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#1 2012-02-06 21:43:29

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

So I'm new to the V4 head, and have never heard one other than the one I just had fixed.  I've had one sitting in my basement for years that belonged to an old friend, but just recently decided to have it serviced since I was told it was a great amp for metal, which I am currently playing.  The amp repairman suggested that I go with a SED Winged C 6L6's to replace the stock tubes that were toast, so I took his advice and went with the 6L6. 

I just picked it up on Friday and played it through an Ampeg 8 speaked coffin, and the tone was great, but I had the volume ALL the way up, and it wasn't even as loud as my 45 watt Mesa Nomad combo.  That said, I've been told that these amps are supposed to be blisteringly loud. I do play aggressive stuff, and "loud" to me may be louder than some can handle, but this amp did not seem to live up to it's blistering volume rep.  So, would you folks with far more experience than me with the V4 be able to tell me if you think my V4 is not functioning properly, or are these amps just not that loud?  I would think a 100 tube watt should shake the room, but this really doesn't.  Could the 6L6's effect the potential output?

Thanks!

Last edited by StevisBeavis (2012-02-07 15:43:45)

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#2 2012-02-07 14:52:08

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Can someone at least let me know if it is normal for a V4 to be played with the volume up 100% and not be extremely loud.  I'm just trying to get a baseline since this is my first V4.

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#3 2012-02-07 16:25:27

hangman
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From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-04
Posts: 1848

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Of course it shouldn't be blown out of the water by a Mesa nomad 45.

It's at least as loud as a twin reverb.

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#4 2012-02-07 18:29:04

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Thanks! There are a couple of twins at the practice space I rent, so I'll run them side by side to get some reference. So if the Fender Twin is far loader is it safe to assume something is going wrong with the V4?

Thanks for the help and patience with the newbie!

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#5 2012-02-07 21:13:45

hangman
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From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-04
Posts: 1848

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

well,  what speakers are you using in the ampeg cab?  it is possible the efficiency of the speakers is playing a role too.

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#6 2012-02-08 20:28:32

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Well I ran it through an Ampeg coffin, which I believe is 8 x 10" speaker, but I also ran it through an ampeg 4 x 12 cab with similar results.  I guess I can run it through a mesa cab, which I know is loud and compair.

Any other advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Last edited by StevisBeavis (2012-02-08 20:30:46)

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#7 2012-02-08 20:54:58

andyhightides
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From: Nova Scotia
Registered: 2009-08-23
Posts: 34

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

And you ran out the speaker out, not the ext. speaker out?

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#8 2012-02-08 22:01:31

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Yes I ran the speaker out, but also tried the extention jack to see what happened.  The extention out was not functioning.  I wonder if that's any indicator for an output issue?

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#9 2012-02-09 04:28:50

hangman
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From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-04
Posts: 1848

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

the extention jack will only function if something is plugged into the main speaker out also.

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#10 2012-02-10 19:50:05

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

I'm going to test it against a Twin tonight to see what I hear, and I'm also taking it back to the shop where the repairman said he can perform a "bench test" to a least double check if all of the electronics are in working order.  It would be a shame to sell it since it love the tone. I just need more volume.  Hopefully there is still something wrong with it.

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#11 2012-02-15 15:27:10

Liquids
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From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

There's something not right...be sure to check the speaker impedance switch too, but I doubt that is THE issue, though it's something to keep in mind.

Is it doing this with both channels?


Matthew

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#12 2012-02-17 16:31:46

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

So I brought it back to the repair shop and he proved that it was indeed running at a full 100 Watts.  I guess I may just be playing really loud and expect that from a head. I did run it through a Mesa 4x12 cab with some improved results, but still nothing that I can really use as a full time amp.  Both channels (1 & 2) are giving the same volume.  I'm going to play with it again tonight and try running 2 cabs, but it that doesn't work it may be Craigslist bound.  I love the sound, but don't need a $600 70 pound distortion pedal.

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#13 2012-02-17 17:13:55

Liquids
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From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

There's absolutely no reason your amp should be dead clean when dimed.  There's also no reason the amp should be anything but KILLING a dinky mesa nomad.  There is no amp I've ever heard that is as loud as this thing, clean.   

There's a chance maybe one of your preamp tubes is wrong type or dead or weak maybe, and you're not driving the power amp? Really, you should be getting 100+ watts of clean power before you get breakup, and breakup ususally occurs before the volume pots are dimed.

Have you tried plugging a guitar directly into the ext jacks in the back, for reference?  None of the controls should work (unless there is a MV?), but it should also be extremely loud anyhow, but would bypass some of the preamp circuitry.

If you kick this amp to the curb because it's not loud enough, you'll be making a big mistake.  Something is not right.

Last edited by Liquids (2012-02-17 17:14:43)


Matthew

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#14 2012-02-23 15:32:27

StevisBeavis
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Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Thanks for the info!  Last Friday I ran it through the Mesa 4x12 again and it was actually getting too loud for our drummer. So I wonder if the new tubes just needed to burn in?  Although, I am still running the volume all the way up.  It seems like there isn't much volume difference between 10 o'clock and full blast either.  Just a difference in break up.  There isn't much of a load clean on it eighter, unless I cut my guitar volume almost to zero to cut the distortion.  I'll try plugging through the back directly tomorrow at practice.  I'm also trying to get our bass player's buddy to check it out just to tell me if this is how a V4 should funtion, since he knows them well and actually does repairs himself.  The tone is amazing and I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep it now, either way.  The Mesa cab improved the sound 10 fold. 

Thanks again for all the help!

