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#1 2012-04-02 14:33:16

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

Considering a V-series Hybrid

Hybrid part A) I have this 'parts' V4 that I got in pretty SAD shape a while back.  Of note it was the V4 that belonged to one of the bassist in Dinosaur Jr, got stolen and was retrieved, so it came to me for cheap in shambles. I got it STRICTLY thinking it would make life a lot easier should I or some others (on a part-by-part basis) ever need some of the hard to find parts for my own V4, more than I ever imagined I'd try to bring it back to life as a V4 of it's own.

I haven't even ventured to look it over, nor tube it (no tubes), get it up to par (as needed) find some knobs (of course none of the valuable knobs were retained), and see if everything is functional or not, though it does look like it had some clean work done on it and was made road ready at one point...now, who knows what state it is in in terms of playability.

Hybrid Part B) I also have a late 60's/early 70s (don't remember) silverface bandmaster head...valueless, easy to return to stock, but got it and have used it for some experiments with a variety of preamps.

Anyhow, so I got to thinking that it might not be too hard to clean up the Ampeg's PCBs for use of the preamp circuitry, and put the PCBs in the bandmaster head. 

One benefit is, I could 'flying lead' the PCB tube pins to the solid, chassis-mounted tube sockets of the bandmaster, and that would also make it easy to avoid the need for a 6k11 and utilize the equivalent triodes.

Overall I'd get a V4b preamp (ignore the reverb etc as in the V4b's pcb), but then also have whatever power amp configuration I'd like - using the lower power-tube plate voltages of the bandmaster's power transformer, and maybe drive 2 7591s or even go 'plain' and drive regular old cheap 6L6GCs I have laying around not fit for 540v on the plates, but capable of handling more 'reasonable' voltages.  heck I could even do 2x EL34s or whatever.

I know this is heresy to some, but considering that I would be able to return both amps back to 'stock' easily if/when desired, and the bandmaster head has seen better days anyhow and is generally worth little as a stock amp, I'd be making using of the V4 circuit PCBs, and have an alternative V-series amp rather easily (via the PCBs plus some point to point as needed in areas like the 'control pot' PCB) and be using both amps more than they otherwise would be seeing without each other...since I can do it all myself, it's less a 'mod' and more a 'hybrid...'

Any thoughts, warnings, encouragements, etc., beyond the strictly 'this is vintage heresy' comments?

I'm up to my eyelids in other projects I'm more interested in and have more overall usefulness to me, but everytime I pass by that heap of a V4 chassis collecting dust and the partially-gutted bandmaster chassis on the bench, I think - this just makes sense...

Last edited by Liquids (2012-04-02 14:35:07)


Matthew

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#2 2012-04-02 19:15:33

hangman
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Posts: 1848

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

Liquids wrote:

Hybrid part A) 

Any thoughts, warnings, encouragements, etc., beyond the strictly 'this is vintage heresy' comments?

Nope.

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#3 2012-04-02 19:51:36

Liquids
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Registered: 2010-08-01
Posts: 491

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

(=


Matthew

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#4 2012-04-03 01:23:37

hangman
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Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

ha ha

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#5 2012-04-03 12:23:45

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

Well, given the voice of dissent, I do suppose that I could construct a V4-type preamp on turretboard inside the bandmaster chassis, and then only the inductor from the dusty 'parts' v4 would be needed.

The Bandmaster head will likely continue as a 'platform' one way or another...barring reaching some times that I 'just have to have' the fender sound (which I think the V-series slays), or I'm in need of a few hundred bucks and put it back to stock & sell it...

Of course the amp will always be limited by the bandmaster's stock output/power transformers as compared to a true V2/V4, but it could be more useful nonetheless...and then I'd only be committing heresy on ONE low-value 'vintage' amplifier, and not to the point of 'no return'....


Matthew

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#6 2012-04-04 14:40:09

teledeluxe
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From: Chicago, IL
Registered: 2008-09-24
Posts: 467

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

Liquids wrote:

I also have a late 60's/early 70s (don't remember) silverface bandmaster head...valueless

I know this is heresy to some, but considering that I would be able to return both amps back to 'stock' easily if/when desired, and the bandmaster head has seen better days anyhow and is generally worth little as a stock amp

Why do you think a Bandmaster head is valueless? Stock they are worth nearly the same as a V4. Beat to shit is still worth $300. ...and, they sound great.

I'm not going to scold you for "messing up" vintage amps, but personally I'd just tune that Bandmaster up and convert it to AB763 (if it isn't already) and rock it.

Last edited by teledeluxe (2012-04-04 14:42:21)


2 wrongs don't make a right, but 3 lefts do!

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#7 2012-04-04 15:57:20

hangman
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Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

That's the problem with people moding vintage gear that is "valueless".
Impossible for people to agree on what is and isn't valueless.

