I own a 100T and have played the new V4B. I placed a comparison review on the V4B thread.
As promised, here are some observations I jotted down after comparing the V4B to the Fender Bassman 100T at the Bass Rockshop in Auckland yesterday. First, thanks to the guys at the Rockshop for being so accommodating. Bear in mind these thoughts are just gut based, casual observations as I only had about twenty minutes so it is not in depth. I currently own a Bassman 100T and Super Bassman 300 and in the past have owned a much missed SVT2 nonpro and an SVT VR, so I am familiar with both companies.
I was using a Fender Jazz provided by the shop. First reaction playing the V4B into an Ampeg 410 HLF cab was Fat, Fat , Fat and then Fat again. Beautiful rich, creamy tubey bass and I was able to get it easily without needing to crank the amp to overdrive levels. I am not very familiar with the 410HLF but it reminded me very much of my old SVT2 nonpro into my old fridge, yet I was able to get “that” tone at way lower volume. I did not have much time to play with the controls, so it was basically bass/mid/treble flat (5). I did have the bass boost on (pushed to right) and when switched the other way the bass reduced a little but the essence of fatness was still there. This seemed to me to be the signature character of the amp, although with more time I am sure I could have eqd other sounds from it. I also tried it into an Ampeg 112 cab but much preferred the 410HLF although the basic character was the same. I don’t know whether my memory has warped with time but it reminded me somewhat of my old Fender Bassman 100 into two JBL K140s way back in the seventies.
Next I plugged the same bass into the Fender 100T and Fender neo 610 cab, a combination I use myself. I only used the vintage channel, starting flat (2-10-2) then adding a touch more bass. Sounded terrible until I realised the master was on two and the gain cranked from a previous user (phew!). Correcting that gave me the sound I know well – open, transparent, clear but a little loose at the bottom end compared to the V4B. For a fairer comparison, we then plugged the V4B into the Fender neo 610 cab – at this point the two heads sounded more similar than before but the V4B still had a little fatter bottom end while the Fender was more open and transparent through the upper mids. Remember I like a clean tone so I wasn’t cranking either amp insanely, and no doubt playing with eq could have made either amp closer to the other – nonetheless each did have a clearly identifiable character of its own. I also think (and I have posted this before in other threads) that the Fender Super Bassman 300 is closer in tone to the Ampeg tone than the 100T, possibly because it uses 6550s – but that is purely an opinion and another can of worms .
Would I buy a V4B? Yes, definitely. Would I buy one instead of the Fender – I don’t know. The Fender is more versatile, to my eyes looks a little better/flasher (sorry Jimmy) and has a few features such as the silent record and 25/100watt power option that really does make it value for money. But the V4B does “that” tone that I hear in my dreams instantly, and it makes me smile. Both superb amps IMO, and probably if the V4B had been available when I bought the two Bassmans I would have bought one of each. How’s that for sitting on the fence?
Last edited by Tim1 : 11-04-2013 at 11:26 PM.