Check this out! Peavey engineers designed a 40-watt combo amp that features 36 amp models (with separate clean, crunch and lead channels per amp), 25 discrete editable effects, 12 stompbox style effects, 10 different virtual “instrument” models, and the ability to connect a guitar, bass or acoustic. It’s essentially the iPhone of electric instrument amps. Dizzy yet? Relax. It’s perfectly normal when presented with modern, multi-tasking technology such as this—especially if you’re a scabby mouth-breather like us. This month, Gearified drags its knuckles into the computer room and uses a USB cable to make music for the very first time—and we liked it!
The Peavey Vypyr VIP 2 40-watt combo amp actually looks somewhat normal at first glance. It has a black tolex style, semi-ported cabinet to house its 12-inch speaker, silver control face, eight encoder knobs (with level LEDs), a small LCD screen, a separate master volume knob and a few buttons. The Peavey logo rests upper center directly below the control panel, with a handle strap on top.
Under the Hood
This offers loads of versatility inside one box. Luckily, the control scheme is very smart. A previously unimaginable amount of sonic options are available via the eight control knobs. Each knob is an “encoder,” which means it has multiple functions. This facilitates elegant user access to the multitudes of electric, acoustic and bass amp models, effects and instrument simulations. This high-tech terror completes itself with a bi-directional USB port that pipelines MIDI data and audio to and from your computer for purposes of editing presets (via the Vypyr Edit app), tracking your music and practicing to backing tracks.
By adding the optional Peavey Sanpera foot switch controller, users can stack, switch and modulate effects via stompbox-style floor switches and up to two foot pedal expression controllers. The Sanpera also provides instant access to over 400 presets via bank foot switching. This is clearly the way to go if you want to maximize the Vypyr’s all-digital wizard brain.
If the sound isn’t on point, 32-bit, floating-point SHARC processors and TransTube analog circuitry are just fancypants terms. That’s why we plugged our Baphomet-approved Gibson Flying V with Lace Drop & Gain pickups directly into the Vypyr VIP 2 amp for a tonal benchmark to give it a workout.
Knowing what Gearified readers want, we went after the metal sounds right away. Peavey crown jewels—the 6505, 6534, Buddha, XXX and Butcher simulations—all satisfy with clean, crunch and lead channels. The tube simulation is solid enough to not dwell on the gimmick factor, and the lead tones had us drooling in overtime. Effects are easy to customize on the fly. We scarcely read anything on this unit before powering up, yet adjustments were as simple as reading the control labels/LCD display and watching the LEDs on the encoders. The Instrument Simulators all sounded pretty good—more than sufficient for demos, etc. In fact, we feel the entire concept of this piece is to manifest one’s own metallic musical murder with nearly one piece of gear. Additionally, the bass and acoustic amp model and instrument simulations were all on par with the straightforward and impressive metal guitar features.
Peavey has given users the tools to track guitars, basses and acoustics (even 12-strings) directly into a computer-based audio workstation, all in one easy-to-use box. The available sonic palette is vast, versatile and sounds killer—plus the cost is so goddamn cheap, it’s obscene! We have been assimilated!
For more info on this and other fine Peavey products, go to: www.peavey.com