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Bassman 135 vs Ampeg V-4BH

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flatbass, Jan 27, 2006.


  1. Flatbass

    Flatbass

    Mar 13, 2004
    Yurop
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm looking for a small tube amp to use at indoor gigs (up to 200 people) and to use as a stage monitor for gigs with PA support.

    The SWR/RBI --> 4x10 setup I'm using is loud enough for all my gigs (I bypass the SWR pre-amp). And that's only 260 watts at 8 ohms. The tube amp should be at least equally loud with the same cab. If I need to be really loud in the future, I will use the SWR/RBI setup through a different (new) cab.

    I play pop/rock/roll/jazz and I'm looking for a fat bassy clean tone. I little bit of 'drive' is okay, but I have no use for distortion. My SABDDI emulates this tone pretty good with all the knobs at 12 o'clock and a little treble rolled off, but I'd like to have 'the real thing'.

    The bass is a Tokai Hard Puncher, a nice 70s Precision-style bass with a deep, punchy and 'raw' P-sound.

    In Europe, we don't have the Traynor YBA-200. The old Ampeg v4's and v4b's have some rare tubes inside, so I would rather avoid those. The big tube amps like the SVT and the Orange are too expensive to take to the kind of gigs I do.

    So my choices are practically narrowed down to:

    1) Fender Bassman 135
    This amp should be really clean and it's the only Bassman which will run an 8-ohm load. I think it would be louder than the Ampeg.

    2) Ampeg V-4BH
    The tone from this amp may be more what I look for (remember the SABDDI-tone I described), but I'm afraid it isn't loud enough and will distort on peaks.

    Which amp would be the best for my situation?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. 8_finger

    8_finger Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I think that JJ has in production that "rare" tubes for old Ampeg V4B's I' think they're 7027 tubes.

    I A/B'd old Ampeg V4B with Bassman 100 (tube), Ampeg was way louder, and sonically totally different comparing to Bassman.
     
  3. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    The Bassman 135 runs 8 ohms when it has two 4 ohm cabs connected...it's unusual being wired in series, with a separate transformer tap being used when the second cab is plugged into the extension jack...much different than the Bassman 100 that wires cabs in parallel with just one tap on the transformer.

    About exotic tubes in the Ampegs, a few sites explain that they don't actually use the extra pins in the 7027 tubes and that tubes such as the JJ 6L6's can handle the voltage of the Ampegs.

    The comparison between amps probably has something to do with the condition and brand of tubes, as well as the capacitors. Be sure to do an apples vs apples A/B where both are in top shape with good tubes.
     
  4. 8_finger

    8_finger Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    technically wise - both amps were in similar condition (let's say they were both in very goood condition considering the age of both amps) and I tried them with same bass (Yamaha TRB5) and same cab (Trace Elliot 4x12 - V-type box). Tubes in Ampeg were new (AFAIK) and in Bassman were in perfect working condition.

    sound wise - they're apples and oranges;)
     
  5. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Thanks for the additional details. I've heard both amps, but not at the same time nor with the same cabs.

    A V-4BH into Ampeg's top of the line 410 sounded better (louder, deeper) than an Eden WT-300, at least until the amp was pushed into farting.

    A Fender Bassman 135 (albeit with a 100 output transformer) into an Ampeg V-6B 2x15 cab was also very good...still loud and punchy.

    I'll have a Bassman 100 coming next week and will try to remember to post about what it sounds like through the Ampeg cab...and will compare it to my SWR Bass 350...which should be another apples and oranges comparison.
     
  6. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've been using my Bassman 135 w/ (2) EA Cxl112's cabs for about two years, and it is just the right amount of vintage tube sound, and modern speaker design! I will never use any other set up......:D
     
  7. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Sounds promising...just curious...the head is nearly 26" wide, but the cab's largest dimension is 19". Does the head look awkward sitting up there?
     
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I bet he puts the cabs side by side, and the head on top.

    I like both amps, and have the Bassman 100. Great, great tone, and something a bit different than your basic Ampeg tone. Fender's eq voicing seems to be perfect. I run bass on 4, mid on 10, and treble on 2 (flat is 2-10-2), and when I get a chance to try it, I'm going to see if channel jumping does anything cool. I'd really like to have the bass boost be avaliable on the regular channel, and that seems like the way to do it. I find that it has plenty of power for a lot of purposes. Hell, into a 1x15 and 2x10, I kept up with a Marshall halfstack just fine. Sure, you're going to get grit, but it sounds so good!

    That said, I'd like to have a vintage SVT for bigger gigs and a different tone.
     
