Considering a Blue Velvet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Lump, Feb 16, 2008.


  1. Lump

    Lump Member

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    New guy here, hoping I can get some advice. I've finally decided to make an investment in a little bit better amp(been using a Trademark 60 forever). I need two channels, and it needs to sound good on low volumes.

    My aunt has suggested a Blue Velvet. She's exclusively a clean tone player who has a nice Carr Rambler and is pretty picky on her clean tones and likes the sound of the velvet, so I'm comfortable about that aspect of the Velvet.

    I'm not sure about the dirty side. I've seen the you tube clips and liked what I heard alot from the Neastguy posts, but I've not really heard it really heavily distorted(I'm talking old VH, not thrash metal). I actually don't even utilize a heavy sound alot, but I'd like to know it's there if I need it. Can the amp get into that territory at lower volumes? Does anyone have any clips (clean or dirty, the more I can hear this amp the better)? Unfortunately there is not a dealership anywhere near me so I may or may not be able to check on out in person before taking the leap.

    Also, if you think I'm off the beam here and there is a better two channel option at low volume feel free to throw it out there. I need to stay at 900 or less(I'm anticipating going used).

    Any and all opinions welcome.
     
  2. 67super

    67super Member

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    I had the 25 watt Blue Velvet for almost 2 years. I thought the overdrive channel was very nice even at low volumes. It's funny your aunt likes the clean because that's what I didn't like about the amp. It was OK but nothing to get excited about. I'm a Fender guy and play old BF Fenders so you know what kind of clean I like. I like the Carr Rambler as well but I thought the Blue Velvet clean lacked clean headroom and a smooth tone.

    It's to bad you can't try one out. I do beleive though if you like your aunts Rambler you might be dissapointed. Zinky amps are very well made and Bruce is a great guy to deal with. I have another of his amps I like better, the Supro Sahara but it's not a channel switcher.
     
  3. stratotonedude

    stratotonedude Senior Member

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    I have a Zinky Blue Velvet 25 watt combo. It is just the right size for most of the clubs I play. I almost always use it on the clean channel and have no problem getting sounds I like. I also have a Tone King Meteor II which is alot more expensive than the Zinky. The Tone King has better clean tones. But one of the things I really like about the Zinky and the Tone King is that they don't get mushy on the bass notes.
     
  4. Lump

    Lump Member

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    I was actually pretty suprised that she'd liked it that well also. The first time I heard a Rambler it was like a revelation. To be honest I'm really not that picky on my clean tone, I can make most amps work alright. I've heard the comments taht it doesn't have a ton of clean headroom, and if I'd be using it in a big volume capacity that might be an issue, but this would really be mostly for home use with some trips to church. They mic everything so there it'd really be a personal monitor. That's why I'm really questioning it's tones at low volume. I've never used tube gear much just because of the volume issues involved, can it get pretty dirty at low volumes? The stuff I've heard I've really liked, I tend to like a smooth distortion.

    Hopefully this isn't a sacrilege but I'm actually considering it, just to tear it apart. My aunt also happens to be a fine wood worker(along with being an emergency room vet) and she built me a wonderful 1/12 cab as a present. I'd post a pic or two but I don't see the option here. Well, I've got this nice cab and no head. She's itching to try her hand at a matching head, and since the cab currently has no speaker in it it seems like a natural. That's also part of the reason I'm looking used, a beat up cab might bring the cost down a bit. Of course I'm still open to any other suggestions anyone might have if they have a better option based on what I've said. And I'd love to hear some more clips if anyone has any laying around.

    Thanks for the responses.
     
  5. Baggins

    Baggins Member

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    I have a 50 watt BV combo, so different tubes, but I imagine the overdrive is still the amp's strong suit. The clean isn't so hot at low volumes, but the overdrive is. -You can also use the speaker impedance selector to fatten the clean side up (at the expense of some high end). For the money, (not claiming it to be the best overall) it's a great two-channel amp.
    One noteworthy item to mention: if you use an effects loop, you won't want to use the Zinky's unless you have Bruce mod it for you. I just go straight in, so no probs there.

    enjoy,

    chris
     
  6. Gear91

    Gear91 Member

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    I had a 25 watter and thought the drive channel was its strong point. Clean was good but the overdrive was sublime. And it sounded phenominal at extremely low volumes. There may be better two-channel amps, but at this price point the blue velvet is pretty hard to beat.
     
  7. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey Member

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    I DIG the Zinky. On my last CD it's all Zinky... you can hear some at http://richardjessee.com/merch.htm and more at cdbaby. I really can't say enough good stuff about Bruce Z and his amps!
     
  8. Roodboy

    Roodboy Member

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    I just got one today. It rips. Maybe the best low volume tube od tones I've heard. I'm not really a clean afficionado but I think the clean tone is pretty good.
    I ditched the stock tubes and put old blackburn mullards in the preamp slots with bgtime positive results. Now I need a pair of old El84's.
    No issues with the effects loop with a calibrated Nova Delay either.
    I don't think it will give old school VH tones, especially with el84's, but it has some great blues and rock od.
    It seems to take pedals well, like a Mayo and Bad Monkey.
    I think a Crunchbox will sound good for that type thing. I have a Tube Zone on the way for heavy tones.
     