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#8 2012-04-04 17:53:04

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

teledeluxe wrote:

Liquids wrote:

I also have a late 60's/early 70s (don't remember) silverface bandmaster head...valueless

I know this is heresy to some, but considering that I would be able to return both amps back to 'stock' easily if/when desired, and the bandmaster head has seen better days anyhow and is generally worth little as a stock amp

Why do you think a Bandmaster head is valueless? Stock they are worth nearly the same as a V4. Beat to shit is still worth $300. ...and, they sound great.

I'm not going to scold you for "messing up" vintage amps, but personally I'd just tune that Bandmaster up and convert it to AB763 (if it isn't already) and rock it.

I hear you.  But I had a 68' Super Reverb that was my #1 amp for years.  I loved that thing...still a great amp, but once I got my V4, it just sat there.  So would the bandmaster.

Maybe even if I made the bandmaster 'stock' but made the normal channel's EQ baxandall I'd want to use it occasionally.

In the end my ideal is having the V4 preamp with an alternate power amp configuration.

Heck I've even considered a blank chassis and some cheap transformers with a V4 preamp driving a Kt88 single ended or something, just for the variation...I'm probably not likely to actually get around to any of this anyhow, unless something sparks that causes it to jump to the top of the electronics project list.

Last edited by Liquids (2012-04-04 17:53:54)


Matthew

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#9 2012-04-04 18:01:02

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

When I say "valueless," I'm not trying to insult the quality of the amp, nor the few hundred dollars it's worth...

I am differentiating between the market for an amp that can sell for a couple of hundred bucks of value, as a players amp, where details of how 'original/stock' it is, is irrelivant, as opposed to amps...well, here's some of the fender's listed on larkstreet music's website:

*FENDER Bandmaster Head, 1968,
            silver panel w/ aluminum valence, exc...$475

*FENDER Deluxe Amp, 1958, Tweed,  original 12" Jensen P12R Speaker,
            a little wear but excellent condition..............$3500

*FENDER Deluxe Reverb, 1967, black panel, Celestion 12" speaker,
         original footswitch and some original Telefunken tubes, exc.......$2750
 

*FENDER PRO Amp, 1960, Brown tolex, all original except for
           maybe a later Jensen speaker, center Volume,  vgc+....$2250

*FENDER Tremolux Amp, 1960,  narrow panel, original
           12" Jensen speaker, knobs & logo,  all original tweed, tweeked by Matt Wells-gig-ready!  exc........$2895

My '68 super reverb was bought and sold at 'players amp' price JUST because the tube chart had been ripped out of it, or it would have never come home with me or traveled.

I'm sorry I used the word valueless...I just mean, not fetching $$$$ compared to quite similar amps which are.


Matthew

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#10 2012-04-04 22:18:39

tonight, we ride
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From: Bellingham/Seattle
Registered: 2012-03-17
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Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

If you ever decide to get rid of that Dino Jr. V4B I'll buy it off you and restore it to stock. Just saying.

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#11 2012-04-05 13:55:17

chrisq
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Registered: 2012-02-15
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Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

it's pedigree alone is reason enough to restore that V back to stock.

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#12 2012-04-05 14:59:03

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

I got it in shambles, at a price fair for parts, if/when needed for my running V4.

I don't even know the condition of the transformers.  The hope is that one or both of them would work were I to blow one in my running V4.  Getting it up to par and seeing if/how it runs it not our of my abilities or out of consideration - but it's not going to happen soon, again, unless something sparks that causes it to jump to the top of the electronics project list....currently it's near the bottom.


Matthew

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#13 2012-04-05 16:30:22

hangman
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Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

and this v-series hybrid project is at the top of the list?

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#14 2012-04-05 17:47:34

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

No. It's at the bottom too, as previously stated...

Though maybe the easier way out, because it would be less work than refurbishing the V4 due to less risk - I already know the bandmaster's transformers work and won't blow up power tubes...not to mention, it would offer an easywork around for the 6K11 circuitry, for which I have tube one in use and one tube as a backup...refurbish this one would need at least one more and they're getting scarcer by the day...

I got it for backup parts!  Sure I could refurb it, sell it and make a bunch of money, but that's not my desire nor my intent. If nothing else, I'm keeping it for parts! That's why I got it!

It already helped me replace the bass (or was it treble) pot in my running V4 that some previous guy shimmed another pot into and pulled a trace in the process...to boot that pot taper was way off.  Just having that part allowed me to keep my running V4s knobs all in service without having to shim in a dremeled pot shaft and/or a short shaft pot, etc...

