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Dude Ranch Amp Settings?


MBlink182
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10 minutes ago, daveyjones said:

i wasn't sure when they stopped making them.

I was curious about that as well. This Premier Guitar article spells some history and answers why they faded into obscurity:

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Ampeg_Lee_Jackson_VL502

"Innovation is usually what drives the guitar industry, but unfortunately the VL Series (along with many of Ampeg’s other new designs at the time) was relatively short-lived. The single-channel VL501 only lasted through 1992, and the VL1001 was produced through 1993. The 2-channel reverb VL502 and VL1002, along with the 3-channel VL503, were manufactured until 1995. A product’s successfulness can generally be gauged on life span, so the VL Series wasn’t received very well (production numbers were unavailable for the series).


Since Ampeg had been such a traditional and conservative company for so long, many musicians were simply used to that. Why would a guitarist buy a relatively unknown Ampeg VL when companies like Marshall and Mesa/Boogie had established themselves as the builders of high-gain amps?"

That last sentence in the quote I pulled kind of says it all, sadly. Ampeg entered the high gain amp market right at the time when Marshall and Mesa/Boogie already dominated in that field. They just got passed on in favor of the two former. Truly an underrated gem of an amp. 

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On 6/12/2020 at 7:13 PM, daveyjones said:

 i don't know what's up with that second one (the top amp on the whiskey photo), it has a what appears to be a smooth, grey face which i haven't found on any other pictures of VL units:


DML-96.jpg

 

This is a second VL unit, the lighting in this photo makes it look like the control plate is grey. It appears he either had two blink plates made for both amps or swapped one for the other. I can't confirm though if this second one was a 1002 or a 502.

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15 minutes ago, Q182 said:

It appears he either had two blink plates made for both amps or swapped one for the other.

yea that picture is from rehearsal at DML studios sometime in 96 (might be demoing dude ranch tracks or just practicing, not sure). i never saw him play live with only the gray one atop the marshall cab. it was always the black-faced model with purple and white graphic accents (the lower unit in the whiskey photo). so i suspect, up until he was playing with both amps (likely, as you said, in a stereo bridge setup like fletcher), that this second unit was a backup or practice unit. because the only picture of it alone is this rehearsal space shot.

also note the cab in the above shot is the ampeg one designed to be purchased with the VL. as opposed to the marshall 1960 cab which he always played live with during those times. again, with the black-faced VL-1002.

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2 hours ago, daveyjones said:

the VL line was marketed as the cheaper alternative to getting a JCM, for sure.

of interest, btw. can you believe the VL-1002 MRP was like fifteen hundred dollars (in 1993/1994) and that was a bargain! i paid less than $450 for mine in 2017 dollars.

http://www.leejackson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/TQRSep11-AtomSmasher.pdf

You can make a high quality amp in large numbers if it is designed right, and with large production runs your parts costs are extremely low. None of our amps have ever sold for more than $1500.00 retail, and they are easily built to the same standard as any $4000 amp they have been compared to. The VL-Series comfortably fit that model, built with the best parts available and never more than $1500. I was a working artist for many years and I know how important a buck is.

I scored mine for $250!!!

 

People sleep on this amp.

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3 hours ago, Q182 said:

It looks like Tom didn't have much high end in his sound in those days. Bass is maxed out, mid is halfway between 1 and 3 o clock, treble is barely at noon. Pre amp and gain look to be about the same, which is interesting that they're set on the higher side because the X2N is already an insanely hot pickup (the hottest humbucker in DiMarzio's catalog). What shocked me the most though, was how high the master volume was because with or without the attenuator these amps get loud FAST. There's a running joke in the amp world that VL stands for 'very loud', I can barely get mine set at 9 o clock without making myself go deaf.

But we all know the REAL secret to his sound is that RC sticker 🤣 

I'm also interested since he had two Ampeg heads in those days, did he run both heads in a stereo setup (like Fletcher from PW does) or was the second one a backup if the main one breaks down? In this image it appears channel two is engaged on both heads.

I wonder if these settings would match what is heard on Uranus/Lemmings since that show was during 1996?

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On 6/12/2020 at 7:51 PM, daveyjones said:

also note the cab in the above shot is the ampeg one designed to be purchased with the VL. as opposed to the marshall 1960 cab which he always played live with during those times. again, with the black-faced VL-1002.

I wonder which Ampeg came first 🤣 but yeah, I never saw the second VL used singularly live. He did use the Ampeg 4x12 with the 1002 in 1995/1996, watch the Engine Room video.

It's funny; that same 4x12 that Tom originally used ended up being a part of Mark's '96 rig before he traded it for Tom's Mesa/Boogie road ready cabinet. 

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6 minutes ago, Q182 said:

He did use the Ampeg 4x12 with the 1002 in 1995/1996, watch the Engine Room video.

only time i saw it used live was the good times tour. i suspect he didn't want to take the 1960 on the road on their first cross-country van tour; might have gotten damaged or stolen.

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Just now, daveyjones said:

only time i saw it used live was the good times tour. i suspect he didn't want to take the 1960 on the road on their first cross-country van tour; might have gotten damaged or stolen.

I thought the same thing. Those cabs did come with Celestion's however; you could choose from Vintage 30s, G12T-75s, or Ampeg Customs. I think DeLonge used Vintage 30's because @blinkstillrules uses his with a Mesa 4x12 (which always has V30's) and he says his sound is to a science of Dude Ranch.

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1 minute ago, Q182 said:

I thought the same thing. Those cabs did come with Celestion's however; you could choose from Vintage 30s, G12T-75s, or Ampeg Customs. I think DeLonge used Vintage 30's because @blinkstillrules uses his with a Mesa 4x12 (which always has V30's) and he says his sound is to a science of Dude Ranch.

I definitely think V30s but G12T-75s would not surprise me either.

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  • 4 weeks later...

What makes us so sure it was the ampeg on dude ranch? i always thought tom said jcm900 in the studio and from late 98 on live, and mesa rectifier live from 97 onwards. 

Great info here guys, apperciate you sharing 

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10 minutes ago, Depf said:

What makes us so sure it was the ampeg on dude ranch? i always thought tom said jcm900 in the studio and from late 98 on live, and mesa rectifier live from 97 onwards. 

Great info here guys, apperciate you sharing 

Constant tone testing between myself, @daveyjones, and @blinkstillrules The Mesa and Marshall amps didn’t appear until after the record was recorded/released.

Dude Ranch also has a Marshall type-sound, and the Ampeg is a less expensive Marshall on steroids. It was also the only amp DeLonge was using at that time.

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