  9. 10-top

    10-top Supporting Member

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    I had a 25 watt and hated it, the overdrive or lack thereof was its weak point. Try a low watt mesa/ boogie or a low watt rivera, way better imo
     
  10. hamfist

    hamfist Member

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    I recorded a load of clips when I had a BV25 a while ago. If you scroll down they are all at - http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=615870 .
    As others have stated, I also thought the clean channel was pretty mediocre. The OD channel was probably the best low volume tube OD I have ever used. In the end I just didn't think it really cut it for live use with a band though.
     
  11. Lump

    Lump Member

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    Thanks for the feed back everybody. I'm attempting to download and listen to some of the music now(dial up).

    Top 10, thanks for the suggestions. I do have a mesa dealer close by. I really really want to like mesa's, but for some reason I just never seem to jell with mesa stuff. I love there features and they are definately quality amps. I like a smooth sound, but for some reason those almost sound too smooth. I can't really explain it. I did play a used Nomad the other day that I thought was decent. I don't have any rivera dealers around, I did play one once but I don't think I understood how it worked, I couldn't get any gain out of it at all. My local place, "bob's guitars" also carries Orange, Vox, some bad cat, marshall, mesa, and fender. I've tried most of the stuff that is in that 900 price range and just not heard alot to get excited about. I'm definately looking two channel low wattage. I've always loved the old marshall sounds(like the early VH) that is big and fat, but not the insanely saturated stuff of the later VH stuff. There is also a guitar center within an hour of me, but I tend to just get annoyed trying to try stuff there.

    Back to the BV. I've heard that effects loop comment often, but I've never read what the actual issue is with the effects loop as it comes stock. What is wrong with it that it requires a mod? I typically don't use the effect loop much, BUT...I was hoping with the set up I could get to be able to have one so I could plug my POD XT into the return of the loop and run the speaker out to a wedge monitor. I'd like the option if I decide to use the Pod at church and want to go direct to the board, but need a personal monitor to hear myself. I'm not even sure if this is a workable option, and I could always get a cheap power amp to do it, so it isn't a make or break thing, just a factor in the decision.
     
  12. Lump

    Lump Member

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    Spazmonkey....holy crud you can play! I really enjoyed Dinglebay and Iadia alot. The tones on those are awesome. Were you getting that much gain just straight into the Blue Velvet? Some sections of Dingle bay reminded me alot of Eric Johnson's tones(in my book, that's a GOOD thing). Just awesome man.
     
  13. kselbee

    kselbee Supporting Member

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    As far as the loop goes, the secret is to keep the cables short and use good cables. If you do this, the loop is fine (I have a delay and EQ pedal in the loop of mine and it sounds great). BTW, I'm selling a 50 BV combo if you're interested, just PM me.
     
  14. Gear91

    Gear91 Member

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    I am with you on the Mesas. The overdrive is a very modern and in my opinion "too perfect" sounding. Definitely an issue of personal taste though. Mesa obviously has had much success and a huge following.

    To respond to another post, I could also see how a Mesa lover might not be as in love with the Blue Velvet, which is more of a "classic rock" sound. Kind of a bizarre reference but with the pre-amp all the way up, the blue velvet sort of reminds me of the sound that Prince gets on his solos in Purple Rain and Let's Go Crazy (without all the effects of course). You can get it at very low volumes. Prince apparently likes Mesas so go figure.
     
  15. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

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    I had a Zinky 50w BV combo. Awesome amp....I had a baby on the way so I sold it. Man that thing sounded great. I played it through a closed back cabinet with worn V30s. I could go classic rock up to smooth Petrucci-esque lead tones with simple dial adjustments. I ran a 12at7 in the V1 to make the gain a little more open. And Bruce was always available to hand out tips/mods to get you where you wanted. When cash comes available, I'll probably get a 50w head. I use rack (line level) effects, so the loop wasn't a problem.
     
  16. 5881

    5881 Supporting Member

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    I've owned a BV25 for about 6 months now. Replaced the stock Zinky Eminence with a Weber Blue Dog ceramic, and it really helped sparkle up the clean channel. The OD channel remains great. Hightly recommended. Also owned a MOFO for a while, killer overdrive, and Bruce does a great job supporting his products.
     
  17. Baggins

    Baggins Member

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    Since there's a 50 watter up for sale, I say grab it. Different power tubes than the 25W. I have never heard a 25W, but the OD on the 50W will cop old VH, even some Nuno-esque stuff from his early Extreme days. To get an Eric Johnson type tone, I dial back my guitar's treble and hit the amp with my Bad Bob on about 10 o'clock. I liked that sound enough that I sold my Skreddy Mayo! (not that the Mayo was purchased to cop EJ tones, but it gives a good fuzz-type distortion) -The 50w still sounds great at low volumes, too.

    Have fun!

    Chris

    WOW-just listened to Dingle Bay. -Nice stuff! It reminded me of "Pike" by Jeff Scheetz, but with a different time signature.- (probably due to the fun bass line)
     
  18. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey Member

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    Thanks so much for the nice words! I really appriciate it! The gain is pretty much just the amp. I think I pulled the gain back to noon and goosed it a tiny bit with a Maxon od9 sometimes. I also have a MOFO that I dig a lot also. They are both pretty similar in tone, I dig the dirty and cleans. The loop on the blue velvet can be modded by Bruce, I had it done and its great, also had him add a loop to the MOFO. Bruce is a GREAT hands on guy!
     

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