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Ampeg v4bh

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by avast_bass, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Howdy,
    has anyone played the V4BH? Im still looking around for amps, and this has come to my attention. I've started looking at non rack mounted amps, as i'm looking for a simple, pure setup (so i can leave my rack at home). Does this amp have any known set backs? does it sound good? I'm looking around for a store in scotland who has one in stock so i can try it out myself but i was just looking for some user feedback.

    I also wondered if anyone had used the Marshall VBA400 bass head and what they thought of it?
  2. It sounds good, but in my opinion, it's not loud enough to play in a band setting.
  3. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    It's the same amp that comes in a B-15R. It does sound very good but only has 100 watts of all tube power. That may, or may not be enough, depending on the efficiency of your bass cabinet and the size of venues you play. It would work fine in most pubs I've been in.
  4. Jebthebassist


    Dec 8, 2004
    I too am thinking of getting a new amp and this one has come across to me as well. I'm debating this one or the SVT-3Pro, i can't really make up my mind but i know i want to get the PR-410HLF cab. I hear that the V4bh is just like the classic except a third of the power. If you like tube I'd say its a good buy but then again i haven't played it, only the classic.
  5. Yeah this guy at the music store keeps trying to sell a new one for 500 and a matching 210 cab. He wants like 1,000 for both. It appears to be a nice little poor man's SVT.
  6. Dont get the V4B it will struggle in volume, dont get the SVTCL either, i had one and the 3pro both gone now for Ashdown ABM500 EVO 11 and they are cheaper better and offer more variation in tone.

    Ampeg has a good name and price but there are better gigging setups around, if you want snob value go Ampeg or Mesa Boogie, if you want good sound and good value well respected gear go Ashdown.

    Marshall bass amps are good value and sound ok, never really been accepted in the bass world compared to the Marshall guitar stack etc.
  7. yeah, i myself have never really considered marshall as a bass manufacturer before but im not sure why.

    As for the amps, I may well go and try an ashdown today and see how it sounds... thanks
  8. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I dunno, I think that the V4-Bs are a decent head. I played one today. The place I was at was selling it for $350 used. Not to bad. It sounded, IMO, like an SVT.... just not as much power. But it did sound like one. Really nice amp, I'd go for it. I might even buy the one I was jamming on today. We'll see.

    Oh, and the same place had a Marshall 8x10. It rekindled my interest in the marshall VBA bass series.
  9. My first real rig was a original V4b through a Peavey cabinet with 2 15's. I was playing with 2 Marshall half stacks, (2 100w heads + 2 4x12) and I had no problem keeping up playing loud/hard rock / punk rock kinda stuff. Loud enough, durable, heavy, but worth it. I would actually prefer to have a V4B over the Pro 3 I have now. The best thing to do is go rent one for a weekend and put it through its paces, that way you'll know first hand if it's the amp for you. Also check out Yorkville/Traynor, great gear, with out the big name prices.
  10. Virus


    Apr 16, 2004
    I'm not too sure their prices are so good. I was looking at an SVT Classic today in a local shop and they were asking $2150 for just the head and something like $1100 for a Classic 810. Now I'm guessing the store marked the price up huge because of.... Well that's the buisness way now... If there was not too much mark up then that is just way too much cash for a head alone. This is in CDN dollars BTW.

    However I did play through it and now I'm going to get this head one day no matter what I do, exept I'm looking for the 215E cab instead of the 810.

    To add something related to the topic... They had the smaller 100 Watt there also, if you want a good tube amp just get the Classic if you can.
  11. i have the V4B and it performs ok with big cabinets. small cabs not so well. it sounds abit too "dark" to my tastes but has great overdrive and lots of lowbass capabilities(at low volume in the studio or something similar)
    i play in a rock trio and it keeps up with the volume as long as i don´t touch the bass knob and turn up the gain at around 2 o´clock or more.

    i´ve heard of people changing the 6l6´s in it for 6550 to get more punch and power but never met someone who´s done it.
  12. Vicar Philip

    Vicar Philip

    Sep 15, 2004
    In a recording studio setting I would highly recommend the V4, but if you're gigging and need to keep up with a drummer and a couple of guitars, I'm afraid it just won't cut it. I bought one a few months ago and tried it at just a practice. I was very disappointed because anything above "quiet" was distorted and farty. Didn't cut through the guitars at all.

