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

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Luther Durham, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member

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    The VT40 has an output jack for an extension speaker, which when plugged-in, automatically switches the ohm setting on the output X-former,, whereas the VT22 has a three position switch so that you select the setting that you want.
    It's no big deal,, the VT22/V4 was set-up that way because they were designed to be able to use multiple cabs, usually for bass.
    The VT22/V4 uses four 7027s, and was rated ~100 watts, while the VT40 uses two of the same tubes, and was rated at ~60 watts,, IIRC, they cranked the B+ on the VT40s up ~25>30 volts above the VT22s,, they push the tubes a bit harder to get the max 30 watt rating from a 7027.
    Be a bit careful with tubes, a lot of tubes don't like the voltage that VT40s run at, and have shorter lifespans,, the JJ 7027s are a favorite for new tubes, they're tough and easily handle the B+ in a VT40.
    You'll love the amp, you'll find the controls nothing like most "typical" amps,, the B/M/T are active,, they both boost and cut,, the midrange rocker switch sets the broad range, and the knob controls a real tube driven inductor circuit,, it's pure magic.
    Have fun.
     
  2. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    FWIW, I had a GV-22 at one point, about 12-14 years ago. Didn't have the original speakers and I had a hard time finding speakers that I thought sounded really good with it. I'm not sure it was all that healthy...probably could have used a good going through, replacing caps and other parts that had worn out.

    It wasn't a great amp. It did have a pretty cool vibrato/tremolo circuit. I remember the vibrato as being particularly good sounding. Quite unlike the Magnatone varistor-based circuit...but nearly as cool sounding.

    As others have pointed out, the VT-22 is a whole different animal.
     
  3. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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    VT-22 is a 100W monster, really very different from a Gemini. And yes, they're heavy.
     
  4. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    The V4 head I had was one of the loudest amps I've owned. It buried a Super 6 reverb (135w thru 610s) and a 71 Marshall JMP100. It was punchy and hard edged and proud. NOTHING at all like the Jet or the Gemini V I've got now, and they share DNA but are somewhat different due to different speakers and different output tubes. In a home context the Gemini/Jet amps are way more useful. I saw a bar band, though, that was rocking a VT22 for guitar and a V4 for the bass. It was deafening but it rocked hard!
     
  5. TELECOLLECTOR

    TELECOLLECTOR Astro Boy - who knew? Gold Supporting Member

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    Best of luck with the new amp.

    My wonderful parents bought me a brand new 1969 VT-22 when I was 16.

    At that point weight didn't matter at all but I wouldn't want to haul it today. LOL

    All I remember is CLEAN + LOUD. I don't think I ever wrapped it up enough (if you even can) to get any breakup.
     
  6. ES330

    ES330 Member

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    Tried all the Ampegs, and I'm a big Tele fan too
    IMO, the best of them is the Gemini I with 7591 tubes
     
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  7. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have one. It's a Dec. '59. I believe Ampeg built them for two or three months; Nov., Dec. 1959 and Jan. 1960. They also built the Rocket and Jet with the 12ax7 pre-amp in that same time frame. I think of it (the Mercury) as Ampeg's version of a tweed Tremolux.

     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  8. Echoplexi

    Echoplexi Silver Supporting Member

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  9. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, but that would make it a '58 and it wouldn't have the 12ax7's!
     
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  10. erksin

    erksin Member

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    1965 Reverberocket w/Sylvania 7591As and Telefunken ECC83s. The stock CTS in mine kinda sucked - it was just plain tired and had no real punch. I dropped a C Rex in it and man this amp kills now - and it's easily 50% louder. Killer reverb, and the tremolo is fantastic too. Accordion input FTMFW!!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    Nice! R12R-M or R12R-T?
     
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  12. aaronbarnes

    aaronbarnes Member

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    I foolishly sold a G12 about 20 years ago.

    Might be the dumbest thing I ever did.
     
  13. erksin

    erksin Member

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    M.

    It's a bit of a weirdo - the tube chart inside is for a R15R Superbreverb, but a label was placed over it for an R12R-M. And the preamp tubes were scratched out in pen and the correct ones written in. It all matches the schematic pasted inside the rear panel.

    [​IMG]

    I asked Dennis Kager about this when he worked on the amp back in the '90s and he said it was common for them to alter tube charts like that.
     
    zenas and fretless like this.
  14. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

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    From what I’ve read Ampeg would use whatever tubes they had on hand (likely based on what they got a deal on that quarter) and they would mod the circuits to use them. My 67 Jet tube chart reads like yours except for the power tubes were “switched” on the assembly line.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  15. uberdave

    uberdave Supporting Member

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    Hi, does anyone have viable link for a 1960 R12 (6v6s) non reverb schematic ?
    Thanks!
     
  16. Luther Durham

    Luther Durham Member

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    http://IMG_1846.jpg.pdf[​IMG]

    I have no idea how to post pics on here, it's ridiculous! However, The attempted image is to show that after all the feedback on this topic I purchased a VT-40. Wonderful so far, as expected. I was intentionally looking for more head room and it takes pedals like a dream! However, I still do love the natural OD and I'll never find a pedal to emulated that, nobody will. ever.

    Is there a way I could lower voltage or wattage in some way, without disrupting the integrity of the tone and the safety of the amp? I have no idea how to do that, but just wanted to know if I could have that option if I needed it.
     
  17. Luther Durham

    Luther Durham Member

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    Also, it came set on 8 ohms. That sounds strange, is that correct ohm for this amp?
     
  18. Traintrack

    Traintrack Where is the Talent? Silver Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    I had this for 4 years. It is mint, bought it from the original owner. I installed a 3 prong that's it.
    I think about selling it, but it still is in my room. It is filled with the nicest array of tubes. Sounds wonderful.

    I gigged for 5 years with a VT-22. It is really loud, you will never open it up on stage. Not worth the effort.
     
  19. Luther Durham

    Luther Durham Member

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    That is one fine piece of machinery. That’s what I was looking for but couldn’t find any, anywhere. Wound up with a VT-40. Spike with Sam (Samamp) and he’s going to put a wattage controller mod on it to where you can switch from different wattages. This is a popular function on his amps. No tone loss and can switch from 25-60 more than likely.

    I would’ve bought the Gemini given the option though.
     
  20. Castlebreath

    Castlebreath Member

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    I tried to love about 10 of these. They just break a lot in my experience.
     

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