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Q182

Ampeg VL Series Discussion Thread

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Welcome one and all to the official Ampeg VL discussion thread! For those that don't know, the VL series was made by Lee Jackson in a partnership with Ampeg, manufactured from 1991 until 1995. The most prolific model in this series is the VL-1002, which was a 100 watt two channel amp head. It was most famously used by Tom DeLonge with his Sticker Strat from 1995 until 1996, and was used to record Dude Ranch as well. This is a thread to share knowledge and settings used by others who own this amp. Here is my rig I put together in early-mid 2016:

image0-5.jpg

My VL-1002 is unit 0043, made in the USA, and left the assembly line in February 1995. My current settings are:

CHANNEL ONE:

- Pre amp: 9 o clock

- Low: a hair before noon

- Mid: between 3 and 4 o clock

- High: 3 o clock

CHANNEL TWO:

- Pre amp: 1 o clock

- Gain: 3 o clock

- Low: a hair before 3 o clock

- Mid: 3 o clock

- FREQ: 4

- High: a hair before noon

Both reverbs are off. Power attenuator is on, the level and presence are maxed out. This amp gets loud FAST, both with the attenuator on and off, my master volume is barely past 7 o clock. Share your settings everyone!

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here's my VL-102: unit 0058 [domestic] manufactured in march, 1993.

bought the head and strat in the summer of 2017:

rig.jpg

i play around with the settings on both channels, and vary the pickups too. for emo-type stuff like motion city soundtrack i'll use the middle duncan on channel 2.  the neck duncan on channel 2 is great for a syrupy 90s alternative sound. that's also usually where i play in drop-D tuning. it's super sludgy, very soundgarden.

channel 1 is great for classic rock, AC/DC type stuff. for this i have low at zero and both mid and high at max. preamp at max.

for punk rock on channel 2, i always have preamp and gain cranked to their "maximum" max (hard bottom right, end of the purple zone). if i want a cheshire-type sound (what i call the jeff forrest doubletime "warm" sound) i have low at zero and mid and high both straight up at six. if i want to play dude ranch, or other skate punk like bad religion or pennywise, max low and max high with zero mid sounds best. it's heavier, meatier, with more bite than the cheshire sound.

i only play through the attenuator as i live in a tri-plex. zero presence, level at about one. as @Q182 points out, it goes from one to like ELEVEN in a hair turn. like from freezing to scalding in a shitty motel shower.

oh, yea no reverb. ever. as lee jackson himself said, he thinks reverb sucks and didn't want it on the amp but ampeg overruled him.

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11 minutes ago, blinkstillrules said:

My VL-1002.

i've thought about a mesa/boogie rectifier. a.) how much did you pay and b.) are they worth the dough for the sound?

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24 minutes ago, daveyjones said:

i've thought about a mesa/boogie dual rectifier. a.) how much did you pay and b.) are they worth the dough for the sound?

So I literally just came home with that a couple of hours ago. It's a Single Rectifier Series 2 and it is awesome.

The Amepg is still my main squeeze. Favorite amp ever, but as you know but for anyone else reading, it's just a juiced up and improved Marshall JCM 800. I prefer the "Marshall" sound over any other amps, one of the reasons I love the tone on DR, but Marshall's don't sound like Boogies, and it's nice to have both, because I do love that Mesa sound too (especially for some 90s punk and hardcore).

I paid under a grand for that head plus a pristine condition Mesa rectifier 4x12 cab with V30s. Same as the one I already had just in better shape. So now I'll sell the old one. The guy wanted $999 for both. I got him down a little. The head alone was worth that much.

They're great amps. If you're looking for Single Rectifiers (they're discontinued), only get a Series 2. I'm told series 1 aren't as good. Definitely shop around, you can score one for a decent price. I like the singles because you get that sound without spending a fortune on tubes.

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44 minutes ago, Q182 said:

Here is my rig I put together in early-mid 2016

did you still want a 'blink' logo plate?

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For sound samples, here is my cover of Wasting Time from 2017:

I also did a full album cover of Green Day's Insomniac but its blocked in the US 🙄 that was one thing I picked up on when I would plug in was how much it sounds like Insomniac to my ears at times, given that record (and Dookie for that matter) were done on modded Marshalls. My current settings reproduce that tone pretty well, especially when I drop my guitar to E Flat tuning.

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On 6/12/2020 at 6:13 PM, blinkstillrules said:

 

image0.jpg.10c53c61fa18f14fa599b9439a50b160.jpg

new poster in the forums, but I just got a ampeg vl502 i've only been playing a year so this is like my second amp and I haven't bought a cab yet but I plan to in the next couple of days this is also my sticker strat replica its pretty beat up though and some of the stickers are in different places cause I thought they looked cooler it's also a squier but i like how it sounds my neck pickup is broken so like literally the bridge pick up only works the middle pickup is super shit sounding too so I usually always just keep it on the bridge pickup the i'm looking forward to playing through ampeg though 

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19 minutes ago, Burgersandcole said:

 I haven't bought a cab yet but I plan to in the next couple of days

i'm looking forward to playing through ampeg though 

Welcome to the boards! Once you complete your rig, you might never need to buy another amp again! You can’t go wrong with a Marshall 1960A or a Mesa 4x12! 

Be sure to explore both channels on this amp. It does a lot more than just old blink and old Green Day 😁

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