#1
Since i started gigging more often, and for some time now, i had been thinking of changing amps from my Laney LV300H head and Crate 4x12" halfstack to something smaller and lighter, easier to transport.
I wanted a 1x12" or 2x12" combo with great cleans to be the foundation of my tone, while my pedals would complement the amp. And while i was at it, why not make the jump from hybrid to full tube?
So i had my eyes set on a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, but it was taking a while to save up money for a brand-new one since they're a bit expensive (around 850&euro, and even though i was looking, used ones weren't popping up around here.

A couple of months ago, a friend who was looking for the same kind of amp for himself called me up since he had found an interesting amp and wanted my opinion on it.
I liked it so much that i went and looked for one to buy for myself a few days later. As luck would have it, Thomann was selling them (and still is) at a silly price.











So i got me a brand-new Ampeg GVT52-112.

It's a 2-channel, open back combo, with a 12" Celestion Seventy 80 speaker.
It has three 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6GC power amp tubes.
It's switchable between 50 watts (tetrode) and 25 watts (triode).
It has a Baxandall EQ, spring reverb, effects loop, and a few speaker output options (1 x 16 ohm, 2 x 8 ohm and 2 x 4 ohm).
Included came a 2-button footswitch for channel selection and boost on/off. There's an extra footswitch available for purchase to turn on/off the effects loop and reverb.


The amp looks very nice, it has a kind of vintage, old-school vibe. It seems well-built, sturdy and reliable.
The only complaint i have about its looks is that the brushed aluminum front panel gets smudged very easily by natural skin grease. Even for me, and not only i have very dry skin, i'm a bit compulsive about keeping my hands clean.

As far as sound goes, the channel 1 is really similar to a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.
Brilliant cleans, absolutely gorgeous, and it remains very clean even cranking the preamp and/or power amp tubes. When cranked you get some orgasmic-sounding tube breakup, but not even a "crunch".
The spring reverb really shines on this channel, adding a slight, very pleasant shimmer in the lowest settings, and being insanely huge in the higher settings, getting a very cathedral-like reverb. I'd say the spring reverb on this Ampeg is better than the one in the Fender HRD -- it doesn't sound as "washey", or "surf-ey".
The channel 1 is definitely "Fender-y", but without sounding overly bright, trebly or harsh as sometimes Fenders can be.

I throw my pedals in front of the channel 1, and it takes them perfectly. This makes the amp very versatile for my needs, because if the channel 1 by itself gives me Fender-type cleans, my CMAT MODS Signa Drive makes it sound "cranked Marshall-esque", and my Dr. Boogey throws it into Dual Rectifier distortion territory.
All the while keeping a very characteristic tone -- it always sounds like itself and it doesn't get "masked" with the pedals, which is something that i love.

Channel 2 is, of course, the drive channel.
I wouldn't call it an overdrive or distortion, it is more of a fuzz. A fuzz with, again, a kind of vintage, old-school vibe.
This isn't a high-gain amp. Cranked, channel 2 gives you a massive, roaring fuzz, perfect for The Smashing Pumpkins, or Jack White's stuff, for example.
I don't use channel 2 very often because, as i said before, i prefer to run the clean channel with my pedalboard in front.


Now, about the Baxandall EQ. It has your standard treble, mid and bass knobs, with separate EQs for each channel.
I don't know the technical details about said Baxandall EQ, but in practical terms, here's what i found: it takes some time to dial in the EQ properly.

Right out of the box, all the settings at noon? Meh. Usable, but the amp itself lets you feel it could sound much better.
Is it easy to dial a great tone right away? No.
It takes some time to get to know how each EQ knob affects your tone, and then you have to find the sweet spot for what you're looking for. And sometimes, the sweet spots are in the extremes of the knob range.
It certainly delivers, there are infinite fabulous tones in the amp, and it's extremely rewarding to really get to know how this EQ works. But it's not an amp for people who don't like adjusting EQs.


The gain, volume and master volume knobs are great. They let you give different "flavours" to the amp, based on how much you're pushing the preamp and/or power amp tubes.
They also give you immense control over the volume of the amp. You can run it at bedroom levels very easy, even on the 50 watts (full) mode. Of course, it won't sound nearly as good as when you let it scream, but what would you expect?


Overall, this is a fantastic amp. Nothing short of awesome.
It's been almost 2 months of using it, and it's definitely a keeper.
Also, for 500€ it was a bargain. The Ampeg GVT52-112 is usually more expensive than a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, but for some reason Thomann is selling them really cheap.

