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Ampeg V4BH Tube replacement ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by damos, Feb 13, 2006.


  1. damos

    damos

    Feb 6, 2006
    Hello,
    Ampeg V4BH Tube replacement ?
    6L6/5881 or other
    What 's compagny make the"most good sounding Tube" for Ampeg ?
    Thanks
     
  2. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I can tell you that I just got a used V4BH about a week ago on eBay. It's in mint condition, only 4 years old, but the previous owner put a new matched quad of Groove Tube GT6L6-C's and also replaced the 12AU7 with a Groove Tube 12AU7. I've never heard another V4BH, but honestly, this amp sounds like crap compared to my SVT Classic. I realize it's not going to sound as good as a Classic, but this amp just does not sound good...my B2-R blew it away. To be fair though, I have no idea whether the amp was properly biased, and I also haven't checked yet to see if the 12AU7 was replaced, or maybe substituted for the other preamp tube - the 12AX7. I've always had very good luck with Groove Tubes in my guitar amps, but assuming everything is right, I would not use these tubes - I think the "C" means Chinese, so I would try Sovtek, Svetlanna, JJ, or Electro-Harmonix. I just can't figure out why an amp this new would have needed new tubes. Maybe the guy was just trying to improve the sound. I don't know when they started doing this, but I sure do like the way you can do your own easy tube biasing with the new SVT Classic. I wish they had this feature on the V4BH. What comes stock in a V4BH?

    Skel
     
  3. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I just bought as used v-4bh also. It sounded exactly like my brothers classic except that there is a presence switch on the back which adds clarity to the power section. I replaced the 2 12ax7 preamp tubes with Ei gold tubes , the 12ax7 driver with a tesla and the 12au7 driver with a Jan/phillips. It now sounds way better. It came with ruby power tubes. My brother agreed that it sounded better. Think about that one for awhile.
     
  4. damos

    damos

    Feb 6, 2006
    Hello
    What 's the holy graal for the 6l6 replacement on this Ampeg ?
     
  5. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    I'm interested too. My own research indicates the Svetlana. I want the mutts knuts.
     
  6. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Not to hijack the thread, but just curious - Do your V-4BH heads have a rectangular area behind the grill cloth where you can see through it, where you can see the power tubes glowing when it's on?

    And Kringle77, I'm confused, is the jan/phillips a *12AU7* or a *12AX7*? Also you said it has Ruby power tubes - do you know what came stock in it?

    Thanks - Skel
     
  7. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004

    Yes it does. As an aside, do these now ship with the back panels upside down? I'm not sure which way up this is supposed to be but I changed mine so the tubes get more air (and it 'looks right').
     
  8. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    My back panel has the opening on the bottom (about 3-4 inches), where the panel itself is protecting the tubes, and viewing it from the back, you can't see the tubes. Hope this helps, and thanks for the info on the rectangular cutout behind the grill cloth - I thought the previous owner maybe mucked with it.

    Skel
     
  9. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    BTW - I called Ampeg (worthless tech support), but they *did* know that the amp comes new with Groove Tubes. My SVT-4 PRO came with Groove Tubes (had a tag on it), and Although my new Classic doesn't have a "Groove Tubes" tag on it, and I haven't looked inside yet - I assume it has Groove Tubes, and it sounds killer, so maybe the right replacement tubes should be what came from the factory, unless you didn't like the sound of the amp previously. I personally have never really gotten much bang out of trying different tube brands. I'm sure some sound a little better than others, but all the new tubes I've heard sound good if the amp itself sounds good.

    Skel
     
  10. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    Yes, the 12au7 is a Jan/Phillips. The sum is greater than it's parts. Replacing one tube may make a small difference but replacing all the tubes will make a noticable improvement if you have the right tubes in the right amp. It origionally came with some crappy chinese tubes. This one has the red white and blue graphics so it's about 8-10 years old.
     
  11. GT-6L6GE Quartet
    These will set you back $180 list.
    In the for what it's worth department the paper manual states 6550 (6), I guess the proof reader missed that spec.
    IIRC you want the 8-10 rated Groove tubes, more power before breakup,
     
  12. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    My new V4BH came with 4 Sovtek 6L6 WXT power tubes. The Groove Tubes were just in the preamp. 12AX7Gs I think.

