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Any clones of an ampeg V4?

jay42

Member
Messages
7,090
Afaik, no one is doing it. I'm buying a V2. I was looking at building one with all 12ax7s and 12au7s...skip the 6K11 and 12dw7 tubes. It's do-able, however, if you look long enough, you should be able to pick up an original for a fair price. They do weigh an awful lot, compared to other amps. Replacement iron is available from MM and probably Heyboer. The PT is the most likely thing to die. You could bring B+ and power down to sane levels with a custom PT.
 

doctord02

Member
Messages
1,061
Ampegs frequently have some oddball/hard to find tube choices in the circuits and also frequently have unusual custom designed inductors as part of their tone controls; both of these factors make letter perfect clones quite difficult.

However, it would be possible to use more standard tubes and tone controls and come pretty close. Kevin O'Connor in his Ultimate Tone series of books has a few Ampeg inspired amp projects where he does exactly just that...
 

suhrbrutal

Senior Member
Messages
575
The thickest, chewiest, heaviest, loudest clean tones for sure. These should be way more popular. The iron in these is great, not sure why you would want to change them? They work really well with pedals. My Landgraff pedals sounded huge through mine, wish I still had mine. The earlier ones are better. A real sleeper, and reissue tubes have made the prices more realistic.
 

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,964
I was looking at a used one and it just looked like a rat's nest. That and the odd-ball tubes scare me away from buying a 30 year old one. But the tone of them is amazing. If someone would make a hand wired version of them it'd be one of the best clean amps in existence...
 

Primakurtz

Member
Messages
2,311
For no rational reason, I'd love to have replacement circuit boards (or tag boards) for my V4. All those old components, embedded in those crusty old pcbs...

The above posters are correct, however. If you score a decent old one, and pour loads of money into transformers and caps, you have one of the best amps ever built.
 

Leonc

Wild Gear Herder
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,394
Ain't no clones of Ampegs that I'm aware of; certainly not the V-series amps...but boy...there should be.
 

wingwalker

Fuzzy Guitars
Messages
6,783
Never seen any clones, not even anything really based off of a V series...

Truth is those old Ampegs hold up quite well but if the tubes scare you then hang it up...those odd ball tubes are the key to the tone in those amps. I used to have a V4 and a V4b as well as a B25...all 3 were great amps but retubing them get to be a pain in the neck so I moved them on.
 

DGDGBD

Member
Messages
7,339
That would be cool, only problem is they would be fairly pricey. I wonder why Ampeg hasn't reissued them? Probably not enough if a market.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,090
That would be cool, only problem is they would be fairly pricey. I wonder why Ampeg hasn't reissued them? Probably not enough if a market.
When they were still SLM, they ri'd the V-4B. I've never seen a schematic, so I have no idea about the tube choices. As I pointed out above, the 6K11 and 12dw7 are combinations of 12ax7 and 12au7 tubes, so a clone is viable. I would drop the reverb and one channel for a straight forward VTMB with the Midrange selector and a bright switch. The input sensitivity is simple, but I'm not sure it's useful.

MM wants more than is fair for the inductor. It could be sent to Heyboer for a better price.
 

skoora

Member
Messages
845
When i think of the V4's I've played they had a great rock overdrive when turned up.
 

Blauserk

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,379
I don't think there'd be a market. You can find V-2s fairly cheap, and they really are built like tanks. Even after having a (fairly expesive) tech overhaul mine, I have less than $600 into it. And I think it's ready to go for another 10 years. Angela used to sell the funky power tubes (NOS) for a fairly reasonable price.

I wish someone would make a lower-output version tuned to sound like the V-series (say, Get Yer Ya-Yas Out). Even with good attenuators, they're beasts, and even in head form, heavier than !@*%!!!
 

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,964
There's always a market. A market for any musical product is only a single mega-hype TGP thread away from sales-insanity.
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
43,248
I was looking at a used one and it just looked like a rat's nest. That and the odd-ball tubes scare me away from buying a 30 year old one. But the tone of them is amazing. If someone would make a hand wired version of them it'd be one of the best clean amps in existence...
Man, I dont get it with the ampeg Love. I played a V4 for years and HATED it. Nasal clothspin on your nose tones all over the place. My buddy had one too, and when we got together, it sounded like 2 guys with horrible colds. :mad: Always had to have a few boxes of Kleenex and some nasal spray around. :roll

:p
 

Amp_Addicted

Member
Messages
775
Man, I dont get it with the ampeg Love. I played a V4 for years and HATED it. Nasal clothspin on your nose tones all over the place. My buddy had one too, and when we got together, it sounded like 2 guys with horrible colds. :mad: Always had to have a few boxes of Kleenex and some nasal spray around. :roll

:p
Though I loved some of the lower powered combos and Portaflex amps, I used to think the same thing about the V series. Then I recorded a punk band who had an older V4 that blew my mind. Was your Ampeg one with real switches or the later Magnavox era rocker switches? The older ones without master volume sound awesome, but require some regular care. Speakers are kind of crucial. These amps often came with a CTS speaker that was horrific sounding to my ears. Maybe your amp had these speakers.

I have a VT40, and love it. With a Les Paul it definitely captures a Mick Taylor type vibe. Unfortunately it had to totally gutted from a previous botched cap job. The power tubes and speakers were shot as well which is a problem for guitar players to get excited about Ampeg amps. When you purchase a V4, more than likely within a couple of years, you or some tech will have to thoroughly recap the power supply. A turret board layout of this amp would be interesting for sure as the Ampegs major design flaw are tube mounted PCB's. After nearly $1,000 in the amp, tubes, speakers, etc. I do not regret it at all though.

For those who think a clone is possible I think it would be difficult. Though the 7027a power tube is thought of as an uprated 6L6GC, its sound is pretty different than any 6L6 I have ever used. Excellent overdrive with headroom at the same time. Point being this tube is not readily available(please do not tell me about the JJ-it is not in the same ballpark tone wise). I think a new style of V4 could made from the basic schematic, but it would have to be re-thought obviously An Ampeg clone would be more interesting than another tweed deluxe or marshall 18 watt clone.

Ampegs deserve more love.
 

Travst

Member
Messages
7,885
Here are some gut shots of my '71:







These were taken before a re-cap and total restoration. Here's the result:

 




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