Low-volume way to get Ampeg V-2/VT-40 tones?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Blauserk, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    I'm a big fan of the '69-73 Stones tone through the Ampeg V-series amps (specifically the V-2 head and VT-40 combo). While those amps are still fairly cheap and built to last, they are a LOUD 60 watts. Is anyone aware of what will cop the same tones but in, say, an 18- or 20-watt package?

    Thanks!
     
  2. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,815
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    An Ampeg GU12(1x12 combo) from the same era has a similiar tone. It has about 20 watts. There was also a G12 (1x12 combo, bigger than GU-12) built from 68-71, which puts out about 25 watts, and sounds great when in good shape. The post 74 V-2's/VT40's have MV's that aren't that bad, and when used in conjunction with an attenuator deliver a sound that's equivalent to a Deluxe Reverb (which can still be pretty loud, if you're playing at home, but probably the minimum amount of power needed for playing unmiked).
    The later 70's MV Ampegs are still good amps, even the ones with the distortion switch. If you don't like it, don't use it!
    You still won't get the full effect of the V2/VT40 sound with any 20 watt amp, though, cause no amp that size will deliver the thump and roar (different from marshall, but in the same league) of an old VT40 flat out. Torturing speakers sounds good!
     
  3. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Messages:
    4,221
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Buy an Ampeg and an attenuator.

    Nothing else out there sounds like an Ampeg imo.
     
  4. 563

    563 Guest

    Gemini's are a lower wattage model that sound awesome. And later model VT's have master volumes that make it a lot easier to deal with.

    As a big Ampeg fan I've also become smitten with old Garnet amps. They had more lower wattage models and have a tube tone should satisfy most Ampeg fans.
     
  5. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,183
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    Agreed. I tweaked my VT-40 last week so that I can get an attenuator between the amp and speakers (simple tweak and doesn't really require altering the amp). I've now tried the MASS and Hotplate. With this amp...the MASS works best...by far. EQ-wise, it just sounds way more natural. Bedroom volume from the VT-40 with the MASS? No..not that great. But easily into rehearsal or small gigable volume territory. VT-40 (or V2) + MASS = Very Good!
     
  6. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Leonc:

    What is the output of the VT-40? My Komet Airbrake handles 8 ohm and 16 ohm, if memory serves; it'd be great if I could at least start out with that before having to buy a separate attenuator for the V-2.

    Thanks.
     
  7. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,815
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    Not Leon, but VT40's are switchable between 2, 4, or 8 ohms.
     
  8. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,183
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    Actually, the original VT40s are not switchable. 8 ohms. Period. The older ones were made in the early 70s and have the chassis oriented towards the back and top of the combo cab. They are short/squat little beasts...but require an 8 ohm load.
     
  9. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,815
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    I know you have one, Leon ( I've had a couple, but it was years ago), so you must have it right, but the V2 (the pre MV one) does have switchable ohmages of 2, 4 and 8. I just assumed that the VT40 was the same as the V2, as it seems to be in every other respect .
    The post 74 VT 40's also have switchable ohmages.
     
  10. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,183
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    Actually...I have an older V2 as well...and I can't recall whether the OT is tapped or not. Will check tonight. I also found at least 2 differences in the circuit--and I bet there are more--though quite subtle.
     
  11. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    This V-2 is on its way to me: One of the early ones with metal knobs and black metal toggles, with a new(ish) NOS set of 7027As in it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have a Komet Airbrake; I know it's good up to 50 watts; I wonder if it will handle 60.

    Incidentally, if you want to see a good article on the V-2s, this back issue of Tonequest is great:

    http://www.tonequest.com/pdf_pubs/samples/TQRSep03Proof.pdf

    I can't wait for it to arrive--although the poor FedEx guy is going to get hernia--just the head weights over 46 lbs!
     
  12. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,183
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    Excellent! That's virtually identical to mine. What cab do you plan on playing through? FWIW, I played mine through 3 cabs and about 4 speakers. Know what sounded best? The 4x10 VT-40 cab! I think the guys at Ampeg did a really smart match-up there. I've been toying with ordering a 4x10 cab from fliptops.net....but owning the VT-40 too, I kind of don't need it.

    FWIW, I'd bet that amp will work better with the MASS than the Airbrake. I prefer the Airbrake-style attenuators with pretty much the same amps I prefer the Hotplate with. But this amp sounds WAY better, IMO, with the MASS. What's better? EQ-wise, the MASS seems to more accurately reproduce this amp's sound. At lower volumes, it starts sounding tinny and thinner through the Hotplate. It also plays a bit "more life-like" or has better dynamics through the MASS than the Hotplate.

    Also, FWIW, I think this thing puts out way more than 60W. I fried a V30 in about a minute and a half with the vol set around 1:00...
     
  13. Blauserk

    Blauserk Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    About all I have at the moment is a woefully inadequate 1x12 with a G12H30 in it. I suspect that wouldn't last even as long as your Vintage 30.

    When you say you fried it with the volume on "1:00," you mean 1 o'clock, right, not with the volume nearly all the way down? Otherwise, I won't even be able to test the amp through my 1x12!

    What kind of speakers did the original VT-40s and VT-22s use? Didn't they use some kind of funky square-magnet thing? I wonder what the closest readily-available 10" speaker is? You use Jensens in your VT-40, right? (I scoped out your gear page.)
     
  14. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,183
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Upstairs, L.A.
    Yes, one o'clock. That's quite loud at that point and into square wave territory for sure. You'll toast that G12H right quick. I wouldn't play it with less than 4 of them or two V30s, unless you've got it dialed way down.

    The speakers they came with were awful little guys (can't remember the brand) that popped within a year or two, typically. Rare is the VT40 with the orignal speakers ;). If I found one like that, I'd take the spkrs out and put in 4 new Jensen C10Rs (25W ea). That's what's in mine. Then I'd swap the originals back in if I decided to sell it :cool:.
     
  15. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,750
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    LeonC,
    I agree absolutely about the VT-40. I bought a paid arguably more than the amp cost to have Todd Sharp from Nashville Amp Service fix it up. I have 2 celestion vintage 10s (old ones) and 2 Jensen Neos in it now. Tubes are JAN Philips NOS 6L6GC from KCA NOS tubes. Recetly lost the 7027s that were stock after 30 years...I wanted a big sounding amp and got one. With single coils it's the biggest fattest sound, lots of bass and the front loading speakers might contribute as well. I like it with humbuckers becaue it drives easily and the tone controls are very interactive, a wide range of fender and marshall sounds are available. Very nice buy for the money, although stock they don't sound anywhere near as good IMO. I tried the amp with Jensen C10Qs and they sound good too. The amp is featured in ToneQuest for Oct 2005. Guess they loaded it with 2 P10Rs and 2 10" Tone Tubbys. Rocking amp...
     
  16. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

    Messages:
    30,036
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Sterling, VA (not far from Washington DC)
    Another great choice for replacing 7027s is the JAN Philips 7581As.
     
  17. ajmojave

    ajmojave Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Leon - I am curious what the mod is to use an attenuator - I would like to set mine up that way.

    Thanks

    Andy
     

Share This Page