Blankenship VARIPLEX In Action....Clips!

Discussion in 'Member Video and Sound Clips' started by John Ziegler, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't get impressed too easily with anything to do with an Eddie clone person or Eddie clone amp. I'm 46 , probably somewhere around Eddie's age, and he came out when I was in High School.. MANY MANY of my guitarist friends at that point became Eddie clones. Most of the barband guys in the early 80's around here were Eddie clones or even took him 1 step beyond. That's way old hat for me. I never became one ,as 1st of all he played everything OPPOSITE the styles I got raised on , i.e. Santana, Hendrix, Clapton, etc and then when Eddie came out, I tried my hardest to break all the styles I had adopted (by then they were very boring to me ) and since all my friends were sounding like Eddie, I put together my own style! Anyway, I'm sure this is another kickass amp and any of us can play many more styles than EVH-style on it! ERIC
     
  2. lastwinj

    lastwinj Member

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    nails it, or so close it doesnt matter.
     
  3. carbz

    carbz Member

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    Actually after listening to the clips a few more times it kind of sounds close to some of the live bootleg VH stuff out there but it seems to be a little flabby on the bottom end. Overall its probably one of if not the closest sounds around to his considering nothing else was used but the amp. If the bottom end was a little tighter it would be real real close. The same issue with the David Bray mod. Nice VH voicing but too flabby on the the bottom end. I know I am real picky........
     
  4. John Ziegler

    John Ziegler Member

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    slap a paf in an ash bodied/maple neck strat-scale length guitar with a tremolo and i wonder what would happen to the so-called flabby bottom end of the clips and how close it would be then?!? (as if it really matters)
    also, with a little EQ, would you hear that "flab" if there were drums and bass happeneing in the mix too?
    anyone who records know that things in the mix sound WAY different than they are perceived when soloed by themselves.

    i just think the amp sounds and plays great, that's why i shared here....
    and personally i couldn't care less if it sounds like VH.
    in fact, i told dave phillips(the performer of the clips) that he played too much damn halen! :Spank
    but he also did throw in some montrose and zep!

    at the end of the day...do you wanna be the tracer...or the artist?
    :D
     
  5. trainwrecker

    trainwrecker Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the amp sounds fantastic but I'd have to agree with the above, it doesn't really capture early VH. To my ears his early tone was a very "clean" distortion that is really hard to replicate. And I can hear it on his live bootlegs from the early days as well, so I don't really think studio processing had a great deal to do with it, IMHO. The closest I've heard is VHoholic's tone, don't know if his clips are still around. In any event kudos for a great sounding amp in any event.
     
  6. carbz

    carbz Member

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    John,

    Apparently the intention of this amps design was to focus/nail on the VH thing just in the fact that it has a variac attatched to it. When you see Variac you have to automaticly think EVH. Corrcect me if I am wrong? I agree with you that the isolated guitar will sound different then with the other instruments in the mix. Like you said it doesn't matter as long as it sounds good to whoever is interested in buying one which is the bottom line. To me it just sounds a little mushier then ED's old sound. I purchased a splawn 2 years because of all the hype about how it nailed the VH thing and when I plugged it in I said "well it does sounds good" but VH, "I don't think so". Many of the guys on the splawn forum think different.
     
  7. carbz

    carbz Member

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    I have heard most of VHoholic's clips and they do sound very good but again not nailing it per say. I can get a similar sound to his with my naylor amp which is a little smoother and more compressed then Eds was. I would say VHoholic has a better VH touch then anyone else I have heard. He certainly has the hands and would probably sound just like EVH if he played on his rig..
     
  8. drbob1

    drbob1 Supporting Member

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    It's not a great idea if you're looking to "brown" out the sound-he talked about running the amp down to 90v, which should mean the heaters are running at 4.5v or so, not the best for tube life. Also means that voltages in the OT are off, not sure what that does. All in all, if you're interested in the concept I'd look at getting a London Power "Power Scaling" kit, much safer...
     
  9. TungstenAmp

    TungstenAmp Gold Supporting Member

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    I was talking to Roy about this amp a few days ago. While the above would apply to 99% of amps out there, Roy has designed this amp to deliver a constant 6.3v filament voltage, totally independent of the variac setting. Pretty cool!
     
  10. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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  11. anyone

    anyone Member

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    I don't own one of these but was (am?) pretty darn near trading irreplaceable gear to get one after I played it.

    Labeling it as an EVH tone clone is like limiting Guthrie Govan to being an EVH clone because he does tapping licks.

