||Download Example 1
Dlx model, green channel (clean); Pregain 2:00; Bass 12;30; Mid 12:30; High 1:00; Post Gain 12:30; no reverb or delay. Guitar Vol at 10, Tone at 8.
||Download Example 2
Plx model, red channel (dirty); Pre Gain 3:00; Bass 1:30; Mid 12:00; High 12:00; Post Gain 2:00; no reverb or delay. Guitar Vol at 10, Tone at 8
|UNK Standard in bridge position into Peavey Vypyr 60, close mic’ed with SM57 and run into a ProSonus Audiobox and Cubase 4. Guitar by Randall Davis.
|Click here to listen to our latest Amp Room podcast interview with Peavey's General Manager of Product Development, Fred Poole
Although Peavey has been working diligently for decades to make solid state amps sound like tube amps, last year’s release of the company’s ReValver modeling software seemed to signal a real technological breakthrough—the modeled sounds were so good, and recreated in such technical depth, that it seemed like one company had finally cracked the code to realistic, three-dimensional amp models.
It should be no surprise then that Peavey’s latest generation of combos are packed with the company’s slickest modeling technology yet—the Vypyr line features Peavey’s now mature TransTube technology and a blazing 32-bit floating point processor—but it may be surprising that the Vypyr has not managed to completely slay the valve. The Vypyr 60 and 120 models include a full complement of preamp and
power tubes to provide the “feel” that’s been missing from so many other attempts at modeling. And while that hybrid approach isn’t completely new, Peavey’s execution is, meaning the Vypyr may very well be the first modeling amp to win a spot in your gear room.
Welcome to Your Spaceship
From the very start, it’s obvious that Peavey wants us to think of the Vypyr not as just another modeling amp (yawn), but a technological step forward (yeah!). The Vypyr Tube 60 is packed with a lot of powerful technology, but it’s the amp’s face that really delivers that futuristic message. Turning on the amp triggers an epilepsy-inducing lightshow on the front panel (this can be disabled), with the red and green LEDs surrounding each “encoder” (not knobs) dancing wildly until you plug into the input jack. I felt like I was on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, which, depending on your particular sensibilities, is either a very cool or entirely unnecessary thing.
And while having LEDs instead of numbers and lightweight encoders instead of beefy knobs initially felt a little alien, it’s a quick adjustment once you see how it all works together. Because the Vypyr includes so many tonal options the front face needs to be flexible. It works like this: your first three knobs from the right of the input—
Stompboxes, Amp and Effects—control the main functions of the amplifier, and are ordered to simulate the order in which you would run a regular rig. Pressing either the Stompbox or Effects encoder will bring you into edit mode, and you’ll see the LEDs encircling the next group of encoders—Pre Gain, Low, Mid, High, Post Gain—switch instantly to represent the parameters of the effect you are editing, along with the amp’s Delay and Reverb settings. Press it again to return to your amp’s controls, or hold it down to bring up the Vypyr’s built-in tuner. Press the Amp encoder to switch between “channels,” and you’ll similarly see your LEDs change to reflect the different settings.
All in all, it’s a pretty slick and surprisingly easy to use interface, and the stompbox/effect editing process is as straightforward as it can be. A line of Bank and Preset selection buttons are positioned underneath the three main encoders and allow you to quickly store any of your settings with just a touch of the button, much like a car stereo. And while this should do the trick for the average user who will just fiddle with the thing each time they play, power users will definitely want to upgrade to the Sanpera I or Sanpera II foot controller, which makes all of the patch business a lot easier (more on this momentarily).
All the flashing lights in the world mean nothing if the tone’s not there, and I’m proud to report that the Vypyr 60 does not disappoint on this front. Backed by 60 watts, the 12 included amp models are all generally solid and include two channels; amps that don’t normally include a second channel have been given an additional “hot-rodded” circuit to choose from. Peavey has also painstakingly recreated the EQ sections of each amp model so that that they react as they would in real life, giving the Vypyr some definite tweaker cred.