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Ampeg V-4B question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by St33l, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. St33l


    Nov 1, 2017
    A few months ago I bought an Ampeg Heritage 810 cab and a Gallien-Krueger 1001rb-II head. The rig was way too loud for my use (playing and recording mostly at home and gigs occasionally), so I have decided to sell the amp and buy another one. Since I live in a place where i can't try the amps before i buy them, I want to ask you for some advices. I have been looking at either a Gallien-Krueger 700rb-II or an Ampeg V-4B (I have also been looking at an Ampeg SVT-CL, but i'm afraid to do the same mistake again). I play mostly rock, metal and punk.

    So my question is: Will the V4-B fit me well and be loud enough for my use? (i'm looking for sort of a dirty clean tone)
  2. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Dirty clean tone?
    dan1952 likes this.
  3. St33l


    Nov 1, 2017
    Haha, i mean like a clean tone with a little grit.
  4. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    You'll probably love the tone, as it's kinda the quieter little brother to the original SVT. but yes it will be plenty loud without the overkill. Tone sounds just like you're describing. And I'm assuming you'll be getting a reissue, which I believe has more control over how much dirt you can add.

    No bad choices listed.
    GregC likes this.
  5. St33l


    Nov 1, 2017
    Thanks for the reply:) That's sounds just like what i'm after. The V4-B is probably the one that I'll end up buying, and yes, I'll be getting the reissue. :bassist::bassist:
    Burwabit and JimmyM like this.
  6. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    ;)What kinds of gigs/venues are you playing, and what kind of guitar amp(s) are you up against? That GK head is a standard bearer amp and I can’t see how it could ever be “too loud” in a band situation(there’s never a ‘too loud’ bass amp in my book;)). Better to have power, and not use it most of the time, than the inverse. That’s what the volume knob is for. Plus, you’re comparing solid state GK to a tube Ampeg. Apples and oranges. If you’re looking to push a lower watt tube amp to get some overdrive, keep in mind that you may not want that sound all the time; you should perhaps look into dirt pedals. Otherwise, if you want grind to be your ‘always’ tone, good luck, but if I were in your situation, I’d prefer to have options; start with a clean platform and then manipulate your sound through stomps or preamps.
    Muckaluck, Fuzzfarmer and AstroSonic like this.
  7. St33l


    Nov 1, 2017
    One of my guitarists play a 60w Marshall with a 2x12 and the other one 100 Engl with a 4x12. We play small to medium venues (almost always with PA support). I rarely need a completly clean tone for the music i play. When it comes to dirt pedals, I have a Sansamp BDDI v2 that I have been using together with various amps with good results. I just thought that i might as well buy a real tube amp since that mildly overdriven tone is what i'm after.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Congratulations on owning the very best cab Ampeg has ever made! I have a couple SVT's and the reissue V4B as well, and volumewise, the V4B will get you fired from any respectable gig while the SVT will induce nausea :D However, both have volume knobs that work in the opposite direction, and to be fair, so does the GK. Some have told me they didn't find the V4B loud enough, but I spent years in loud rock bands in my teens and 20's using a V4B and 810 and got asked to turn down way more than I got asked to turn up.
  9. St33l


    Nov 1, 2017
    Haha:roflmao: It sounds like the V4B is the right one for me. And I agree with you on the cab, it's amazing. Best cab I have ever played through:bassist::bassist:
    Got it on sale for cheaper than the 810 CL! :thumbsup:
    GregC, xJasonSmithx and JimmyM like this.
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I just saw a used V-4B at my local GC.
    Ed Byrnes and J-Mags like this.
  11. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    I think you will probably be fine... I used to play 400-seat clubs with a V4B and it's matching 6-10 cab ( back in the day when the PA only had vocals and MAYBE kick drum... )
    J-Mags likes this.
  12. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    IME it's not nearly loud enough to gig with. The tone is unbelievable, fat, old school bass juiciness, although if you're looking for "dirty clean tone" GK is kind of the master of that. I kept mine for years to take to recording sessions, but I wasn't doing enough of that to justify the space it took up in my "closet of gigging bass gear" at home.

