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Ampeg V4BH Tone and Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by freshmeat1989, Jul 2, 2005.


  1. Hey dudes, soon I will be gettin a Eden D215XLT to use with my Sansamp RBI and QSC PLX1202. Since i'm so curious to become enthralled in the tube amp aura ( ;) ) I'm gonna look at buying a small tube amp to get a taste of it.

    I was looking at the V4BH. I hear a lot of comments about it not having a lot of headroom, but thats not the main focus of this thread, so please don't rant about that, seeing as I wont be playing any big gigs (over or close to 300 people) in Greenville any time soon.

    I'm lookin for warm, meaty, growly smoothness (don't know if that makes sense or not), but that can also do some chunky overdrive, and It'll probably being used with a P-Bass, along with the D215XLT.

    Anyone who has tried or has the Ampeg V4BH (not V4 or V4B, only ones with V-4BH badging) please chime in with your experiences.

    Rock on dudes.

    :bassist:
     
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Why would you want an SLM V4BH when you could get a vintage V4 or V4B for cheaper, it'll probably sound better, and be built like a tank? :eyebrow:
     
  3. Cheaper eh? What do they usually run?
     
  4. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Bought my first tube head little over a week ago.

    70's V4B for $300, used at Guitar Center. It's exterior isnt in perfect condition (faceplate is kinda faded), but I gave it a big test run and it works just fine. No scratchiness in the knobs or anything... both channels work.... tubes arent microphonic... etc.

    Even if you looked on eBay you can do better than a new V4BH. My guitar player wants a V4, and eBay is going to be where he buys it most likely. Even if you need minor work done on it and it doesnt look perfectly new, it'll be better than the V4BH.
     
  5. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    I've posted my LOVE for the V4BH before, and I'll do it again.
    You asked about tone- It has the same pre-amp as the current SVT- that's where the tone is shaped, that's how the amp sounds. It's voiced as an Ampeg "Classic". Some don't dig it- I'm guessing that's why we have SWR, Eden, G-K's, etc. on the market, so a player can find what works for them (and thus hopefully not post stoopid comments on how BAD an amp sounds or performs -'cause it doesn't fit their particular taste.)

    For my styles of music, and my approach and attack, actually the SLM Ampeg voicing is uncolored to my ears. It's a deep, resonant all-tube sound,kinda like, ummm, the way I hear a bass guitar sounding, and I "eq" with my instruments, my technique and attack, the some-time addition to the signal chain of a parametric eq for instance, but most of all with my fingers. I can make my V4BH THUMP you right in the gut- Women weep, grown men wish they were the bass player~!

    Anyway, tho my gigs don't call for OD, you can get it with this amp- The 6L6's WILL saturate, and there you'll have it-real tube overdrive, nice & gritty if you like it-
    Me- I keep it rich, phat, dark, and clean.
    Your desire for meaty, growly richness CAN be fulfilled with this head- No Problem-0, that is exactly what it does.
    Good description; I like that!

    Headroom and volume- if you gotta drown out a 747, then get sumthin' else- like the SVT. But think- "DI employed by a good FOH soundman"....I've done this at HOB, amphitheatres, outdoors, even un-reinforced. And yeah, actually my gigs have been pretty Loud, loud enuff to FEEL the bass, like a good punch in your gut- Works for me.

    You can get a new V4BH for about $800, I guess. If you find a well-maintained vintage for less, and it suits you, cool.You may wanna do that.
    I've had my SLM V4BH work well for me, on-the-job, on the road, in 29 states and Japan; soon the UK! It's a keeper.
     
  6. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    You got your V4B at GC for only $300? Check back after you spent another $350 on tubes and service.:crying: Hopefully that time will come later & not sooner, but that time will come. A big plus with the new V4BH is the 5 year warranty.
     
  7. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    So? If the tubes in it are of good quality, then they'd probably outlast the stock tubes that come in the new V4BHs.
     
  8. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Sure, I agree... if the tubes are original (or NOS replacements) & in great condition.... however in a 25-30 year old amp although not impossible... it's unlikely. Also keep in mind that tubes aren't the only thing that need maintenance in a tube amp and $300 for a V4B at a retail store like GC is really cheap.
     
  9. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA

    It seems like it... but you gotta think of it in a different way than that:

    You see a lot of pretty good musicians at GC sometimes, but you must admit that the majority of that place's money comes from the 13-year-olds that see Good Charlotte look flashy on TV. I've seen MM basses sit around there forever and ever, but the Squiers sell like friggon hotcakes.

    With this in mind, do you think a lot of the usual people at Guitar Center are the people hunting for a vintage tube head or vintage instrument? Absolutely not. It's the kid who's emo band just got a gig at a 200person, run-down bar, and wants to show up boasting a big, hotshot rig like the Legendary GK Backline series stacks :p .

    That is why, I deducted, Guitar Center would sell a V4B so cheap.

    Well.... that and the fact it a few snippy dings and some of the faceplate was faded on the sides. She isnt too pretty, but there's no sign of the tubes being microphonic, the knobs arent scratchy, and both channels work, so I expect it to be fine for at least 6 months before the need to put money in it hits me.
     
  10. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    That emo kid playing at the bar wouldn't take the V4B due to the fact that it doesn't look as good as a backline :rolleyes:
     
  11. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    Hey I am happy that you are happy with your new amp... but if it were my amp I would take it to a tech for a once over... just be be on the safe side. I dig the sound of vintage V4's & $300 is a pretty cheap price for one these days.

    Or you could just roll the dice and hope that it will last 6 months before you decide to have it serviced. It's your call my brotha!
     
  12. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    Well, I suppose that if there is no major damage to the circuit of that vintage V4, you would be OK. Replacing the tubes and re-biasing would not be that major, even with tech time, and that's a part of normal wear and tear and maintenance of a tube head, whether new or used.
    I think you would have probs if you needed new transformers, or major re-wiring, or something of that nature.
    But even if that were the case, you spend what is required, and you have an awesome sounding and working vintage Ampeg! Very cool!
    Fliptops, eg, seems to do a great job of restoring Ampegs to NOS/OEM condition, and there are other good tube bench techs too.
    I personally have found total sonic pleasure with my SLM-era
    V4BH. I've worked her HARD, and it will still be a while before I have to invest any $$ for upkeep.
    Have fun, whatevah you do!
     
  13. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA

    What does "SLM" stand for?
     
  14. 8mmOD

    8mmOD

    Mar 20, 2005
    USA
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
    St. Louis Music

    www.stlouismusic.com