Ampeg V-4B review

Testing the iconic bass amp reissue, along with its SVT-112AV and SVT-212AV cabinets

Ampeg V-4B
(Image: © Ampeg)

Guitar World Verdict

Ampeg’s SVT may be the gold standard for high-powered tube heads, but the V-4B is a worthy counterpart for those who don’t need gobs of clean headroom.


  • +

    Delicious all-tube tubbiness; righteous grind when pushed hard


  • -

    Limited clean headroom in high-volume applications

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After its debut in 1969, the 300-watt Ampeg SVT (Super Vacuum Tube) quickly became a gold standard for high-powered stage gear. Originally marketed as a multi-purpose amplifier for guitar, bass, and anything else that needed a tremendous amount of volume, the SVT was especially attractive to bassists, as lower frequencies require considerably more power to amplify than high frequencies.

By 1974, Ampeg turned its focus on bass players for the SVT, and the rest is history. Flying somewhat below the radar, the original Ampev V-4B was released in 1971 and featured the same preamp as the SVT, but with a 100- watt power amp. While the SVT has maintained its position as the one of the all-time stage amps—especially for the rock set— the V-4B has nonetheless earned a smaller, yet devoted following of players and collectors. With its period-appropriate looks, all-tube construction, and matching 1x12, 2x12, and 8x10 cabinets Ampeg’s reissue V-4B is sure to make some heads spin.

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