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70's V4B in the Belly of the Beast

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheChariot, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA

    Guitar Center must be desperately trying to earn the respect of the bass player wisemen, such as many of the folks here at Talkbass...

    Cuz I saw a 70's V4B there last week. And I have to say... it made me sad to see it stuck there next to a bunch of half-broken dual rectifiers.

    They're letting it go for $300. The face plate is quite faded, and I didnt give it a test run. Next time I'm gonna ask em to lemme plug into it, and I'll probably bring my camera or something.

    But... without seeing or hearing it, what kind of condition would you suspect its in if they're letting it go for $300? I've really never shopped for older amps, but I would LOVE to get my feet wet with my very first tube head. But... not if I'm just buying something that's going to require major restoration. I'm not financially set up for that, with student loans and such :meh:

    Nourish me with your insight, wisemen! :D
  2. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    They're pretty tough amps and one of the best buys out there - they really haven't been as sought after & there were many made, so the prices have stayed fairly reasonable.

    I'd just check it out - play it fairly loud for a while - and if the fuses don't go you might have lucked into a great buy. You can expect it to remain fairly clean up to about 12 o'clock on the volume. Check also to see that all the tone controls work & both channels work. When it's powered up, tap on the amp chassis to see if any of the tubes are microphonic.

    I'd get it thoroughly tested and checked by a good tech if you're going to use for your gigging amp, but once it's sorted out, the sound will make the lugging seem insignificant.
  3. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    You should definitely try it out. I paid $600 for mine and it had been serviced and was ready to go. I didnt think it was too much but it was probably on the high end of what you would pay for a V4B. For $300 I would expect it to need some work but you never know it might not. If it hasnt had any service in a long time I would think a cap job and bias would be necessary at the very least. Like Bob said expect clean tone to about 12 or so. Oh and if its one of the late models with separate gain/volume, I guess those arent quite the same as the volume only models. Ive only heard that though. Its a great amp if you dont mind the weight.
  4. I second the above advice.

    However, I would add you would be doing yourself a huge favor by preparing yourself/budget for another $300 worth of initial service at some point in the near future.

    Personally, I'd inspect the tubes to see if they are the correct ones and then check to see if the ohms switch is set properly then let it warm up for at least five minutes then take it out of stand-by then turn all the knobs every which way real good to hear whatever and then plug up and play it for as long as possible and just listen.

    IMO, a maintained V4B is well worth $600 so $300 may not be a bad starting point if the amp is OK.

    BTW, they might take $250.
  5. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    oooh... I'm excited now. :)

    See, its cool because I've been dilly-dallying on TB now for like a year... and I've absorbed so many useful opinions and pieces of information.

    So it'll probably surprise Guitar Center to see an 18-year-old to walk in and ask them all kinds of specific questions (That they probably won't know the answer to).

    I'm not really sure how hard these things are to get ahold of... and I'm sure I'm going to want one (for recording purposes, I predict) in about 2 years when I have my degree. I could always just buy this sucker and let it chill at home for a while... just to get it in my possession.

    Thanks for the input, fellas. :)
  6. V-4's can be found for pretty cheap since there are many on the market. 300$ probably means it needs some maintenance, such as a retube at least. However most V-4's hover around 600$ so 300$ is THAT cheap... it probably works or needs a few repairs.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    As the 'patron resurector (?sp) of Metron's head I'd say that $300 is a good price. IF the trannies are functional. If you get no sound when you test it, I'd be very leary ... TB'er Passinwind was the actual resurector and did a really nice job on it! Cool amp.
  8. godraphonic


    Jun 6, 2005
    I have been craving for a replacement for my 72 V4B since it was stolen 10 years ago. Not even the 69 SVT I replaced it with can ease the gnawing emptieness of its loss.

    Ten years ago, these things seemed to be everywhere in good shape for $200-$250 with mint ones going for less then $400. I found 4 localy all in the same week I shoped for an amp. Now with Ebay and G.C. prices for steaming pile of **** have sky rocketed. I have resigned myself to paying about $500 for a clean example, but I'm a cheap bastard, so maybe i'll get a broken pile and restore it.

    The fact that I know with 100% accuracy who the thief ( JASON FARINA charged and convicted of recieving stolen goods) was that stole my original is fueling the gas. The urge to track him down and torture him has re-emerged nearly as strong as it was in the weeks following the theft. I think a replacement V4 is the only thing that will ease the resentment over the failure of law enforcement and the burning desire for justice.

    Some one sell me a clean V4b, it may save a life!
  9. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I COULDNT HELP IT! I wont have the money for 2 days but I drove like 30 miles and tested the sucker!

    'Tis Alive! I plugged it into an SWR Goliath Jr., let it warm up, and grabbed a MIM Jazz... and it simply made me happy :). Frankly, the tubes seem like they're just fine. I didnt notice anything in about 25 mins of playing time. Tinkered with every switch and tested both channels... tapped on it everywhere.... it didnt lemme down once. The only thing that's not working is the standby light, it seems.

    I havent consistantly played bass in about 8 months, because I've been drumming in a band and focusing on recording people for experience. But today, the bassist within me came back to life. I turned on the ultra high switch and started slapping "Higher Ground" and it was friggon magic! :D

    But after a good 20 mins of sweet tone... I saw something I couldnt help but try. I'd never heard one of the new Behringer cabs they came out with... and I was standing right next to their $600 8x10.

    I couldnt help it... I plugged it in. And I played it for about.... 10 seconds.

    .... and I think that's all that needs to be said on that topic :p

    But yeah. Saturday is the day. I'm selling my B2R to a kid for $300 and running to GC to make a massive upgrade. :smug:

    OH! One question? That the heck is that Polarity switch? It was in the up position and the dude there said it was fine... so I just left it and it was cool. But what's its exact function? :confused:
  10. godraphonic


    Jun 6, 2005
    it keeps you from getting a zap from other amps or pa's with opposite polarity. old ampegs have 2 prong non polarized plugs and no chassis grounds.

    I will try to resist going to NY and buying your v4b out from under you...is it a magnavox/NJ era amp? metal or plastic switches?
  11. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    It's friggon old. The old Metal switches. :p

    the face plate is somewhat faded out... but that's not even an issue for me. In fact, that's a good thing, cuz its probably why Guitar Center lowered the price.... cuz most of the teenie boppers hanging out there are just looking for something new and shiney to play their Simple Plan cover songs through. An old V4B or Fender Bassman hits no appeal with them....
  12. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    It's a good price for a tone monster - buy it and you can sort it out at your leisure... ;)