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Thinking about buying a 70s V4B - a few questions.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Balkan, Apr 19, 2009.


  1. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    Hello -

    I've been wanting to get a vintage Ampeg tube amp for a while and recently I've been focusing on the V4B as maybe the best of all worlds. (I've never tried one, but I have tried vintage SVTs and B-25s, as well as my own beloved B100R).

    If I go 70s, does early 70s v. late 70s matter tonewise?

    Also, for recording, is the original 2x15 cabinet a good choice, or would maybe a 410 be a better setup?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I don't know which years are considered "the best", but as to speakers, it's totally subjective. I personally love those amps through 15's, adds to the big roundness of it all, and I would certainly suggest a 215. But really, that's up to you which you'd prefer.
     
  3. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    Cool - obviously, the B-15 is considered by many to be "the" recording amp and has a 15" speaker. But then it seems a lot of people see the V4 as kind of the SVT's kid sibling, in which case the the 10s would seem appropriate. Of course, once I have the head, I guess I can start experimenting!
     
  4. cripula

    cripula

    Dec 20, 2006
    Canada
    I believe there's no difference between the early and later 70s models. They all sound great.
    The original cab is NOT a good choice, IMHO. It's a huge folded horn, weighs a ton, has almost no definition. I use mine only as a display perch for my V4-B.
    To give you an idea how big it is, here it is next to an 8x10. Both are flush to the wall:
    3399331841_91c21c1f65_b.

    The V4-B sounds great through most cabs though. I love it through an 8x10 fridge, and both the Bergantino NV610 and NV215 sound awesome. It's also sounded great through a bag End S15-D and a cheap Fender 4x10.
     
  5. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    Cool - thanks!
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, once the V4B came out, it stayed virtually unchanged until it was discontinued in 1980. Cabs are definitely more of a personal choice, but the V4B is, indeed, a best-of-both-worlds amp...louder than the B-15, lighter than the SVT.
     
  7. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:

    My first real amp was a mid-70's V4B-with 2x15 cab.

    I loved the tone of that rig.

    2x15 is the way to go.
     
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    from what i can tell, the V4B remained unchanged. it is the V4 (guitar amp) that Ampeg changed the circuit in 1975 in which they added a distortion and master volume, so i think that any vintage V4B would be a great amp. i run mine thru one or two v4 cabs (4x12's) and its awesome. with two cabs, IMO it would handle any gig.

    two V4 4x12 cabs:

    v4b-stack-1.
     
  9. I had the original config as mentioned above, with the monster folded horn cab. <Mine was in white tolex...> It barely fit in my car, a '72 Cutlass...

    The amp sounded awesome, but if I were riggin' it up today, I can think of a lot better speaker options. Try a bunch... I think it would sould killer through a 2x10 or 2x12. A sealed 1x15 would be sweet.
     
  10. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    Cool. I just hope the v4b isn't too loud for me as I keep reading in some posts about live experiences. I work mostly with a great singer songwriter in smaller NYC venues. The b100r has always been loud enough. But maybe a smaller cab with the v4b will do the trick? The other option is a b25 but I worry that is too quiet and it's harder to match with cabs because it's 16 ohms.
     
  11. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO,it won't be too loud. that's what the volume control is for.:smug:
     
  12. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    yeah, but dont you have to get to 9 o'clock before those ampegs kick in? and then it kicks in kind of loud, no? i do have the volume knob on the p-bass though!
     
  13. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I don't think you have to worry about too loud, especially if you go with a smaller cab like a sealed 1x15. As Johnk said, that is what the volume knob is for. Any how, I use mine with a 4x10, mostly because that's what fits in the back seat of my car. I use an 8x10 at practice sometimes, but I can't move it so I don't gig with it. I also have an old fender 4x12 which I play around with at home from time to time, but its too bulky to move so really its just furniture the majority of the time. This amp really sounds great with just about anything you give it.
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's a myth. Will it sound more awesome at higher volumes? Depends on your definition of awesome. But I don't turn my SVT up any louder than my B-15's and it still sounds awesome.
     
  15. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    sometimes i also use a 1x15 TL606 cab (w/an EV15L, made to look like an Ampeg cab) with a V4B so i think that a 1x15 might just be perfect for your situation. its still loud, but alot more manageable volume-wise.
     
  16. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    interesting JimmyM - i know you're an expert on these amps (and I covet your collection!) but both my b100r and the b25 i've checked out seem to have a noticeable boost right around 9 o'clock (on the b100r this is with master on max).
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dude, John's the expert. I just like to play them.

    Yeah, I know of what you're talking about, but I don't know if I'd let it be a deal breaker.
     
  18. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    awesome - thanks!

     
  19. Balkan

    Balkan

    Aug 8, 2005
    New York, NY
    . . . and John - please let me know if you have any more of these V4s for sale. I just looked through your beautiful bass collection. I have an all original 1972 P-Bass that's in pretty great condition, but not quite as perfect as your 1973.
     
  20. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    Hi Balkan,
    thanks for the kind words.
    i just sold the last two V4's that i have. i'm keeping the V4B & i don't expect to be getting any more of them soon.
     

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