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Ampeg V4 Cabinet Project

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jazz_bass2664, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. I just picked up an old Ampeg 4x12 to pair with my 74 SVT after seeing JohnK's thread on his cabinet restoration. Im going to retolex, regrill and respeaker the cab, its pretty thrashed in its current shape.

    I was wondering if I should go with 2 or 4 Emminence Basslite or Deltalite speakers. I can think that this cab's volume might be a little low for 4 speakers but the extra power handling would be nice. If I did load it with 2 speakers, I would make a blanking plate for the other 2 speaker holes to keep the cabinet in a sealed configuration.

  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Keep it 4. JohnK did and he loves it. Or at least he did at one time...no idea how he feels now.
  3. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I think that four are going to offer more than two.

    Cabinet rehabs are a lot of work and also a lot of fun. Wood epoxy is your friend.

    Check out the sb12 cabinet photo essay in the portaflex thread for some general pointers. Cabinet Restoration - TalkBass Wiki
  4. Wow thats a fantastic thread! Lot of awesome information in there.

    It looks like the mesa boogie tolex is a close match for the original Ampeg Smooth tolex, at least better than the fender style stuff. Ill keep this thread updated with pics of the resto process.
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I use Marshall Black Levant. It is a bit more textured than what Ampeg used. I think that John uses this as well on some cabs.

    I buy it from Antique Electronic Supply but other places sell it as well. AES has a 10% off sale now. You have to think about the layout of the tolex and where the seams will be. There is often a tradeoff between the number of seams ans how much tolex you use. The easiest option is to copy the original pattern. Wrapimg around as much of the cabinet as you can looks better but usually costs more.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015


    Nov 13, 2009
    I did mine last summer. I ended up using Duratex instead of redoing the vinyl. I needed this cab to be my "small" one for gigs since I have an 8x10 already. I ended up using 2 12" Deltalites to keep the weight down and sealed the other 2 holes.

    Bass 45 and xk49w like this.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008

    What are your impressions of the cab with two Deltalites?
  8. Id like to know as well!
  9. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    keep the original speakers man. i've owned 2 V4 rigs and that cab sounds boss with bass! so much low end and mid range.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Only problem with that is limiting yourself to about 100w. Not a problem for guys like us, but some of these deafness-inducers on here might balk.


    Nov 13, 2009
    The deltalites sound good in it. I'm usually driving that cab with the v4, so the head runs out of clean head room before the speakers hit their full output. The lows are clean with deltalites and the 2.5khz bump is noticeable but I think its a good freq to bump anyway for some clarity. I don't run this cab loud since I have an 8x10 for that but it does give me a mini 8x10 feel with the sealed design.


    Nov 13, 2009
    the other thing to add about the deltalites is that they don't sound 100% vintage to my ears because I think the bump in the upper mids takes some of that away. They do sound great considering you get great lows and performance from them. I really enjoy my Jensen Mods that I put in the top 4x10 of my 8x10 they just have a more pleasant sound to my ears when presented with overdrive.
  13. Im going to be running the cabinet with a 74 SVT. I don't play stupid loud but on the occasional rock gig, It would be nice to not be worried about headroom with the cabinet. Most of the stuff I play is either jazz combo/Big Band or top 40/motown pop tunes so I don't need massive amounts of volume. My eden wt300 gets all the jazz gigs and Im hoping this will be a nice vintage sounding rig to use with my 63 Precision bass.
  14. astack


    Nov 12, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    Yikes, that thing needs some TLC!

    Two could work, but in theory the bass would drop out sooner compared to 4, plus with less speakers it's obviously less efficient. I would shoot for 4. Maybe buy 2, try it, and add 2 when you get the funds again / you think it needs it. Or maybe 3 wired in parallel for 2.7 ohms, since a V4B or SVT can do 2. The Goldilocks option.

    IIRC John tried S2012s and 2512-IIs. The basslites are going to sound less upper mid heavy / more rounded than the deltalites, which have a rising mid range. You can probably see that by looking at their FR charts. Neither are going to give much cry like the originals, but they'll take more power. Curious if anyone's tried 2 or 3 neos + the originals to get some of that bite back, although you'd be back to being power limited since the original speaker is now the weakest link.

    Another option is the Faital 12PR300 16 ohm (not the other impedances, however). Kind of in between the basslites and deltalites with higher treble extension. You'd end up with a 4 ohm cab, which will make your SVT happier. They are pricier that the Eminence options, though ($200+ vs. $150 ea).

    Duratex could be a good option for covering. Also, IME, contact cement (dap weldwood) felt easier to deal with vs. the spray stuff John uses for tolex. Probably comes from hanging wallpaper for several years. You might want to try both and see what feels better for you. And practice your seams. +1 to beans' suggestions. You could also consider something other than black tolex...

    Good luck!
  15. So heres an update on the cabinet! Its 100% done and came out fantastic. I decided to go with all new chrome, tolex, grill cloth, feet, etc, to make it look factory fresh, as well as loading it with 4 Eminence 2512 deltalites. Next up for me is a 2-8 ohm switch so I can use it with my Eden WT300 as well as my SVT.

    This cabinet sounds SERIOUSLY killer. Just like an old 8x10 with half the size and weight. Plenty of thick low mids with nice tight bottom. The cabinet doesn't go super low but I like that, especially with my 1963 precision bass.

    Attached Files:

    vmabus, astack and Bass 45 like this.
  16. Few more pictures!


    Attached Files:

  17. harleyman888


    Feb 11, 2014
    Just found one at a pawn shop for $190.00. Worth it?

    Attached Files:

  18. If you can talk them down a bit then yes. You would need to get a new grill and who knows what else. $150 seems like a good price for a rough cab.

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