Vivid Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TRichardsbass, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Okay, just back from Summer NAMM 2013. Tried a ton of great products. I have to say that there were two stand out products, one being the Fuchs Bass Bruiser which I've sung the praises of before, but still not commercially available.

    TRIED A VIVID AMPS VTOUCH AND WAS BLOWN AWAY! The Vivid VTouch is actually a multi purpose, super small package amp, but designed for pure, clean output. No filtering, no coloring, just pure signal in, pure signal out!

    I always set my amps flat and do all my EQ with either my Hartke VXL pedal or with the bass electronics/tone control. Having an amp that adds additional "color" to my signal just makes it that much harder to tune in quickly for a variety of rooms. In addition, most of the amps I use are about 25-30lbs and in some of my more recent gigs just too much at my age to carry around. (Try carrying even a Hartke LH500 and HyDrive 112 cabinet up 14 flights of stairs - true story for another time.)

    The Vivid head weighs only 3.5 lbs! two inputs, two outputs, 180W out each channel. With a set of cables from Vivid you can even bridge the two channels, so get 400W if you need it. It also comes in custom colors. You can order some cool combinations.

    Either way, link to the amp is here: http://www.vividamps.com/vtouch/

    I purchased one, can't wait for it to get here!

    tom
     
  2. Lists 5 pound weight on their site. Either way at $600 bucks, thats a pretty pricey amp for what you get.
     
  3. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Here are the specifications straight from the website for the VTouch:

    Inputs: • Two 1/4" TRS/TS balanced jacks
    • One 1/8" stereo jack
    Outputs: • Two 1/4" TS jacks, 180 watts RMS each (4ohms)
    Dimensions: 8.2" x 8.45" x 3.2"
    Weight: 3.5 lb.

    A Little Mark 250 or Little Mark III are similar in power, and the price for the 250 is $370 and the III is $600 so in a similar competitive market you get US manufactured for the same price. Yes, you get a few more knobbies, but the Markbass heads are not superior to the Vivid.

    Either way, the Vivid was amazing and I'll post video of it when I get it here. Partnered with my vintage Dan Armstrong Cerwin Vega 2X10 Hot Cab this is just gonna smoke at my upcoming gigs!
     
  4. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    Hey CLPeavey, what rig do you use?
     
  5. I run a couple different amps *. The one that might be the most applicable to this conversation is a Aguilar TH-> ART PC -> Crest ProLite 3.0. Very transparant when I want to to be, and very warm with the TH.

    This Vivid amp would be more appealing to me if it was producing something more in the 1000-1500 watt range at 4 Ohms. That said I understand my needs do not line up with everyone elses. :bassist: A small light weight power amp that can pair with a pre pedal is a very good idea on the surface.


    * I also run the following amps:
    Carvin B1500
    Peavey Classic 400
    Ampeg PF-500
    Into the following cabs:
    fEARful 1515/66/1
    fEARful 12/6/1 x2
    greenboy DuallyT
     
  6. Not very interesting to me. Low power, not particularly low priced, and you would need two 4ohm cabs to even achieve the low power rating listed.

    For that amount of money, you can get a wide variety of 500 watt into 4ohm amps, and take your preamp pedal into the effects return if you want a relatively pure power source.

    For a few hundred more, you can get the Demeter 800 watt into 4ohms power amp, if you really want to go the pure power amp route in a small form factor.

    Meh.
     
  7. Kind of where I am at too.

    For a lot less I can deal with a LOT more power out of a PA amp.
     
  8. johnpbass

    johnpbass

    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I love the idea of the small footprint power amp. The size would be perfect to use with a pedal pre-amp, like my Aggie Tonehammer. However, as CL400 and KJung have said, it would be more appealing if it had more power, even say 500 a side at 4 ohms.
     
  9. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    As someone who once worked at a company that made small package high power supplies for the military, I might have a different perspective. While technology continues to allow higher power, super power in a small package is not ideal. And in most situations you will never need 1000W or even 500W.

    I use the Hartke LH500 because it is the lowest power available in that style and line. It performs tonally a ton better then its 1000W sister.

    The Vivid Rack VR2700 is 700X2 or 1400W bridged for only $1200. That is only $2 a watt, which is relatively cheap for US made high quality. Even the VT2180 is less then $3 a watt which is sort of standard for US made boutique amps.

    Even guys who play stadiums don't need and rarely use 1000W amps. I have yet to play a gig in my 35 years that I needed more then about 300W for any reason.
     
