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Installing a fan/using a fan for my Ampeg V4B tube amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by descendent22, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. descendent22


    Jul 29, 2015
    I just bought my 1st Tube Amp. An Ampeg V4B. Tubes get hot and if left idle with no play can decrease the life of the tube and even burn them out. Obviously the head will get warm and it smells somewhat like a burn. I only found this out because I didn't turn the standby on for a little while. Any to make it run a little cooler I had an idea to either just put a fan near it or installing electric fans in it. Has anyone ever done this and is it a good idea?

    I just recently got my first tube amp. An Ampeg V4B. I've had hybrids between a trace elliot ah1200-12 and an Ampeg SVT pro 3. They had fans in them and had no need for a " standby " switch. This tube amp is a little bit of A learning experience for me. Not much but I'm learning things about tube amps that I never knew before.
  2. You shouldn’t need a fan for the V4B. Tubes heat up, that’s their thing. My Orange and Reeves don’t have a fan and kick along just fine.
    jbrew73, The_Lucek and Aqualung60 like this.
  3. descendent22


    Jul 29, 2015
    Ok I was jw. Is it normal for the head to feel warm?
  4. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
    I'd suggest to play the V4B merely in Alaska in winter time and also suggest to keep the windows open.
    Sorry but, couldn't resist.

    If your amp is well serviced and up to specs then I don't think your V4B would need any additional cooling from a fan for safe operation on stage or for rehearsal
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    Aqualung60 and rodl2005 like this.
  5. At the end of a long gig or rehearsal session my Orange AD200 is very warm. The only time I was ever concerned was during a summer session where the stage temperature was easily in the mid to high 40s (that's 115 in freedom units).

    The amp could have brewed a cup of tea by placing a cold cup on it. A year later and the tubes are still going strong :D
    Wisebass likes this.
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    If the tubes are not hot, they will not work!
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, as long as you're not playing in a storage shed in Miami at 2 in the afternoon, you should be fine.
    mesaplayer83 likes this.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    Tubes can get too hot if the amp is not biased properly, but if the amp is operating properly the V4B should not need a fan.
    Wisebass likes this.
  9. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    As a point of reference, I bought a lightly used V4B in about 1973.
    Used it on and off for well over 25 years.
    Sold it with the original tubes from the factory.
    Literally, no screws had been turned but it was babied.
    I suggest waiting for the tubes to cool before moving the amp, and allowing the tubes to warm up before applying signal.
    That amp sounded better than my 80's SVT but really needed money at the time.
  10. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    hi descendent22 :)

    V4Bs (and a lot of other amps without fans) have been used
    (and sometimes missused) for decades.
    A lot of times on stages with temperatures hotter than hell!

    Back in the days there where no LEDs! I remember playing on more than one gig,
    where the amps were just a foot away from several 1kW Pars.
    Beerbottles placed on top of your amp, would get so hot that the vinyl was melting! :wacky:

    A V4B can take all that and a lot more! That's why it has so many fans! :D

    I am a V4B fan :laugh: (sorry I could not resist)

    What you should know, when you are new to tube amps: Never run your amp without a load! (your cab(s))

    Before switching your amp on, always check that your cabs are plugged in. (use the right output(s), read your manual!)

    Use your standby switch between sets or for the coffee break at rehearsals.

    So these are my two cents. I wish you a lot of fun with your V4B!

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
    ahc and rodl2005 like this.
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Sometimes the misinformation about tubes leaves me dumbfounded!

    Tubes get hot so you shouldn’t touch them. Not that they’d break but you can get burned.

    At the end of a gig turn the amp off and it’s free to be moved any time you want.

    Leaving your amp in Standby between sets is fine, that’s what the switch is there for. Cathode stripping is a fact but you’d have to leave the amp on Standby for a very long time.
    Wisebass, JMarkD and edencab like this.
  12. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    If you're not really careful with a tube amp, it will eat lead paint and play on unguarded playground equipment...
    Wisebass, rodl2005, JMarkD and 3 others like this.
  13. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Hey Paul,
    I was taught to let the tubes cool a little bit before moving the amp to prevent damage?
    Like a light bulb.
    Good idea, no?
  14. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I've never waited for my tubes to cool. There is simply no need. By the time you’re ready to load out the tubes will be well cooled.
    JoeWPgh likes this.
  15. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    The only exception to this is if it's crazy frozen cold outside. Then I'd give them a few minutes
    Bass 45 likes this.
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    ...that sounds like your waiting a bit before you move the head. I normally recommend 15 minutes. Plenty of time to pack up your bass, chords, pedals etc.
  17. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Precisely! :D
  18. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
  19. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Hot glass hates sub zero temperatures.
    I see it as a reasonable precaution
  20. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    in the summer at outdoor shows i usually attach a cheapo clipon fan. probably doesnt do anything except make me feel better
    Bass 45, Wisebass and agedhorse like this.

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