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70's V4 vs. V4BH

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jjhardy, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. jjhardy


    Mar 11, 2007
    I did a search, but could not find a lot of very specific info. I have been aching for a old V4 as of late, but never find them locally. Not too far from here, however, I found someone selling a V4BH that has interested me. Basically, I want to know how the two compare. What I've been looking for in a tube amp (been doing the sansamp/poweramp thing for a while now) is something I can push into nice sounding distortion without cranking so loud i drown everything out. I play in a hardcore punk band that turns up pretty loud, but we generally play smaller spaces with a PA only for vocals.
  2. I have a V4BH and an SVT15E, and with eq flat, p bass on full, i start shaking the walls at about 9 on gain and 11 master. So, I think with a hardcore band you could get all the drive you want. More important is what cab you'll be running.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It is all about the cab. Obviously 6 10's will be alot louder than a single 15, or 2 10's. The V4BH is not an exact replica of the old V4's, but it does have all the modern features you'd want, and what I think is a great voice.
  4. jdb


    Jun 18, 2007
    probably on the road
    endorsing artist: ampeg, dimarzio, dean markley, jim dunlop
    i used to use an older v4 into an old hiwatt 4 x 12 cab loaded with evm12ls, it was awesome albeit cumbersome (the cab was like 200 lbs! haha), and it held it's own against 2 marshall half stacks. i wanted to try it again and got one of the new v4bh's, to use in small clubs. this time i was just using an svt 8x10, but it never really had the power i needed., so maybe like shakerattleroll say's, it depends on the cab... probably something smaller would do the trick.
  5. I have one of the new v4b's and I love it. I run it through an svt 410-hlf and sounds great, but I am looking to get a sealed cab instead of this ported one. I just like a more focused low end. Anyways, it'll work great for what you want, but I can't say how it compares to one of the vintage v4s, I've never tried one myself.
  6. jjhardy


    Mar 11, 2007
    cabs will be an Ampeg SVT 410HEN and a Trace Elliot 1518t.
  7. Hoss


    Jan 9, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Id recommend you, to look out for a Vintage V4. There are so many around. You can get them off ebay for something like 500.-
    Thats so cheap for such a nice Amplifier. Our Guitarrist plays a 75 model and its insanely loud. I tried it thru my 810 and it sounds killer for bass.
    I played a V4H in a shop onetime and it has less headroom than the Vintage V4 and that voicing of the SVT-CL that I found to be sounding weak and dull.
    I believe that the old V4s have much heavier transformers and a different layout. Plus its output trannie is good for 2, 4 or 8 Ohms while the V4H only offers 4 or 8.
    The best would be to compare them both but you will have a hard time to be given that opportunity.
  8. Correct me if I am wrong, but the V4H use newer, less rugged tubes. The original V4s used 4 7027A which were near-military spec, workhorse tubes. Not sure what this would mean soundwise as I have never A-B'd the two amps, but I am sure there must be a discernable difference.
  9. lowend1


    Feb 15, 2005
    The original V4/V4b and the newer V4BH share nothing but the Ampeg name. Not that the "H" is a bad amp - it's actually the same unit as the B15R, minus the Portaflex cosmetics and structure - but it is a completely different animal than the 70s version.
  10. brandau


    Jan 30, 2008
    I have a 72 V4B with original magnavox tubes! It's a work horse. I've toured with it for the past 5yrs with no problems at all. My band gets loud and I've always had plenty of headroom. I tried a newer one not too long ago. It was a totally different thing. It was cool, but not nearly as loud and full as the 70s V4s. Get an old one. They sound great and are tanks.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you ever need to replace them and you want the same tubes, the Magnavox tubes were made by Sylvania. Just throwing that out there in case you ever need it.
  12. brandau


    Jan 30, 2008
    Thanks. I did not know that.
  13. I have a V4BH running through a replica ampeg 8x10 and although I love the sound of it it's not quite loud or dynamic enough for some live situations. I play in a heavy style band that sometimes tunes down as far as B flat and I've found that 100w can't handle the lower frequencies as well as I'd like it too. Compared to my friend 70's V4B the V4BH is a bit more on the mild side (his breaks up earlier but still sounds louder overall).

    I changed the output tubes on my V4BH to 6550s with a new transformer handling the heater current for them and I think it sounds better than the 6L6s that were in there before (it now sounds closer to an SVT-CL), but it still wasn't as punchy or loud as I need it to be for gigging.
  14. I played in an old school hxc band (GB, Cro-Mags, YOT type stuff) and i had a V4 w/ an 8x10. Man those things were really voiced to work together, that cab has never sounded as good with any other amp. I kept up with two half stacks easy and we played similar sorts of places too- basements of tattoo shops, VFWs, etc. It had punch, it had grit, it had a great sound all around.

    I think the only difference is the v4b had no reverb. The reverb is easily removed. If there's a difference in the EQ settings it didn't matter, it sounded great to me.

    Downsides- it's HEAVY (probably 100lbs) coupled with a 150lb 8x10 it will start to suck moving up and down stairs every night on a tour. It's also old- you will need to pay a competent tech to really go through that thing before you go out with it. They are over engineered but are still 30-35 years old. Blow a cap or resistor in that thing and you're dealing with a big meltdown- they run at 600+v!

    Mine had some bugs to work out- it got so hot that the solder would melt and components would drop off the board while playing. I had to install a fan. New power tubes are usually a must.

    Will it be expensive? yes. Will it be worth it? absolutely. Do i regret selling mine? For the last 6 years, almost every time i play out.

    btw- i had a 72 or 73, it had the silver face w/ black square lines.

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