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.
The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time
Nick Beggs and The Mute Gods Release Music Video For New Single (WATCH)
Ernie Ball Music Man Announces 30th Anniversary StingRay5 Bass
This Week in Free Stuff: Producer Competition Pack & Ableton Beat Tools
How Glitch-Hop/Dubstep Producer Mr. Bill Masters His Music
This Week in Free Stuff: Vocal, Neurostep and SFX Samples
EMIKO - The Musical Traveler on Her New Release “Simple Love”
UVI UVS-3200 Captures the Analog Sound of the Vintage Semi-Modular Korg PS-3200
Pyramind Launches a Global Music Mentorship Network
Les Paul or Lucille? Check Out This Solidbody vs. Semihollow Guitar Comparison
James Hetfield Tells Why He’s Against Fixing the Bass on ‘…And Justice for All’
Kurt Cobain’s Vintage Late-Fifties Hagstrom Deluxe Is on eBay
Royal Thunder Premiere New Music Video for "April Showers"
Actor Bill Paxton Dead at 61
Soundgarden Announce North American Headline Tour
'Whiskey & Wimmen: John Lee Hooker's Finest' Coming March 31
Learning Triads from Jimi Hendrix
Play Like Yngwie Malmsteen: How to Master the "Sevens" Mechanic
Copyright ©2017 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