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Vintage Ampeg Amps: The Good, The Bad, The Gemini.

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
I’ve not posted on here in a while. I’ve always played fender on fender. Tele - 68’ DR. Love the creamy tone, always have.

That being said, and perhaps sacrilege but don’t care, best amp I’ve ever heard was an Ampeg Gemini GV12. Silver face, not blue tolex (the versions get confusing). It was the bizz. It pained me to say but yes, sounded better than my vintage fender. Ever since then I’ve been gassing over one. Now what I’m experiencing is that there are NO Gemini GV models for sale, ANYWHERE. So I’ve been considering the VT 22 instead of Gemini 1 or 2 or 12. I know I know, “I hope you don’t mind back problems” comments are coming so I already know it’s 90 pounds. And I already have an Ampeg SVT CL, which is also 90 pounds I have to consistently carrying around which I hate, so I get the inconvenience. However the tonal options and tweekability, along with superior tone might win out there.

So my question is two fold:

1. If I loved the sound of the GV22 Gemini, would the VT22 come close to that, from a purely tone standpoint? Or should I keep waiting on a Gemini to show up?

2. Would this be a place I might could search for through members or is that not what we do here? I know there’s a bit and sell section but not sure of my options.

Any feedback will be useful, thanks!
 

slipbeer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,333
I’m a huge Ampeg fan but you are right. It’s tough to find specific models at times. I had a VT22 I literally gigged until it fell apart.

I know we have a few Ampeg experts here. Paging @Leonc who is maybe the best Ampeg guy to get feedback from and one of the straightest shooters here.
 

Northerner

Member
Messages
1,582
Blue check Gemini I and II have their own thing going as do the later amps you’re looking at.
I prefer my blue check models by a long way.
My Gemini I is a bit over 40 lbs with a Celestion Gold.
Might seem a bit heavier ‘cause it’s a pretty big box.
 

mvsr990

Member
Messages
4,779
I had a VT-40 - the V2 in combo form (4x10) - it was the mid '70s model with a master volume, one channel needed work, but the one that worked sounded fantastic. It also weighed about 75 pounds. The midrange control gives you so many tonal options. I'd like to get a V2 or V4 head at some point.
 

Echoplexi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,499
I’ve had my eye out forever for a Mercury with the 12ax7s. No luck so far. Pretty sure a member here has one
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
I’m a huge Ampeg fan but you are right. It’s tough to find specific models at times. I had a VT22 I literally gigged until it fell apart.

I know we have a few Ampeg experts here. Paging @Leonc who is maybe the best Ampeg guy to get feedback from and one of the straightest shooters here.
That’s great, thank you!
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
Blue check Gemini I and II have their own thing going as do the later amps you’re looking at.
I prefer my blue check models by a long way.
My Gemini I is a bit over 40 lbs with a Celestion Gold.
Might seem a bit heavier ‘cause it’s a pretty big box.
Is it 22w? I’ve realized as much as I love my DR, it simply doesn’t take Pedals that well. I mean it sounds fine but it does break up early, which I believe is the reason for that. Is the Gemini 1 the same?
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
I had a VT-40 - the V2 in combo form (4x10) - it was the mid '70s model with a master volume, one channel needed work, but the one that worked sounded fantastic. It also weighed about 75 pounds. The midrange control gives you so many tonal options. I'd like to get a V2 or V4 head at some point.
Yea,that’s exactly what I noticed! The GV22 had same mid options, which made tone option plentiful.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,092
There is one on Ebay right now, it is in Brooklyn, NY.. They are around, but the price is rising, 600-1k for nice ones.
 

AL30

Member
Messages
3,000
I've got a few V4/VT22's, a few VT40's and a few blue check Ampegs (one Gemini 1). I don't have a a GV22. But, I think the VT22 is not the amp you are looking for. It's loud - really loud. I know you here that about amps all the time but Ampeg wasn't making amps for coffee houses in the 70s. They were making amps so the folks the

The big V-series Ampeg's have a different break up than the blue check. They're much more aggressive but you have more tonal options with the toggle switches. If you had to get a V-series I would look for a mid 70s V2 (head) or a VT40 combo with a Master Volume (NOT a distortion knob model). They're approx 50 watts. A B25 may be a good option too.