    I traded it for a Fender 400 Pro. Been kickin' for several gigs now.
  13. jiant.


    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
  14. Mr P

    Mr P

    Feb 13, 2002
    Finland, Tampere
    ...but if you throw your hifiearplugs away and listen you will soon understand the difference in sound of tube and solid state. I sold my ebs gorm last saturday and got V4BH classic. Still I can have those ultrabrights with my streamer stage 1 but with my precision bass there´s a whole new world of pure and warm sound. Sound has so much more both attack and warmth that I couldn´t be happier. If you need all the power you can have buy for example behringer bb210 and bb115 cabinets (they are both very cheap and they do the trick almost as good as ampeg, again if you don´t need to snob around) and you surely can handle every club. (If you can´t you should make an advice to barkeeper to buy a little PA so he can mike you up). I would go for V4B even if it´s a bit pricy.
  15. mikeyvr6

    mikeyvr6 Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2002
    Plymouth, Wisconsin
    I picked up a early 70s V4 a little while back and I just don't get why everyone says these amps won't keep up in a band situation. :confused: Running the volume at 12 o'clock, mid and treble at 1 and bass at 11 it'll eat my geetarist and keyboardist for breakfast. Sure, it's gritty, but nowhere near full-on breakup.

    Is it because it's an early model, not the current version? Is it because of the sheer amount of speaker surface that my 8x10 affords?

    Like I said, I just don't get it. :(
  16. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    For me a V4BH produces a warm, fat, and defined sound. Awesome for in-the-pocket R&B, & blues, eg, with great EQ including ultra high/low and presence switches. Sweet tone.

    It has more than enough headroom, and has adequate volume by itself for any medium size room. For larger venues, it has a DI. It's a great tool for my purposes.


    Everyone plays with a different attack,using a different bass, playing different styles of music. The V4 may not be the best choice for Heavy metal for example. If a quartet of 6L6's producing 100 watts RMS doesn't cut through the mix of your project, I guess you need something else!
  17. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I bought a new Ampeg V4B, but I only had it for a couple of months. I had to replace it with a Sunn Coliseum 880 and two Concert Slave power amps. And that was over thirty five years ago. Since then I've had tube Bassmans, V25B, B12, B15, B15R, and B100R. All of them sounded great. But they could easily be overpowered by a 12 year old girl banging on the drums. Once just for a goof, I tried out a V4BH through an 8x10 at Guit@r Center. It was a typical Saturday afternoon with several kids wailing away on the Mesa gear with their Squire Strats. By the time I got the Ampeg cranked up loud enough to hear myself, it was farting all over the place. Even with the gain backed off it was breaking up. Just like they did thirty years ago. 100 watts is still 100 watts. Unless you are backing up some folk singers, think about a tube/solid state head. :D
  18. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    ...Like I said- it's how you play what you play-If you use a Sunn Coliseum with slave power, yeah, don't use a V4 for your performance. Then again, your style probably doesn't involve a lot of finesse- Just a guess!

    Comments like "playing with folk singers" and worrying about your playing being overpowered by a 12-year old female drummer not only don't give a very accurate appraisal of the practicality of this model, they're actually kinda lame, no?
  19. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Actually, I finger pick with a very delicate action. Other bass players say the strings on my bass are set so low that it's like a guitar. The farting results from the amp being overdriven at a low volume. Commonly refered to as "not enough headroom". The V4B was underpowered thirty years ago and no amount of wishing or dreaming is going to change that. ;)
  20. realdeal

    realdeal Banned

    Dec 10, 2004
    Good for you. Whatever works for----whatever it is you do.

    I use a V4BH miked in the studio, as a double-track to the direct recording. That's one way I utilize it. Records REALLY well.

    I've also used it as a stage rig when we opened for Buddy Guy at his club, also on stage at BB Kings, & the HOB--- With very good results,not underpowered at all for what it is I do in a rhythm section.

    So, I guess I'll keep wishing that I was getting good results and tone, and tell the FOH sound people who, in my travels, have all dug working with a V4BH and how it sounds to wake up and quit dreaming that its good rig-------

    'Cause JOE BEETS is layin' it down!