Max Power of Ampeg V4B Reissue

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rabbitfighter, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. rabbitfighter


    Jul 16, 2019
    To the owners or friends of owners of the Ampeg V4B 100w Reissue tube head:

    Has anyone ever tested the total wattage possible when the amp is being driven full hog? (i.e. how far past 100w can she go (relatively safely))?

    Owners or friends of the vintage V4B are also welcome to respond, or any owners of 100w tube amps. Or anyone, really :roflmao:
  2. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    hmm, well 100w generally means 100w so I'm guessing it maxes out right around 100w. :laugh:
    There could be some +/- variation. For instance, the Ampeg SVT is generally thought of (and rated by Ampeg) as being 300w. But when scoped (and depending on exactly how its scoped as well as the quality of its components) it can show as little as 240w or as much as 320w (this info comes from a recent thread re the SVT that contains several posts by experienced techs).

    So, can the V4B deliver a bit more than 100w ... possible. When it does that it will invariably be producing more distortion than its nominal specs though.
  3. jdubbass38


    Mar 20, 2009
    100 watts is 100 watts.... I would say depending on what cab your planning on using with it will make the biggest difference. I’v been using my v4b reissue with an 810 at just about every show, it’s a loud 100 watts thru an 810. I haven’t had to turn the gain or master past noon yet including out door shows. We do have PA, bass is run thru it but most of the sound is coming from my on stage rig and with knobs not even to noon I have plenty of head room left if needed.
    poopshoot likes this.
  4. Being that the 100w is with relatively little distortion you could mathematically get close on 200w out of it in full beast mode but it would sound nasty. Why does it matter?
    Wasnex likes this.
  5. kcmoe


    Mar 16, 2007
    I don't know how much different the reissue is compared to the 70's models; the early 70's one I used to have was scoped out at just under 120 watts by a tech.
    poopshoot and Wasnex like this.
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    A couple of things to keep in mind: 1. Once the waveform starts squaring off, the amp will continue to make more power, but the sound will not necessarily get louder beyond a certain point because the voltage does not increase. 2. As the amp make more power, the power supply voltage will sag. So if you push the amp beyond a certain point, the volume may actually decrease despite the increase in power.

    I believe theoretically a 100W amp would make 200W if pushed to full saturation, but like you said 180W is more realistic for a real world situation, and it would sound awful.
  7. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    To really be meaningful you need to know the distortion level. My guess is that was probably at 5% THD which is relatively clean for a tube amp.
  8. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Here's a bench test. I believe this SVT CL is measure at 240W at ~6% and 340W at ~11%. I don't think the tubes are well matched.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
    jdubbass38 and pfschim like this.
  9. rabbitfighter


    Jul 16, 2019
    Srsly thankin bout buyin one and I was worried 100w is not gon be enough power ... Then again, I’m starting to think it will be enough (for my current purposes at least)!
  10. Tube amps are a bit like golf clubs. To get the right distance and loft a player selects his club and fullness of swing to plop the ball down on the green next to the pin. You asking if 100 tube watts is enough is like asking your Mum over the phone what club you should hit for the next shot. She needs to know the distance and the wind and the lay of the land etc.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    It's certainly enough for me in every situation I've played in my life running dead clean. Of course, on some of those gigs in my earlier days I needed to run it through an SVT 810, but it's certainly loud enough to get you fired from most respectable venues. And whether or not it will be enough for you depends on a lot of you're using, volume of your band, how clean or dirty you want to be...etc. Running it dirty will certainly cut way down on tube life, but you should be able to get in the neighborhood of 200w cranking it all the way up. It's really dirty at that point, but for certain things it sounds totally badass.
  12. Forget power. Speakers make volume.
    Plug that thing into two SVT 810 cabs and all your wildest dreams will come true. Maybe.
    Waltsdog and jdubbass38 like this.
  13. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    100 watts
    Though it could “sound louder” when pushed.

    Watts do not = volume.

    I play low volume gigs, 90% of the time with clean sound. 100 watts is usually not enough for me. I like 300 to 500 clean power.
  14. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Registered Nihilist Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    I run mine through a very efficient Barefaced 610 cab, and it is realllllly loud.
  15. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    If this is the case, i think you are asking the wrong question.

    Ask if the V4B will be the right amp for you... and we need to know
    - what cabs you will use
    - how loud your band is
    - what your gigs are like (FOH support?)
    - how much dirt / clean do you want

    I think that kind of thing will get you more useful info than a question about watts.

    I gigged a 100w fender tube amp for a long time, and still do on occasion - when not gigging my 900w amp.
    Chickenwheels and Wasnex like this.
  16. rabbitfighter


    Jul 16, 2019
    Types of cabs I will be using—this is still totally not decided either. Most of what I will be using this rig for will be jamming, practicing and recording in a small house. The band will be hopefully playing some gigs soon, will be starting small, hopefully will be getting larger and larger gigs (but I don’t know how far into the future that will be and I can get another amp at that time).
    For now I’m trying to figure out what would be best between a 112, 212 and 410. I’m a smaller 5’6” female, not incredibly muscular so I want to be able to sort of manageably lug this thing (hopefully). Other band members would be able to help me with moving the cab but I am not ready for an 810 or 610 just yet.

    Loudness of band—pretty loud but not incredibly deafening (for the most part).

    Clean/dirt—I like both. Style is versatile, can take all kinds. Grit and clean sounds good. I am a fan of the V4B’s tone at all volumes.
    JimmyM likes this.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You just tripled the funny from your screen name!
    Wasnex, Wisebass and poopshoot like this.
  18. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    Based on all that, I think the 100w V4B would probably work for you.

    Volume comes from cabs, more than watts, so plan your cab situation around your volume needs, and your ability to move the cabs. You can also grow your cabs as the band and gigs develop.
    The V4B can do 2-4-8 ohms, so you could even do something like 2x112 8ohm cabs, that would be an easy schlep and provide some options... down the road, add 2 more and you could do a 412 rig that would get as loud as you probably ever needed - while not having to move a big 412 cab.
    poopshoot likes this.
  19. rabbitfighter


    Jul 16, 2019
    Hey! I like that idea. That way I’d be able to customize my set up for whatever the situation requires. Was getting a little stressed thinking of hauling a 90-something-pound cab in the snow. Thanks man! :thumbsup:
  20. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Bayou City
    I have a couple of very light weight 210 cabs. They are easy to move, and I can pick one or two depending on what I'm dong.
    My days of 90 pound cabs are long gone.

    A 210 or a 115 is a great cab for me. A single one will cover most stuff (jamming, recording, smaller gigs), and two of them will cover just about anything.

    Those Ampeg 210AV are cheap, light, and two of them would make for a pretty great rig with a V4B (I think).

    May seem silly, but nothing like actually getting to the store and picking some stuff up. I once asked to take a cab out of a store so I could put it in my car to see how it fit, and what was involved with lifting it up, etc... (it was a local shop that I had done business with, so they were cool about it.)

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