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The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: stevecardi ()
Date: December 2, 2019 21:47

Did the Stones ever use the Ampeg V-4? A couple of books and magazine articles I have from the 1980s/1990s like Guitar Legends published by Guitar Player Magazine states that after using the SVT prototypes on the 1969 tour, the Stones switched to the V4 in the early 1970s (which would make sense given their use of the VT-22 and VT-40 combos in the studio), then went back to the SVTs in the late 1970s. But since I read those books, I've seen it would appear the Stones always had the SVTs live, as well as the Ampeg ST-42 solid state guitar amps on the 1972 tour.

So I was wondering, is there any evidence the Stones used the Ampeg V4 stack live or in the studio?



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2019-12-03 01:16 by stevecardi.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: tomk ()
Date: December 3, 2019 03:53

The 1975 Brown Sugar-NYC-flatbed truck announcement looks like V4s to me.
I still have mine that I bought in the late '70s. Great for that Stones-Faces sound of the era, but I can't haul that to gigs anymore.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: December 3, 2019 09:33

Quote
stevecardi
Did the Stones ever use the Ampeg V-4? A couple of books and magazine articles I have from the 1980s/1990s like Guitar Legends published by Guitar Player Magazine states that after using the SVT prototypes on the 1969 tour, the Stones switched to the V4 in the early 1970s (which would make sense given their use of the VT-22 and VT-40 combos in the studio), then went back to the SVTs in the late 1970s. But since I read those books, I've seen it would appear the Stones always had the SVTs live, as well as the Ampeg ST-42 solid state guitar amps on the 1972 tour.

So I was wondering, is there any evidence the Stones used the Ampeg V4 stack live or in the studio?

They used V-2's and V-4's on the flatbed in 1975, El Mocambo 1977 and a Boogie MkI slaved through a V-4 head on most (but not all) 1978 shows.

The SVT's on the '69, '70 tour, and on the larger gigs of the '71 tour were all standard bass amps. Starting from '72 tour the cut-off frequency's were changed to accommodate guitar signals, much like the difference between a V4 and V4b, which are basically the same amps but only the high-frequency roll off is different. In '75 the SVT amps received a special guitar pre-amp and reverb, and were named V-9.

I have never seen or heard of the Stones using transistor Ampeg amps other than for the synth in 1975. Do you have any pictures of the 1972 tour with the ST-42?

Mathijs

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: December 3, 2019 10:12

The early SVTs were also part amplifier, part incendiary bomb !


But did they sound great when just about to explode ! grinning smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-12-03 10:22 by Spud.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Date: December 3, 2019 14:25

Quote
Mathijs

I have never seen or heard of the Stones using transistor Ampeg amps other than for the synth in 1975.
Mathijs

I have owned a transistor Ampeg model VT-22 for a short time in the early 8-tees and it almost could compete with any tube amp at the the time. Very good,loud and warm sounding versatile amp.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: stevecardi ()
Date: December 3, 2019 19:19

Thanks for the responses everyone. I appreciate it. And I also concur about Ampeg's 1970s V-series: some of the best tone available. The only reason I don't have my VT-22 anymore is because it got to much to carry around, but when dialed in right, that thing got the perfect -Brussels era Stones sound. Killer headroom, massive bottom end, and a crunch level that was more akin to a Boeing 747.

(FYI: the Ampeg V-series from the 1980s, while not nearly as well known or respected as the V2/V4/V9/VT amps, are killer in their own right. They're unlike anything Ampeg or anyone else made at the time, or since. The tone is akin to the Marshall JCM800 series, but it def has it's own character and identity. It's a shame Ampeg never got the heights of success that Marshall, Fender, Vox and Mesa Boogie got.)

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: stevecardi ()
Date: December 3, 2019 19:43

Quote
Mathijs
Quote
stevecardi
Did the Stones ever use the Ampeg V-4? A couple of books and magazine articles I have from the 1980s/1990s like Guitar Legends published by Guitar Player Magazine states that after using the SVT prototypes on the 1969 tour, the Stones switched to the V4 in the early 1970s (which would make sense given their use of the VT-22 and VT-40 combos in the studio), then went back to the SVTs in the late 1970s. But since I read those books, I've seen it would appear the Stones always had the SVTs live, as well as the Ampeg ST-42 solid state guitar amps on the 1972 tour.

So I was wondering, is there any evidence the Stones used the Ampeg V4 stack live or in the studio?

They used V-2's and V-4's on the flatbed in 1975, El Mocambo 1977 and a Boogie MkI slaved through a V-4 head on most (but not all) 1978 shows.

