IT’S TOUGH FOR MUSICIANS TO MAKE A LIVING IN THIS economy. One thing that helps is diversification; the more skills you have, the more opportunities to rake in some cash. With electric guitar gigs harder to come by and paying less, if you can play some acoustic and some bass, so much the better. Unfortunately, the same economy makes investing in three amps—electric, acoustic, and bass—difficult. Peavey attempts to solve all this with the very affordable Vypyr VIP 3 Variable Instrument Performance amplifier, which uses 32-bit, floating point SHARC processors and Peavey’s TransTube analog circuitry to model various electric, acoustic and bass amplifiers, as well as a host of instrument and effect models.
Despite all the bells and whistles, the Vypyr proved easy to navigate with minimal manual perusal. The LCD screen uses essentially two windows: Select and Edit. Once I acclimated to the system, it was simple to fill the first slot in the chain with an Instrument model such as acoustic, 12-string, 7-string, baritone, resonator, electric violin, or bass guitar; or a Stompbox like chorus, phaser, flanger, boost, drive, fuzz, ring modulator, slicer, or synth. I could then choose among amps modeled along the lines of Marshall, Vox, Boogie, Fender, and, of course, Peavey, for the second position. The Effects section—placed post amps in the signal chain—included pitch shifting, reverse, flanging, and chorus.
Most of the effects sounded warm and analog. However, as with many programmable devices, it was necessary to tweak the largely over-saturated and effected presets. After spending a little time doing this, I found the amps to be dynamic and tube-like in the low- and medium-gain channel modes. If your style requires lots of sustain, you can find all you need and more in the high-gain channels.
Through the USB port I was able to record directly into Ableton Live. This shuts off the actual speaker and kicks in the non-adjustable speaker and mic modeling. The results were quite realistic and the latency was astonishingly minimal. Even at maximum amp levels, however, the relative volume of the input was a little low.
The Vypyr’s full-range speaker brought out the distinctive voices of all the amps modeled, as well as delivering the highs necessary for acoustic sparkle on a Loar LH250 with a Baggs M1 soundhole pickup, and the low-end thump of a Danelectro Longhorn bass. The electric section also responded naturally to my Epiphone Les Paul and Fernandes S-type guitars, providing plenty of clean headroom for country and funk, and plenty of distortion for crunch rhythm and solos. All considered, the Vypyr could be just the thing if you’re looking for one amp that can handle all the instruments you gig with.
PRICE $299 street
CHANNELS Three virtual channels
CONTROLS Preset, Instrument/Stomp, Amp/Tuner/System, Effects, Pre Gain/Parameter1, Low/Parameter2, Mid/Delay Feedback, Hi/Delay Level, Post Gain/Reverb Level, Master Volume, Power Sponge, Tap Tempo.
POWER 100 watts
EXTRAS Bi-directional USB ports, Data, MIDI, Audio recording out to computer. Optional Sanpera II foot-controller accesses Looper.
SPEAKER One 12" custom voiced modeling speaker
WEIGHT 29.4 lbs.
KUDOS Effective Swiss Army knife for tripling on acoustic, electric, and bass. Great-sounding dynamic amps and classic-to-avant effects. Easy to use. Great value.
CONCERNS Recording level is low. Can’t overdub loops.
1,000 Musicians Gather to Play Foo Fighter's "Learn to Fly" in Cesena, Italy (VIDEO)
Gary Clark Jr. Prepares to Release New Album and Hit the Road With Bassist Johnny Bradley
Bassist Mike Visceglia Releases Track From Upcoming Duo Album (LISTEN)
TRENDING: Watch Lollapalooza Live Online
Amsterdam Dance Event Announces First Acts
Zero-G Releases 'Desert Tracks' Library
Sync those scales for better bebop solos
Eventide H9 Max reviewed: definitely not just for guitar
5 ways to play like Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran
Hear Brad Gillis on New Edition of “No Guitar Is Safe” Podcast
ESP Guitars Adds Exotic Koa Tops to LTD Deluxe “1000 Series” Models
Joe Satriani Showcases His New Ibanez JS25ART Limited-Edition Guitars
Lamb of God Featured on the Cover of Next Issue of Revolver — Read an Excerpt from the Cover Story
Viral Video: Things Fangirls Say to Musicians
Pop Evil Premiere New Song, “In Disarray”
Guitar World's 11 Essential Thrash Metal Albums
Iwrestledabearonce Premiere "Green Eyes" Playthrough Video — Exclusive
Guitarist Lee Ritenour Discusses His New Album, ‘A Twist of Rit’
Copyright ©2015 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470