Ulbrick Sound Venue 30 Verbovibe in the house!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by SuperReverb2, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    I took delivery of my awaited Ulbrick Sound (Dave Ulbrick) Venue 30 Verbovibe 1 x 12 combo yesterday morning, and other than sleeping last night, (barely ha ha) I have pretty much played this amp non stop since it's arrival.
    For those that haven't been following the Ulbrick threads of late, the Verbovibe 30 is the amp that BOTH Larry Carlton and Robben Ford left Australia with earlier this year, (along with a 12AXE pedal each as well) to use for recording purposes. The only difference between my amp and the amps they took, is that their amps were a 2 x 10 configuration with reissue Jensen Ceramic 10's and mine is a 1 x 12 configuration with a G12H 30 watt 70th Anniversary Special Edition Celestion.
    The amp is a 6L6 based (I believe it's cathode biased) 30 watt Class A amp that is (as Dave Ulbrick puts it), "A point to point, hand built, tag strip masterpeice, made to the highest build quality available."
    It has a master volume (pull bright, down SLAM), bass, middle, and treble as standard controls. It has tube/spring reverb that is parallel mixed and sounds incredible as well as true grid tremolo with depth and speed controls that is also one of the best tremolos I have ever heard. VERY deep and pulsing. It also has a DUAL voiced parallel pre-amp stage that makes the tonal options on this amp pretty much endless. Volume 1 is a British (bright) pre-amp while Volume 2 is a bluesy American (vintage) pre-amp. Mixing the two together opens up a palette of tones that before this amp, I have only heard in my head. Lastly, (enough features yet?) there is a NEW - OLD switch located at the back of the amp (with corresponding LED on the control panel) that takes the amp from HARD and BOLD in the new setting, to SINGING and SWEET in the old setting. Again, the tonal options on this amp are pretty much endless, and I have really just scratched the surface, but what I have "scratched" so far is pretty much the best I have heard to date.
    To top it off, this amp takes pedals like there is no tomorrow, and although all the pedals I currently have right now sound GREAT through this amp, for obvious reasons, the Ulbrick 12AXE sounds the best. Incredibly amp like and dynamic, and sounds JUST like an extension of the amp not only in picking, touch sensitivity, and dynamics, but it's tonally dead on as well.
    For those that are thinking of purchasing this amp, be forwarned that this is NOT a bedroom amp per say. This amp will sound "fine" at the so called bedroom volumes, (master and two differently voiced volume controls allow for that) but I have discovered that the so called "sweet spots" in this amp are MUCH higher than bedroom levels, (pretty much dead on gigging levels) and to get the most out of this amp, you must find the sweet spots. (I knew this going in and I was fine with it) NOT that this amp sounds "bad" turned down per say, but if any of you ever get a chance to try one of these beauties you'll know that I'm talking about, because when you find the so called "sweet spots" (I discovered a couple so far) this amp just EXPLODES in your face with a touch sensitivity and dynamic that is second to none.
    My two favorite settings so far are: Master Volume on 8 with the MV pushed down, (SLAM setting that adds an incredible girthy rumble to the bass and mids) and with the Master Volume set to 9 with the MV pulled up which is basically like half a Fender bright switch and REALLY moves the amp towards Fender territory. Bass and Middle on 4 (5 being straight up) and Treble on 5. Volume 1 (British) on 6 and Volume 2 (Fender) on 5. Reverb about 3. For most of my playing so far I have had the rectifier switch set to OLD as that setting REALLY adds a nice hint of compression (and I mean HINT) and "sing" to the notes, and makes the overall vibe of the amp VERY smooth, yet clear, crisp, and articulate at the same time. The new rectifier setting is incredibly HARD and DYNAMIC and would be IDEAL for gigs where "cut" is required, and OH MY does this amp "cut." (jam this weekend, man are they in for a shock, he he)
    Tones. Well.........I guess you don't have to look any further than who took one of these amps home (each) with them earlier this year to figure out what this amp is capable of, as well as MUCH, MUCH more. (like the 12AXE) With the MV pulled up, pretty much anything LC (ish) is available, and with the MV pushed down (SLAM setting) pretty much anything RF(ish) in the clean to lighter OD is available. With MV pulled up and the Ulbrick 12AXE added, pretty much anything LC and RF are available in one go, and with the MV pushed down and the Ulbrick 12AXE added pretty much anything RF from clean to his DEEPEST, RUMBLY OD is available. In my conversations with Dave Ulbrick, building a Dumble or so called Dumble clone was the farthest from his mind, rather, he simply wanted to build an amp that had the the best tones available. To this end, he has not only built an amp that will CERTAINLY do "that" vibe, feel and tone in spades, he has also managed to build an amp that can sound dead on Fender as well as pretty much dead on Marshall as well. In that context, I feel he has surpassed anything I could have ever imagined (tonally) coming out of one amp, and I further feel once more people play these amps outside Australia, they are going to be VERY sought after for MANY years to come. These amps are not only a thing of beauty tonally, but structurally as well. This amp is built like a tank with incredible attention to detail, and comes with a hand signed Certificate of Authenticity by none other than Dave Ulbrick himself. I will take a picture and post it once I find may digital camera, but so far that camera is MIA after my recent move.
    *(whew)*

