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help with my ampeg v-4b

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tolas, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. tolas


    Mar 16, 2005
    I recently got a vintage 70's Ampeg V-4B in almost perfect condition, but have yet to get a decent cab for it.

    I had my first gig with it tonight and had to use a friends newer Ampeg 610 cab. It just sounded so horribly muddy. There was really no low end. Would the fact that the cab is ported have anything to do with this? For some reason I didn't think to check the cabs ohm rating, and ran the v4b in 8ohm mode. I just realized the ampeg 610 was probably a 4 ohm cabinet. Could this have been the problem?
  2. until.tomorrow

    until.tomorrow Guest

    May 5, 2003
    US - Milwaukee
    I would suggest a 115 or a 215 cabinet. I have an old 2x15 Sunn cabinet and it rocks the house with my Ampeg V-4. I would imagine it would do the same with a V-4.

    Also, check out this Discussion Board: Used Ampegs They have tons of Ampeg gear tips, tricks, mods, and useful info!! Have fun with the awesome amp!
  3. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Agreed. I've used a V-4b through two single 15" JBL cabs and it sounds absolutely great..I normally push them with an SVT, but since the V-4 has to work a little harder you can get that classic sound without hurting anyone, and there's still plenty of booty.
  4. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Was the ultra-lo switch on? IMO that makes the amp sound super muddy. The ampeg 610 cab has lots of low end response and may have contributed to what you heard. I use my V-4B with a berg NV 610 and its never muddy. Unless I use the ultra-lo switch. :p
  5. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Modern Ampeg cabs (to me) sound horribly muddy, Avatar cabs sound so much better, and are so much cheaper. The Schroeders are roughly the same (or a little more) price as the Ampegs, but sound a heckofalot better.
  6. tolas


    Mar 16, 2005
    I did have the ultra-lo switch on, but only because to my ears it sounded better in this situation. Without the ultra-lo switch it just had a real buzzy distorted sound.

    Just to clear things up, if the cab was a 4 ohm cabinet, I should of switched the amp selector switch to 4 ohms right. What would happen if it were on 8 ohms? Just put out half the power?

    Also if I'm using two seperate 8 ohm cabs, each hooked up to one of the speaker outs on the v4b, then I would also put the selector switch to 4 ohms on the amp... correct?

    The bottom three strings didn't sound too bad, but the low E string (tuned down to D) just sounded absolutely horrible. There was no low sustaining tone, just muddy buzz. :meh:
  7. tolas


    Mar 16, 2005
    I just got some help from our band fund to get a new bergantino cab. I'm still not sure if I'm going to go with the NV215 or the NV425 however. Any recommendations?
  8. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    That "perfect condition" might equal "perfect visible condition", but there can be non-visible problems, like dried-out filter capacitors.

    First, using the 4 ohm 610 on the 8 ohm tap works everything harder, drawing more current.... and yes, it can have an effect on tone.

    Second, if the filter capacitors are in crummy ELECTRICAL shape, it will reduce the low end power considerably. Easily could be muddy and garbled. Using on 8 ohm tap might make that even worse.

    Also, a unit in that good condition after 35 or 40 years might not have been used much, and could easily have capacitor problems. or something else. Sometimes they last longer when used, than when sitting on a shelf.

    Or, that may just be a bad combination.... it is when used on 8 ohms, but I have to say I have no idea how it works when properly connected. Haven't tried them together. The 610 is really made for more power...

    Not every combination of amp and speaker is wonderful. And the unit was made for the older-type speakers of the time.... typically more efficiency, less "real" low end. Similar to the traditional 8-10.
  9. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Yeah the amp may need some work, maybe a bias and some new caps. If I were making your cab choice I would go with either the 425 or the 610 because I dont really like what the 6" driver in the 215 does to the distorted sound. If you can try them out. The 6" in the 215 adds high end if you are looking for that but I wasnt personally. I went with the 610.
  10. tolas


    Mar 16, 2005
    well after practicing for about an hour and a half today, my amp made a weird fuzzing sound, and now I have this extremely loud hum whenever the amp is on. Messing with the controls on the amp and on my bass doesn't change the hum at all. When the amp is in standby the hum goes away.

    What does this mean? I can still get bass tone out of it, but the hum makes it unusable.
  11. until.tomorrow

    until.tomorrow Guest

    May 5, 2003
    US - Milwaukee
    Go Here

    That link gives some things to test for certain problems that can occur with tube amps. If your unclear on something don't go poking around in uncharted territory. Lets try not to get killed, ok?
  12. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    i would take it to a good tech and get it fixed up. then you will have the amp working as its supposed to and nothing to worry about.
  13. From your description, it sounds like an electrolytic filter cap has gone south. IMHO, old amps of this vintage should have the electrolytic capacitors replaced as a matter of principle.

    Of course, there could be other issues, but old caps are a known issue with all vintage amps, and when they fail they produce the symptoms you describe. Depending on the tech, expect to spend $100 to $150 total if all it needs is a cap job. The caps will cost around $50, the rest is labor. (I've bought caps for the V4 myself so I know the job well).

    Please take it to a qualified tech, NOT the local mass-merchandise guitar center....

    But I have some good news--I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to--oh wait, I keep getting confused...

    Actually, the good news is that a cap job will be good for another 30+ years, and if the rest of the amp is doing OK, you shouldn't expect to spend any more money for maintenance or repair for a long long time.

    DON'T automatically go out and pop for an entire new set of tubes. Most of us get pretty good life out of tubes.
  14. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Similar problem with my guitarists' V4. Took it to a tech and it turned out that the resistors (I believe) were loose or missing. That was fixed... then he did a Bias (The amp came with EL34s :eek: ).... and cleaned it out.

    Total: $60

    Now it could hold its own with any Dual Rec or Marshall JCM head out there.