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I tried a Peavey VB-2

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by drummer5359, Aug 7, 2012.


  1. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I've been playing about a year and a half and am pretty happy with how my playing has progressed so far. I have a great bass (an American P) and a decent amp (a Bassman 400 over a bassman 115).

    I play blues and a little bit of classic rock and like a very old school warm tone. This past weekend I got to try out a Peavey VB-2. It is the closest thing that I've found to the "sound in my head". The price seemed fair, I'm figuring out what to sell to pull this off quickly.

    My questions are these:

    -I have only played solid state amps up to now. Is there special "care and feeding" required?

    -Should I sill carry a solid state backup with me?

    -If I spend a lot of time working out in a gym will this ever seem lighter?
     
  2. Johnny DeVille

    Johnny DeVille

    Feb 18, 2012
    Tube amps are worth their weight. Bend your knees, keep your back straight. Never played one but heard good things about them.
     
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Perfect TB moment... Only the P bass needs a tort guard...
     
  4. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    It has a maple neck...

    As I understand the TB rules, if my P-bass had a rosewood neck I would be required to install a tort guard. With the maple neck I believe that it is only optional. :smug:
     
  5. Tube amps are pretty much as strong & reliable as solid state.
    Just remembering it's got glass inside & treating it as such would be a good starting point.
    Let it cool down after use before bumping it around is another thing to try & maintain.
     
  6. BbbyBld

    BbbyBld

    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I like to let mine warm up for 5 minutes or so before using it. I let it heat up for a minute or two on standby and then a minute or two off standby. Don't use the standby as a mute. Only use it to stage the power up. That increases tube life.

    Don't take it off standby without a speaker connected. Tube amps don't like that and it can lead to expensive repairs like blown tubes or a shorted output transformer.

    Play it loud occasionally. It likes it.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Word to that, Bobby!

    You know, though, it's not that I don't trust my tube amps, and I totally believe they're as roadworthy as any amps out there, but tubes themselves are another story. I've had a couple tube failures on gigs where I was glad I had a backup. It's not always easy to go into a tube amp and diagnose and change tubes on a gig, and they can get damaged if you carry them around improperly, but you can plug a backup in within a minute or two. So it isn't a bad idea to have one just in case. It's totally worth the occasional onstage tube death to have a tube amp, though. But they're not exactly delicate. They're actually pretty sturdy and it's rare I have a problem. But I'd be lying if I said I haven't lost a tube at an inopportune time here and there.
     
  8. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    + 1

    Great advice from an expert on the amps.


    A SS backup isn't a bad idea at all, it never hurts to have a plan B just in case. I'd recommend buying new since there was a run of amps early on that had an internal fuse issue. I bought mine used and the guy on here said he had no problems of the sort with it, until about 2 or 3 months later when I encountered the problem myself lol. Since I was not the original owner, I had to foot the bill for the repair. If you buy new, Peavey will cover this for you no problem...I just wouldn't recommend buying a used one as you never know if it's one of "those" lol.

    Just curious, but is the VB-2 the first all-tube bass amp you've played through extensively? Not trying to be a troll here, but there are a LOT of all-tube heads out there that may do the same thing with less weight or give you better tone/features as well. Never hurts to shop around while you figure which gear you need to part with! The new Fender all-tube Bassman 100T is getting great reviews, Traynor YBA200-2's are lightweight and sound great if you can find one, and the Ampeg V4B speaks for itself according to many members here. The V4B would need to be bought used, but they can be had for good prices if you are patient. Not trying to muddy the waters, just want to pass some info along to a new, fellow tube-lover :bassist:
     
  9. + 1 on the Ampeg V4B! It has a drool encouraging sound, but with 100 watts in tubes is does not have a lot of clean head room (but I like my sound loud and dirty!!!)

    But I have never tried the Peavey VB-2, but it tempting, very tempting (very nice price, even in Europe)
     
  10. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    As far as weight is concerned the VB-2 is actually rather light for a tube amp (54 lbs).

    The VB-3 is lighter (37 lbs) but I still have never even seen one of those, and until I play one I am not so sure about the things they had to do for the weight savings. Don't get me wrong it is probably a good amp, but if there were such an easy fix for tube weight why is this the only tube amp using this feature on the market. Also, for me the VB-3 is too complicated. There is no need for that many knobs and sliders on a tube amp.

    The Fender is only slightly lighter at 48.5 lbs and way more expensive (though I have heard they are supposed to sound killer).
     
  11. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    A few thoughts

    -I have only played solid state amps up to now. Is there special "care and feeding" required?

    ------Let it warm up on standby (i say a minuet is fine). Let it cool before you move it,, but if you have to move it, don't be scared. Make sure it's plugged into a cab before you power on, and make sure the ohms match. Tube amps are tough. There are a lot of 30+ year old tube amps out there still in use. Change the tubes if they go out. Maybe a cap job after 10 years. If you are worried, take it to a tech once a year for a physical. Other than that, treat it like you would any nice piece of equipment that you pay a lot of money for. Listen for funny sounds, and if you hear one, get it checked out. Same with a SS amp. Use common sense and you will be fine.

    -Should I sill carry a solid state backup with me?

    ------ I have owned a bunch of amps over the years. SS and Tube. I have had two different SS amps go out on gigs. One was a fuse, the other was a bad output transformer. I had a bad input jack on a tube amp at a show once, and switched to jack #2. Point being, do you carry a back up to your current SS amp? I only take a back up if I'm out on the road, but not in town. A cheep DI box will get you through a gig in a pinch and is a lot smaller than an extra head. The GK MB200 is nice for a really small back up to get you through a gig.

