Price paid: $ 270
Purchased from: craigslist
Features: This is an all tube amp from the 80's which I've read can be called Peavey's take on the Marshall JCM800 but with more gain on tap. 120 watts from 4 6L6GC Ruby tubes in the power section make this amp a beast. This is a one channel amp with a front panel as follows:
High gain input, low gain input, pre-gain control, post-gain control, low/mid/high EQ knobs, dipswitch panel which adjusts 2 levels of Gain, Low's, High's, 1 Mid switch and also a Compression switch, Presence knob, Send and Return effects loop inputs, Status and Power lights and finally your Standby and Power switches.
The dipswitch panel mentioned is a very cool feature of this amp, allowing further customization of your tone beyond the basic low/mid/high EQ knobs of most amps. You can mix and match these to search for your ideal tone. In the manual it states that with all switches off it resembles a British voiced amp. For an amp from 20+ years ago it doesn't seem to have fallen behind on the features side of things. And with 120 watts of power, it has more than I'll ever need. // 9
Sound: I play a Schecter C-1+ with a SD Jazz in the neck and Dimebucker in the bridge positions. Needless to say, I mostly play metal which this amp is great for. It doesn't have the modern compressed metal sound you'll find with todays amps but can pull off anything from the 80's through mid 90's. A classic thrash/death metal sound is probably the best you'll get without getting into the world of pedals. This is also very good for rock if you back off the gain a bit. The VTM 120 was used by Kim Thayil of Soundgarden for their "Badmotorfinger" album and has also seen use from the band Baroness if you want an example of just a few of many sounds you can achieve. // 7
Reliability & Durability: Reliability doesn't need to be questioned, this thing is 20+ years old and still screaming. I bought this used a couple months ago and after testing it out was pleasantly surprised with how it sounded. Its a Made in the USA product from Peavey; there isn't any need to worry about it breaking down without some serious neglect and abuse. It weighs roughly 60 lbs and is built like a tank. As long as you replace tubes as needed I don't forsee any problems that could occur that aren't your own fault. // 10
Overall Impression: For my style of music (metal and some rock) this amp is a great fit and perfect for my first all-tube amp. At the price I got it, I doubt I could do any better. There are a lot of options with the amp itself to help customize your tone without investing in a ton of pedals, although I've been told it accepts pedals well. At first I thought I needed a 2 channel amp but now am happy with 1 channel as it stretches my abilities, forces me to adapt and really you can get a nice clean sound just by rolling off the guitar's volume knob. If it were lost or stolen I would be seriously bummed mostly 'cause of the price I was able to get it at! I would probably look into something else partly because I don't see many of these amps around and also because I simply don't need 120 watts of power (although its fun to say you have it). That and I'd go for something that has a more modern sound. But overall I'm very happy with this amp. // 8