The SVT's on the '69, '70 tour, and on the larger gigs of the '71 tour were all standard bass amps. Starting from '72 tour the cut-off frequency's were changed to accommodate guitar signals, much like the difference between a V4 and V4b, which are basically the same amps but only the high-frequency roll off is different. In '75 the SVT amps received a special guitar pre-amp and reverb, and were named V-9.

I have never seen or heard of the Stones using transistor Ampeg amps other than for the synth in 1975. Do you have any pictures of the 1972 tour with the ST-42?

Mathijs

Well you see Mathijs, this is why I was confused in the first place. Compared to the ones used in 1975/1976, the speaker cabinets from the 1972/1973 tours and the 1978 tours looked like 4x12s, rather than the SVT's 8x10s. (Although the 8x10 also appear to be present in 1972/1973) That, plus articles and sections from sources like Guitar Legends made me initially think the Stones used the V-4; that they used a combination of V-4 and SVT heads and stacks. And while I knew about the V9, I didn't know the Stones used them; I figured they went back to standard SVT bass amps in 1975/1976.

As for the ST-42L Colossus, there's a section in the book Ampeg: The Story Behind the Sound where Rich Mandella--the man from Ampeg who brought the Stones the prototype SVTs in 1969 just in time for the tour--says that he also brought along some ST-42L 4x12 cabinets as well. So the Stones obviously had the ST-42 solid state stack in their collection. The problem here is that Greg Prevost and Andy Babiuk wrote in The Gear Book on page 385 that the Stones used SVT heads through the ST-42L 4x12 cabs on the 1972 tour. I found that hard to believe: a 300w bass head through a speaker cabinet designed for a solid state guitar head rated at 100w?! The line of speakers would have exploded at the first note.

On the other hand, the guitar tone from the 1972 tour is a little less organic and less tube-like (and more brittle solid-state like) to my ears than it was in 1973, and the presence of what appeared to be 4x12 speaker cabs on that tour made me think somehow the Stones could have had them.

So that's why I finally wanted to ask the question: what was exactly what when it came to the Stones, Ampeg, and whether or not they used the V-4.

Also Mathijs, thank you for this:

[iorr.org]



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2019-12-03 22:44 by stevecardi.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: beachbreak ()
Date: December 3, 2019 22:19

The 1972 tone was incredible live, heavenly.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: stevecardi ()
Date: December 3, 2019 22:43

Quote
beachbreak
The 1972 tone was incredible live, heavenly.

My favorite is the 1973 Europe tone. It’s perfect. Marshall crunch and tightness, but with a bottom end that would make JLo jealous! But I do like the 1972 tone a lot.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-12-05 16:52 by stevecardi.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: schillid ()
Date: December 5, 2019 00:54



.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: TornAndFried ()
Date: December 5, 2019 01:09

Great advert. Can you imagine the volume of playing an Ampeg SVT with two 8X10" cabinets in a small club!

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: Koen ()
Date: December 5, 2019 01:20

Bill Wyman was already airbrushed out?

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: crholmstrom ()
Date: December 5, 2019 02:05

Quote
TornAndFried
Great advert. Can you imagine the volume of playing an Ampeg SVT with two 8X10" cabinets in a small club![/quote

first time i saw the ramones around the 2nd or 3rd record, they played a tiny social club in the basement of a restaurant. marshall stacks. you literally had to step outside every 2 or 3 songs to clear your head. word is there was an issue in the restaurant with glasses & utensils getting knocked off the tables from the vibrations. 1 2 3 4!!!!

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: Toru A ()
Date: December 5, 2019 07:00


How wonderful Chip Monck's lighting technique was!


Gibson ad.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: stevecardi ()
Date: December 5, 2019 16:39

Quote
Koen
Bill Wyman was already airbrushed out?


As it says right there in the add, they’re “unsympathetic little devils”! grinning smiley

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: stevecardi ()
Date: December 5, 2019 16:49

Quote
TornAndFried
Great advert. Can you imagine the volume of playing an Ampeg SVT with two 8X10" cabinets in a small club!


My favorite amp to this day is my first real one I got when I was a teenager: a late 1990s Marshall VS-15R. Despite being a 15 watter, not only is the tone majestic, but that thing is loud: one day I was practicing with it, and my sister called from across the street where she was babysitting and asked, “are you playing your guitar?”

The Ampeg SVT/V9 is 300watts. It was designed specifically for the big venues. I had the opportunity to buy a V9 a little while back. Despite the fact I don’t play gigs anymore (and ignoring the fact I have no space for it in my apartment) I came sooooooo close to making purchase. The one thing that finally made me turn it down: “I can’t. I just can’t. My neighbors are gonna kill me.”