  9. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    this is how I stack them..... I set my controls all at 5. Last year I was in Santa Monica doing some recording work, and there was an organil SVT in the studio. We A/B the amps, and the Bassman 135 had a much cleaner and fatter tone than the SVT. The SVT had more of an edgy tone to it, and of course it was way louder be 300watts to the BM 135's 100watts. We picked to bassman tone :D
     
  10. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    A new trick I just learned - plug your bass into the far left input, and then plug a short cable from the second input of that channel to the first input of the other channel. Set the volumes equal, and eq away - now you'll have low boost, bright, two trebles, a mid, and two bass controls with double the gain. It sounds gigantic.
     
  11. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    you don't actually get double the gain... but you do get a ton more control over eq'ing- which is way more important for bass applications. :)
     
  12. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I wish I'd never sold my Bassman 135. :bawl: Ben Clarke, can I have mine back? :meh:
     
  13. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Ox I'll sell you mine for......One million dollars;)
     
  14. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Which head do you SWR head do you have?
     
  15. Flatbass

    Flatbass

    Mar 13, 2004
    Yurop
    Thanks for all the replies! :)
    After two years of reading, that was my first post here and also my first post on an English forum. It's not easy for me to write in English, but it seems that I'm understood :)

    I don't know about those tubes, but if I recall correctly, the 9Q11 (also 9K11) tube is out of production. I don't know what that tube does, but if that tube breaks, I'm going to have a hard time replacing it.

    Thanks for in the information on the old Ampeg and the Bassman 100. Does this imply that the new Ampeg will probably be louder than the Bassman 135?

    I said that the Oranges are too expensive ;)

    Louder and deeper than the WT-300... that's nice. What about the 'farting' of the amp? Did it happen soon? Is it possible to have a somewhat consistent 'clean' sound on moderate volume levels?

    Is it possible that both amps are equally loud clean, but the controls on the Ampeg allow to push it further? I mean that both amps are at the same volume when the Basman is on 10 and the Ampeg is on 6, for example?

    I read that the Bassman needs good quality tubes, because it driver them quite hard. I haven't read this about the Ampeg... If an amp pushes it's tubes to the maximum, it would probably be louder... Is this true?

    What's 'your basic ampeg tone'? I like the R&B-Ampeg tone... no treble, just a fat deep sound... I can appreciate the rock-ampeg tone (Queens of the Stone Age, Kaiser Chiefs), but it's not really for me.
    Also, I heard an SVTII-Pro on an outdoor stage through an 410HLF once and it didn't really impress me. Of course, a lot of amps sound bad outdoors, but I expected a better sound from an expensive Ampeg setup. The (intended) distortion sounded quite mechanical and not musical.
    The SVT-CL may be better...

    I don't really care about EQ'ing, since the amp should sound right with all the controls on '5'.

    Keeping up with a Marshall half-stack is really great. Those amps can be quite loud and bassy.

    Nice. I like 'clean and fat' better than 'edgy'. Do have any mp3s of those recordings with your BM135?

    I know I'm the newbie here, but it's in my profile :)
    It's the SWR WorkingMan's 4004. 400 watts at 4 ohm, 260 watts @ 8 ohm. Passive cooling (I like that). Perfectly clean SS tone, very direct, also a bit 'dry' and 'sterile'.
    There's single rackspace under the amp for an 'effects unit or tuner', according to SWR. I don't think SWR likes it, but I put my RBI pre-amp in there :D
     
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Not the Bassman. It sounds "right," I suppose, but 5-5-5 on the 3 band will give you a pretty scooped sound. The mid is cut only, and the bass and treble's flat point is around 2. So, for a "balanced" sound, I'd go 2-10-2.

    The channel jumping option totally changes how the amp sounds - for the better - and it wasn't bad at all to begin with. It opens up a sort of dual bass and dual treble control setup, with both a bright switch and a bass boost.

    I get a great tone on mine set up like this:

    Bass into inpu 1 of bass channel, small cable from input 2 of bass channel to input 1 of regular channel. Bass channel: volume 6, bass boost on, treble 2, bass 4; regular channel: volume 6, bright switch off, treble 2, middle 10, bass 4. Master volume set to taste, though I prefer it above 6 for some breakup.

    A clean tone could easily be achieved by turning the channel volumes down a bit (especially if you use high-gain preamp tubes ... I don't).

    Try the amp - you won't be disappointed.
     
  17. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Nice. I like 'clean and fat' better than 'edgy'. Do have any mp3s of those recordings with your BM135?


    Why yes I do....you can check out some stuff we recorded a year ago at http://www.myspace.com/fabrudies
     
  18. Seven7

    Seven7

    Nov 7, 2005
    NW Ohio