1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Vintage Ampeg V4; is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Payge Hollett, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Payge Hollett

    Payge Hollett

    Jun 18, 2016
    Toronto, ON
    Hey duders. Some guy on a bidding website is selling a Vintage 70's Ampeg V4 head, pretty good condition. He's selling it for $650, which seems a lot less than people who are selling it in the $800's on Reverb and other sites. It's the non-master volume one, with the six knobs and everything. Here's a picture:
    Let's say it works perfectly. I was originally looking for an Ampeg SVT-Classic, but it seems like the vintage heads have pretty good reviews, enough that apparently they made re-issues of this head? I don't know much about Ampeg, but I wanted to know if this head was worth the $650, or if I should just get a used Ampeg SVT-Classic for about $1000 (used).
    A little insight, I play in a pop punk band so I'm too sure about the tone either. I play a musicman stingray, which has a pretty nice tone to it. Not sure if it'd fit my genre, I heard the head has a "creamier" tone, whatever that means.
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Which cabs are you using?
  3. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    Can you make sure that this is the case?
    Older amps can have issues if they were not services properly, which make such a deal risky.
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It's an early model, the later ones have plastic knobs. The price is good, they sell for more in Canada than in the US. Yes, there is a reissue, it has a different power amp but sounds like the original.

    Every new used amp should be seen by a tech after you buy it. Factor that into the cost. Sometimes a new amp is a better option in terms of overall cost. It won't need new tubes or power supply capacitors, and it comes with a warranty. If you can find a used amp in good shape that has had maintenance, that's a plus. As about this when looking at a used amp. The one that you are looking at is claimed to work perfectly. This is good but are they telling the truth.

    I have a restored '74 V4B as well as a '71 SVT and love them both. Each have their applications. But it took a lot of work and additional money to get them that way. Some older vintage amps are like that. Don't underestimate how much more you may have to put into a used amp.

    One advantage of a 100W amp such as the V4B is that it can be pushed to it's limits into distortion, to get that tone that you mentioned. If you don't need crazy loud, the V4B is a good option. Pushing an SVT that hard it pretty loud. The V4B is a lighter than an SVT, around 60 lbs vs 80 lbs for the CL; the reissue V4B is 41 lbs. The advantage of the SVT is that it's 300W. You get a lot more amp for a relatively little extra investment. The amp is pretty much the standard seen in a lot of backlines. They tend to cost less to fix because techs have more experience with them, the SVT-CL and VR use more standard tubes, so does the V4B reissue.

    As for a speaker cab, the 810 sounds glorious with either amp. For loud pop punk, an SVT and 810 might be your best choice if it is within your budget. Otherwise, there are lots of good speaker cabinet options to consider.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
    Payge Hollett likes this.
  5. The V4 is a guitar amp and the V4B is the bass version. Both sound great with an electric bass.
    Beans-on-toast's advice is spot on.
  6. 4-fingers


    Nov 22, 2015
    Ontario Canada
    Do yourself a favour and check what's available on Kijiji right now down by Peterborough........I'm trying to stop myself from rushing out there myself. Put in "Ampeg" , killer V4B and 8x10 refurbed.......great price
  7. Payge Hollett

    Payge Hollett

    Jun 18, 2016
    Toronto, ON
    Gallien Krueger neo 2x12!
  8. Payge Hollett

    Payge Hollett

    Jun 18, 2016
    Toronto, ON
    Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it! I wasn't sure how worth it the head was because I've heard vintage Ampeg is unbeatable, but I've always sought out for the SVT-Classic head and 8x10. I'm probably gonna stick with that then for the future, instead of putting work into this.
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just be advised that the V4 and SVT (while both outstanding amps) are different beasts. I have owned a vintage version of both including on exactly like the pic you posted.

    The V4 was much "cleaner" sounding to me. I would almost call it a "hi-fi" amp compared to the SVT. Getting any wool, fur, just under overdrive, grit, etc. from a V4 isn't impossible, but it's harder than you think. Again, it's a great amp. I just prefer my tube amps to sound more like......tube amps. :D
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I find that whenever I go with another piece of gear instead of the one that I had my heart set on, I second guess the decision and wish that I had waited. Hope that you can find a way to achieve your goal.
    northbynorth and dbbltime like this.
  11. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    without generalizing to much any vintage tube amp can be solid runner or sometimes need some work eventually, so dont get to frustrated or be surprised if basic maintenance issues come up with any older tube head, likewise if you have plans to get a 810 i can definitely say no matter what the little bit or alot of bit of grind i have got from a 100 watt tuber sitting on a 810 is priceless and is rather addicting tone. older ampegs have harder to find tubes, nowadays with the internet and all its not to difficult to find them and a V4 is considered a classic bass amp to many and id actually be more willing to put up with a vintage V4 than a svt. that is just me though. and a 2ohm tap can be found on a few tube amps and some dont have. so basically any tube amp with a 2 ohm tap automatically sits high on my valuable list. eventually if needed and you wanna run alot of cabinets 2ohm taps are your best friend. and likewise eventually yes youll probably sink some money to get a good running amp with any tuber. so might as well sink it into something that is worth it. the vintage V4 is a sturdy monster and has nice chassis and even a shock mounted chassis which i find superior. when or if you do find love within 100 watt or so tube tone the V4 sits at the top of the list and actually probably one of the best tube amps to have in that class.
  12. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods!

    Ive bought 2 V4B's in recent history. Both were great. Both I was able to find for $650-$700, so your not too far off on the price.
    Geri O likes this.
  13. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    HUH?? Totally not my experience with it.
    Coughdrops likes this.
  14. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    Own an early V4B, have owned an early V4. They sound close and both sound great! I also don't get anything near a hi-fi vibe from the V4.

    There is a certain feel to the headroom you get from an SVT but the V4 series sound awesome. And really, cleaner headroom is the main difference. And a few pounds....
  15. deanamite


    Dec 30, 2012
    I use my early 70s V4 for guitar. It has a lot of fur and fuzz, it just depends on how you dial it in
  16. gregmari


    Nov 27, 2013
    I use my V4 for bass. It is one of my favorite amps. Sounds great with the heritage 410. I had it re-capped and replaced the power tubes. If you're prepared to have a tech look at it and spend a little cash replacing old parts, you won't regret it!

  17. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Payge where about in our air city are you?? I’m in Scarborough. :)

Share This Page