My blue check Ampeg's have a much smoother break-up. And they are all similar in that respect.
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
There is one on Ebay right now, it is in Brooklyn, NY.. They are around, but the price is rising, 600-1k for nice ones.
I’m not seeing it anywhere! Is there Any way you could copy that link and post it?!? If it’s there I’ll bid. Thanks man!!!
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
I've got a few V4/VT22's, a few VT40's and a few blue check Ampegs (one Gemini 1). I don't have a a GV22. But, I think the VT22 is not the amp you are looking for. It's loud - really loud. I know you here that about amps all the time but Ampeg wasn't making amps for coffee houses in the 70s. They were making amps so the folks the

The big V-series Ampeg's have a different break up than the blue check. They're much more aggressive but you have more tonal options with the toggle switches. If you had to get a V-series I would look for a mid 70s V2 (head) or a VT40 combo with a Master Volume (NOT a distortion knob model). They're approx 50 watts. A B25 may be a good option too.

My blue check Ampeg's have a much smoother break-up. And they are all similar in that respect.
Thanks for the feedback. Why do you say it’s not for me? Just because it’s too loud? Is the vt40 not louder?

Also, I’m also noticing the reverborockers and jets and such. Any experience with those?
 

AL30

Member
Messages
3,000
Thanks for the feedback. Why do you say it’s not for me? Just because it’s too loud? Is the vt40 not louder?

Also, I’m also noticing the reverborockers and jets and such. Any experience with those?
Yeah, they're really loud. A VT22 is also really heavy and awkward to carry around. I have an SVT too. It's easier to move around than a VT22. And you're not going to get they break-up until you're at a much higher volume. They're great amps but they're not close to the 22 watts you're looking for. A VT40/V2 (combo/head) is approx 50 watts. The VT22/V4 is 100 watts.

No experience with the reverberockets or jets. I assume they have a similar, smooth break-up that my other blue check Ampegs have. If a rocket or jet pops up near me for a decent price I won't hesitate to grab it.

LeonC has a lot of good experience with old Ampegs. Hopefully he'll check in.

*edit* Now that the coffee is starting to work and my reading comprehension is improved... What, exactly are you looking for? Low wattage? early break-up? Mid-range toggles? Clean platform for pedals?
 
Last edited:

amphog

Member
Messages
4,092
Amp vintage tube amp 663961027839 Ebay 500$ starting bid, it is also on NYC Craigslist. Division Street Guitars had a very nice one, they are in Peekskill,NY.
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
Yeah, they're really loud. A VT22 is also really heavy and awkward to carry around. I have an SVT too. It's easier to move around than a VT22. And you're not going to get they break-up until you're at a much higher volume. They're great amps but they're not close to the 22 watts you're looking for. A VT40/V2 (combo/head) is approx 50 watts. The VT22/V4 is 100 watts.

No experience with the reverberockets or jets. I assume they have a similar, smooth break-up that my other blue check Ampegs have. If a rocket or jet pops up near me for a decent price I won't hesitate to grab it.

LeonC has a lot of good experience with old Ampegs. Hopefully he'll check in.

*edit* Now that the coffee is starting to work and my reading comprehension is improved... What, exactly are you looking for? Low wattage? early break-up? Mid-range toggles? Clean platform for pedals?
Right on! I had no idea the 40 was less than the 22! I saw it was bigger and more speakers so I assumed it was twice as powerful lol.

I might have not posted that right. I’m not necessarily looking for 22 watts. My DR is roughly that so I’m looking for something a bit more. Not gonna rely on natural breakup for OD tone like I’ve been doing with the DR, but looking for just more tonal options.
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
Amp vintage tube amp 663961027839 Ebay 500$ starting bid, it is also on NYC Craigslist. Division Street Guitars had a very nice one, they are in Peekskill,NY.
An that’s awesome!! He had it listen in random category which is why I didn’t see it. Looks like the dude has had 2 reviews in the last 90 days, both stating item was broken on arrival and had to escalate claim. :/ kinda sketchy.
 

Luther Durham

Member
Messages
85
Thanks for all the feedback! It’s been very helpful. So now that’s on the table, what are the major differences between the VT22 and the VT40. Is the 22 really the heavier and louder of the two?
 

ROKY

Member
Messages
7,185
Thanks for all the feedback! It’s been very helpful. So now that’s on the table, what are the major differences between the VT22 and the VT40. Is the 22 really the heavier and louder of the two?
Louder.. yes. Heavier .. maybe .
 




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