Combo, preferably. If not, then including speakers, which I don't think would be possible.

Anyways, some information:

I'm a newbie guitar player. I've been playing for a few months (like 3...? 3 and a half maybe?)

My amp is a bit... well... bad, in my opinion. I'm not going to say it's terrible, because it gets the job done, I just don't think it's for me. I don't know, I'm a newbie, so I don't really know what I'm talking about. It's a Crate GX-15R.

Anyways, I'm considering upgrading, but don't have a lot to spend and I don't even really want to spend the $200 in the first place, but will if it means I'll get more enjoyment out of playing.

I'm interested in learning a lot of different genres and styles of music, but what I find myself playing most (at least currently) when just messing around is Surf, or at least Surf-esque music. I also play mostly in my bedroom, about 65% of the time with headphones, 35% without.

I've been thinking about the Peavey Vypyr series*, but wasn't sure. Mostly considering the Vypyr VIP 1 or VIP 2. Mostly considering them since they can be used for bass guitars too, which I am thinking about eventually picking up as well.

Questions on those specific models:

1. Do they have good reverb...? Like, will it produce the surf sound well?

2. I've heard Peavey is typically good for metal and other high-distortion sounds. Would I need to buy an after-market effects pedal to get good distortion? (I'm interested in branching out genre-wise, but can't really do so atm because my amp is a bit bad.)

3. Is a 40w too loud for me? Does wattage even correlate to volume?

I'd test it out at a local music store in person, but I'm a bit embarrassed demoing guitars and amps in person due to being so new. According to my sister's boyfriend, who's been playing for about 6 years, I'm doing pretty good for how long I've been playing. I also kind of feel bad that I'm considering ordering it used online if I enjoy it and not from the music store. Would it be worth it to just suck it up and test it out in person?

Also, sorry for any questions that may seem stupid. Remember, I'm new to this lol.

*I realize this is like the 3rd thread about the Vypyr VIP amps on the front page alone. Sorry, but I felt the others didn't really fit to my situation and also wasn't sure about this forum's policy on thread-hijacking. (which is typically frowned upon)
Last edited by JellyJiggler at Jun 21, 2014,
Don't get the VIP-1. You'll be in the spot you are now. The VIP-2 can be used indefinitely as a practice or backup amp, due to the wattage and speaker size. The 1 cannot.

1) Yes. The reverb on the VIP is really good, it'll do surf spring verb no problem.

2) People associate "Peavey" with "6505" and think that's all they do. Disregarding or ignorant of amps like the Classic, VTM or Butcher. Etc..

No, you absolutely do not need aftermarket pedals with the Vypyr. That would defeat the purpose of the amp a bit. You should absolutely get a Sanpera of some sort though. A used Sanpera 1 with a used VIP-2 should still keep you under or just about $200.

3) There isn't really such thing as an amp that is flat out "too loud". That's why amps have volume knobs, to let you dial the volume in to where you need it. Solid state modeling amps such as the Vypyr have gotten pretty good at this trick (that's been around for the past 40 years, btw). I'm not sure if I'd say so about the VIP, but the Vypyr Tube 120H I had for a while was notable to me for having the best volume control I've ever used. The master volume and post gain channel controls can be dialed in to a whisper, and it still sounds great there.

Wattage is moreso a measurement of headroom - how loud you can turn the amp up before it starts distorting. Note that we're talking about the power amp here. Not distortion that you get from the preamp. Don't worry about not being able to get distortion, this is a different issue we're discussing. Power amp distortion on a solid state amp is typically a very bad sounding thing. In the case of solid state amps, you always want more wattage. You never want your power amp to break up. Because it sounds awful. You want your power amp to stay clean, and let your preamp do all of your tone shaping (clean, distortion, EQ, etc.). This is also why you see a lot of professional solid state amps (Line 6, Randall, stuff like that) rated at 300W.

Don't feel embarrassed at the store! We all had to start somewhere. And playing gear in person is absolutely the best and fastest way to expand your knowledge. Take what you read here, and go to the store to see if you notice the same things in the gear you play. See if you form your own differing opinions. It's all good, and at the end of the day, you're the one who is right, and you know best what is best for you.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Jun 22, 2014,
Surf guitar? Get a Fender amp. Best bang for the buck is probably a Mustang. A Super Champ X2 sounds better to my ears for Surf tone but is around $350.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY