VSA 20 tried one, a disappointment

bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,808
was fortunate enough to try out a VSA 20 amp today. Amp seemed well built, looked minty, and had excellent reverb and wonderful throbbing tremolo. But I was disappointed in the lack of low end, lack of sparkle and lack of that snappy percussive feel. Are they all like this?

For example when I play the Workin Man Blues riff on my Tele, I expect to hear that thump on the low strings, same for the old Truck drivin licks. Its a very addictive sound! Got none of that with my Nocaster plugged straight into the VSA20.

I've been a big fan of the '65 PRRI amp and have owned a few, always enjoy them with a speaker swap. But it always felt like a bigger OT and just a wee bit more umph. Something is missing on the VSA 20 that I heard, not sure why.
 

spayne99

Member
Messages
420
The snappy/sparkle thing could be the warmer voiced G12c/s (assuming that was in the amp), and the differences between 10" and 12" speakers.

Never heard anyone complain that a VSA or any other PR amp lacked bass. Both my VS 15 and PRRI had plenty of bass.
 

Dad love mom

Member
Messages
1,780
was fortunate enough to try out a VSA 20 amp today. Amp seemed well built, looked minty, and had excellent reverb and wonderful throbbing tremolo. But I was disappointed in the lack of low end, lack of sparkle and lack of that snappy percussive feel. Are they all like this?

For example when I play the Workin Man Blues riff on my Tele, I expect to hear that thump on the low strings, same for the old Truck drivin licks. Its a very addictive sound! Got none of that with my Nocaster plugged straight into the VSA20.

I've been a big fan of the '65 PRRI amp and have owned a few, always enjoy them with a speaker swap. But it always felt like a bigger OT and just a wee bit more umph. Something is missing on the VSA 20 that I heard, not sure why.

Are you coming from a Mesa or Two Rock? If so, any amp is going to sound like it lacks bottom end ...
 

bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,808
Are you coming from a Mesa or Two Rock? If so, any amp is going to sound like it lacks bottom end ...

Surely you gest... Victoria Bassman, '71 DR, '70 VR, 5e3 clone, Victoria DD and. Clark tweed Pro. So mostly vintage Fender type circuits and I use a Nocaster, R4 and a couple Gretsch guitars. I play rockabilly, country and blues.

I look for that thump you get when Travis picking or the Workin Man Blues type train beat tunes. Not seeking rock and metal lows
 

wreckmarkT

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,438
I tried one with the same speaker a couple of years ago and I was amazed at the low end and smooth tones coming from that little box. Great clean and overdriven sounds, but when turned up that speaker had the worst cone cry I'd ever heard. I would have bought it and experimented with speaker, but had something else calling at that time.
I just may need to revisit that amp!
 

Figaro

Member
Messages
13,607
The WGS G12C/S that I tried didn't have the high end sparkle but it had the low end. Because it's missing that high end, maybe that affected the thump sound you were looking for. It is definitely the wrong speaker for Merle Haggard/country sounds.
 
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bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,808
So why would a Jupiter 10sc and 10lc in a PRRI have more of that thump? They're made by WGS too and they're 10" speakers...

I had no issues with the reverb, tremolo or the smoother highs. Sparkle and thump were both lacking
 

Figaro

Member
Messages
13,607
The G12C (without the "S") with more high end would definitely be a better choice for the Merle Haggard/country sound. The high end contributes a lot to the snappy, percussive sound you're looking for. The "S" means it has a smooth cone instead of a ribbed cone.
 
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spayne99

Member
Messages
420
So why would a Jupiter 10sc and 10lc in a PRRI have more of that thump? They're made by WGS too and they're 10" speakers...

Not entirely sure, but I wonder if some of that 10" thump is related to the faster attack you get from a 10" speaker. In a 12" it's more like "presence" vs "thump".
 

Spoonful

Member
Messages
206
Had a VS20 head and cab for a while. Replaced the WGS c/s right away. Think I put in a Jensen C12N. The cab was very large compared to a Fender DRRI combo cabinet. That may have contributed to bass I was getting out of the VS20. I had to keep the bass dialed down under 2. I did manage to get some of that wonderful Princeton sparkle out of the Jensen, but had to dial the treble around 7. That smooth cone in the WGS c/s never got anywhere near that Princeton sparkle. I'm sure Rick has a reason for using that speaker, but it wasn't for me.
 

Unadan

Member
Messages
3,865
Seems like a lot of people "had" a Vintage Sound amp. I see a lot of posts indicating this every time a VS thread pops up. Not doubting their build quality but wonder if they really sound any better than the Fender reissues.
 

coltranemi2012

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,068
Seems like a lot of people "had" a Vintage Sound amp. I see a lot of posts indicating this every time a VS thread pops up. Not doubting their build quality but wonder if they really sound any better than the Fender reissues.
To me yes
 

Mojoworkin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,171
Seems like a lot of people "had" a Vintage Sound amp. I see a lot of posts indicating this every time a VS thread pops up. Not doubting their build quality but wonder if they really sound any better than the Fender reissues.

I "have" a Vintage Sound 22SC. Sounds noticeably better than the reissues! Also have the G12CS. Nicely matched speaker. Plenty of great BF tone, plenty of thump, plenty of everything I'm looking for. This amp is a keeper!
 

neteraser

Member
Messages
1,993
It could be anything. It takes years to discover what makes a Fender amp electrically. And even then you can't beat Fender without investing another $300k into metallurgical research and stuff. That is the reality which will have mercy on no boutique builder, be it me or you.
That said, boutique amps can be better (more reliably) built, easier to fix, offer new features which are absent in vintage amps or reissues, offer better customer support etc. And finally, they could please some ears more than the Reissues, for what reason I can only guess (EDIT: probably because of keeping the original layout), but for many companies that is the optimistic part of the reality. :) I really hope this trust won't be gone as we more forward in time. Again, because vintage amps would deteriorate, will need careful restoration or a fine substitution, and so on...
 
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