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The Ampeg V-4B

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by metron, Aug 24, 2007.


  1. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Just got this from TBer the dude. Thanks the dude! I had an identical one that I sold about a year ago. That one had 6550s this one has 7027 (and GEs no less :D )

    A short comparison on possible differences due to output tube type...

    First thing I notice is that the volume knob has a wider range then the one with 6550s. That is, this one takes more volume knob to get similar output levels and starts to clip out a little higher on the dial. Overall volume seems about the same between them from what I can recall. Ill have to give this one a rip with my NV 610 to really tell. So far I only have had a chance to punish my GK 112 though the speaker performed impressively I must say.

    The sound at clipping is different. I think the amp with 6550s may have had a more girthy sounding grind but again I have to crank this through the 610 before I pass judgement.

    Overall clean tone is just as I remember. Goes from sweet and thick to razor edgy with treble but in just the right way. Mids have lots of gain. What ultra low switch? :D
     
  2. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Insides are about as nice as I have seen. This one has the original cans yet from what I can remember it doesnt hum quite as much as the previous one I had with fresh filter caps. Those 6550s run hotter so the amp chassis on my previous one got quite hot. The back board was even starting to burn a bit from the 6550s. Smelled like hot tolex. This one does too though. Brings back memories. :)

    Its tube goodness people. Tube goodness...
     
  3. Willem

    Willem

    Dec 26, 2005
    Belgium
    I'm jealous of that rig!
    Congrats!
     
  4. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Thanks Willem!
     
  5. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Very nice. I've got one of the newer V4BH, and it's by far the tastiest sounding amp I've ever owned. Unfortunately, it only gets used at home for practice, since I need many more big watts with the band, but the tone is pure, warm, and snarley, everything I've ever dreamed of. Congrats on a sweet one.
     
  6. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    Congrats! I was drooling over that one in the Classifieds--so dang clean. Enjoy!
     
  7. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    I sure miss mine,bought it new in 76,
    giged it steady for 12yrs with no issues,
    a true workhorse,grats nice amp!

    EB/
     
  8. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Boy, that one looks exactly like mine! ...which is a '74 or '75. Yours must be in the same neighborhood. They are amazing troopers. I didn't work mine hard for a lot of years (thought it was too heavy once the solid state Acoustic stuff came out) and so it too has the original 7027A tubes in it. I never tried 6550's or 6L6's, never needed to. About the only work I needed was to replace a power switch along the way... and the new one still flickers.

    I have a matching '75 4X12 cabinet that, if I remember right, was originally a guitar cab. We weren't too fussy back then. I now have two Eminence Delta 12's in it... not sure they're the best choice, but it still has the voice of god. Enjoy this great rig! Tom
     
  9. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Thanks folks! So its probably a mid 70s? Makes sense because of the white switches. My previous one had clear red switches similar to that found on the MTI SVTs so that was likely a later one.

    Gave it a run with my NV 610 this weekend. This amp has great overdrive! The 6550s in my previous amp seem to makes the volume work a little different. It started clipping a little earlier and going past 3 o'clock made little difference. This one keeps getting crunchier all the way up the dial. Max clean volume does seem to be about the same. If the 6550s added any power it wasnt much. I have to say if I can oversimplify and attribute the differences between the amps to just the output tubes, I like 7027s better. They just seem to work better with the V-4B.

    Overall its a great amp but it does have limitations. We have a pretty loud band practice and I had it clipping along. Just where I wanted it actually! But maybe for loud gigs it wouldnt be enough.
     
  10. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    You may be right about volume... it does get crunchy pretty fast (but what a nice crunch!). I remember doing some outdoor gigs where it just wasn't enough by itself. But at that point I could hear myself OK, so these days it seems like w/some PA support and a decent amp mic.... Tom
     
  11. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    Outdoors it would not likely cut it unless the band was quiet. I have other amps that I can rely on for bigger gigs though. I dont think I would recommend this amp to someone for a loud rock gig as their only amp but its my favorite option for practice right now. I also plan to use it at some point in the future for guitar or keyboard if need be.
     
  12. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Arkansas
    I just played mine at an outdoor pool party and it almost cut it, but not quite. It sounded fine in the recording I did (Edirol r-09), but I noticed fuzziness when I really attacked it. Man, it sure sounds great up to that point though! Great head, but maybe not the best choice for an outdoor gig without support. I was wishing I wouldve brought my SVT at the time, but I thought it might have been overkill since the drums werent miked. I was pleasantly suprised when I heard my tone on the recording, though. FYI, mine is a late 70's V4 with the 7027's. In fact, I need to sell it or my B15N and I cant decide because the V4 sounds sooo good.
     
  13. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    I guess I should mention that all V4/V4Bs were stock with 7027 tubes but many have been modded for 6550s including the one I used to have. Wish I could put them side by side but I still think the 7027 would come out on top for preference. Perhaps because thats what it was designed for.
     
  14. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    denton57, tough choice. I'd hate to lose either of those two amps. Best of luck to you, hope it works out.
     
  15. Edword

    Edword Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Detroitish

    Oh geez, I just got a '72 - '76 V4 as part of a trade, and I was all ready to have it modded for 6550s and keep it as a backup. After reading the above, I'm not sure what to do with it. The 7027s in it are weak, one of them was marked BAD with a grease pencil. Now I'm tempted to try a set of good 7027s instead of 6550s.
     
  16. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Denver
    They both sound good. The difference seems marginal really. At least assuming the differences I hear are only due to the output tubes which is probably oversimplifying but for message board comparitive purposes I think its not a stretch. Personally I dont hear a whole lot of improvement with 6550s. Unless you have a good reason I say keep it stock and find a good set of 7027s. If anything they wont build up as much heat in the amp chassis which could eventually be an issue for the circuit boards.
     
  17. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    I've heard many times that 6L6's are a direct replacement for the 7027A's, requiring no mods to the amp at all. Is that wrong? Do the 6550's require any mods? Tom
     
  18. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Denton, power aside, don't you think these two amps (SVT/VB) sound differently? I mean don't they scratch a different itch?
     
  19. Hookus

    Hookus

    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    The 6550's should technically require a modification to the tube biasing circuit, and different tube retainers (remove the 7027 retainers). 6L6's are a drop in replacement.

    Assuming that you have not gotten your answer over the last 4 months, whoops.
     
  20. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Arkansas
    Personally, I think they sound sorta similar. I have never a/b them as I only have one cab, but both sound like ampeg. The V4 sounds better at lower volumes I think. The V4 would be my choice for smaller gigs. The SVT, of course, for when I need more power.. like outside gigs or when I think I might :D need a little extra! I would say the power needed is the defining factor, not tone.
     

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