Very short Samamp VAC 23 review.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by ASATlove, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    Hey gang, A couple of days ago I took delivery of a Samamp VAC 23 112 amp. I lashed the amp to the back of the trusty BMW R1200 G/S and down the road I went. When I got home, I opened the box, pulled the amp out, plugged it into the wall, got my ASAT Classic Bluesboy out and plugged it into the amp. I tweaked the knobs a bit,(bass and treble straight up, Master volume all the way up and the volume at just under half. VAC control at 3 watts and the tone switch in the "Normal" position.( I have the series three) The guitar pickup switch was in the middle, tone Knob at about 3/4 towards treble,volume Knob at 1/4. What came next was pure magic! THIS is the tone I have been looking for! I was getting a good clean tone. I added a little more guitar volume and was rewarded with a soft overdrive, with every note of the cords I was strumming coming through! I turned up the volume a little more on the guitar and added more "Hair" to the tone, but still every note was there. I turned up the guitar volume all the way and started to do some Ronnie Earl stuff. Again, every note was there. So I thought "Why not" and pulled the volume pot up. What this does is by-pass the EQ controls and gives you a hot tweed break up. OK, maybe a little Rick "L.A.Holms"Holmstrom is now in order, so I turned the guitar volume up all the way and went for it! can you say LUSH??? that's what I got! I pushed the volume pot back down and kept playing as I started to up the wattage, as I did this the sound got a little cleaner until I was at the 23 watt mark. This amp has a good amount of headroom. You can change things up by changing your pick attack or guitar volume. You can get(or "Cop") just about any tone you want with this amp.
    When I took the upper back off of the amp(I just can't help myself)what I saw suprised me. This amp is the first hand wired point to point amp I have had that did NOT use a board to wire to, everything IS wired point to point!!! This must take a long time to build!! All the transformer wires are dressed well. All the light bulbs that limit the current to the tubes are easy to get to. OH, Wait, did I say LIGHT BULBS??? YES! That is what gives the different wattages. unlike an attenuator(sp), that limits the power going to the speaker and effect tone, this amp uses light bulbs to limit the current going to the power tubes. A bulb burnes out, the only thing that happens is more power goes to the tubes, no biggie. As I mentioned, I got the 112, I did this because that is how Sam Timberlake designed this amp in the first place. I don't have to turn my tone controls up all the way, unless I want to, to get what I want. I feel this leaves me more options as well if I want to replace the Jensen that it came with. Now, I didn't get the NEOMAG Tornado speaker that the site says the amp comes with. What ended up in my amp is a NEOMAG Jet model speaker. I don't know WHAT the difference is between the two different models, but, I like this speaker right now. We'll see if that changes as it breaks in. Right now everything is nice and tight, not at all flabby.
    Well I can go on all day about this amp, but until YOU plug into one and play it you won't KNOW the MOJO Sam puts into these little amps! I asked, but he didn't say how he does it. You are gonna have to find out yourself....;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  2. Rebel-Guitars

    Rebel-Guitars Antique Silver Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Cool review. I like the Jensen Jet he uses in the 23.
     
  3. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    Thanks. I like the Jet too. Maybe, you being a vendor and shop owner, can enlighten us on the difference between the Jet and Tornado speakers...
     
  4. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Supporting Member

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    :clips
     
  5. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    Pic's if I can get them to Photobucket.....Clips......Well.......:omg
     
  6. JES1680

    JES1680 Supporting Member

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    Any amp you can get on a GS is cool wit me. I had a VAC 25 sweet amps.
     
  7. kirkham13

    kirkham13 Member

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  8. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the speaker info! Here are a few pic's of the rig.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The inside of the amp. Notice no boards!
    [​IMG]
    The other side
    [​IMG]
    The whole thing. (By the way, Sam has this patented, if you copy, you PAY!!!)
    [​IMG]
    The top Panel.
    So there are a few pic's. Once again, Thank you for the speaker info. I knew that if Sam had to use something other than what he listed, he would use one just as good or better.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    Ya, The shop owner told me over the phone I wouldn't be able to take the amp home on a motorcycle. When I showed up on the G/S, He said "You shouldn't have ANY problem getting the amp home on that thing, you could land a HELICOPTER on the back of THAT thing!" The bags expanded, the rear seat removed and the passanger hand rail "Rack" removed, I had 34" across and 16" front to back. The box set up there real well. a few Tiedowns and off I went.:p
     
  10. kirkham13

    kirkham13 Member

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    I used to own an 85 K100RS... I think the GS is the sweetest bike in the lineup.. aside from the baja 500 modded bikes....

    I traded an email with Anthony from steviesnacks. He told me Sam is sending him a Samamp 40vac for a more in-depth review... hopefully sooner rather than later we can read/hear some more comments. Anthony said it will likely be his next amp. Maybe Sam should designate a ............. steviesnacks .............. model. Thanks to Sam Anthony and Wes of Rebel Guitars for putting up with my questions~:rotflmao
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  11. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    The G/S is my fourth BMW motorcycle. I had a 1989 K100RS/A for a while. Kind of would like to get another one of those and park it next to the G/S. Should have listened to the wife when she told me to keep the K100 and not trade it for the K1200RS I got after that. (I knew SHE was a keeper when she told me I could have two bikes!)

    Anthony from Steviesnacks did a short review of the VAC 40 from the Nashville amp show. He shot it on his iPhone. I think he likes the amp.
     
  12. kirkham13

    kirkham13 Member

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    Nice list of bikes... the K1200s looks sick..
    Thanks for the correction, fixed above. I meant Anthony. I am referring to a more in-depth review coming up after he gets some time with another Vac40 long-term. I will link that review to this thread when and if it happens. Until then, hopefully other Samamp owners will chime in~
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  13. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    OK, Bike talkover, got to get back to the amp. Anyone else have something to say about the Samamp???
    I have to say, it is a dream amp for me.
     
  14. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    No more love for the Samamp?? Guess it's old news eh?
     
  15. Badfrog

    Badfrog Supporting Member

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    I liked mine but it was a bit too noisey. I tried different tubes and couldn't tame it enough for my tastes. Pretty kick ass otherwise. I ended up getting a Deluxe Reverb clone and just stick to my Lovepedal Les Lius. Not the same sound, but it's a good sound.
     
  16. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    Haven't noticed mine being too noisey, A little when the gain is pulled, but that is to be expected with single coils I guess...
     
  17. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag Supporting Member

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    Never heard of a noise problem with these amps.

    Kind Regards,
    Steve
     
  18. SReynolds

    SReynolds Supporting Member

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    I played on a at the southeastern guitar amp show. Impressive amp. On my shortlist.
     
  19. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    I wonder if Badfrog got one with a bad cap or two...
    It was on my short list too, so I closed the books on my list...:D
     
  20. crunchman

    crunchman Member

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    Love the clips I have heard.I wonder if a straight 5e3 can sound like the vac23 ??

    I would like to check out a schematic !
     

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