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  #1  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:08 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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Very short Samamp VAC 23 review.

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....
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Last edited by ASATlove; 01-06-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:40 PM
Rebel-Guitars Rebel-Guitars is offline
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Cool review. I like the Jensen Jet he uses in the 23.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2012, 05:31 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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Jet vs tornado

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel-Guitars View Post
Cool review. I like the Jensen Jet he uses in the 23.
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...
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2012, 05:50 PM
corn husk bag corn husk bag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASATlove View Post
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, pluged it into the wall, got my ASAT Classic Bluesboy out and pluged it into the amp. I tweeked the knobs a bit,(bass and treble straight up, Master volume all the way up and the voulme 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 trebble,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 supprised 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 attunetor(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....
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2012, 06:06 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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Cornhuskbag....

Pic's if I can get them to Photobucket.....Clips......Well.......
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2012, 06:33 PM
JES1680 JES1680 is offline
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Any amp you can get on a GS is cool wit me. I had a VAC 25 sweet amps.
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2012, 09:08 PM
kirkham13 kirkham13 is offline
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http://www.amazon.com/Jensen-Tornado...909195&sr=8-19

According to Amazon, the Jensen Neomag Jet 100 and the Tornado are one and the same. Not a cheap speaker and pretty good reviews all over the place....... thanks for enlightening us on the Samamp!
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2012, 11:22 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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A few pic's

Thank you for the speaker info! Here are a few pic's of the rig.


The inside of the amp. Notice no boards!

The other side

The whole thing. (By the way, Sam has this patented, if you copy, you PAY!!!)

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.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:08 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JES1680 View Post
Any amp you can get on a GS is cool wit me. I had a VAC 25 sweet amps.
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.
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:24 PM
kirkham13 kirkham13 is offline
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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~
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Last edited by kirkham13; 01-08-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2012, 09:38 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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Motorcycles

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkham13 View Post
I used to own an 85 K100RS... I think the GS is the sweetest bike in the lineup.~
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.
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2012, 08:22 AM
kirkham13 kirkham13 is offline
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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~
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Last edited by kirkham13; 01-08-2012 at 12:07 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:34 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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Bike talk over

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.
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2012, 07:20 PM
ASATlove ASATlove is offline
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No more love?

No more love for the Samamp?? Guess it's old news eh?
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:03 PM
Badfrog Badfrog is offline
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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.
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