Ampeg V4-B reissue or boutique amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mo Boogs, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Alright, so after posting a bunch of posts inquiring about the new V4-B reissue and comparing it to other amps, I've pretty much set that amp with the matching cab, AV212 as my goal, and I'm over half way there in funds. But just one thing has crossed my mind: boutique amps. Up here in Maine, guitar boutique amps and home-built kit amps are in abundance. I never see boutique bass amps or kit builts around here. Is that something I should be considering as I approach the 2 grand to get my V4-B? I mean I love the idea of a hand built American made tube bass amp if the price was same if not even less than the new V4-B. Does anybody know of a brand like this? If I was to go that route I would still want that burning ampeg tone, all tube.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  2. LeftyD


    Feb 22, 2017
    Las Vegas
    Before you had the money, you knew what you wanted. Now, that you have the money, you think of what else that money could buy. That sounds familiar. It's hard to say which route to take, but your original plan buys some real nice gear.
  3. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Barely any boutique makers do Ampeg alikes because the ampeg pre is fairly fiddly to make compared to cloning and Fender/Marshall pre, or even and Orange/Matamp one. Although I just had a quick look at the V4B reissue spec and it runs a few less valves than the original, not sure how that works.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Custom bass amps tend to be few and far in between. One nice one based on a Marshall is made by Wizard (Wizard Amplification). The builder has a long history with AC/DC.

    Most boutique amps are based on some well liked amp. The circuit is a clone or has some enhancements. If a particular boutique amp has the sound that you like, consider it. But I wouldn't go with a boutique amp because it's a boutique amp.

    There are boutique builders that build by the seat of their pants. They copy but don't fully understand the engineering behind why they are doing things. This doesn't imply that there are issues, but there can be.

    The V4B reissue is very well engineered, comes with regulatory certification, and a warranty. All plusses.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
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  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    The original amps were two channel so you can drop one 12AX7 there. Without having the new reissue schematics on hand I can only really say the difference between a 12AX7, 6K11, 12DW7, 12AU7 arrangement and a 3x 12AX7, 1x 12AU7 setup is only one gain stage and at least one of those on the original amp was a cathode buffer for the pre out/power amp in. Shouldn't be too much difference.
    GregC likes this.
  6. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i tried a lot of amps and i just went and stayed with a used mesa d180 to save some cash and some weight

    (in college i had a sunn 2000s, but there's no way i would pay what they are going for nowadays and they weigh a ton)
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Foxen hit on the important bit, the design of the ampeg pre with the active midrange circuit is more complex than a standard FMV or just a straight ahead bax stack. Guitar amp iron is relatively much cheaper than the transformers needed for bass amps. If you wanted to go boutique you'd probably spend your entire budget on the head alone. A lot of smaller builders out there making bass amps though - Verellen, Mills, Science, and Jessup come to mind, mostly these are fender, marshall, hiwatt, or sunn type amps and many of them are more guitar oriented than bass. I know there's a guy on here who had Gries amps make him a B15 style amp. A number of different matamp style builders out there. Most of these are ~100 watt guitar amps that might also cut it as bass amps depending on the quality of the design.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Good luck with that! Ever price them?
    TheRealKong, GregC and Maxfenderbass like this.
  9. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Dude, just get the V-4B and play the heck out of it. I don't know of anybody out there doing Ampeg clones and if so (as Jimmy says), doubt you will get a custom build at or cheaper than the mass production model. I also doubt you would get much more of an amp that way. I just had a Fender Blackface guitar amp clone built. I only did that because I had a bad run of luck with vintage Fenders and the new ones sound like a cheap copy of the real thing - and I am very happy I did. That V4B, however sounds amazing and has performed flawlessly for me in the couple of years I've had it. By far my favorite amp - not one single downside I can reasonably imagine.
    Burwabit, jdubbass38 and TC.65 like this.
  10. I'd just get the
    V4B too. It's a superbly designed amp. Sounds great and is reliable.
    I dunno if re-sale would be that good on booteek stiff neither. .... something to think about possibly
    dbbltime, jdubbass38 and TC.65 like this.
  11. Kahrmine


    May 25, 2013
    I think this thread reasonably addresses why boutique guitar amp builders can do what boutique bass amp builders aren't doing.
    Iristone and Mo Boogs like this.
  12. interp


    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Get a Jule Amps Monique 700.
    Groove Doctor, Mvilmany and MDBass like this.
  13. jdubbass38


    Mar 20, 2009
    Get the v-4b reissue, it's one of the best sounding tube amps out their! It's one of those amps that any bass guitar really sounds good thru.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I do know of a boutique bass amp...made by a place right near me called Valvetrain. But their 50w amp is way more expensive than the V4B. I forget the actual price but it hovers around the $2000 ballpark. Nice amp, sort of a cross between Ampeg and Fender. But not cheap.

    EDIT: Bass Central has them...yep, $1999:
  15. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
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  16. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    I'm guessing this has been covered, but...$2,000 is easily double what you need to be paying for a V-4B and one 2x12. If you want to spend that kind of money and that's the size rig you need, I'd absolutely look for something nicer or more exotic.

    Or alternately, save half the dough and buy a vintage V-4B.
  17. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Would it help if I told you that Ampeg sells few enough V4b's that you could consider it "boutique'?
    spaz21387 likes this.
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Well, if you want to have one that weighs 20 lbs more than the reissue and could very well cost even more than the new one in initial repairs vs getting a 5-year warranty, that's cool. I'm curious to where these nicer and more exotic 100w tube amp/cab configs that cost $2000 new are, too. Old V4B's are indeed great. I used to have one. I'll take the reissue any day of the week over the old one.
    Groove Doctor, GregC and TinIndian like this.
  19. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Just get the V4B and be done with it. By all counts it's a great amp.
    spaz21387 and P-oddz like this.
  20. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I haven't spent more than a few hours in front of the (reissue) V4B - but personally I was sold on it. Enough anyway that I can't see you regretting the purchase!
    dbbltime likes this.
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