I listen to mostly rock....speakers are to be determined
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I've never had the chance to hear the Quicksilver amps, so can't really give you a good comparison.
I am a Manley dealer however, so can help a little with the Snappers. Midrange is very, very good with nice low end extension. Heat output (to me) is lower then a lot of the tube amps that I sell. It's certainly not cool, but at the same time, will not heat up your room (unless it's in a very small space).
I have zero experience with either brand, however, I'd pick the Quicksilver's over the Manley's based upon Quicksilver's strong reputation for customer service, even for 2nd hand gear. Since I buy most of my gear used, this provides piece of mind, and increases resale value. Just as important, the Quickie's also get consistently good reviews from users and proffesional reviewers for excellent sound quality and durability... kind of a can't miss brand, with point to point wiring as a noteworthy bonus.
If I only listened to rock I'd go with the V-4's just on their ability to use 6550, KT-88, 6L6s and EL-34 tubes. I'd use the 6550 or KT-88 for rock over the EL-34. I owned the V-4's with GL KT-88's re-issues to drive Vandersteen 3A Sigs, they are wonderful sounding amps with plenty of power and speed to rock.
Ive never owned either but my bro had the V4s and Ive heard the snappers many times.IMO the Quicksilvers do things better.The snappers live up to their name,too snappy for a tube amp if that makes sense.Another thing to consider is resale.Manley doubled their prices over night ,pissing alot off also causing the used prices to go up.For that alone I wouldnt buy Manley..plus ,again my opinion the Quicksilvers smoke them...good luck.
Like Missioncoonery, I've also been around both a lot.
Like both a great deal. In terms of companies, you're dealing with excellence on either side. When it comes to heat, the V4s are definitely warmer, though certainly not to the point where it should be a concern. I own amps that run hotter.
Sonically, it's really a case of them being very different products. The Manleys are more engaging, upfront and brash. The Quicksilvers more romantic, lush, and rich. Personally, I really love the V4. If I could order the Snappers with the triode option, things would be closer though I might still opt for the V4. For what people traditionally expect out of a "rock" amp, the Manleys get the nod.
A little more about the V-4's, it is easy and quick to check and adjust the tube bias if needed. This is a big deal as it lets you spend more time listening plus the added benefit of easily trying different bias settings permitting you to taylor the sound some. Did I mention they're bullet proof, run trouble free, a joy to own... etc...etc......
FYI-- You can order the Snappers with a Triode/Ultralinear switch option. I order this on all my demo Snappers."
That was actually what I was trying to convey, but didn't do a very good job of it. I definitely prefer the lushness and liquidity of the Manley Snappers (and Stingray) in triode mode to UL. Just like the choice between the Snappers and V4, I realize this all comes down to personal taste and opinion.
Thanks for all the responses so far. There are no dealers (of any sort) where I live so this process is being done blind. I was on the fence, knowing I probably can't go wrong either way, and that is the sense I get from people here. My mind is telling me V4, my heart is telling me....screw it Neo Classic 250's....if only I had the wallet to match my heart :)
Gwng8, the V4 versus Snapper decision is a difficult one for me, as it comes down to a chocolate or vanilla kind of thing. Which one is best depends on personal taste.
However, bringing up the Neo Classic 250s shifts the argument into a different direction. It's more this chocolate or that one. If you're really leaning toward a richer, lusher presentation of that Manley product, the Quicksilver V4s fit the bill. The Snappers are a more raucous, emphatic kind of sound that should satisfy someone looking for something more along the lines of a traditional rock and roll amp.
I am responding late in the game but only because someone else may read this in the future and want to help them.
i have owned the Snappers multiple times and really like them. They are great amps and you can't go wrong with that amp but they are no where in the same league as the V4's. It is not a flip of the coin or a chocolate or Vanilla. The V4's floor the Snappers in every single way. Not a fair comparison at all. Not even close - the Snapper is no where near in the same class and I really like the Snapper but the V4 is rare and super special and a silky beast...
Thanks Johnny R Happy New Year!
BTW I just picked up a pair Conrad Johnson Premier 12 mono's running K120's and that's an amp that can compete with the V4 in similar price range. Not quite as macro dynamic but every bit as detailed, close in bass but a prettier sounding amp more liquid and lush... That old school, big tube CJ sound is something, especially tightened up with the KT120's vs the 6550 and its not even a close comparison to the Snappers...
FWIW, I just "witnessed" a pair of V4s with the KT-150 output tubes driving a pair of the new Gershwin Grande Avante Garde speakers last night at a dealer's. They are just stunning amplifiers on any level. Lush and romantic are certainly not words I would use but the harmonic resolution, soundstaging, tonality and decay into the darkness was just breathtaking, like a great SET with power and no limitations. I've heard numerous Quicksilver amps many times in the past and am still trying to figure out what made this time so special. Synergy with those speakers or the KT150 tube? 180 watts with real finess and power is a rare beast indeed. Everyone there had the same impression.