Jump to content
 

Ampeg VL Series Discussion Thread


Recommended Posts

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!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

comparison of photo of the original plate from twitter with a scan of my replica:

i'll post a pic of mine installed once my amp gets back from being retubed and cleaned up.

@Ry-Bread In 1995, Tom replaced the Ampeg logo plate with this custom 'blink' logo plate on his VL-1002, pre-dating the '-182' addition to the band name. You can see it throughout videos from 1995 unt

Posted Images

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.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
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 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
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 😁

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...
43 minutes ago, daveyjones said:

@Q182 / @blinkstillrules is it me or are there no VL-1002s to be found anymore? and if they are listed, they're like way over a grand? WTF happened? the best 90s punk guitar tube head went from being scored for a few hundred bucks to... vanishing.

I haven't been looking tbh but I'm not surprised. I think we resurrected demand. I get messages a lot on instagram, reddit and youtube about them for early blink tone.

 

I guess the cat's out of the bag.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Burgersandcole said:

Got the ampe back and it was working fine, had band practice. In the middle of band practice the volume starts getting super low and then high and making a hissing sound. I end up replacing all the pre amp tubes and it’s still doing it. Ima just send the thing to lee jackson. 

Might have cold solder joints. Any tech can fix that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, daveyjones said:

@Q182 / @blinkstillrules is it me or are there no VL-1002s to be found anymore?

I really think the three of us somehow reignited the hype for these amps, which is crazy to believe. I’ve also been asked a few times in the past about them regarding the blink sound. I still search them up every now again but like you said, nothing turns up. And when they do, they’re ungodly expensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Q182 said:

I really think the three of us somehow reignited the hype for these amps, which is crazy to believe. I’ve also been asked a few times in the past about them regarding the blink sound. I still search them up every now again but like you said, nothing turns up. And when they do, they’re ungodly expensive.

Yeah its kinda crazy, there’s like none anymore. There’s one on gc for like 600, i think, but thats like it. But i legit got mine cause of this forum, i like found this forum cause i was researching the amp 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Burgersandcole said:

Yeah its kinda crazy. I legit got mine cause of this forum, I found this forum cause i was researching the amp 

That’s my prediction. Enough people going after the early blink sound saw all the info about the amp on this board and knew to go out and get one. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/18/2020 at 5:36 PM, Q182 said:

And when they do, they’re ungodly expensive.

funny thing. one was just posted like, only two days ago. $700 is still a lot imo. but it is tom's year and original owner. it's been lee modded. great shape, and even has the key (most don't): https://reverb.com/item/35830727-ampeg-vl-1002-1994

EDIT: aaaaaaand it's gone.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/18/2020 at 10:09 PM, daveyjones said:

funny thing. one was just posted like, only two days ago. $700 is still a lot imo. but it is tom's year and original owner. it's been lee modded. great shape, and even has the key (most don't): https://reverb.com/item/35830727-ampeg-vl-1002-1994

EDIT: aaaaaaand it's gone.

Damn I might have snagged that if I saw this sooner. That guy is only 2.5-3 hours away from me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...