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I bought my dream amp...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zooski, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. ...well about 1/3 of it. It's a mid 70's (as far as i can tell) Ampeg V-4B. My real dream amp is a vintage SVT, but it will wait. I know, I know i need pics...ill post some soon. I really like to amp so far. Its not my first all tube amp--but its definatly the most ballsy yet. I have some Q's though.

    I got a good deal on it--about $550 total. Its in great condition. However, it has all original tubes. I have noticed that it will begin to overdrive at around 4. Im assuming this is because the tubes are so old and used? Or is this normal? I was under the impression that i would get more into the 7 or 8 range before overdrive came in. Also, ive been reading about tube selection in the power amp section, and how the original tubes are hard to come by. Im thinking about going with 6l6GC's instead (i have read they will work in the V-4
    s), but does anyone have any other suggestions? Should i also replace the preamp tubes as well?

    One more thing, what is the best cleaner to use on the tolex and the metal on the amp? Id like to make it spiffy.

    Thanks guys!
  2. gerryjazzman

    gerryjazzman Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    Congrats on your purchase! The V4B's are nice sounding amps. Had one some time ago and stupidly sold it :crying: .

    About the overdrive at 4 o'clock. Hard to say but that may be normal. If I remember correctly, these amps have a LOT of preamp gain and depending on how hot your pickups are, you may be hitting near full output without having to crank the volume very far. The preamp tubes should last quite a long time, but it's possible that some may be getting weak if they are original. Replacing the output tubes is a good idea though since they are worked alot harder than the preamp tubes. Using 6L6GC's should be fine (make sure they are GC's though), since 7027A's are for all practical purposes the same thing. You can get 7027A's for reasonalble prices though:


    There are also ones made by JJ Electronics that are supposed to be pretty good (search at www.tubesandmore.com).
    I would try replacing the output tubes first and see how it sounds before replacing the preamp tubes.

    Good luck!
  3. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    My 1972 V4 doesn't have volume knob numbers, just painted notches. Mine starts to overdrive at about the 9:30/10:00 knob position and from what Ive read, this is fairly common for this model.

    If your amp sounds good, I wouldn't be so worried about the tubes.
    However If its still got the origanal capacitors and ungrounded power cord, you might consider having an amp tech (that's familiar with old Ampegs) look it over.

    If it doesn't produce much static noise (while not playing), and when the volume is at the half way point or above, the caps may be OK for now.


    I use DeoxIT gold to clean up the tolex and metal on my amps.
    Its actually a electronic spray cleaner with lube, but it works great as a general amp cleaner too. (available at radio shack)
  4. Yea my head doesnt have numbers on the volume knob either, im just refering to the notches on it.

    I do like the tone, but id like more of it before it starts breaking up. if i replaced the power tubes, would i have some more clean to spare? Or is there some kind of swap i can do to the preamp tubes to lessen the gain?

    O by the way im playing an MIA P-bass into the head...so its not too hot of a signal.
  5. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    In my opinion, you've got the perfect bass for this amp.
    Have you tried flatwound strings yet?
    You might really like-em with tube amps and a P-bass. (I do)

    Well... counting the notches on mine, 4 is half volume.
    Mine is well into the land of fuzz at 3,(when I'm playing aggressively) but with my cab, its also fairly loud at that point.
    If yours just begins to overdrive at around 4, (half volume) I'd assume you got a fairly healthy V4B.

    (If your running the single SWR Workingman's 15 cab in your profile):
    New tubes/caps/re-bias might help, but I'd guess your weak point volume wise, is your cab.
    To utilize more of these amps clean headroom, many people (including myself) are using bigger cabs such as 2x15, 6x10, 8x10.
    I'd suggest a sealed cab like a Bergantino NV610 or NV215 for use with any tube amp, but adding (nearly any) second cab to your 1x15 would probably help a bunch. It would also get the sound up closer to your ears.
    You could also try elevating your current 1x15...

    For the most clean head room, I'd try keeping the amps bass knob no higher than half, and mids set past halfway (to taste). Pushing the bass knob quickly eats up available clean headroom.

    With all that said, I ended up buying an SVT because I loved my V4(s)
    tone and vibe, but sometimes found myself needing more clean headroom too.

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