Ampeg V-4B vs Mesa Boogie Subway D-800 and other little class D amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mo Boogs, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    I'm just about set to get an Ampeg V-4B with the AV212 cab. I think this is gonna be my go-to buy-it-for-life amp. But I just wanted to test the waters one more time about this amp compared to class D amps, particularly the Mesa Boogie Subway D-800/D-800+. I like the reputation for quality that Mesa has and the fact that their amps are made in USA. However I don't think those little class D amps will get that tone I'm looking for. Will the Ampeg hold up to the little Mesa's and other D class amps as far as durability and quality goes? Since I'll be selling all my 410 setups to get it, it's going to have to be a reliable amp. I will have my ole Peavey TNT 115 as a backup but that's it.
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    As far as durability and quality, I believe you saw my little story about dropping my V4B off my cart and the only problem was a broken pre tube and a little bit of torn tolex around the chassis. As far as volume capability, I imagine the D800 has the advantage there.
  3. I've owned V4B's and played them for years... until the weight (and slight vulnerability of the tubes) finally made me switch to the GK400RB. Which I loved and played for years... until I played through (and subsequently bought) a D800, which is now my go-to amp.
    The V4B, of course, can go from warm to a little snarly, and punches above its 100W weight class, volume-wise.
    The GK also punches heavy volume-wise and we all know the great tone. Oh, and it weighs 40lbs less than the V4B.
    The D800 I found to be extraordinarily flexible, tone-wise. It easily accommodates my numerous basses, which include two Fenders (P & J), my two Jerry Jones, a Jack Casady, a Läkland, and fretless Breedlove ABG. It's extremely loud, easily the loudest of the three, and works well with any cab combo I have - 1X12, 2X12, and 4X10.
    Bonus - it will see 2,4, & 8 ohm loads. It also weighs about 4lbs... and is built like a truck.
    I love the V4B, but I always thought it really needed a 4X10 cab to really get it to sound best and then there's the weight...
    YMMV - good luck with your choice and purchase!
  4. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I play in 2 bands. At rehearsals,with one band i use my Markbass 800 head/ 1-12 combo,with a VT pedal for the tube grunt emulation.
    The other band i play through a provided ampeg v4 head and matched 4-10 cab. (Not v4b).
    The Ampeg sounds really great,but i actually feel like i get a clearer,punchier sound with my Markbass. (Although the 2 bands are also quite different sounding as well).
    Bottom line for me is would i find the 85 pound head,and 100 pound cab worth the difference to schlepp to and fro, versus the 29 pound combo?
    And the answer is always NO.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    True for the old ones, but the new ones are 41 lbs, which is a 20 lb weight reduction from the old ones.
    dannylectro likes this.
  6. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    They're both reliable and durable amps. The Ampeg may need a re-tube some time in your lifetime ownership, but that's about it.

    There's lots of comparisons between tube amps and class D.

    It's similar to comparisons between modern and classic vehicles. They both drive you from a to b, but do it differently. Classic cars will never be modern, just as tube amps will never be class D. Absolutely try them for yourself before you buy.
  7. Yeah - I heard the new ones aren't quite the same beast as the old ones. In fact, I've kinda been GASing for one...
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    A very tiny difference, according to Bass Gear Mag when they compared old and new in one of their issues.
  9. I actually was only referring to the weight... and the new ones have other features like impedance matching that I like. I'm glad to hear they still sound good - would've been a shame if Ampeg had squandered the opportunity to reissue this classic amp! The minute I see a used one for $750 or less, I'm jumping!
    JimmyM likes this.
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