Upgrade PF-500 to V-4B?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Scott549, Feb 17, 2014.


  1. Scott549

    Scott549

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    My son just got an old Ampeg V2 guitar head and it got me thinking about whether I should consider upgrading from my current PF-500 + VT Bass to the new V-4B. I am happy with my current rig but man, that V-4B is cool. Anyone have thoughts on whether this is worthwhile to consider? One question I have is whether I would get sufficient clean headroom out of the V-4B as compared to the PF-500.

    Thanks.
  2. TC.65

    TC.65

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Metropolis Il
    What cab or cabs are you currently using? There are a few different factors that should play a part in your decision.
  3. Scott549

    Scott549

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I've got a 15" and a 12" -- Ampeg Pf-115he and Avatar SB-112.
  4. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    115 is not enough cab for a 100 tube head.
    215's will do it.
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  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Get the V4B, it's a really nice amp. But keep the PF-500. You deserve to have both don't you?
  7. Scott549

    Scott549

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I would use the 15 and the 12 together as I do with the PF-500.
  8. joelb79

    joelb79 Supporting Member

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    Mar 22, 2006
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    Lansing, Michigan
    It's not going to be much louder but it will be tube. Is that worth it to you? why ask me: decide yourself.
  9. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    Do you play a 5 string? I found that my V4BH did not like a 5 at band volumes using the low B (farty). No such issues with the PF500. But...for a 4 banger the V4BH was fine.

    Now, the new V4 may be a bit different (reports are that it sounds great), but it is still 100 watts.
  10. High Camp

    High Camp

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Soundwise, it will be a significant upgrade IMO, you won't have any regrets.
    Sizewise it's 3 inches wider than the 115HE (don't know about the 112).
    And it's a bit heavier than the PF500.
    Volumewise you'll be fine too, IMO.
  11. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

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    Aug 26, 2012
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    I have the same rig, a PF-500 and 115he cabs.

    I've had the rig a few years, but have only used the two cabs a handful of times. I get run FOH everywhere I play. My stage volume is usually: gain at 1 o'clock, eq all at noon, master at 12 o'clock.

    I ordered the V4B and one of the SVT 112 AV cabs. I'm hoping the 112 will be enough for stage volume, otherwise I'll be returning it and ordering the 212 AV cab. Anyone have experience running this head through the svt 112 cab? All of the review I find are with the svt 212 cab.

    I'll be picking up the v4b and 112 on Sunday.
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    I've had a 100 watt V4B and love the sound; even more so than my SVT.
    It puts out 100ish watts of clean power.
    If you want distortion a 1x12 will be fine.
    If you want clean a 2x15 wasn't enough cone area to get to stage volume levels for me.
  13. TwoRivers

    TwoRivers Supporting Member

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    Aug 26, 2012
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    That's what I'm afraid of. I don't mind a little breakup, but I'm not looking for a permanently overdriven sound. Unfortunately I wasn't able to try the v4b or cab in a store. I thought since I wasn't technically "maxing" the PF-500 with an 8 ohm load (300 ss watts) and a sealed 15" cab, the 100 tube watts with a ported 12 would be enough. Probably not the best logic, but this is my first tube bass amp, so I didn't have anything to compare it to.
  14. TC.65

    TC.65

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    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Metropolis Il
    That's why I'm gonna eventually have 2 of the 212 AV cabs. For more clean volume when I need it, but at the same time I can bring just one when I don't.
  15. Groovy_Gravy

    Groovy_Gravy

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    Apr 26, 2012
    wrong. 115 is thunderous with a v4b
    i have a vintage v4b and a 115 OR a 410 are plenty for bar gigs with no PA
  16. Scott549

    Scott549

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I will have to play through a new V-4B at a music store when I get a chance. It would seem to me that since the SVT is the gold standard, loud enough for absolutely anything, then the V-4B, being the next step down, should at least be loud enough for most small to midsize gigs.

    As an aside, the old (and somewhat reconditioned) V-2 my son got for guitar sounds absolutely great through a Mashall 2x12 cabinet. I'm surprised Ampeg doesn't sell more guitar amps.
  17. 2behead

    2behead

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    Mar 8, 2011
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    portland
    It's not volume that will be the issue at all. I have a/b vintage SVT and V4 with same 8x10 cab. Volume wise they are the pretty much the Same to your ear. LOUD! The difference is that the v 4 is just so much more aggressive. You can get the 70's overdriven bass sound at modern rock stage volume. The SVT....... I have yet to be able to turn one up loud enough to get that sound. Sound man won't let me. Back in the day, the whole band could just cranked every thing. For the most part those days are gone.
  18. Scott549

    Scott549

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    Madison, Wisconsin
    Interesting perspective -- my issue is sort of the opposite; I need it to be loud enough without too much overdrive.
  19. 2behead

    2behead

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Location:
    portland
    Well, I have no experience with the pf500. I feel like the SVT is something most of us have experienced with. I gig my V4 with a sealed 4x10 in a very loud rock band at half to two thirds of the way up. So like number 5-7 on the volume knob. You may not need that much volume. That kept up with a 100 watt fender twin at half volume. To put that in some sort of perspective.
  20. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest Supporting Member

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    Endorsing Artist: Dark Horse strings
    I've had an SVT, a homebrew 200 watt tube head, and PF500s at the same time. If you need clean tube watts for the same volume you can get with the 500 (even into 8 ohms), you'll need at least 100 watts more than the V4b has. If you just need loud, you'll be ok with the V4B.

    I used my 200 watt head and one PF500 for a typical no-FOH bar benefit backline, and the tube amp could JUST keep up with the PF500 for clean sound at max loudness in that room. If the venue or stage area were any bigger, I'd have needed the SVT to keep up.

    Too bad you're wedded to Ampeg. Traynor comes to mind.
  21. Scott549

    Scott549

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks -- that is helpful. I have played the Fender 100t and one of the Traynors (I think it was the 200-watt) in music stores and didn't like them much, at least based on the few minutes I spent with them. I will play through all of these again in the next few months. I'm pretty happy with the PF-500 but it's always intriguing to consider a tube amp.

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