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2019-12-05 16:58 by stevecardi.

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: Mathijs ()
Date: December 5, 2019 17:46

Quote
stevecardi
Quote
Mathijs
Quote
stevecardi
Did the Stones ever use the Ampeg V-4? A couple of books and magazine articles I have from the 1980s/1990s like Guitar Legends published by Guitar Player Magazine states that after using the SVT prototypes on the 1969 tour, the Stones switched to the V4 in the early 1970s (which would make sense given their use of the VT-22 and VT-40 combos in the studio), then went back to the SVTs in the late 1970s. But since I read those books, I've seen it would appear the Stones always had the SVTs live, as well as the Ampeg ST-42 solid state guitar amps on the 1972 tour.

So I was wondering, is there any evidence the Stones used the Ampeg V4 stack live or in the studio?

They used V-2's and V-4's on the flatbed in 1975, El Mocambo 1977 and a Boogie MkI slaved through a V-4 head on most (but not all) 1978 shows.

The SVT's on the '69, '70 tour, and on the larger gigs of the '71 tour were all standard bass amps. Starting from '72 tour the cut-off frequency's were changed to accommodate guitar signals, much like the difference between a V4 and V4b, which are basically the same amps but only the high-frequency roll off is different. In '75 the SVT amps received a special guitar pre-amp and reverb, and were named V-9.

I have never seen or heard of the Stones using transistor Ampeg amps other than for the synth in 1975. Do you have any pictures of the 1972 tour with the ST-42?

Mathijs

Well you see Mathijs, this is why I was confused in the first place. Compared to the ones used in 1975/1976, the speaker cabinets from the 1972/1973 tours and the 1978 tours looked like 4x12s, rather than the SVT's 8x10s. (Although the 8x10 also appear to be present in 1972/1973) That, plus articles and sections from sources like Guitar Legends made me initially think the Stones used the V-4; that they used a combination of V-4 and SVT heads and stacks. And while I knew about the V9, I didn't know the Stones used them; I figured they went back to standard SVT bass amps in 1975/1976.

As for the ST-42L Colossus, there's a section in the book Ampeg: The Story Behind the Sound where Rich Mandella--the man from Ampeg who brought the Stones the prototype SVTs in 1969 just in time for the tour--says that he also brought along some ST-42L 4x12 cabinets as well. So the Stones obviously had the ST-42 solid state stack in their collection. The problem here is that Greg Prevost and Andy Babiuk wrote in The Gear Book on page 385 that the Stones used SVT heads through the ST-42L 4x12 cabs on the 1972 tour. I found that hard to believe: a 300w bass head through a speaker cabinet designed for a solid state guitar head rated at 100w?! The line of speakers would have exploded at the first note.

On the other hand, the guitar tone from the 1972 tour is a little less organic and less tube-like (and more brittle solid-state like) to my ears than it was in 1973, and the presence of what appeared to be 4x12 speaker cabs on that tour made me think somehow the Stones could have had them.

So that's why I finally wanted to ask the question: what was exactly what when it came to the Stones, Ampeg, and whether or not they used the V-4.

Also Mathijs, thank you for this:

[iorr.org]

Getting info on what amps they used and to what specifications they were build is just very difficult. A lot of it is taking best guesses based on pictures.

Anyhow, the Ampegs of 1969 and 1970 were mostly demo and prototypes, using different power amp tubes, and these kept blowing up. They do however sound fantastic -thick, muddy, heavy, with little treble. 1971 is difficult to compare as it's such a strange tour, and they did use Fender Twins on most smaller stages. But by 1972 they seemed to have used standard production run SVT's, which had a lot different overdrive behaviour than the ones from the earlier tours. My best guess is that for the first half a dozen show of the 1972 tour they were still trying to dial in the tone, and trying to get the overdrive they liked. I personally think they were simply too loud to really turn up enough, until they did some work on the input stage and the bias of the tube amps. It is known that they started replacing amps halfway the tour, so it could be that they started blowing up again.

For the 1973 tour they used different amps than they used on the 1972 tour. The 1973 tour amps were 'international' amps., with transformers running on 220- 240 volts. They do sound differently -a much more distorted tone instead of the overdriven tone. I own a 1972 V-2, and this one has the exact same tone as the official Brussels release (the Brussels bootleg sounds much more smooth than my amp, so there's a bit of studio EQ going on).

To date I have not seen any transistor Ampeg amp on stage with the Stones other than for the synth on the 1975 tour.

