Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 7
I really REALLY wanted to like this amp. I tried to work with it, but in the end, I had to return it. I just could not put up with the faults and troubles it has, and I'll tell you why. But first, here's some info to get you acquainted with it. The Peavey Vypyr series was originally released in 2008. This is a review of the 100watt 2x12 combo version. These amps were made in China, and because of this, are fitted with the standard Blue Marvel 12 inch speakers. It is a solid state amp, that uses Peavey's Transtube technology in order to emulate a tube amp. There are 6 amp models designed to simulate popular high gain amplifiers on the left side of the amp knob. These are the Diezel, Krankenstein, Rectifier, 6505, JSX, and XXX. The right side of the knob gives you access to 6 "vintage style" amp models. In short... cleaner. These are the Fender Twin Reverb, Fender Deluxe, Marshall Plexi, Vox AC30, and Peavey Classic 50. Now even though the knob has 12 notches, you actually get 24 amp models, because when you press the knob in, you can toggle between the green channel (less beefy models) and the red channel.(Super beefy models) Additionally, you're given 11 "stompbox" effects, and 11 rack effects. (I won't get into those very much as you can find that info online pretty easily.) As far as EQ goes, you get Pre-Gain, Lows, Mids, Highs, and Post gain. Additionally, you get a master volume, and the power sponge feature. The power sponge allows you to controll the wattage output of the amp. This is NOT the volume, but we'll get to that. You also get an aux port, a headphone port, and a USB port. Again, we'll go over these in a bit. In the back, you get the MIDI footswitch port, and a power input. NO SPEAKER OUTPUT... and that's important. Overall, a pretty solid amount of features... but please keep reading.
Sound — 3
Ok, this is an amp... So this part should be your focus. Let's start with the right side of the knob... Aka the "low gain" amp models. My favorite of these is the Twin. It does do a good job at emulating a twin reverb, BUT ONLY ON ONE SETTING. This applies to all of the low gain amp models. Sure, you can get some good clean tones out of it, but try to crank it up, and it WILL break up very fast. I mean like master volume at 3 fast. To put this in perspective, the Vypyr's volume goes to 13. The EQ is somewhat useful, but you will feel constricted when using it, and that's a big problem for tone junkies like myself. To further elaborate this, on to the high gain models at the left side of the amp...
Again, you can get some ok tones with these, but the thing that makes this unnaceptable for me is the LIMITING. As it turns out, these amp models are not really "models" at all... They're more like pictures. Let's take the rectifier for example... Tries to sound like a popular Mesa Dual Rectifier... But with the presence locked at 3, adn the eq is about as sensitive as a rock. And this is the major downfall of this amp. NO PRESENCE ADJUSTMENT AND THE EQ DOES JACK S***.
I cannot stress just how limiting this is. And yes, there are some amps with no on board presence, but even they have some software or something (usually) to backdoor the problem. And for goodness sake, the eq should matter most of all! But sadly, on this amp, it has barely any effect whatsoever. What's more aggravating is that Peavey actually acknowledges that the EQ is so pathetic in the manual... "Some of the models have more sensitive EQ settings than others, and some have little effect." Really? Try ZERO effect. And the lack of presence makes the amp sound "cold" and dry, meaning there is almost zero saturation to the sound, whatsoever. It literally sounds like a MIDI guitar when you play... Computerized, and with no feeling. Now, I wanted to believe I was being stupid... I wanted to believe that the VYPYR was actually good. So, I mic'ed it against a Fender Mustang 1 V2... My first amp. Guess what... The Mustang sounded worlds better. The VYPYR was stale, and lifeless, much to my dismay. Now, I tried using the direct USB record function... Garbage. Somehow sounds even worse than the amp does live. Then I tried using the headphone jack... I don't think it even simulates a cab. It's that bad. If sound is your priority, please think on this for a while. You don't want to regret this like I did.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Now is it tough? Yeah it's tough! It's a Peavey. It both looks like and can take a beating like a tank. But well, so can a rock... and I could probably get a better sound out of that than the Vypyr 100. It's pretty lightweight for a 2x12... 46 lbs.. but it is definitely strong enough to take a hit. But I'd much rather have an amp that SOUNDS good and needs to be taken care of, than have a beastly tank with the sound of a scratchy chalkboard. The knobs were solid, and I bought it used, so that says something. The grille, however, was real fragile. Overall, would I use it in a gig without a backup? Sure... if I wanted to sound terrible. There's much better out there... even for $200.
Overall Impression — 4
I play everything... Hard rock, metal, blues, funk... you name it. I wish I could say this amp was good at all of them... it is not. It's not even good at one of them. In my opinion, (but this is after all just my opinion) it's not even a jack of all trades and master of none, nor is it a master of one... it's a jack of no trades and a master of none. But, you may find you think differently. Overall, the limits on the sonic adjustment and customization of this amp, coupled with the abrasive tones it made, made me return it, and I do not recommend this amp to anyone.