Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: Online trade
Sound — 8
"I've never heard a Line 6 that sounded like that!" "It's not tube?!" "You can get the head and floorboard for $500?!" "It's a spaceship!" Get used to hearing that. It sounds good! I'm not going to BS you guys and say it's like my Dragon, Roadking, Mark IV, Fender Twin, Quickrod, F-100, and an ENGL, Diezel, Matchless, Dumble, and Marshall all rolled into one. Because it doesn't. The tones on the Vetta are modeled after a specific year, make, model, channel, cabinet, range of settings on a typical amp. So when you're on a Mesa MK model, don't expect it to have a Santana smoothness, or great cleans. If you're on a Fender Twin channel, don't expect to get SRV tones when you crank up the gain. There are some models onboard that just plain suck, others need a lot of tweaking, some don't need much tweaking, and some sound great as they are. MOST models have a sweet spot that will give you a good tone, but again, this goes back to the dual amp feature. If you were to demo my settings in mono, it sounds downright bad. All of my channels are setup to where one amp fills in where the other leaves off. If executed properly, you should be satisfied with the Vetta. Currently I'm running the left side through a B-52 412 loaded with V12 Legends, and the right side through a Marshall 1960b and G-Flex. It sounds great as long as I have the left going to the B-52 and right going to the others. Its nothing wrong with the amp, I just have the amps adjusted to sound a certain way out of certain cabs. This amp has great medium to high gains and awesome clean tones. Overdrive is harder to achieve. Generally I run a higher gain model set to low gain with a low gain model set to high gain. You can get studio quality overdrive, however, it's going to be very very specific. By specific, basically your settings are going to give you a good overdrive tone with the guitar volume on 10. You can't really turn the guitar volume knob up to warm it up or dial back the guitar volume to calm it down much. For me being a predominately metal player, the Vetta is great. The cleans are outstanding. The overdrive tones aren't bad with the right setup, but they're definitely not as usable as an organic tube amp either. *For loud/live playing, gigging, jamming, your channels might not sound "great" or won't cut through the mix as well. I use the first 2 sets of 4 channels for my live sound. Usually they have slightly less gain (clarity), higher mids (cut the mix), and relatively equal volumes on full tilt.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a variety of music but most of my time is spent playing metal. I have a variety of guitars ranging from single coil fenders, to the RG2228. In my experiences, the Vetta dislikes single coils. I get a much better tone with humbuckers. It seems like it prefers higher output pickups over lower output pickups. The EMG 81, 85, 89, and 808 sound great through it. I have considered buying another Vetta II and keeping it in storage in case this one were to ever die. I assume there really is no repairing a dead Vetta. It's not that I don't trust the reliability of this amp... I don't really trust the reliability of the badge on the front. I will say I am looking for an all purpose 18-50 watt tube amp because I do miss tubes. And I want something easier to transport than a head and 3 cabinets. For the price you can get a Vetta II for now ($400-$750), I highly recommend them. It's lasted me 3 years now and the guy before me 2 more years, and I hope it lasts at least 5 more. Many of my friends are impressed with it, and I'm still impressed with it. If you like tweaking your tone, having a ton of tones, in a relatively easy to use package, the Vetta gets a solid 8 in my book.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've never had an issue with the reliability of this amp. It has started making a buzzing sound when left on for a couple minutes. It isn't buzzing through the speakers, just the electronics. One time the floorboard cut out on me, after opening it up I realized a ribbon cable was disconnected... Easy fix. On two different occasions this head has fallen at least 5 feet, once on carpet and once on concrete. I expected the worst both times and it's still kicking. Additionally, we had a water issue in our house and the head got drenched with the power cable in (turned off though). I would have put it in a bag of rice but ziplock doesn't make one big enough... Regardless... It worked. I've heard of them having system failures from the 2.5 update, screen turning to 1's and 0's, or having typical wear and tear malfunctions. So far mine has more than exceeded my expectations for reliability. I give my Vetta 2 a 10 in this category, but because I've heard of quite a few others having more severe issues, I'm going to give it a 8 for slightly above average reliability.
Features — 10
Before we get started: Over the past several years I've owned a Mesa F-100, Mark IV, Roadking, Framus Dragon, and Splawn Quickrod as my main, frontrunning amps. All of them except the Framus Dragon and Roadking developed issues from normal wear and tear, shipping, and transporting them around. I'm usually very careful with my gear but repairs and replacement tubes were getting expensive (almost $200 for a complete change on the Roadking). I enjoy amps that have a lot of different sounds and you can tweak for days. I didn't want something that I would have to carry around over $1,000 in stompboxes and effects with me whenever I go play somewhere. I wanted something I could control with one pedalboard without having to get some fancy MIDI system and floorboard. And I wanted something that didn't require $200 in new tubes every 2 years. I ended up trading away my Framus Dragon for the 300 watt Vetta 2 head and floorboard. Now on to the features: Many reviewers have already mentioned several of the amps features and you can easily find the complete list on Line 6's website so I'm just going to highlight some of my favorite features. - Dual amp modes. Being able to choose between any 2 of about 100 models onboard is awesome. This allows you to choose a models that complement one another. In doing so, there is no excuse for a player unable to dial up a tone that is not only full but clear. - Half and full power mode (head only). You're not forced to live with the full 300 watts all the time with this head. Using half power mode allows you to play in the quietest of bedrooms to the loudest of stages. - Onboard effects. This includes the basic chorus, phaser, tremolo, delays, as well as a pitch shifter (think whammy pedal), octaver, wahs, reverse delays, EQs, compressors, noise gates... And they're all every bit as adjustable as a comparable stompbox. Additionally, its very easy to change the arrangement of the pedals, such as having an overdrive before amp 2, chorus behind amp 1, and delay after both, or any other order you can think of. Up to 3 stompboxes can be engaged on the fly, and you also have access to reverb, delay, tremolo, and modulation on the fly as well. And all of these settings can be saved (either in the on or off position) so when you switch to a channel with all of them you don't have to worry about everything being on/off at the same time. - 2 banks of 16 sets of 4 channels. All in all, 128 channels, only 64 of which you can actually adjust. - Ability to be updated**** I love the idea that it can be upgraded through a software update. However, Line 6 hasn't really improved it at all since V2.5. There is the Armin mods which remove the oversaturation of gain on many of the models and renames the models to the real life counterpart (California Treadplate = Mesa Boogie Rec) And the best thing is it is very easy to use. For an amp with 32 buttons, 16 knobs, banks and banks of settings, features, and adjustments, it's fairly simple to use. Sure, it's going to take you about 10-45 minutes to make a great sounding channel, but it sounds great. I don't like to give out 10's across the board but this amp deserves it. There are very few amps, or amp simulators out there that offer as much as the Vetta 2.