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#15 2012-02-23 15:39:50

Liquids
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From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Are you using active pickups?  I'm curious about how hot a signal you are hitting it with, and where you are running the sensitivity switch. 

The clean should be really loud before it breaks up but 10 o'clock is a reasonable place for it to start breaking up though. Before you seemed to be stating that it was dead clean even when dimed.  That's not normal.

I think the best sound and place to start is the lowest sensitivity setting...then, if you want more breakup, it's easy to blast the front end with a boost or drive pedal...


Matthew

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#16 2012-02-23 17:21:20

StevisBeavis
Member
Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

The tone was never the issue, it was just the volume.  I was just surpised that I needed to run it at full volume to play in our space, since i've heard it's a beast.  I absolutely love the aggressive tone since I play heavy stuff.  I actually thought I would need a distortion pedal from what I had read, but it sounds so great on it's own I would only use an overdrive pedal at most.  I do use active pickups, a EMG 85 & 81 in a LTD Viper.  Mostly the 81 in the bridge position. 

All this said, maybe it's working fine since I was able to get it to a working volume at our last practice thourh the mesa cab.  I run 2 amps at the same time off an A/B swich.  So running the Mesa Nomad with the V4 sounds pretty beast. I would think the preamp tubes are fine since a pro repairman just went through the whole thing, but that's a realitively low cost replacement that I can do myself.

Any reconmendations of a brand of preamp tubes?

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#17 2012-02-23 18:12:25

Liquids
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From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

I don't know that I mentioned tone. 

I do mention the sensitivity setting because it interacts with the volume control and affects the clean headroom level/breakup...as does how hot a signal you feed it. 

You said "There isn't much of a load clean on it eighter, unless I cut my guitar volume almost to zero to cut the distortion."  That's because you are likely using hot pickups, which is especially noticeable with the highest or middle sensitivity setting.   In that scenerio you would be getting breakup at an early stage in the preamp, before you could experience the full capability of the amp to be loud and clean.  It's not a bad setting, just part of the cause of lack of clean headroom you are getting.

I would hold off on new preamp tubes - with the new info, while preamp tube gain issues are what's going on here and causing the lack of apparent clean headroom (if desired), it's not the tubes themselves as the issue, it's how hard you are pushing them with your pickups/sensitivity setting.

Keep in mind that the V4b is a very similar amp, but it has no sensitivity setting control - it's more or less hardwired in the "-9db" position since it's probably assuming maximum clean headroom is desired and lots of basses put out hot signals.

Last edited by Liquids (2012-02-23 18:15:45)


Matthew

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#18 2012-02-23 18:35:34

StevisBeavis
Member
Registered: 2012-02-06
Posts: 10

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Thanks again!  My apologies for miss understanding the sensitivity settings for volume pots.  I did dial them in to get the max volume and gain which helps explain the lack of clean tone.  I suppose loud cleans are moot anyway since distortion is my thing.

I do appreciate your input!  I'm beginning to think the amp is all set.  Just needed the right settings and cab to run it through.

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#19 2012-02-23 18:41:08

Liquids
Member
From: CT
Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

No worries, it's as hard to understand as it is to explain - not easy. IT will be interesting to see how well the amp/SED tubes hold up with you running them hard like that.  Be sure to report back.

As for speakers...personally I'm a big fan of the swamp thang speakers from Eminence, and I love my *oversized* 2x12 Avatar cab which is notably similar to Bogner's 2x12.  I've never owned a 4x12.  But whatever you do for a speaker and cabinet, be sure to let that V4 sing through speakers worthy of it...and know your speaker efficiencies, since it has a dramatic affect on volume.


Matthew

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#20 2014-02-02 22:38:29

jarrym
New member
Registered: 2014-02-02
Posts: 5

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Hi!  Im running into the exact same issue. 

Running it into an ampeg 810.

The tone is great but there is very little volume.  Basically can talk over it.  I was under the impression that this thing would be loud.

Called a tech but waiting till tuesday to take it to him.

Did you find a way to increase your volume/solve your issue?

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#21 2014-02-03 08:24:55

hangman
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From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-04
Posts: 1848

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

if it sounds good,  but really low volume,  it is possible that you have a resistor that has gone way out of tolerance.   this sort of thing doesn't happen a lot in the realm of vintage amplifiers,  but I have seen enough V4s with problems like this that I wonder if there wasn't a bad batch of resistors.   check to see if there is much signal coming out of the EXT amp out jack.   

when I have seen this problem,  it was almost always R211.   a 47k resistor on the smaller circuit board. 

I can't say for sure that is the issue,  but as i've said, I've seen it happen so much that i wouldn't be surprised.

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#22 2014-02-04 19:19:50

jarrym
New member
Registered: 2014-02-02
Posts: 5

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Apparently my head is using sovtek 7027 power tubes and they are poor quality/knock offs.  So now I need to find good ones. 

Any idea where to start?

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#23 2014-02-04 21:50:16

hangman
Banned
From: Seattle Washington
Registered: 2006-09-04
Posts: 1848

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

yes,  the Sovteks are not particularly great.   you can try the JJ7027 but thats just their 6L6GC with a slightly different pinout and a higher price.
I would either go with the Winged C 6L6GC,  JJ 7027a/6L6gc or you could be a guinea pig and try the Tung Sol 7581

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#24 2014-02-04 22:46:22

jarrym
New member
Registered: 2014-02-02
Posts: 5

Re: 100W V4 Head Just Fixed & re-tubed, but not very loud.

Of course those winged C's jumped in price(@thetubestore). 

waiting to hear back from the tech if there is any other issues. 

then I'll have to pull the trigger on some tubes.

ideally id just buy 4 nos Sylvania 7027as, but that seems like a long expensive shot.

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