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Review of the
Behringer V-Amp 2

by Rich the Tweak

Today was the day.  I brought them out of exile, the dusty relics of my past, the skeletons in the Tweak's many closets.  No, not the faded photographs of past significant others, but something almost as dear:  I brought out my guitars.  Shaking my head, in some kind of remorse, wondering why in the world I deserted them after they had served me so well in the past.  The rumors are true.  The Tweak started as a guitarist, playing proms and grimy little taverns on the south side of Chicago. My venture into the recording studio thing started as a way to record my improvisations on guitar.  Somehow, MIDI synths, samplers, drum machines and sound development with digital audio tools put guitars to the side, in the corner, in the living room, then finally to the closets.  Kind of strange that this would happen as guitar is the instrument I play best.  I've used varieties of equipment to record guitars in the past. There's my vintage Silvertone tube amp (which nearly electrocuted me last time I tried it);  I still have my Morely Wah (which sounds like a million florescent lights being turned on at once), Ibanez Ts9 (original TubeScreamer, which I have resoldered more times than I want to recall)), MXR noise gate (with the missing bottom plate) and believe it or not, a Radio shack parametric EQ.  I had a good tone, I thought, maybe two or three actually. 

Behringer VAMP2 Virtual Amplification Processor  Like the already legendary original V-AMP, the V-AMP 2 is based on state-of-the-art amp modeling technology, allowing you to achieve a wide variety of realistic amp sounds without the hassle of miking an amp. To that end, the V-AMP 2 now features twice as many amp models for 32 total, plus 15 original speaker simulations, which can be selected and activated independently of the amp models. Tweak:  it is here in the lab for times when I want to tweak up guitar stuff.  The presets are tremendously varied from clean tweed tones to pure shred, and the FX are quite nice.  Just like a guitar amp there are separate gain and volume controls.  If you are a guitarist but never studied up on making tones with various amps, this little Vamp will give you immediate access to tones you have heard on records. Look for a review as I test mine out. 

Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller No matter what you play, or even if you're an engineer with a MIDI arsenal, you'll appreciate the way our FCB1010 helps you get the most out of your gear without tying up your hands or slowing down your performance. On top of its impressive MIDI functions, it gives you 2 jacks for analog switching and rugged, road-proof construction

Today I finally got some time to plug into the Behringer V-Amp2 which arrived from zZounds a few weeks ago.  I am still in shock. I can't find anything wrong with it.  The tones are simply awesome. I've never heard myself sound so good.  It's a joy to operate, extremely tweakable with quality rotory encoders, fits anywhere, has balanced line outs, footswitch controls, MIDI, Aux in and Headphones out.  And bottom line: It sounds fantastic. It's also really inexpensive.  I keep thinking "what am I missing?"  There has to be something wrong with this; it can't be cheap and be this good.  But it is. The true test of any piece of gear is, when you play it, does it make you want to play more, does it get the adrenalin rushing, can it actually get me out of my studio chair?  :)  Yes, yes and yes. I don't care what any of the Behringer bashers say.  This product rocks me. 

Check out more pictures, the manual, spec sheet and more at Behringer's site

Did you know if you have the original VAMP you can update the firmware to 2.0 and get more  amp models?  True!  Checl out www.v-amp.com

There's a whole lot of free user presets available you can load right into your VAMP

There's 2 editor librarians for the VAMP.  SoundDiver has a module and there is an application called
v-ampdesign which you can download free.  Haven't gotten either to work unfortunately.

Other VAMP/POD Links:

V-AMP Plaza Take a look at the pics of all the various amps in the VAMP2.  Beautiful stuff! 

www.vamp-world.de

Yahoo V-AMP group

Dthraco's POD

I hear you guys. "But did you do a comparison with the Line 6 stuff?  Yep.  6 months ago i had the opportunity to compare the original Vamp with the Pod rack.  I went in thinking I wanted the Pod for my FX rack and was going to get it if I liked it. There were some things about the Pod I really liked.  It looked nicer, the Pod 2.0 could be attached to a Mic stand, had more models.  The Rack version could go in my FX rack, which had no guitar effects processors.  I've heard great things from producers I trust about it, and was on the programming team at Alesis with one of the heads who wrote some of Pods amp models.  Right before I was ready to say, "go get me one" I figured I HAD to try the Vamp just for historical reference in case anyone ever asked me about it..  I figured it was so cheap that it couldn't possibly match the Pod, and it had far fewer amp models at the time. (Now they both have 32). I was looking for reasons why it was not worth the price back then, which was $200.  Then I priced the necessary accessories for the pod and was disturbed that the foot pedals were so high priced. (C'mon foot pedals are not rocket science)  Then I played the Vamp.  I liked it just as much as the pod, and there was a standout tone I really liked and I could not get it on the Pod.  The Vamp was out of stock so I walked out empty handed.

So now its in the lab and connected. The guitar is back within arm's reach.  Let me walk you through some of the V-Amp2's features.

32 Amp models.  Great stuff.  You must go see the pics of these at V-Amp Plaza in the left sidebar. There's the 1960 Fender Tweed, the Marshall JTM45, a Vox AC15, the ever classic Meas Boogie Mark IIc, various Fender Bassman (which were used by guitarists). Tons more.  Gee, all the amps I could never afford when I was playing.  :)  The V-AMP also has custom cabinets.  Getting the idea? You can mix and match Amps and Cabs like you had a semi-truck full of them parked outside the studio.  Except you don't even have to carry them in. 

MIDI Functions  To top all this off, the VAMP 2 has a rather complete MIDI implementation.  As I type this out I am running Logic Audio 5 to see for myself how good the MIDI works.  Yep you can use Logic's automation engine to change lots of VAMP parameters--Amp Gain, Reverb Mix, Gate, drive level, delay time, cab type, reverb type--looks like about 40 or so, plus of course, program change. Indeed, the lights encircling the rotory encoders, twist and turn under Logic's control.  Naturally, I had to run a vocal through the VAMP to see how it sounded.  There are lots of Lo-Fi possibilities, and plenty of knobs to tweak up stuff to float the boat over the mix.

There's more than I have told you.  I have to admit, I am a bit awestruck that this little unit can do so much.   No wonder Behringer thinks it is becoming a cult item. 


 

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