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VAmp Reviews here!! (rack mount)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by NDbassist, May 1, 2005.


  1. NDbassist

    NDbassist

    Apr 17, 2005
    I was looking into buying a Berhenger V-Amp, and i was wondering what you all thought about them. I am only interested in the Rack Mount Version, so please only post about those...
     
  2. gilbert46

    gilbert46

    Sep 21, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    owned it and sent it back. I spent hours ballancing the outputs so the volume wouldnt sell so bad. My kicker was that the thing lagged between patches, even with the amp sims matched. Might have been defective, but thats not a usable tool.

    I just got a me50b, which is about 150 more new ten the v-amp pro. ITs 100000000x better, instant effects on/off and just plain better.
     
  3. Justice

    Justice

    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Comparing the Bass V-amp Pro to the ME50b is apples and oranges...The V-amp Pro is a preamp that has built in effects, the ME50b is a multi effects processor. You don't buy one of these to do what the other one does.

    I have been using the Bass V-Amp Pro since it first came out. It's quiet, dependible, and versatile. It packs a ton of features, some which are easily usable, some may take some work to be useful.

    Pros:
    1) As a basic preamp, it works great lets you tailor the sound to your choosing, with a very flexable EQ section.
    2) A variety of amp models and cab sims, some even designed for guitar, acoustic and keyboards.
    3) Built in effects - if you need a simple effect like chorus, flange or delay, its right there for you.
    4) 3 effects loops- both pre and post DSP
    5) Stereo analog outs - if you run your rig in stereo (anybody do that these days?)
    6) Stereo Direct outs - 2 XLR outs with switchable cab sim to let you go direct to the PA or recorder
    7) Headphone out - lets you practice without bothering others.
    8) Bass synth - not the synth effect...the Bass V-Amp pro has a midi controllable Bass synth built in...betch didn't know that huh?
    9) Compressor - a simple easy to use compressor built right in (it's not a RNC, but then again, what is?)
    10) Midi connectivity - lets you connect the unit to a computer and really deep edit your settings and save them incase you need to reload them.
    11) the built in delays have tap tempo features so that you can set the tempo of the delay to match the song (providing you have a midi contoller to help you do this - see the FCB1010)

    Just points 1, 2, 4 and 6 above make the Bass V-amp Pro easily worth the $169 price tag. The rest is gravy.

    Cons: (what? you think I would have anything bad to say about the Bass V-Amp Pro? - read on)
    1) There is a delay when switching between patches, even if the patches are using the same amp model, especailly when using the effects.
    2) The tuner - while the tuner works, it can be a bit of a pain to use and can be a bit erratic.
    3) The owners manual - Behringers owners manuals are notorious for being difficult to read, and make sense of, sometimes mentioning a feature of a product (for example, the 4 stomp box models in the Bass V-amp Pro) but not giving good info on how to get to them...or almost leaving out features all along (the bass synth)
    4) Only one effect at a time is usable. (not including the compressor which is independant of the other effects)

    Now having said all that i'll addess a few of the cons. The delay in patch switching can be minimized by keeping your patches grouped together and turing off the cab sims. Now, I do very little patch switching during a show so this is not an issue. If I use a built in effect, it stays on for the whole song. If I need to turn an effect on or off during a song, I have of of the expression pedals on my FCB1010 controler set to roll the effect on and off so there is no delay.

    The tuner seems to suffer from low signal input. Now this may be corrected by editing the input sensitivity in global edit mode. BUt I have not done that, I use the headphone out and run a short cable to my little Korg (CA30) tuner that sits on the front of my rig. The tuner button does have a good function though, it can be used to mute your rig should you need to do so (it even mutes the direct outs so your not tuning through the mains :rolleyes: )

    Another plus for the Bass V-amp Pro is that if you also have the FCB1010 midi foot controller, it becomes even more powerful.

    If you are looking for a multi effects processor, then the Bass V-Amp Pro is not what you want. If you want a solid, good sounding preamp, that is packed with features and easy on the wallet, then there is not much that can compete with the Bass V-Amp Pro.
     
  4. mosca

    mosca

    Feb 7, 2005
    all of you who have the bass v-amp should post some clips. it would help many of us :D
     
  5. SubversivePinko

    SubversivePinko No use for an ironic title

    Feb 19, 2005
    Bellingam, WA
    Recorded three clips tonight, tomorrow I'll get them hosted somewhere!
     