    Just had to say this. Thanks

    ck
     
  12. John Ziegler

    John Ziegler Member

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    you definitely understand the correct intentions of this amp(a great sounding plexi based amp with an unlimited variac)...
    and i hope you end up getting one.
    everyone i know that's scored one so far LOVES it.
    once again, i think it's just a fantastic sounding and feeling amp....
    for the most part, i don't associate the "sound" of gear with players anyways...that's where player's hands/soul come into play IMO.
    how many totally different sounds has a plexi generated live and in the studio over the past 40 years?!?
    i know that when i've tried the Variplex, just like any other piece of equipment, i always end up sounding like me.(ouch) :messedup

    as with ANYTHING, don't knock it until you've tried it.
    it may thoroughly surprise you too!

    choice!
     
  13. 908SSP

    908SSP Gold Supporting Member

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    This is why this is really a Power Scaling set up and NOT the normally thought of way of using a Variac. Only part of the voltages are run through the Variac those that control the high voltages for the power tubes. The rest for the heaters and pre-amp tubes are separate. What Blankenship did is build a really good 12000 series Marshall clone with a few tweaks and add his take on Power Scaling. The Variac has no effect on the tone except to maintain the tone at lower volumes. Thats cool. :drool
     
  14. nitro

    nitro Member

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    I think the the variplex is a nice sounding amp but the VHT 100CL head and the VHT 50 CL head (el34 heads) are much closer to the old vanhalen sound. Listen to van halen 1 it has that edge and aggressive cut that no plexi clone amp can achieve unless you throw a overdrive or distortion pedal in front of the amp. One example would be listen to the roccaforte brown sound clips he states there is a fulltone overdrive pedal in front of the amp to achieve those sounds roccaforte makes nice amps also but in my opinion the VHT amps are closer to that sound i have owned and played amps from A to Z . The VHT amps have that what i call that clean but powerful distortion its very aggresive but you here every note its not all bunched up and muddy if you know what i mean very musically but still in your face. The VAN HALEN 1 sound has that sound.
     
  15. anyone

    anyone Member

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    Thanks for the hope... I wish I could justify owning one... I do have a FATBoy Supreme (with crispy creme...) on the way though:AOK

    True, true...
    That 'ouch' only applies for folks like me... you forfeited your right to use it when you posted that clip of yourself frickin' killin' it on a Dano baritone...:eek: at least let a hack have something to call his own!

    ck
     
  16. John Ziegler

    John Ziegler Member

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    looks like the 50w Variplex list price is $2500 and the 100w is $2800.
    with 4 weeks being the completion time after deposit is received.
    very cool....not bad at all.

    and baritones for everyone! thanx anyone.

    rock on!
     
  17. Playloudd308

    Playloudd308 Supporting Member

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    very nice, loved the clips
     
  18. Electric I

    Electric I Supporting Member

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    Nicely done.

    What's the setup?
     
  19. John Ziegler

    John Ziegler Member

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    here's another cool clip/post of the Variplex worth sharing from dave phillips....

    [quote="RACKDOCTOR" (Dave Phillips)]Here is another clip of the Variplex into a 4x12 with Vintage 30's instead of 25's. Miked with a SM57 into a API Mic pre. I used Tariqh Akoni's amazing Les Paul and recorded it at his studio. The variac is set at 60 volts so it is running as a 9 watt head. The amp is dimed.[/quote]
    http://www.davidphillipsmusic.com/variplexvintage30.mp3

    rock on and enjoy!
     
  20. jkr

    jkr Supporting Member

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    I've been reading this post regarding how close this amp gets to the "brown sound". I've actually been luck enough to play this amp on two occassions. I live in LA and had the fortune of having Roy Blankenship as an amp tech when he was designing this amp with David Friedman. They took David Friedman's unbelievable sounding holy grail 1968 50 watt plexi (which I also heard) and kept tweaking until you couldn't tell the two apart. I played the proto type on two occassions and had a tough time putting my guitar down since it was so much fun to play. Great feel, sustain, and the perfect volume. I was nailing old Aerosmith, AC/DC, and various other 1970s classic rockers. Variac aside, I didn't even attempt to try and do a VH I and II tone out of this amp. With the volume a 12:00 O'Clock, I was in classic rock heaven. The volume knob on this amp really helps dictate how much gain is on tap and even with volume at 12:00 o'clock, I got great cruch and sustain on the chords and notes. Whether this amp get's me a hair closer to the brown sound, I don't care either way. This amp is worth getting in line for. My understanding of the design of this amp was to get the best plexi sound on the market. The Variac was for volume and tonal benefits, not too emulate the brown sound. Whatever the case is, this amp has a lot of the character and magic that most boutique amps are missing (and I've played a majority of them and owned many of them). Having a Variac to to help deal with possible volume issues is just and added plus.
     

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