Vmax review by Randall

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (6 votes)
Randall: Vmax

Price paid: $ 750

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 7
I'm using this amp with an Ibanez VBT700 with DiMarzio Activator pickups and an Ibanez RG560 with EMG 81/SA/SA's. I don't have any effects in the mix currently other than a Boss NS-2. I play metal, all kinds except nu-metal and death. It suits that pretty well if you use the tube channel. The solid state channel is awful no matter how I fiddle with the settings. Very muddy and I never use it. The solid state clean is pretty good. With a Compressor and Chorus added I could probably get a pretty decent sound out of it. The tube channel is very nice. I can get a tone out of this similar to Scott Ian's on "March Of The S.O.D." with no effects, just the built in 6-band EQ and tube voicing and mid-shift engaged. I think the tube distortion is great for the price I paid. I like the sound of this amp better when I play lower tuned stuff like Sabbath or Anthrax through it. I broke my pinkie on my fret hand about a month ago, so I started messing around with some drop C tuning since I'm down to 3 fingers. The low tuned stuff sounds really chunky, thick, and evil. It has great distortion but not what I would call that searing, ultra-crunchy distortion you hear in a Triple Rectifier. This thing is very loud. I have it connected to a Randall 2x12/1x15 cabinet (only one I currently own) and a Behringer 4x12 cab (its a friends). I usually have the master volume at about 5 and you can hear me just fine with drums and bass. At volumes higher than that, it seems to distort, but not in a good way. I would give this a higher rating if I liked the SS OD channel. It has some hum also. This amp doesnt't really sound like anything else. I'm not sure what I would compare it to.

Overall Impression — 8
Its a good match for what I'm doing right now. If it were lost or stolen I probably would not get another because they don't make them anymore. I would probably save up more money and get a 6505+ or TripleRec. I would not have paid retail price for this thing (about$1400). The 6-band graphic eq is very cool. It enabled me to ditch my GE-7. I bought it because of the price and I have always liked Scott Ian's sound. You wont get the '80s Anthrax tone but something more similar to S.O.D. or modern Anthrax. Dan Donnegan uses these things also I think. Anything I wish it had? I think another tube or 2 in the preamp would improve this thing. They could just get rid of the SS overdrive channel. Some people may like the way it sounds but I hate it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Well, this thing is built like a tank and as heavy as one. It has cool recessed handles on each end to carry it and a top handle too. It only has 2 tubes in it. I have not had to do anything maintainance wise with it. Have not gigged it but have played it for hours with no problems.

Features — 9
I'm not sure what year this amp was made. It was replaced recently by the V2 line. This amp is loaded with features. It has a solid-state preamp with a clean and overdrive channel. The other preamp is tube with two Ruby 12AX7's. The power amp is solid state and is 300W. Each channel has gain controls and level controls and 3-band equalization. The tube channel has a switchable gain boost and and "voicing" button that shifts the mid-range frequencies in the tube channel. There are also master volume, density and presence controls. There is a footswitch-able 6-band graphic that can be assigned to any channel you chose. You can use it for the tube channel, solid-state channel or both. The rear has 2 speaker outs, a direct output with level control (I haven't used it), a "cabinet simulator" for direct recording output (have not used), and an effects loop with +4/-10dB switch. The effects loop is not remote controllable by the footswitch.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date