Now, a few more pictures...










And finally, a bit of show-off, LOL. My rig until last year, 2012...




...and my rig right now, after the overhaul it's been through the last few months.

Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#2
HNAD! I love posts like these because it definatly proves that you dont need a 100 watt head and 4x12 cabinet to play shows. Not that im knocking the big rigs by any means, but i too have learned how over kill they can be espescially for smaller pub shows. Enjoy the new setup, both your ears and your back will thank you.
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100 Silver anniversary edi.
Marshall JCM900 4100
Line 6 flextone 2 head
Marshall 1960b Cabinet
Carvin G412 Cabinet

1976 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Deluxe
1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender MIJ Strat
Fender MIM Strat
#3
nice
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
HNAD. I also like the new look of your Squier and your pedal board.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
Quote by TheCalvinator
HNAD! I love posts like these because it definatly proves that you dont need a 100 watt head and 4x12 cabinet to play shows. Not that im knocking the big rigs by any means, but i too have learned how over kill they can be espescially for smaller pub shows. Enjoy the new setup, both your ears and your back will thank you.

Thanks!
Yep, that's true.
50 watts tube is more than enough for most needs. For bigger venues, you'd have to mic everything up anyway.
It's funny, i was a bit fearful of missing my 4x12", but i don't. Sure, the way it spread the sound much more was pretty cool, but i can't say i miss it. The Ampeg is doing an amazing job.

Quote by Dave_Mc
nice

Quote by ryanbwags
More stage space and your back will definitely thank you. Well done, sir!

Quote by cdr_salamander
HNAD! Ampeg makes some sleek looking amps!

Quote by deadsmileyface
Nice dude!

Thank you very much!

Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
HNGVTD




I like the look of the brushed aluminum. Good looking amp.

Thank you!
And i agree.
When my friend told me about it, i first researched the amp online and, judging by the pictures i saw, i thought "what an ugly amp". The knobs, in particular, looked very weird.
But in person it looks extremely good, it's a very classy-looking amp.

Quote by MaggaraMarine
HNAD. I also like the new look of your Squier and your pedal board.

Thank you!
If you want to see their build threads, click the "VCM" on my signature for the Squier and the "DIY" on the Beavis Devolt for the pedal board.

Quote by Ippon
Sweet! Something very different. Congrats!



That was one of the things that i especially loved about this amp when i tried it and that made me go and buy one ASAP.
As i said, the clean channel is pretty similar to a Fender HRD, which is what i was going for initially, but at the same time has its own identity, it's own character, and that character's definitely different than what most people use nowadays.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#12
awesome.

crank the piss out of the clean channel and shove a tele through it and it's instant rolling stones tone.

#13
nice! like that signa drive! what setting on the signa do you use?
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#15
Quote by gregs1020
awesome.

crank the piss out of the clean channel and shove a tele through it and it's instant rolling stones tone.


Quote by gregs1020
great job on the squier too.

Thank you very much!

I've been (already... ) thinking about the next purchase, and it could be a 3rd guitar. And coincidentally, i'm torn between a Squier Classic Vibe 50's Tele and some sort of semi-hollow, like an Epiphone ES-339 or Casino.
I love Telecasters, and i'll definitely have to own one someday. But i think that, right now, the semi-hollow would broaden my tonal range more than the Tele. What do you think?

Quote by ikey_
nice! like that signa drive! what setting on the signa do you use?

I'm constantly messing with it, since it's a very versatile overdrive.
One moment i'm using it as a clean booster (gain at 9 o'clock, level almost maxed out) to push the tubes harder, the next i'm using it as a standalone overdrive over the clean channel (gain between 1 o'clock and 4 o'clock, level knob adjusted to match the clean signal when the pedal is off)...
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112
#17
Quote by Ippon
Get both? Duh?

I'd like to, but "my pockets aren't deep, bro" (e-cookie for reference ).

Eventually, i'll own both the Tele AND a semi-hollow, but there's going to be a pretty large time gap between both purchases, unless i win the lottery.

And to make things worse, i just tried a friend's Gretsch Pro Jet with a licenced Bigsby vibrato, and i LOVED it.
So now, it's between the Squier CV 50's Tele, some sort of Epiphone ES-style semi-hollow guitar, or a Gretsch Pro Jet. Decisions, decisions.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
T-REX Fuel Tank Chameleon
Ampeg GVT52-112