    I have a nice selection of quality preamp tubes to swap out but I'm using the amp at home with a THD Hot Plate so would be very interested to hear different power tubes at their own sweet spots.
     
  13. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    It's probably like that to help ventilation. The big SVT has a fan at the front, not the case with the V4BH. The tubes in my V4BH put out some serious heat.
     
  14. Skel

    Skel

    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Thanks for all the great info. Now I know these come with Sovtek 6L6 WXT power tubes (something that the SLM support line doesn't know), and I'm going to put those in it and have it re-biased. Actually, I'd bet a million dollars that the previous owner put the GT6L6-C's in and didn't have it biased, and that's probably why mine doesn't sound real great - it doesn't sound awful, but it should sound better than it does. Mine came with the receipt from GC for the tubes, and lord knows they don't do biasing! I noticed the misprint about the 6X6550's in my manual as well, so this has existed for several years. I never even thought about using a HotPlate with one of these - if they get *that* loud, this should be a very useable amp.

    Skel
     
  15. damos

    damos

    Feb 6, 2006
    What's difference between this 6L6 tubes ?
    6L6
    6L6 GC
    6L6 WGB
    5881
    KT66
    7027
    And what 's the best for my V4BH Head ?
    Thanks
     
  16. damos

    damos

    Feb 6, 2006
    No reply ?
     
  17. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Several sites review 6L6 tubes...you can read quite different opinions, too. For your Ampeg head (the reissue), it uses 6L6 tubes. I read good things about the JJ tubes and the Svetlana winged C tubes. Some people like NOS ($$$) and some get by with the Sovteks that are standard issue in many amps...or Groove Tubes that are often tested and rebranded Sovteks (or others).
     
  18. markorbit

    markorbit

    Apr 16, 2004
    It isn't the loudest amp by any means (may only just keep up with a loud drummer and guitarist) but at home I use the Hot Plate rather than deafen the neighbours. Basically, my quest is tone not volume now.
     
  19. Don't waste your money on GT's Chinese GE "clones." NOS 6L6GC's are not hard to find, and GE's were not that special anyway. Also ignore ANY kind of tube "rating." As long a tube is properly biased, it will have the same tonality(breakup) of any other of its type and make. GT's misleading ratings are just a a gimmick to sell tubes and are useless techincally.

    This is a very OLD design, not in production since the early 1940's. The glass version will have a large "coke bottle" envelope and a very low tolerance for voltage and low output power. IIRC, 12 watts and 250 plate volts. Were you to find them, they wouldn't even fit in a V4BH because their bottles are so large; if you could get them in there, they'd fry and destroy the amp. There are also old metal can 6L6 type tubes. They are all but useless for audio amps due to microphony.

    This is the latest and most powerful version of the 6L6 family of tubes, the third, "C" design revision, roughly capable of 25 watts and 500 plate volts. The "G" means glass envelope, BTW. Since this version is by far the most common it is often confusingly referred to simply as a "6L6".

    This refers to a military mechanical shock rating, the "W," of the second revision of the the 6L6 design. They are good for 18 watts and can handle 450 plate volts.

    This is simply the industrial designation for the 6L6GB. Confusingly Sovtek sells two tubes as 5881 types, but neither are in fact, true 5881's. (They're actually better!)

    This type is MO Valve's copy of the 6L6GC. It is slightly more robust than a 6L6GC and has more current capability for a bassier sound, but these have a large envelope similar to a 6L6G and may not fit.

    This is a 6L6GC with extra screen grid connections, nothing more.

    That depends on what type of sound you want.
     
  20. Marshman

    Marshman

    Feb 15, 2006
    Since we have the Psycho in the pipe here, I'm wondering if here are any other types one could install in a V4? with nothing more than a re-bias. I'm guessing el34/6ca7/kt77 would be bad given the pentode/tetrodedeal, but 6550? KT88?

    I'd heard that 7027 could produce a good 5 watts more per tube. Marketing hype, or just irrelevant.