Probably wouldn't be hard to disconnect the PT from everything and test if it's solid...OT, not aware of a low risk way to test it being solid or not, especially without at least getting from the 'ext' jack on up the snuff too.  I've got a few cheap or abused 6L6GCs to throw at it first fire up, but otherwise....
Caps may be OK, but a re-cap is a $100 investment in parts not including my labor time...even then, to put money into it, I don't need a running amp...
AGain, if nothing else, I feel more secure having it for the backup parts since the ampegs utilizes a lot of quirky parts.
It's not like I'm the reason the amp is in shambles.  I saw an opportunity and took it 'as is.' just sayin'...

Liquids wrote:

Overall I'd get a V4b preamp (ignore the reverb etc as in the V4b's pcb), but then also have whatever power amp configuration I'd like - using the lower power-tube plate voltages of the bandmaster's power transformer, and maybe drive 2 7591s or even go 'plain' and drive regular old cheap 6L6GCs I have laying around not fit for 540v on the plates, but capable of handling more 'reasonable' voltages.  heck I could even do 2x EL34s or whatever.

I'm up to my eyelids in other projects I'm more interested in and have more overall usefulness to me, but everytime I pass by that heap of a V4 chassis collecting dust and the partially-gutted bandmaster chassis on the bench, I think - this just makes sense...

Last edited by Liquids (2012-04-05 17:49:17)


Matthew

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#15 2012-04-05 17:51:43

tonight, we ride
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From: Bellingham/Seattle
Registered: 2012-03-17
Posts: 6

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

Liquids - I definitely don't consider the job to be outside of your capablities. I've read enough posts on this forum by you to know that that is certainly not the case! However, I am a Dinosaur Jr. fan and would hate to see one of their former amps salvaged for parts... so if it stays at the bottom of your list for long enough that you consider selling it, please let me know what you would want for it and I'll put it at the top of my list for a rebuild!

In regards to your endeavour - would it not just be easier to start from scratch for something like this? A preamp built from the ground up (to possibly be built into the bandmaster) would give you more flexibility for experimentation, especially if you built it using a turret board instead of pcb.

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#16 2012-04-05 18:10:40

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

If I ever sell it, I'll be sure to try and contact you...
Since it's worth something to you due to the lineage, do you happen to have so much interest in it, and/or another V2 or V4 head that you would trade without me adding cash?

I mean it looks like you're in seattle and I'm on the east coast, so even an even swap would mean expensive shipping 2 ways...

I guess to you, it's a shame that its 'valuable' as is but not being used to the fullest...to me, it's just any old V4 that I'd swap with any other old V-series outside of my not wanting to put money into an 'upgrade.' 

I mentioned that I might build a V-series preamp into the bandmaster on turret board in an earlier thread...but again...low on the list.  I'm working on a unit that tracks monophonic guitar and 'triggers' a VCO!  Not the most simple project...and I do have a job and family too in there somewhere...

Anyhow, Even if that gets finished anytime in 2012, I've got plenty of other circuits I'm tweaking, have on the breadboard, just need solder and wiring up, need to housed, etc, that I'm more interested in. I have a running V4 that I love and again, while I ponder the possibilities of other potential amp works, I lack nothing with my (mostly) stock V4...


Matthew

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#17 2012-04-05 18:53:50

hangman
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Posts: 1848

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

Heh heh I was just giving you a hard time.   

I certainly know that there are times when amplifiers don't feel worth restoring.   I have a b25 that is rusted out,  has a bad OT. Missing the faceplate,  needs new shock mounts, pots and knobs,  plus the head box has "steelhead" spray painted in white across the top of the amp.

Iveconsidered many times just gutting it and using it for other purposes... But it would be easier to juststartfrom scratch.

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#18 2012-04-06 15:40:41

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

hangman wrote:

Heh heh I was just giving you a hard time.   

I certainly know that there are times when amplifiers don't feel worth restoring.   I have a b25 that is rusted out,  has a bad OT. Missing the faceplate,  needs new shock mounts, pots and knobs,  plus the head box has "steelhead" spray painted in white across the top of the amp.

Iveconsidered many times just gutting it and using it for other purposes... But it would be easier to juststartfrom scratch.

Apparently everyone is giving me a hard time!  But I'm the one who asked, on a V-series forum full of V4 loves like myself...can't say I regret asking, it gave me additional perspective, which is what I wanted.

Barring it having two blown transformers (which I wouldn't put past the seller not telling me, and even if so it was a fair price) it's hard to say this thing 'doesn't feel worth restoring.'  But, find me another V-series chassis in shambles from the same period with toggle switches for power/standby, non-distortion, etc.  I was insanely anxious about anything going wrong with my running V4 at somepoint in the rest of my lifetime (I am 30 and don't ever plan to part with the amp, so figure 20-40 years or more), and having to pay the going prices for individual original parts - say, like the rocker switches - and that's if you can find them....and they are only getting harder to find. 

