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Rating and Reviews: Ampeg V-4B Bass Amp Head

Half the weight of an SVT head, this reissue of the legendary Ampeg V-4B bass head cranks 100 watts of all-tube power with all the rich tone of the original.

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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"great amp" submitted April 1, 2014

By phil n in canastota, NY
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Sound
Features
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: playing in bands 35 yrs
Music Style: modern/dance/classic rock
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Overall: this tube amp sounds just like an ampeg should.It's a loud 100 watts.I've gigged it 3 times now and it seems to be improving each time.I went from 575 watts ss to this and was worried it couldn't keep up but it does in spades.I play a 5 string Am standard p bass with 2 TL 606 15 cabinets loaded with eminence drivers.
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"V4-B!!" submitted November 4, 2013

By Scott C in Roseville, CA
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: Playing bass for 5 years, mostly jam at home.
Music Style: Mostly rock, some blues
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Sound: The sound is SVT quality all the way. For those who love SVT tube tone, this has it in spades. And even though it is 1/3 the wattage of the 300w SVT, it can get plently loud, believe me. However, because of the lower wattage, and the updated controls (the new V4-B has a gain control), I can get that awesome cranked SVT grind at much lower volume levels. Feature: The V4-B is about half the weight of my SVT Classic (which makes it much easier to move around), and is rated at 100 watts, about a third of the SVT Classic. Although cosmetically, it is more of a match for the SVT AV cab, or the newly available 112 and 212 cabs, it still looks great sitting on my SVT 610 HLF Cab. I would like to see a V4-B in the Classic black cosmetics to match better, but it's close enough, and still looks great. Ampeg has updated the control panel features a bit, which is a good thing in my opinion. Instead of the original identical dual inputs, there is one regular, and one -15 dB for active basses. Also, instead of dual volume controls, there is gain and volume, which enables the player to get that SVT- like grind without having to max out the volume, a good thing, definitely. The rest is about the same; ultra-hi, ultra-lo, and 3-freqency mid selector rocker switches above a three-band eq. which gives an ample amount of tone control. The back of the amp now has a balanced line out with ground lift which the original didn't have, and it has the usual pre-amp, and slaves outs, and power amp in. There is also 5 speaker outs for any speaker configuration you may have. I wish it had a speak-on connector, though, which is my preference over that 1/4" jack connections. However, the lack of a speak-on is probably because it's a 100w amp, rather than 300w or above, when it's more usual to see speak-ons. Another thing to note is that this amp also lacks a cooling fan, which means it is dead quiet when turned on, which can be great in a recording environment. The chassis of the amp can also get quite hot after a few minutes of operation, though; this doesn't seem to be a problem, but it's something to be aware of. There are no extra's like overdrive, etc. but the tone of the amp really makes up for any lack of features, in my opinion. You can use pedals for any other features you may want. Ease of Use: The controls are pretty straight-forward and simple (which I like), similar to an SVT Classic; you can get your preferred tone very quickly. Quality: Unlike the original V4-B, although designed in the USA, this new one is manufactured in China. I know this poses a problem for some who think only American made Ampegs are any good. Although, I would love to see Ampeg go American in their manufacturing again, I think they are doing an overall good job in maintaining the quality control with the Chinese made products. All the Ampeg products I now own (I own quite a few) were made in either Korea or China, and the quality level and control is very good, and they've performed flawlessy for me. It's amusing to me to hear people blasting Ampeg for it's Chinese manufacturing, and yet go out and get the latest Chinese made Apple product without batting an eye! Granted, not everything made in China is great, just like not everything made in America is great. So far, though, I've been pleased with the Ampegs made there. The V4-B appears to be a quality, well-made product, and has performed flawlessly for me in the short time I've had it. And based on what I've experienced with other Ampeg products, I expect it will continue to be great for a long time to come. Value: I think this Ampeg is a good value for what it is: an all tube tone box, a veritable little brother to the SVT VR or Classic. It appears to be high quality. Some may feel it's priced too high for a Chinese-made product, but I think if it were made in America, it would be priced a lot higher. So as long as the quality control is there, I feel the product is good value. Manufacturer Support: I've called Ampeg tech support for different questions about their products, and I've always found them to be very responsive and helpful. The Wow Factor: Great Ampeg vintage sound and vibe...wow!! Overall: I was really excited to see Ampeg come out with a re-issue of this great head, so of course I had to jump at the chance to get one. After playing through it over the last month I can say that it is everything I was hoping for. Great SVT tube tone, but with half the weight of my full size SVT Classic head. And even though it is less powerful than my SVT classic (100w compared to 300w) it can get plenty loud.
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