    :)
     
  2. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    Hey Chuck - great review! You've got my curiosity going. My Ulbrick 12AXE pedal should be in my hands any day now.

    So how does it compare to the Kingsley's you've played, including the new ToneBaron?
     
  3. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    Hi Ron:

    Thanks! I'm at work until 9:00 tonight so I'll have to wait until I get home to answer your questions in depth.

    Chuck
     
  4. Tasweigan

    Tasweigan Member

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    great post Superreverb2...you might have to change your user name!
    Uverbovibe30?

    Dave is a freak. That's all there is to be said, except he is one of the nicest freaks you'll ever meet in the world.
    Those amps are just incredible and yes, when the rest of the world catches on to these, look out. I wonder if I can buy stock in the business!

    I'm on a roadtrip down the East coast of Australia and I should be in Melbourne by the end of the week. I'm going to the factory to say hi and check some stuff out.
    Are you getting a Stadium 120 as well?
    Now where's my earplugs...
     
  5. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    Yeah, I might just have to change that username. I played a Super Reverb for 15 years or so, (a REALLY nice 1966) but that amp is long gone. :)

    Dave is not only one of the nicest guys I've ever spoken to, but one of the most knowledgeable as well. This amp is VERY unique, and the more I play it, the more I begin to appreciate what it can truely do. The tone and vibe from this amp is "rock solid" with no high end fizz, mid blurring, or low end frap. It's incredibly articulate, and very "stiff", yet it allows you to express yourself in a relaxed manner, if that makes sense. I truely believe it's only a matter of time before some monster player here on The Gear Page (or elsewhere) gets his hands on one of these amps, and when he does, Dave is going to have enough orders to keep him going for a VERY long time. (as if he didn't have enough already)
    I do have another amp coming from Dave, but it's not the Stadium 120. It's the Stadium 80 Special that comes with KT77's instead of EL34's, and has all of Dave's latest (and greatest) tweaks. I also have a 2 x 12LP (low profile) cab coming as well, loaded with the same speaker(s) that's in my Verbovibe combo. I just scored a Lexicon PCM-70 off E-Bay as well to use in the loop of the Stadium 80 (for reverb only) so life should be good when it arrives and it's all set up.

    Chuck :)
     
  6. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    Hi Ron:

    In comparison to the one Kingsley that I played at my house at pretty much gig volumes, I prefer the feel and vibe of the Verbovibe 30 by quite a margin. With that said, that one amp is not a fair representation of what Simon's amps can do or sound like, as the one I played was actually the first amp Simon ever built, and the one he currently uses as kind of a "work in progress." That particular Kingsley I played had quite a soft feel, and a rather loose vibe to it, and my personal preference is for more of a harder feel with a "stiffer" more articulate vibe. The two other Kingsley amps I've played were the head that belongs to the lead singer in Simon's band and the prototype for the Tone Baron. BOTH sounded GREAT, but I didn't have a chance to play either at the volume levels I'm currently playing the Verbovibe at, so until I can do that, I'll hold off on the comparisons. Simon knows I'm getting the Ulbrick, and when we get a chance to get together over the next couple of weeks, we are going to put a few of his amps (including the new Tone Baron) and the Verbovibe 30 in the same room and have at it. Should be a VERY interesting day. I'll certainly let you know my thoughts when the day is done.