  6. Niskamies

    Niskamies

    Jan 13, 2004
    Is there difference in sound between the Pro version and the ordinary version? I am thinking of buying the normal version for some recording and practising. I have a good amp, but I'm not in the mood to carry and set up my amp if I want to do some practise recordings. Can you get a decent tone with the v-amp?
     
  7. SubversivePinko

    SubversivePinko No use for an ironic title

    Feb 19, 2005
    Bellingam, WA
    Okay, everything is hosted on Soundclick:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/6/subversivepinkomusic.htm

    Fuzz is one of the distortion stomp models (didn't have the manual handy, think it's a Rat or Muff) into an overdriven SVT.

    Synth is one of the synth sounds with their "big bottom" model.

    Fingerstyle groove is played clean into...okay, I forgot which model. Consider it a fun guessing game.

    Please forgive my playing. If there are any specific models you want to hear, let me know.
     
  8. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Darn. Clips haven't "cleared" yet, or so the site says. But thanks for getting recordings done. I'll keep checking back.

    But anyway, I have had the Bass V-Amp Pro now for about 3 weeks or so. Was a very good investment. I initially got it to step in for my SABDDI I sold. I wanted to travel to a show without carrying my amp/cabs. Just plug in to DI and play. It worked like a charm. My 2 guitar players and I all had modeling gear (one a desktop Behringer guitar and mine was a Pro, and the others used a mix of Line 6 stuff along with Digitech and various pedals) which were all located off stage and we all had wireless. Man, that was the most fun show we've had. We were running around the theatre stage acting like crazed lunatics (or rockstars...take your pick ;) ). No need to look all geared-out and "cool" for a 3 song set clear across the other side of the country. It worked awesomely. And the friends who came with us to watch that show said we never looked more "pro".

    We also used our gear for an outdoor show earlier that day playing with another band. They lugged their amp heads with them. They asked if they could use our drums. We traded by using their heads. But instead of using their same sounds, we just plugged in our Behringers and modelers into their clean settings and we sounded like us again. It was very cool.

    On a bass sidenote, I plugged my Bass V-amp Pro into a GK-400RB and at first I was only using it as a tuner-thru to the amp to constantly tune. After the sound guy said it was sounding kind of hollow or not LOW enough, I said, okay, check this out. So I hooked up the V-amp Pro inline and boosted the DEEP knob and gave it a bit more gain in the SVT model. OH MAN. That GK came ALIVE! The soundguy suddenly smiled and said "THANK YOU". It was a stupendous success.

    So, yeah, I'd say me getting one was worth it... :bassist:

    -T
     
  9. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Can you say more about the midi controllable bass synth?
     
  10. SubversivePinko

    SubversivePinko No use for an ironic title

    Feb 19, 2005
    Bellingam, WA
    I haven't played with it at all. Just to clarify, the synth sound I recorded with the synth effect, not the *actual* synth.
     
  11. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Not bad mouthing Behringer here but I had the V-Amp Pro for a year and it crapped out on me. I used it live at gigs and it would be fine then start to lose power then cut out completely. Sometimes I would get through an entire night with no problems then it would act up. I finally sold it to a guy that was just using it in the studio. I still have the FCB1010 collecting dust. I have since bought the Boss ME-50B. I am very happy with the Boss. I may later down the road buy another V-Amp but it will just be for studio. The truth of the matter is it sounded pretty good and has a lot of usefull features. I just couldn't trust the unit I had for live use and needed something to replace it at the time.
     
  12. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Oh yeah, my review hehe... I get misfocused sometimes.

    I've really liked it (see above). It was just supposed to be an occassional lightweight traveling tool. Now I use it for quick setup practices, doing songwriting on my gu*tar, and incorporate it with the studio gear in case we need different sounds to record direct, or want to do a quick demo without micing up all the cabs and junk. A swiss army type thing! I'd even get this over the Behringer Vamp2 for guitar. I have that piece. The only sounds I like are already on the Bass V-amp. If you want specific and LOTS of guitar stuff, yeah, get the Vamp2. If you want just a solid assortment of guitar plus keyboard (oh yeah, and the bass tuff too :smug: ), get the Bass V-amp please.

