Ampeg V4 4x12 Cab - Anyone got one? How is it and what's in it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dewman, Feb 15, 2006.


  1. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey- I am eyeing an Ampeg V4 cab from the early 70s at a local store. Its cheap and built like a Buick and also looks like ****, beat all to hell. However, it is so cheap that I figured it might be a possible way to go to get a decent plywood 4x12 cab for home use. Yeah it looks wicked heavy and I ain't taking it anywhere, my wife will probably bury me in it if I get it. I only had a few minutes with it and it sounded ok, although I didnt get to crank an attached amp, for fear of blowing the stock CTS speakers that suck anyway. Anyone have one of these loaded with different speakers? Sound good??great?? Good value, good tone or not??

    I heard that the cab is front loaded like many ampeg cabs and this one has a fiberglass lining to improve bass response. Anyone ever take the fiberglass out and notice any difference? Depending on bass response of the closed back cab I was thinking of loading it with some Scumbacks or Heritage reissues and driving it with a 50 watt Marshall head. If you got one or had one, any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks-
     
  2. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    did ya take out the insulation??
     
  3. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    Listen to BrewBeck! The man has experience with great vintage 4x12's.
    Buy it, load it with Scumback speakers, and be done with your search for a killer cab.

    I think early V4's are the great sleeper 4x12's left on the market. Anyone that feels priced out of vintage Marshall/Hiwatt/Orange cabs should check these out.

    While I've got early Hiwatt and Orange 4x12's, and a 1974 Marshall checkerboard, I've been looking for an early Marshall basketweave cab for years, but have never been motivated enough to spend the going rate. Call me cheap! :D
    I was clued in to these by a post here on TGP by Matte Henderson that these cabs are a favorite of Ken Fischer.

    Within a few months I had found and bought mine on Ebay for $225 BIN shipped (this was maybe 18 months ago, and it turned out that it cost the seller nearly $140 to pack and ship!) with nice tolex but a stained grillcloth (an easy fix) and original speakers. Since you're looking locally, you're halfway home not having to worry about shipping costs/damage.

    The V4's are heavy, industrial strength cabs, with very good build quality. I'm using it as my 4x12 test cab, and have just left the insulation in. It has worked well with every speaker I've thrown in it (G12H30s, vintage greenbacks, Altec 417-8H, etc). Even the original speakers sound good, but I'm hoping to get some Scumback's for it, as like you mentioned I think they'd be a great match.

    I'm with Brewbeck. If you're looking for a great sounding, vintage 4x12, BUY IT. You will not regret it. The only thing you have to check is to make sure the cab joints are still very tight (as in, just make sure it has no structural damage). Other than that, don't worry about any cosmetics like tolex or grillcloth damage. Just use those as negatives to get the price down.

    The V4 has completely ended my ambition for chasing down an early basketweave. Of course I'd jump on one if it presented itself for the right price. But I'm not inclined in any way to spend $3000+ for a great vintage basketweave when I can find V4's all day long and load them with new Scumbacks for under $1000. Like these:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Ampeg-V-4-Speaker-Cab-4x12_W0QQitemZ7390400504
    http://cgi.ebay.com/AMPEG-V-4-SPEAKER-CABINET_W0QQitemZ7375272231
     
  4. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I compared my '68 basket weave cab to my Ampeg v-4 cab. I used the same speakers in each.

    The V-4 has more bass and more top end. Being front loaded, it has a bit more of a modern sound than the marshall. A very good sounding cab but probably needs a slightly darker sounding speaker (I think v-30's might be too much)

    Very cool cab.
     
  5. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok so I am convinced thhat I'm all over it. Do you guys recommend the Scumback greenbacks (75Hz) or the G12H versions w/ the 55Hz extended bass. Or maybe celestion Heritage G12Ms or G12Hs? I haven't yet tried scumbacks but my conversations with Germino about speaker cabs have led me to seriously consider these, just dont know if it would be too boomy with the extended bass response of the 55Hz speakers. Looking for great bass response but no piercing highs...

    D
     
  6. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    cab is approx 225$. think I'll get it...
     
  7. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Killer deal. Try it with the CTS before you ditch them-for a loud clean sound they work pretty good!
     
  8. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    yeah I will- I blew the CTS speakers in my Ampeg VT-40 about 30 seconds after getting the amp. But if they aren't pushed they dont sound that bad. Had the old CTS speakers in an old super reverb and they sounded great. ..
     
  9. sonaboy

    sonaboy Member

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    in my head...
    The V4 series isn't the reg black cabs with white piping and logo, are they?
     
  10. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    no piping, just plain jane black w/ silver grillcloth on a removable cover. Cab is front loaded... nothing fancy, very utilitarian...
     
  11. sonaboy

    sonaboy Member

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    in my head...
    I see - i have the black cab with white piping and they load those with Celestion G12T 75s.

    I asked the same thing about Ampeg's Bass cabs - and didnt' get an answer. Anyone know what brand speaker Ampeg puts in their newest bass cabs? I'm trying to make an unbranded duplicate on the cheap...
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    I used to use an early V4 cab with my Mark I Boogie when I played in rock cover bands in the '80's. I think the original drivers were in it - don't know what they were, but that cab had the fullest bass response of any 4x12 I'd ever played! I'd buy the cab if I were you!! ;)
     
  13. mentoneman

    mentoneman Guest

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    another V4 cab former owner/advocate here.

    i have some recordings of practicing with that cab and it sounded wicked.

    extremely resonant and bloomy. the cts stock speakers weren't bad, but i bet some heritage greenies or scumbacks would be sick.
     

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