  10. *shrug* your needs are your own, as are mine. When I bought a power amp I was able to get a very good profesional grade power amp that gives me about 10 watts per dollar spent, and about 275 watts per pound.

    Having ~500 watts at 8 Ohms or ~1000+ at 4 in a small package means I can bring one small super cab and get the job done. That isnt everyone's cup of tea. That is ok.
     
  11. johnpbass

    johnpbass

    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I didn't see in the specs what the topology of the amp is but for Class D amps, I like a little more juice available. IME Class D amps run better when they're not dimed.

    Question TR - why is super power in a small package not ideal? I'm guessing heat issues?
     
  12. -1 to most of the above. First, class D amps run quite cool, and there are dozens of high powered, class D and/or SMPS VERY small amps on the market, some for 20 years, with very good reliability records.

    Secondly, your Hartke example is a strange one. Most solid state amps are relatively neutral, with the vast majority of tonality coming from the preamp. It is true that some higher powered versions of amps within the same line have different preamp voicing (i.e., hi passing set lower, etc.) to take advantage of the higher power capability, but that has nothing to do with 'lower powered amps performing 'better'. Makes no sense. (Edit: If I am remembering correctly, the LH series of amps do not have a master volume, but just an input gain control.... or maybe the other way around. In that unusual case, I can see where it would be easier to push the preamp for a bit of warmth with the lower powered model. Been a while though, so I might be misremembering. However, that would have little relevance to the current discussion, and is a preamp design issue, not a 'too much power is bad' issue in general).

    Thirdly, quoting 'how much power you personally need' is a bit of a losing game. Without taking absolute volume needs into account, and just as importantly, the efficiency/sensitivity and power handling (mechanical, not thermal) capability of the speaker, talking about 'power needs' is really meaningless. And, again, power is mostly not about volume, but rather open, non-compressed low end, and not running up against the power amps limiting circuit on transients.

    Finally, these days, many acts that play extremely large venues don't even use backline. Once you have significant front of house support, in ears, and/or top of the line monitor systems with separate mixes for band members, the backline discussion becomes less relevant.

    Just FYI. Things have come a long way in the past 20 years. Again, a non-bridgeable, low powered amp at this pricepoint, requiring two relatively efficient 4 ohm cabs to reach its optimum output is really behind the curve of what is happening in the market today. Of course, I'm sure it sounds fine (most pure power amps sound virtually identical), so not saying that it is 'bad' in an absolute sense, and I'm sure it would work fine for some players.

    IMO and 20+ years of class D/SMPS IME.
     
  13. johnpbass

    johnpbass

    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Especially important IMO.
     
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  14. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.

    Well, I agree with your statements, just not the -1! ;-)

    Yes, the LH series is exactly as you remember, and yes, your observation is correct.

    I am not here to argue. What I heard and played at NAMM was far and away better then anything I've touched to date that was specifically meant for guitar and bass in a super small package. Also, it can be purchased in an internally bridged configuration for one channel and 400W, or you can get special cables from Vivid that will also allow you to bridge the signal and get the max power. The Rack mount version already includes a bridge switch, and also choices for US or European power. But that is the rackmount.

    As far as personal power needs, while a preference it is based on gigging, as I am sure you do as well. After a certain point your amp is just your stage monitor, even in medium sized clubs, so having 1000W in a cigar box to me serves no purpose. Actually, the VTouch is perfect for some of the touring guys I have seen lately, where a low powered amp is often mic'd behind a wall of faux cabs.

    Anyway, thanks for the technical discussion. Yes, its personal preference, and this Vivid is just great and cool.
     
  15. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    180 watts a side...no eq to help me shape it to a room.

    Never gonna work for me.

    ymmv, etc.
     
  16. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    Hey Tom,
    I'm looking forward to checking it out and I'm always on the lookout for small sized amps that sound great.
     
  17. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    I think the size and form could be good.
    Similar to the pedal board size amps made for guitar players
    i.e. ISP StealthAmp
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StealthAmp

    Give me some higher power class-d for reasonable prices in small form package and I'd be interested.
     
  18. +1 Don't mean to dog you on this. I'm just very interested in bass amplification, and was VERY early in to the SMPS side of bass amplification. This one seems a bit of a dud to me, but IMO of course:)
     
  19. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Mike Lull GK Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass
    +1

    I'm thinking basswitch users and such could benefit from it.
     
  20. I wouldnt want my amp on my pedal board. I want as short of a speraker cable as possible, and I dont want anyone walking over it.
     
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