    Anyway, great amp models and efx. Nope, as usual and as expected, it does not replace the real thing and nothing in this lifetime probably ever will. But during live shows, IMO and IME, people have not noticed any different. People that have been watching us for years and will brutally comment on our sound or performance have never mentioned the sound was any different when we've used the Behringers. We'd tell them after the show and they'd say, "oh yeah? It sounded like you guys always sound like". That's good enough for me. And this is coming from people who would say things like "you messed up on this one part didn't you?" or are musicians and will call us out on every little difference between shows. It's a little tough and too brutal sometimes, but mostly, it's for the best.

    The efx are passable and if you aren't really specific about having a certain boutique pedal or rack effect, and just want to kinda add a little zing to your sound, they are there. I don't particularly use them, but it can be there when I need them, if ever. Especially for guitar stuff. And yes, i've tried it. It sounds pretty decent actually. Not award winning. It just works and that for me is worth it being available in there taking up electronic and physical real-estate.

    Now for the sounds: The ones I use are awesome. The other ones I don't because they kinda don't sound unique enough. Admittedly, I haven't spent enough time with each to make this claim whole-heartedly. But I really like the SVT models, the Mesa 400+, the big bottom, the tube preamp, and the GK. In the guitar side, I like all the high gain stuff like the JCM stuff and the Rectified. Some of the clean is good too. Now having said all that, NOTE: It DOES take time to work on the sounds! They all have their own quirks and little challenges to overcome, but it can be done. Some don't have enough initial gain, some are too loud, some don't have enough this or that or the other. But combine ALL the EQ levels, boost it or dirty it up with the drive-pedal sims, use the SPLIT "crossover" thingy, combine it with a cab (or not), and use all available tools. But it CAN be done. Good enough for what you want it for is subjective and up to the individual. But for me, that thing works.

    The connectivity is all GOLD (not literally, I mean they are all GREAT) and it works perfectly. Okay, I can't really say ALL because I haven't used the digital outs but I have used the analog, both DI's, and the pre/post DSP send and returns. All worked great. It takes a bit of staring at the diagrams and explanations to get everything in order, but if I can do this, ANYONE can do this.

    Other bits and pieces on the plus side:

    The tuner for me actually does work pretty good. At first I was having trouble with it like everyone else. Then again, I have trouble with all my tuners. Then I started giving it a cleaner signal (directly in to the input) and it works pretty good actually. Doesn't have as much segments as my Korg DTR, but works good enough. I guess the tuner would work great for everyone if it would just WORK GREAT so this is kind of a neutral point.

    The build quality IMO is actually decent if not good. It isn't the plastic nightmare some would lead you to believe. Sure it has plastic knobs, but as far as them falling off any time soon, if you would treat it the same as any other piece of rack gear, I think it would hold up really well. The face is brushed metal feeling, so that I'm not worried about. Everything else is as rock solid as all the other rack stuff I have (save for a Peavey tube rack unit or two...those things are indestructable!).

    Customer service gets the big thumbs up. I have e-mailed them three times now and have gotten a response each and every time. And they were detailed too! Some took longer than others (never longer than 2-3 days) but that's because I asked a lot of specific questions. They answered them honestly and with as much detail as they could get and with as much research as I could expect without expecting them to find one of the design engineers and ask them themself. I even called them during business hours a few times and they answered each time! I was surprised. Everyone keeps saying they can never get a hold of them. Maybe it's the time difference or something. But I just get straight to a person that answers my call! I am still kind of amazed. Maybe it's just luck, but I got answers over the phone quick and easy. I just chose to e-mail some questions as some are hard to explain vocally. My only gripe was that they don't have an 800 # and they want to answer you while you are on the line and so I stayed on the line a little TOO long for my cell phone, if you get my drift. But hey, they tried and that's all I can ask.

    As for the major con / negative points:

    There really isn't anything major other than the documentation explains a lot, but sometimes explains it in a way that leaves out the most important part. Like that drive-distortion stompbox thing. Among other things. It's not like it's written badly...it's just that I think they try to keep it as short as possible and end up short-changing it here and there. That's not an excuse and I welcome a telephone book sized manual if it'll answer all my questions, but I'm willing to say it's not the worst manual I've read. But could be even more detailed.

