V-Stack Amp by First Act

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Macaroni, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    This is a belated NAMM report of the new V-Stack amp by First Act. As some of you may know, Steve Webster sold his company, V-Stack, to First Act in Boston, who makes guitars, amps, and other instruments. Steve worked with another TGP member, Lance Keltner, aka, Witchita, to design an amp based on Steve's amazing V-Stack chip technology. For some reason, the amps are not on their website, but they had them all over their NAMM space, including a room to demo them.

    I've still got my V-Stack Classic and Tweedy, as well as a one off pedal that hasn't been available to the public. I still love them, and the Tweedy has held its own on my board with such venerable pedals as the CJOD (which I still have), the ProAnalog Dual Drive, Zendrive, etc.

    They have a few models, which are basically the same technology in various power, speaker and feature configurations. This report is about the 75W 1-12 combo Deluxe Amp, which has the full feature set.

    There are 4 channels, each of which is modeled after classic amps, namely - BF clean, Vox AC30, Marshall, and Trainwreck. That's not what they're named, but that's what the models are, IIRC. There are separate Level controls for each channel, and they are all available via a custom footswitch. There is only one master EQ section for all models, with a master Level control. It's all solid state (75W), but the analog V-Stack chip mojo takes it beyond that, just like the pedals.

    There are 3 built in effects - Reverb, Echo & Tremolo - all accessible from the footswitch. You can program different fx settings for each of the 4 channels and they are stored for instant recall when you change channels. And you can turn each effect on/off via the footswitch, as well as a global fx Mute, and that is saved when you change channels. There's also an fx Loop, XLR Balanced line out and 1/4" line out. There's also a 10db boost switch which can be engaged on all 4 channels. You can also pull the entire amp chassis out of the combo box and rack mount it for studio use, since it can be used directly for recording. Very cool.

    I didn't test it exhaustively, but what I heard was impressive and very well thought out by Steve and Lance. I'm not sure of the exact prices, but they're not too costly. They are a unique take on the modeling scene and certainly as good as any other modeling amp available now. Steve told me that at the previous nite's NAMM jam, many people were impressed and surprised when they heard the amp among the many standard amps on stage - it held its own quite well - and more.

    I guess you can eMail First Act for more info re availability, cost, etc.
     
  2. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

    Messages:
    9,874
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Troy NY
    The only thing I'd be interested in from them is a Brian May pedal that works thru amps. I emailed them a while ago, and they told me the BM pedal really only got that sound and feel direct, which is what it was designed for. It wasn't made as a pedal for an amp. THat's what I'd be interested in.
     
  3. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    All of the V-Stack pedals are designed to work direct, but they all work very well in front of amps too - some better than others - including the Brian May pedal.
     
  4. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,112
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I love Steve's pedals. I'd sure like to hear one of these amps......

    jon
     
  5. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,732
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Location:
    WayOutWest (Santa Clara, CA (not Canada))
    good overview, M. - thanks, i was wondering myself

    :cool:
     
  6. carltonh

    carltonh Member

    Messages:
    1,546
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Farmers Branch, DFW, TX
    When I discovered how the V-stack Classic could really sound when I put a good NiMH battery in it (after having already owned it for a year) I realized why there is such differences of opinions. However, despite having such a good high gain sound, the V-stack classic can't do a good clean sound. I hope they can design it better in an amp. Pedals don't necessarily require a good clean tone, but an amp certainly should.
     
  7. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The amp has a great clean tone. Something different than the pedals, but still using the analog chip. Steve designed it to have high headroom.
     
  8. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,804
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Location:
    Canada's Capital
    Steve's a bright guy - bet it sounds great!
     
  9. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,414
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Sounds somewhat cool, but I'm surprised to hear that there are four channels and all share a common EQ section.
     
  10. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,186
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Location:
    RDU Area
    That may be true, but Brian was able to get that exact sound in the many live recordings I've heard. It's definitely not a stock Vox tone .... I think they must've figured a way to make that battery device work for them live.
     
  11. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,161
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Location:
    AUSTIN
    Hey guys the channels are actually voiced
    Black Face Clean (deluxe) and it does get very clean and pretty sounding Fender tones all the way up to the slightly broken up SRV type fender tones.

    The second channel is a Vox AC30. Chimey, beatles, Petty stuff all the way up to the Brian May sort of vibe.

    The third channel is a 1960's 100 watt Marshall joint. AC/DC to Eric Johnson in this channel.

    The fourth channel which is labeled Boutique Gain...well it is amazingly touch sensitve, cleans up with lighter touch or with your volume knob, and goes from dead clean to searing lead tones...back off on your touch and you can go from feedback laden gain tones to slightly broken up tones right away.
    I think that this channel is right on the Track that it needs to be.

    Steve included a great sounding Echo unit that reminds me of my old EP3 echoplex (I am hoping that we can offer this as a pedal later)
    A killer tremolo based on the old DeArmond,
    And a simple one knob reverb unit.

    The larger of the amps which are 75 watts with one twelve and 100 watts with 2 twelves respectively have an XLR output, an effects loop and there is a footswitch available to control the whole shooting match from the floor.

    Steve and I are very excted about the project and I know that there are going to be a lot more great products from Steve and V Stack in the future.
    There is a great relationship between V Stack and First Act and that relationship gives Steve the time and abilitiy to develop many more analog modeling products in the future....more time for design = more goodies from Steve..
     
  12. changeling

    changeling Member

    Messages:
    1,612
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    ...where the strings come in.
    witchita,
    thanks for the summary..i love what steve does.
    so when is the amp available?
    how much bread?
    can i get the head only(heehee),sorry..
    i also realized the increased push that first act could give my boy,in terms of resources,visibilty,capital,etc.
    shoot, i felt like an army of one,evangelizing steve's products for so long and seeing support here(where i learned about 'em,incidentally..) drop off.
    i've been after him for ages to make this'n that...looks like he's been doin' it. couldn't happen to a more deserving dude.
    i honestly feel that steve has revolutionized the modeling industry..with his greatest work yet ahead.btw...i use mine in front of amps.
    peace,
    r:angel
     
  13. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,186
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Location:
    RDU Area
    I'd bet they're shooting for a studio type amp, since the pedals were also designed primarily for direct recording ...
     
  14. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,161
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Location:
    AUSTIN
    The amps should be available in around 90 days.
    The chassis actually come out of the speaker cabs and can be rack mounted for studio use, but the amps are for live playing as well.
     
  15. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,161
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Location:
    AUSTIN
    The amps should be available in around 90 days.
    The chassis actually come out of the speaker cabs and can be rack mounted for studio use, but the amps are for live playing as well.
     
  16. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,161
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Location:
    AUSTIN
    Why did it do that? I only posted that once!
     
  17. changeling

    changeling Member

    Messages:
    1,612
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    ...where the strings come in.
    lance,
    how much will the 75-watt cost?
    will steve be selling them from his site as well?
    r
     
  18. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,161
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Location:
    AUSTIN
    You know it's going to be less than you would think but we can't really spill that just yet. They will be in retail stores, not for sale on the site as far as we know.
     
  19. GreenTea

    GreenTea Member

    Messages:
    876
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    what type of speaker will the amp initially feature?
     
  20. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,161
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Location:
    AUSTIN
    The amp has a special design full range speaker. You see, the cab is only a monitor really. All the tones are in the amp itself and that's why it will sound just as great with the XLR out into the PA as through the speaker itself.
    No need for mics on this puppy.
     

Share This Page