    Chuck :)
     
  7. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    That's what I was thinking would be happening. That will be very interesting indeed, and I anxiously await the report on that session.

    How much did the Vibroverb cost and does he make it in a head?
     
  8. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Supporting Member

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    Just wanted to support Ulbrick and this thread. My 12AXE is wonderful and am curious as to the answer to Macroni's question: How much did the Vibroverb cost and does he make it in a head? Thanks.
     
  9. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    The Verbovibe combo is $3200.00 US. I see on the Ulbrick Sound web page that Dave Ulbrick is now offering the Verbovibe 30 in a head (states the have just completed the first three) with the price TBA. No doubt another winner.

    :)
     
  10. Tasweigan

    Tasweigan Member

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    I visited Dave last week and was fortunate enough to be given a guided tour of the factory and we sat down with the Verbovibe for about an hour!!! Even though I've know Dave for over 17 years, the guy always amazes me with his knowledge, passion for what he does, and his absolute generosity to those of us "lesser known's"
    Wow.
    That's all.
    While I played, Dave tweaked many different tones to suit Tele's, Pauls, rock, Brit pop, you name it. The slam is amazing and the tremolo is richer than any I have heard. Dave showed me how it was built in comparison to a F..... and it was night and day. He also showed me on an osilator the fullness of the trem as well as other tonal glories. Got to see the hand wound transformers being made, some new great tolex colours and chatted about speakers.

    Managed to score a 12axe (you pedals hounds will be happy to know he was making a bunch at his desk until I interupted him!) and a couple t-shirts.
    I walked outta there knowing this man is destined for greatness and it couldn't happen to a better person.
    Rock on Dave Ulbrick!

    Oh and I also had a play on the Ulbrick #001 (Arena) which is owned by my long time friend and old house mate.
    I won't go on about it but it was GLORIOUS.
    There is also an Ulbrick demo at Deluxe guitars soon if any Aussies are interested, check the website for details.
     
  11. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    GLAD to hear Dave's doing so well, but then again, for those of us that have had the pleasue of playing/owning one of his amps, we all knew it was just a matter of time before that happened. :)
    My Verbovibe 30 is one of the most spectacular amps I have ever had the pleasure of playing through, and the combination of the 12AXE and the Verbovibe is stunning.
    Dave is putting the final tweaks on my Stadium 80 Special head (KT77's) and my 212LP cab as we speak, and if all goes well, I should be enjoying that in the very near furture as well.

    VERY glad I discovered Dave Ulbrick when I did as it won't be long before there's a considerable wait for his products.

    :)
     
  12. Tasweigan

    Tasweigan Member

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    I'm wondering how this amp (head) would sound through Dave's 2-12 Low Profile open back with the G12H and an Alnico Gold.
    Mmmmm.
     
  13. slave

    slave Member

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    (zombie thread warning)
    Still have it?
    I've got one myself, also a G12H30 single speaker combo, I'm curious what speaker combinations you may have tried with it.
     
  14. SuperReverb2

    SuperReverb2 Member

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    No. Sold it quite a while ago. Tried to get another one for a while but gave up. Might snag one if the opportunity arises though. Quite liked the amp, especially with the Ulbrick 12AXE driving it. As far as speakers go, I didn't try anything other than the stock speaker when I had mine. Didn't mind the G12H30 while I had my 1 x 12 combo. A little bright (strident) when they're new, but have a nice top end when broken in. Unfortunately to my ears they start to loose that top end after a while and get kind of dull to my ears. That was about when I sold my Verbovibe. Don't think G12-65's would work with that amp, but I'm sure the newer V-Type or A-Type Celestions would sound very good. My preference would most likely be the A-Type. Also, the higher wattage Creamback Alnico might sound very good as well. Lot's more speaker choices now than when the amp was built.

    :)
     
  15. slave

    slave Member

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    Cheers SuperReverb2

    Yeah I actually have an A-Type in another combo I own (Ampeg GVT15-112). I'll have to try it out with the Ulbrick.
    That said, I do like the *standard* G12H30 just fine.

    The verbovibe is noticeably bright, cuts like a knife!
     

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