    That said, I did wish they documented every single detail that could be asked about their gear. I wrote to their customer service about the EQ points and where they were for the bass, treble, mid, deep, and presence. They said they didn't have documentation on that and there was no way to find out. I found that kind of discouraging, but then again, I guess not many people care if they don't even have access to it. Just FYI, I'm guessing the DEEP knob is at least 40-50hz, if not lower. That thing goes DEEP. The bass seems like somewhere around 50-80hz. The mids, treble, and presence I have no clue, but I do know those bands work well. Especially the presence. Normally, the not so expensive gear I find the EQ's to not do all that they say, but these work good. I dig it. Another thing I asked about is the cabinet mode. In the cabinet mode, the knobs light up and can be twisted. I at first didn't hear anything different when I moved them and asked. They said they didn't hear any difference either. But recently I tried it again with headphones and hooked up to powered monitors and I found they control the EQ even further! Weird! So yeah, I'm here to say the knobs in CABINET mode I guess EQ the cabinetry choice. Strange. But more control the better.

    The only gripe I have in the amps is kind of hand in hand of why I praise them. The ones I use work great for me. The other ones, I just don't use. Again, it could be because I just didn't have time to tweak, but I would say that if it just would of sounded WAY different, I WOULD have spent the time on them. So take that as you will. I'm just saying that if they would have been totally all different, I would have done something with them by now. I'll keep experimenting.

    I really wish the efx could be all combined, like multi-efx style. For now, it's just certain ones in different sections. But at least the compression and wah work independently of the other efx. If you are into that sort of thing.

    The compression is another kind of "ehh" for me. Don't get me wrong. It works and I can hear it working. It's just kind of not distinct enough for me to use for a specific sort of sound, other than to "compress" in general. But I am guessing at this price point, it is what it is and I am happy in general it's even on there and that it does something well enough to bother using.


    So there is my review on the Bass V-amp Pro. The desktop version is just without all the connectivity and everything else is the same. Good for them for not taking away inherent functions just cuz it isn't the "pro" model.

    Sorry for the long read. Any other questions? Let me know at any time. I'm really interested in getting the most out of this thing, just like all my other gear.

    Thanks!

    -T
     
  13. mosca

    mosca

    Feb 7, 2005
    could you record an overdriven svt with the 8x10 cabinet? and a marshall super bass with the marshall 4x12 for bass? thx :bassist:
     
  14. SubversivePinko

    SubversivePinko No use for an ironic title

    Feb 19, 2005
    Bellingam, WA
    Check it out

    This time I included a sample with no amp model so you could hear the bass.
     
  15. mosca

    mosca

    Feb 7, 2005
    the clips are too bassy! could you record with treble and presence both at 80% ?! I prefer more articulated sounds :)
     
  16. Soulbanana

    Soulbanana

    May 7, 2004
    Singapore
    Something I managed to call up today.

    Make sure you're in L2 or L3 mode i.e. no speaker sim
    "Tube Preamp" preset
    Chuck compressor all the way to "limiter" mode, attack at 10 o'clock
    Adjust gain so you get breakup when playing harder
    Bump the mids, no shape engaged
    Treble & Presence at 10 o'clock
    Bass at 2 o'clock, Sub at 12 o'clock

    On my setup (early 70s Jazz clone) + SWR Stereo 800 and Frankensteined Hartke VX410 (diff speakers, no tweeter) it sounds just like when I run an old Mesa 400+ thru it.

    Good breakup and the slow attack simulates tube sag. On my setup, it's also louder. It sounds pretty honky when played on it's own, but when the rest of the band kicks in, you'll be right.

    Your results may vary.
     
  17. sdguyman

    sdguyman

    Jan 31, 2003
    San Diego
    I've had mine for a while now and I use it mostly as an effects processor. I keep the preamp off. The most useful effect I get out of this processor is the looper. I believe you get 14 seconds out of it and you can build on top of it. The VAMP works best with the FC1010 footswitch. Get both programs that can program the footswitch and the VAMP for easy programing an then you are set. If programmed correctly you can use the footcontroller as a stompbox between effects, and did I mention it has an great wah you can control with the foot pedal. The effects dont have a delay if you use is with the preamp off, at least thats how it works for me. I do notice the delay when the preamp is on. I run it through my effects loop on my GK700RBII Head. I say well worth the $ for what you get. Hell you cant find any other looper for cheaper than that price. :bassist: