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more questions about my ampeg v4b

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by weekendxwarrior, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. a few weeks ago I picked up my first tube head, an early 70's(?) ampeg v4b. i just got it back from the shop today. it got a full cleaning, new power cable, and new tubes.

    of course now that i've brought it home, my sister's taking a nap.:(

    so since i have to wait to turn it on, i figured i'd ask a few questions and get some answers and opinions. this is my first tube amp so i apologize if any of these questions seem ever so obvious. i've been reading through a bunch of old threads on this amp, but figured i could get a straight forward answer/suggestion or two.

    Question number 1: 2 inputs? i've read that they're 2 seperate preamps, each with their own volume control. any differences at all? the only use i could really think of for this would be to use one for my active and one for my passive basses, so i don't have to contantly change volumes? any other suggestions?

    Question number 2: the two ext amp output jacks on back...
    are these for running slave/power amps? how are they affected by the volume knobs?

    Question number 3: i was told that tube amps need time to warm up, and i've seen bands plug in their amps a few sets early, presumably for this purpose. i understand the idea, but how much warm up time should i give it?

    any other thoughts/suggestions are greatly, greatly appreciated. if it wasn't for the advice i've gotten from you folks, i probably would not have realized what a good deal i got on this amp and i may have missed out.
  2. 1: Yes, two volumes... not much else different. You could have one cranked up higher and A/B switch them for a dirt channel... or two basses, like you said.

    2: Yes, they are for running slaves amps. If I understand correctly they would be effected by the preamp volumes, but I may be wrong. I never used them.

    3: Yes, let it warm up. I gave my V4-B about a minute for safety, but it didn't truly settle in until about 20 minutes to half an hour. Within that time period I noticed tonal changes as it warmed up.
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Awesome! You've got it all about right there - the two inputs are exactly that - two inputs. I think my second/right one had a little lower of a signal, I always just used the one on the left.

    Also, I leave the amp to warm up for a bit before playing, but it's not a MUST...you can certainly start playing as soon as you get sound out of it, but the tone will get better as they continue to heat up.

    Great find! I just sold mine to a friend of mine. Best way to sell sweet gear IMO - incase you ever wanna make sure it's still alive.
  4. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    According to the manual:

    "On those amplifiers which are equiped with an Extension Amplifier Jack (located on the rear panel_ you may connect amplifiers in tandem. That is, Extension Amp Jack to Extension Amp Jack with a regular guitar cord, using the first amplifier volume and tone controls to operate both amplifiers; or, you may take the musical signal from one Extension Amp Jack and run it into the front panel input jack of another amplifier. The Extension Amplifier Jack can also be used to patch into a recording studio board or into large PA systems."

    So there you go. If you go extension to extension, amp 1 controls volume on both. If you go extension to input, you would be able to adjust the input volume/preamp on amp 2 to alter the incoming signal from the amp.

  5. thanks for the responses!

    i just took it for a bit of a test drive, the only speaker cab i have available (2 in mail) is a semi-decent 2x15 PA cab, and lets just say all of a sudden it sounded a LOT better than semi-decent. i got it turned to 8 o'clock and the walls were rattling. i cannot wait for a chance to really open it up.
    pics will come soon!
  6. an update and ANOTHER question.

    I just got an avatar 2x12 cab in the mail that i bought from a fellow TBer(thanks FuzzBoxVoodoo!). it's a 4 ohm rated cabinet, and it's rated for 400 rms, 800 watts program. http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=525321 i'm running an Ibanez BTB575FM as my main bass, it has active pups.

    here's my question:

    with the volume around 8 o'clock the thing sounds GREAT! loud, clear, overall great.
    when i crank up past 8, the speakers start growling alot. I love the sound, but i cannot tell if it's just the tube growl and i should keep cranking or that it's the speakers reaching their limit. this is my first vintage/tube amp and i'll be honest, with out a clip indicator i'm just plain nervous.

    the numbers tell me the speakers should be fine, i mean, i'm not even at 50% on the volume, and all the eq's are flat. 400watts rms should handle 100 tube watts fine right?

    any advice would be great.
  7. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Sounds like your just hearing tube growl. Its prety normal for these amps to reach their max clean-ish volume levels at only between the 10 and 11 o'clock volume knob position. I rarely ever run my V4's volume knob higher than 11 o'clock. Mine just gets a progressively more and more distorted tone after that without any real increase in volume.

    If your active bass has extra high output pickups, you might try lowering its volume knob just a bit. If your boosting your basses bass eq knob, you might also find backing that off a bit might allow your V4B to stay cleaner at higher volume levels.

    Most of us V4/V4B guys have found that large highly efficient 8x10/6x10/2x15 cabs give us the most usable volume with these amps.

  8. thanks for the advice!

    does the last part work with say, combining mulitple cabs? if i were to run a 4x10 with the 2x12, etc.?
  9. Rugaar


    Apr 11, 2007
    That's the same setup I run, although I'm using P basses. Sweet sounding rig. I agree that loud and clean is not it's strength. I love the grindy tube growl I can get out of it. Never had a concern about blowing anything and I've had it fairly loud on a few occasions.

  10. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    2 minutes warm up (on standby) is safe. Playing immediately with no standby can cause your tubes to get hot too fast, and shortens their lives.
  11. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.

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