but if you're smart, you'll not blast each other with insane levels, unless going deaf is part of the plan.
I could easily make a V4/V4B/VT-22 work for my bands and keep it clean with enough speaker area (like you've got) and did quite recently. Once it's loud enough that to need earplugs, the amp will be getting into overdrive which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'd consider swapping to 6550's which takes soldering a few resistors to get a little more perceived depth but it won't make you any louder.
I have used a V4 with 2 half stack guitars and a loud drummer.
used a peg 810 and it could keep up, but it was not clean tone.
Clean tone was not what i was looking for though.
I loved that tone
depends on the work done to the V4 as well,
new caps and new tubes and bias should be done, if it has not already. Mine was really spongy at first and it really woke up after new caps and tubes.
The tech that did it, did a bench test and said it put out 101 watts after the work. Later on another tech looked at it when the pots got scratchy and said the bias was a little cold and he benched it at 122 watts after he changed the bias.
My Sunn model T reissue was only 100 watts and it sounded amazing too in the same band. but again it was not clean tone at all. And in reality i doubt that amp did more than 80watts but it worked. With all those 12's you have should be a little louder than a 810.
Not having heard any of what you are describing, my guess would be that it all depends on the efficiency of those drivers and cabs together. In other words, if the speakers are efficient, and work well with the dimensions of the boxes they are in, you should be OK. That's a lot of speaker surface area shaking a lot of air. Unless your guitarist is just plain ridiculous, I think you'll hang. The V4 is pretty strong for such small numbers. I run mine with one sealed 4-10 and it kills.
ZC: if you plan to consider swapping your 7027 power tubes in your V4B with 6550's as suggested in one of the posts above, please be sure to do some research on amperage draw and the capabilities of your power transformer to handle that additional amperage draw. The 6L6/7027 type tube draws quite a bit less current than a 6550. IMO, I would recommend sticking with the tubes that the amp was designed for.
And as we TB'ers well know, an increase in power doesn't translate much into an increase in volume (unless you increase the power by something significant, like going with a 300 watt tube amp instead of a 100 watter).
With the V4B, the key is the number of speakers and the efficiency of those speakers.
As the proud owner of a '75 V4B I have to ask what is the rest of your rig (or did I miss it)? Whats the cab? Running any effects? Also bass are you using?
One other thing nobody has mentioned is Y-jacking. One of the beauties of these amps is the ability to Y-jack both inputs. The do have tonal differences and independent volume controls. I find that Y-jacking and blending the sounds is like honey butter on a biscuit.
That may help you balance the mix out. If it doesn't tell the guitarist to turn down for heavens sake.
A v4b with a good 810 sounds crunchy and beautiful. I've gotten lame and have downsized to a smaller rig thats just as loud with an overdrive thrown in for the sound.
It doesn't compare.... But no one in the audience notices so I get by.
Thanks all for the input.
I've since gotten the amp back into the practice basement and played a bit with my guitarist. So far so good-god-amazing; This amp rules! It does start to distort with the volumes I'm accustomed to playing around but IMO it can't sound any better especially pushing all 8 12"s. My worries about the band's overall mix were squashed once I rolled the volume to 12 o'clock. Ho. Lee. Cow. Now it's just a matter of fidgeting with the eq.
To answer questions regarding my setup here it is:
'76 V412 (Deltalites)
Avatar 412 (Deltalites)
Bass Big Muff Pi
Ernie Ball volume Jr.
Monster Bass Cables
'95 Jazz (w/ Flatwounds)
That sounds more like it. Soon those thin-stringers are gonna be askin' YOU to turn down.
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