    -If I spend a lot of time working out in a gym will this ever seem lighter?

    ------- Nope. Be glad you didn't discover the SVT!! I had a guy put it this way to me once... "I'd rather be miserable for 10 min before and 10 min after my gig than during the entire gig.


    You already know the amp sounds great, and the peavey is a cool amp at a great price.
     
  12. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    Thank you all for your help.

    The amp is new, and under warranty. I'm curious about the Fender, but this really did sound amazing. I think that I've got the money part figured out. I'll keep you all in the loop.
     
  13. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The Traynor YBA200-2 is actually very light for an all-tube amp compared to the VB-2. The Traynor weighs in at just below 41lbs since it uses a toroidal OT and the tone is VERY similar to a lower-wattage SVT. I am actually planning on purchasing one of these when money permits for me.

    The VB3 uses an SMPS instead of the regular OT you might find in other tube heads, which accounts for its lighter weight overall. I do not claim to be a tube amp guru, but I've heard from guys in the know on here that the iron OT on an SVT does make a difference in the overall tone of the amp. Perhaps the tone isn't the same with the VB3? I don't know, it's certainly worth testing, as a 37lb 300w all-tube amp is certainly a breakthrough for the lighter guys like myself. Tonally, I did not care for the Peavey VB2 as much as the Traynor YBA200-2, Orange AD200B, and the various SVTs on the market.

    You have a lot of great features for somebody who may be a novice to tube amps though. An automatic bias feature, power soak to run the amp at lower wattages, and two channels with different EQ tone stacks are all great features to an all-tube amp. The price is a little steep, but a tube-saving feature like the auto bias may prevent tech costs and tube replacement for someone who is a tube novice. I hear amazing things about the tone on these as well.
     
  14. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    It's better than your average SS amp for sure, but if I had to stack it up against my other favorite all-tubers (SVT, Traynor, Orange) then it kind of falls short. This is my opinion, but I'd rather use my Tech 21 VT Bass deluxe instead of a Peavey VB-2. If you like Ampeg tone, you may not care too much for the Peavey like me. If you can nab a Traynor YBA200-2, I'd snag one. If weight/price were no option, I'd go for the Fender Super Bassman...it's just too hard to pass up those features in a 300w amp packing 6550's lol. YMMV!
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Thank you ;)
     
  16. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    When I first got my VB-2 I was a little underwhelmed, but I think that was mainly because I had to figure out where to set it to get the sound I wanted. While it is not quite an SVT it is pretty darn close especially considering the price, and now I am very pleased with it.

    The auto bias feature is nice and when I have the money I may buy an amp with it, but it is not something that comes up that much. An amp should last years between tube changes and even then it isn't that much to have a tech do they bias and they can check everything else while it is there.

    I would like to try a Traynor but I have never seen one in person. I wish I lived wherever you guys do that the music stores stock all these great heads. Whenever I go to the store I am lucky if the place has any tube head at all.
     
  17. BbbyBld

    BbbyBld

    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I've never lost a tube either...except on the bench! I take a backup for everything. I've had someone knock my solid state head on to the floor and it fell just right on the pre gain pot to break it. I've actually used my backup head as the PA/monitor power amp a few times in a pinch. The most common equipment failure for me is the bass itself, and that's not too common, but that's the absolute worst thing to have go out! Anyway, bringing a backup bass, cable, mike, amp, etc... is just a good idea.

    Right, but that's like saying, this apple sucks at tasting like an orange. The VB-2 is a different, original-sounding amp designed with enough flexibility for someone to make their own tone. It's actually not an SVT clone :eek:
     
  18. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Although I I no longer use a full tube amp, in all my time using them I've never had one fail me totally at a gig. A few have argued a bit but the same goes for the hybrid and SS units I have used.

    If a tube amp gets you to the place you want to be and you are able to deal with the weight, get one, play it and enjoy it.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to do so religiously, but stopped after a long period of zero failures. All of a sudden, I'm getting occasional failures on everything. So now I'm bringing backups again. I hate the schlep but I hate the aggravation of trying to fix stuff quickly 10 seconds before a gig more.

    Respek.
     
  20. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Fair enough, but that's not at all what I was saying. If the amp is original and meant to stand on it's own tonally, then I'm stating that it's doing its job well since it doesn't sound like an SVT, which is what I prefer in an all-tube amp, and the poster probably likes as well since he liked his V4B. If the new Acoustic USA amps were all the rage at the moment and a guy who liked GK was looking at buying one, but never heard or played through one, I would say that the Acoustic 360's tone is on the thumpy and deep side, which may not be ideal if he likes the GK bite and aggressiveness. I wouldn't call that a knock or undercut to GK or Acoustic USA, I'm just saying that if you really enjoy the tone of another, you may not be satisfied with the other option, thinking they may be similar, since that was my experience with it. It's not as though I run into these amps at every store I visit...aside from the one demo video on youtube, there aren't many chances to hear someone play through one.

    Since I have neither an SVT or Peavey VB-2 at the moment, to record and make demos of, all I can do to contribute to the poster's question is bestow my experiences and taste (with YMMV and IME peppered into the post). He said that he liked the Ampeg V4B, so I took it that he favored the Ampeg tone overall. Some people love their VB2's and that's awesome that they have an all-tuber that they really dig, but sound unheard for someone who likes their Ampeg may be disappointed once the amp is shipped to their place. Sharing experience and tastes is what makes a forum great. Tone is as subjective as taste in women can be for some guys....nobody is "wrong", it's a question of preference.

    Even if I like a product, it doesn't get a "Stepford Wife" review from me in most cases, so it's nothing to take personally :smug:
     

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