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Is the VR worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Yodhan, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Yodhan


    Dec 10, 2007
    I am looking for a new bass rig, and I have already settled on getting a Ampeg 6x10 cab. Now I am stuck looking at the heads. I want some sort of Ampeg tube head. I was looking at the CL because it is an old standard and sounds good (I have a few friends who have them). My tech told me I should get a VR. I know he is partial to them because he loves old Ampeg's and it reminds him of them. I mainly play a lot of rock, either Foo Fighters-esque or garage, and a little hard rock. Some people tell me to stay away because it doesn't have a gain control, which doesn't bother me so much because I am not afraid to use a pedal to get some balls if I need it. I am just wondering if the money is worth it. I love the way it looks. My bass is in my signature, so it will explain what I am working with.

  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i think that the VR is a great amp. it sounds just like my other two vintage SVT's.

  3. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    johnk is yours american made?
  4. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I wonder if the real SVT faceplates and those of a VR are switchable.

    I know some guys that are real gear snobs and would turn their nose up at one if they saw the "VR" on it. :rolleyes:

    I guess it'd be a way around that. :bag:
  5. Yodhan


    Dec 10, 2007
    Gear snobs like that annoy me to no end. I work at a music store and we get them in every once and a while. The come in and look down their noses at all of our new gear, spouting how 'vintage' is so much better. Makes me want to tell them that if vintage is so good, they shouldn't walk in my store. I understand if it really is better, but let the sound speak for itself. Just because it is old doesn't mean it's good.
  6. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
  7. Okkinetic


    Apr 15, 2008
    Buffalo, New York
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man
    I own a CL and a VR and i love them both. The VR is TONS of power. Great warm tubey sound. The only thing the CL has that I wish the VR did is the gain circuit. You can still achieve that dirty SVT tone, you just have to crank the volume.
  8. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    Boost pedal? Like keep the volume low and turn the boost up loud.
  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    nope, its an '07 "Nampeg' (made in Vietnam) and i'm not ashamed to admit it. it sounds great, is built very well and has been perfectly reliable on the gig for the last 1 1/2 years.
  10. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    The handles on the side of the head give it away as a VR.
    I'd love to try a VR someday.
  11. Martizmo


    Mar 26, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    Have You ever worked on any before?

    Are they Exactly the same as Ampeg claims?
  12. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Quick derail. I was playing bass in the mid '60s. There is '70s gear that we wouldn't touch. The Fender basses were coated in 1/2" of polyurethane, Fender tried SS :eek:, many manufacturers tried a lot of experimental stuff.
    Now this stuff is commanding top dollar as vintage and it wasn't any good then.:):meh::)
  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i agree with you 100%. however, i believe that most real players still remember how bad that stuff was and still stay away from it. years ago, i had a '78 strat that i took in trade and i had to practically give it away. it was even in a rare cherry burst finish but it weighed as much as an boat anchor.

    in the last 30 years i have worked on a couple of hundred of the originals. (i have personally owned 15 of them as well, but now only have two, plus the VR). the VR's layout isn't the same but the circuit is very close. instead of using 12DW7's and a single 12AX7, they use a combination of 12AX7's and 12AU7's, but the general circuit is the same and they do sound alike.
  14. jvdb


    Jul 26, 2006
    And the lights, and the grill logo, and the faceplate. But it's a beauty nonetheless.

    @ Johnk10: Does the different number of tubes affect the sounds of the VR and OG (12 vs. 14)
  15. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    the VR has 14 tubes (5 up on the preamp chassis and 9 on the power amp chassis), and mine sounds exactly like my other two vintage SVT heads. (i just a/b'd all of them again.)
  16. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Aside from the stupid stuff like the relay delay.......

    The original 6C4 is a half a 12AU7..... the 12DW7 are made of half a 12AX7 and half a 12AU7.. There are some more options as far as switch settings...... and 12AU7 instead of 12BH7 in the power amp, cosmetic things......

    There was no attempt to make it a visually identical unit. it's not a clone, but it is the same circuit if you want it to be (and put the switches for that).

    Personally, I think the relay crap should have been left out, it serves no particularly essential purpose, and appears to mess up the unit.

    I would have been good with re-issuing the SVT-HD with a few changes to make it into a stone original clone unit.... but I'm OK with the VR offering a few more options if it "widens the audience".
  17. i know this is going to make me sound stupid...

    but what are the black rocker switches for above the control panel?

    i've never really had a chance to sit down with one of these b-e-a-you-tiful heads yet and mess around to find out.

    sorry to derail this thread... but my curiosity is killing me...:D
  18. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR

    Ultra Hi... Mid Sel... Bass Cut/off/Ultra Lo... ch2 Ultra Hi / Lo
  19. troyus


    Apr 9, 2008
    San Diego, CA.
    Due to weight...and tube replacement cost,I rarely play my VR. In fact just at shows in decent sized venues. Most of the time I just use a V4. It's lighter, it's a lot cheaper to retube, and 1/3rd the price.Yeah it's got half the power, but usually that is just fine if you know how to get a good tone that cuts through the mix.

    But going back to the CL vs. VR. The CL sounds good. The VR sounds great.

    But man is it heavy. Mine weighs over 90 lbs.

    Then I have a 30 lb road case for it... :help:
  20. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Perhaps you should tell your boss to get in a few classic vintage amps
    and have them on display and for A/B purposes.
    I am a big supporter of the idea that there are a lot of amps and speakers that with a little maintenance can continue to operate flawlessly and it may be very poor thinking to put them all in the trash
    and use a good proportion of what's left of the worlds commodities to
    replace them. Just because its new doesn't mean its good.
    The results of this policy are now very clear, the USA has in fact donated a good proportion of its fiscal wealth and wealth generating industry to south east asia. You have now thrown so much of your industrial heritage in the garbage and bought new cheap labour short life products that you have lost your repair trade as well, almost completely.
    Still over here in Europe we are gleaning your last few dollars by importing south east asian motorcycles and cars that are over one year old from California where anything last years model is essentially valueless due to this "latest model" consumer attitude.:ninja:

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