    I'd keep the head you have and just turn it down.

    ETA: Jimmy and I disagree on the V4-B being loud enough but we both very much agree on the merits of the SVT 810 cab. Hell, I didn't even mind moving it that much. Except upstairs. Hoo boy. But that cab - you're gonna get heard.

    Still miss mine sometimes.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
    Jim C likes this.
  13. St33l


    Nov 1, 2017
    I just feel that when I turn it down that much the amp doesn't hit it's sweet spot.
    xJasonSmithx likes this.
  14. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    I've never known a V4-B to be too quiet. Too distorted? Occasionally. But if you're playing rock in clubs and want a dirty clean sound, a V4-B will be great. The bass player in my old band had one that she played through a generic 2x15 that can't have been very efficient. We were loud, and she could always be heard. End of story.

    Especially if you're looking for the kind of amp that's got a sweet spot, and you want to open up the volume. Also, on bass, most of the travel of the volume knob is "sweet spot".
    GregC likes this.
  15. Madhouse27

    Madhouse27 Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2016
    Just yesterday my SVT-CL went from bedroom practice-level to sternum punching two guitarists that seemed intent on having a volume war. When I first got it and tried it out in my garage, I was a bit concerned that it may not be able to pull off low volume. As Jimmy said, the knobs go both ways.
  16. Barton Lee

    Barton Lee Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2018
    I bought a brand new V4-B rig in 1981, with the matching cabinet which was the same size as the SVT cab but came with two 15" speakers facing each other in the middle. I was young and not well-informed the cabinet, which had a long throw and didn't work as well as I'd hoped, on stage at least. The cabinet soon got stolen out of a practice space and I replaced it with a Traynor cab with two front-loaded 15s and that was my workhorse rig as a gigged constantly through the 1980s.

    I have many fond memories of the V4-B amp but haven't forgotten the many times I lamented its lack of headroom. If you're playing in a loud band as I was, it just didn't cut it all the time on stage against a guitarist with a 100 watt Hi Watt guitar amp w/Orange 4x12 and a very loud drummer. I finally got a SVT-II Pro which solved the headroom problem and wasn't much heavier to move.

    I'd never discourage anyone from buying a V4-B, new or old, and mine worked well in the studio. But for stage use, unless your band doesn't get too loud, an all-tube SVT is still the best bass amp in the world. I'd still drag mine everywhere if I physically could do so. Nothing else ever made my basses (electric and upright) sound so righteous.
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    An SVT will get clean and loud with an 8x10
    A V4B may get the job done if you want clean
    Best tone I ever had was the original V4B through a 2x15 cabinet with Altec 421's although it had zero headroom for clean

    OTOH, the rig you have has a volume control; I have a 1001 and it is a great amp
    If you want dirt, turn the volume or boost up and lower the output volume
    If you want tubes, get the SVT as it is not much more than a V4B, much easier to sell and the weight is not an issue if you don't move it

    Neither Ampeg will get the job done if you want clean and loud with an ineffecient cabient
    AlexanderB likes this.
  18. xJasonSmithx


    Jun 25, 2003
    Denver, CO
    That was my experience with the 1001 rb as well. I now have the V4B reissue and it is perfect. I play in a loud band with two 100 watt science heads and 4x12 cabs and have no trouble keeping up with my Sunn 2x15 cab. I do want to get another gk head with a lot less wattage eventually.
  19. Ed Byrnes

    Ed Byrnes Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2015
    +1 on used from GC. They test stuff well and returns are easy.
  20. CRich0205


    Feb 17, 2013
    My old V4B had some headroom issues of my guitarist got a little crazy on volume. It worked great at just that edge of breakup tone. Most places won’t let me turn my SVT up to that point. I use a 2 pro so theirs a preamp drive and more headroom. It sounds great at bedroom levels and gig levels. If you can swing one I would look at an svt.
    Jim C likes this.

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