Mathijs

Re: The Stones and Ampeg
Posted by: TheGreek ()
Date: December 5, 2019 19:17

Quote
Mathijs
Quote
stevecardi
Quote
Mathijs
Quote
stevecardi
Did the Stones ever use the Ampeg V-4? A couple of books and magazine articles I have from the 1980s/1990s like Guitar Legends published by Guitar Player Magazine states that after using the SVT prototypes on the 1969 tour, the Stones switched to the V4 in the early 1970s (which would make sense given their use of the VT-22 and VT-40 combos in the studio), then went back to the SVTs in the late 1970s. But since I read those books, I've seen it would appear the Stones always had the SVTs live, as well as the Ampeg ST-42 solid state guitar amps on the 1972 tour.

So I was wondering, is there any evidence the Stones used the Ampeg V4 stack live or in the studio?

They used V-2's and V-4's on the flatbed in 1975, El Mocambo 1977 and a Boogie MkI slaved through a V-4 head on most (but not all) 1978 shows.

The SVT's on the '69, '70 tour, and on the larger gigs of the '71 tour were all standard bass amps. Starting from '72 tour the cut-off frequency's were changed to accommodate guitar signals, much like the difference between a V4 and V4b, which are basically the same amps but only the high-frequency roll off is different. In '75 the SVT amps received a special guitar pre-amp and reverb, and were named V-9.

I have never seen or heard of the Stones using transistor Ampeg amps other than for the synth in 1975. Do you have any pictures of the 1972 tour with the ST-42?

Mathijs

Well you see Mathijs, this is why I was confused in the first place. Compared to the ones used in 1975/1976, the speaker cabinets from the 1972/1973 tours and the 1978 tours looked like 4x12s, rather than the SVT's 8x10s. (Although the 8x10 also appear to be present in 1972/1973) That, plus articles and sections from sources like Guitar Legends made me initially think the Stones used the V-4; that they used a combination of V-4 and SVT heads and stacks. And while I knew about the V9, I didn't know the Stones used them; I figured they went back to standard SVT bass amps in 1975/1976.

As for the ST-42L Colossus, there's a section in the book Ampeg: The Story Behind the Sound where Rich Mandella--the man from Ampeg who brought the Stones the prototype SVTs in 1969 just in time for the tour--says that he also brought along some ST-42L 4x12 cabinets as well. So the Stones obviously had the ST-42 solid state stack in their collection. The problem here is that Greg Prevost and Andy Babiuk wrote in The Gear Book on page 385 that the Stones used SVT heads through the ST-42L 4x12 cabs on the 1972 tour. I found that hard to believe: a 300w bass head through a speaker cabinet designed for a solid state guitar head rated at 100w?! The line of speakers would have exploded at the first note.

On the other hand, the guitar tone from the 1972 tour is a little less organic and less tube-like (and more brittle solid-state like) to my ears than it was in 1973, and the presence of what appeared to be 4x12 speaker cabs on that tour made me think somehow the Stones could have had them.

So that's why I finally wanted to ask the question: what was exactly what when it came to the Stones, Ampeg, and whether or not they used the V-4.

Also Mathijs, thank you for this:

[iorr.org]

Getting info on what amps they used and to what specifications they were build is just very difficult. A lot of it is taking best guesses based on pictures.

Anyhow, the Ampegs of 1969 and 1970 were mostly demo and prototypes, using different power amp tubes, and these kept blowing up. They do however sound fantastic -thick, muddy, heavy, with little treble. 1971 is difficult to compare as it's such a strange tour, and they did use Fender Twins on most smaller stages. But by 1972 they seemed to have used standard production run SVT's, which had a lot different overdrive behaviour than the ones from the earlier tours. My best guess is that for the first half a dozen show of the 1972 tour they were still trying to dial in the tone, and trying to get the overdrive they liked. I personally think they were simply too loud to really turn up enough, until they did some work on the input stage and the bias of the tube amps. It is known that they started replacing amps halfway the tour, so it could be that they started blowing up again.

For the 1973 tour they used different amps than they used on the 1972 tour. The 1973 tour amps were 'international' amps., with transformers running on 220- 240 volts. They do sound differently -a much more distorted tone instead of the overdriven tone. I own a 1972 V-2, and this one has the exact same tone as the official Brussels release (the Brussels bootleg sounds much more smooth than my amp, so there's a bit of studio EQ going on).

To date I have not seen any transistor Ampeg amp on stage with the Stones other than for the synth on the 1975 tour.

Mathijs
You do know this is a perfect example of your vast knowledge on these matters ! ( also I am not blowing smoke up your fanny either , I just think you are most knowledgeable on these matters smiling smiley )



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