I actually put an add out for ANY v-series amp that was in any condition in hopes of finding a decent source for parts from someone not interested in what they had and refurbing it....so many V-series amps I see for sale 'just came back from the shop' and that's useless for me since they're asking price is in accordance with their amp tech bill, and I could have done it myself anyhow.

Anyhow, not long after I posted, I landed upon a post for such a chassis that was currently unusable but touted as 'could be fixed up!" for the sake of making a sale.

I drove 4.5 hours in my car each way to get it.

Having a 'chassis' that came to me in 'needs work' condition and priced accordingly & fairly not only landed in my lap, but simultaneously with my searching for that very thing. 

Maybe it's sad that it was (said to have been) used by one of the bassists from Dinosaur Jr, stolen, recovered, and GIVEN to the guy I bought it from since (allegedly) he is/was friends with the guy...but that's what I got.

I should dig up some photos at least from the ad, and/or some of my own from when I got it home.

Do note that one forumite has already benefited from the raw, sad-looking chassis cab (for a thorough DIY refurb), and one of the volume pots. 

I'm sure he appreciated the parts source as well given that I 'passed on the savings' I got and he got what he needed to get an otherwise running V4 housed and up to spec....while to me, needing a head cab was beyond my scope of 'parts' and I still have one spare OEM volume pot for myself should I need it between now and when I die.  Not that I am just parting it out - those just happened to be two 'parts' I didn't mind sparing...

That said, I'm not in need of money, but replacement transformers ARE readily available...I'd consider selling one of the transformers if someone was in need of one, and if not, I have a potential 'free' backup for my own V4 before I have to pay for a current production replacement, if it was in full working condition.


Matthew

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#19 2012-09-29 13:48:21

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

I am still and just about always open to deals for people who want this 'dinosaur jr' v4 chassis (as is - not in ideal condition) in a trade for another ampeg V-series chassis, with rocker switches...


Matthew

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#20 2012-12-11 16:03:28

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

Re: Considering a V-series Hybrid

Little update for the interested....

Right now I'm starting from scratch with a V-series 'style' amp/preamp/etc, as it currently stands, and I am not hacking up or utilizing anything on this v-series 'spare parts' amp chassis at this time, as previously considered, even though it is in shambles in many ways and has been since day one. 

At the current time, there is only the chance that I MAY make use of the torroidal inductor for expirimenting or temporarily, if at all. 

I plan to actually buiild (or, will at least compare, via prototyping and or a/b ing) preamp-only designs independently, running into the 'ext in' on my V-4b and/or eventually into what will most likely be a dedicated 'power amp' build that very closely clones the V-series from circuit point of the 'ext in' onward, to to speaker output.  However, it will be designed for KT88s, I may may utilize a separate txf for the screens (& 9-pin tubes) conceptually similar to how the late-70's V-series amps had a separate winding for the screens, or, I may end up running the KT88s in an UL configuration, or with a choke instead of the 'stock' resistor/cap screen supply configuration in early V-series amps.

The preamp circuits (akin to the circuit in the v-series from input to the ext out) build(s) may closely duplicate the all-tube V-series preamp, and/or the SVT preamp, a hybrid of the two, and/or a solid-state preamp such as an 'equivalent' of the ampeg's preamp circuit/concept (a design from semi-scratch and utilize only op amps for everything, and/or a spin off the acoustic 370/360 preamp, and/or a hybrid tube & solid state preamp, etc.  Lots of options.  I had to work a lot of overtime recently and could only take so much comp time so I got a handful of unexpected/unbudgeted money to buy parts to try some of this stuff, like power and output transformers, another chassis, etc.

So again, the torroidal inductor may be used for a while in the prototyping/preliminary stages, temporarily or for a time, depending on what I'm liking, and since I have it on hand...eventually I'd get a discrete inductor (or a few of them) if I were to finalize the preamp and 'build' a V-series or SVT preamp clone beyond prototyping.  So, in the end even the inductor will probably stick around for utilization in the 'original' V-series chassis that is mostly in pieces, or if I ever need a replacement torroidal in my full-service and running V-4b.   

I finally got around to testing the transformers on the 'spare' V-series amp chassis, and they test out fine preliminarily, which is good; under real tube loads and such, TBD, but it's a start and good to know if I ever do 'lose' a transformer on my 'playing' V-4b and need a quick replacement.   I should say, the internal (ceramic?) fuse kept the PT - which was disconnected from everything when I 'plugged it in' - from getting power at first;  not exactly a good sign, but once I figured that up, it fired up and was putting out solid, accurate voltages for an unloaded power transformer.   The Output transformer tested out properly as well and per spec, and primary reflects ~3k give or take when each secondary tap is connected/caculated as seeing a proper load via the voltages and calculations I did.


Matthew

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