NAD Peavey Vypyr VIP2... one weird amp

Tim E

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I picked up this VIP2 for almost nothing at a pawn shop. As far as I can tell, nothing wrong with it except for one knob replaced.

Verdict? Decent sounds... but not all that fun to use. The way it models seems to be half digital, half analog, relying on the TransTube circuit for all purpose drive/amplification, and a dsp for eq modeling. This part really isn't that bad. If anything, it proves how good the TransTube fundamentally is. If Peavey wanted to, they could probably do all analog modeling a la Sansamp and probably come up with a really good product.

The effects seem to generally be grouped in two ways: before the amp and after the amp. It's an interesting, if somewhat modest, collection of effects. Despite my interest pedals in general, I'm not much of a big effect user outside reverb and maybe tremolo.

Which brings us to weird thing #1: There is only one kind of reverb, and it's got only one control. I'm guessing it's supposed to function like a normal spring amp reverb. It functions fine for me, but I would have expected an amp with a slew of effects to offer a bit more in the way of reverb. Similarly, delay has two semi dedicated knobs separate from the effect controls.

Weird thing #2: It seems to have a non tweakable noise gate that's always on. No choice in the matter whether you like it or not, noise gate is always there. It functions ok, I guess, but I find it distracting sometimes.

Weird thing #3: It's got a million multi color LEDs on the front panel to indicate everything. It's quite a light show, especially when there's nothing plugged in, it gets kind of obnoxious. But for someone like me, who's color blind, multi color LEDs tend to look more like multi dimming LEDs.

It's got multi preset buttons, but some are dedicated to acoustic guitar use and bass use. Which are pretty useless to me. The graphical computer interface seems to work OK, but for my needs, doesn't do anything that can't be done on the front panel. Overall use of the amp can be fiddly due to the encoders being somewhat sluggish (which seems to be a thing on many encoder equipped amps), and having multiple functions. Being color blind doesn't help. Are the amp models good? I dunno, they just have to sound good. And most of them do. This amp is theoretically very flexible. But it has a strange combination of too many options, and not enough, that make it feel really gimmicky to me. There are some reports that trying to do a firmware update bricked some amps. It's not clear that the update would offer all that much, anyhow.

These weren't expensive amps brand new. They do seem ambitious. But ultimately not really my cup of tea. I don't regret buying it, as it was so cheap, but I may end up gifting it to an interested youngster.
 

hemingway

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I have one of the 1st gen Vypyrs, bought it about 12 years ago. I'm guessing it's pretty typical for a modelling amp of that era.

I find it incredibly versatile. The amp sounds are good. The effects sound good. The delay is good.

I tend not to use the more fancy aspects of it. But the bottom line is that it does what I'd expect a Peavey to do. It sounds . . . good.
 

old soul

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I know someone with a 1st gen 30 watter. It's loud and flashy, but seems like no matter what, some mega-flanger is always swooshing in the background. Really strange. So many lights too
 

Skyhook

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I know someone with a 1st gen 30 watter. It's loud and flashy, but seems like no matter what, some mega-flanger is always swooshing in the background. Really strange. So many lights too
tac_vt.gif
 

526THz

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I had a Vypyr 1. It was the amp I purchased when I started to play (again, after some 15 years...). At the beginning I digged it (all flashing lights apart).
At the time I had resumed my 80's and 90's favorites, so I was after heavy metal.
I then started switching to Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, SRV... and I wasn't satisfied with it. But the problem was, I understand it now, the excess of options. And the menus-sub-menus-double click on the pedalboard stuff that I wasn't really fond of.
When I switched to the Orange Micro Terror, with a couple of pedals, I was where I wanted to be...
Sorry, I probably went a little off topic...
 

Tim E

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I expect compromises. The compromises are just weird. I mean, they throw in a synth and sitar and electric violin sound modes, but offer only one reverb setting? And the noise gate doesn't seem to be documented anywhere, not to mention no way to control it.

It's theoretically very flexible, but it's inability to save its settings when turned off, always reverting to its default, whatever it is, is an annoying characteristic it shares with other modeling amps. The kind of thing that robs it of immediacy and joy of use.

But it is a good sounding amp. Like I said, Peavey has proven that the Trans Tube architecture can yield really good results with this combination of analog amplification and digital sculpting.
 

Fiesta Red

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The Vypers had (have?) similar complexity issues as the Fender Cyber-Twin and Cyber-Deluxe—menus and sub-menus and hidden effects and features and “where-the-Hades-is-that-sound-coming-from” problems.

I played through a couple of the Vypers when they first came out. There’s some good sounds deep in there, but it was too complicated for my feeble mind. Other (earlier) digital offerings by Peavey—the Delta Stomp and Delta Rack effects—suffered from the same issue as well, besides some weird digital artifact occasionally popping up.

All were good ideas poorly executed.

I think that’s *part* of the reason why the Fender Tone Master amps are so positively reviewed—it’s a straight-ahead amp that most anybody can dial in a good sound (simple enough for a dullard like me), but with the power scaling and light weight not available in the original designs.
 

Peegoo

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I cannot take these amps seriously.

The whole bucketload (the name, along with the fangs and bat-wings aesthetics of the cabinet) seemed to me to be going after a slice of the vampire craze in movies and TV vampire slayers, Twilight, yadda yadda, at the time. The footswitches are called "Sanpera." Oooh. Spooky! Enigmatic! It was just all a bit too faddish to hold any appeal for me. It's a cartoon product.

Am I way off base here? I realize I often live in my own weird little world, but it all seemed a bit too similar to the craze a few years earlier involving Captain Underpants and Super Diaper Baby, but for grownups.

Okay, time for my medication.
 




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