Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use — 8
Read the manual before you attempt to tweak. It is not as user-friendly as other processors I have had in the past. The manual is great at explaining the unit and how to navigate it. It is not easy getting a well sounding patch from the V-AMP. You must tweak and learn the interface before you can achieve a desired sound. After you have read parts of the manual, navigating and editing patches becomes much easier. I believe that I did not have to upgrade any firmware. In fact, there is no USB port so I did not connect to my computer. However, I do believe that there is a way to do so.
Sound — 7
I HAVE PLAYED AN AXE-FX II and have an ELEVEN RACK. KNOW THIS BEFORE READING.
As with any new guitar processor, you will first experience a lot of factory programmed presets. Usually, most of them are bad, even those found on my Eleven Rack. However, with a good ear and patience, you will discover that this unit is surprisingly versatile and sounds decent for an inexpensive price.
I come from a very diverse playing background. Usually, I play prog metal like: Monuments, Periphery, Erra, Meshuggah, etc. However, when I had the V-AMP PRO, I was in a cover band which played the music of Santana, Mana, Los Lonely Boys & Selena. The V-AMP PRO was my primary source of tone during this time.
I plugged the V-AMP PRO straight into the PA System. It would sound great. I enjoyed that it was easy to use and the amp models were decent. Unfortunately, it does not compare to the Axe-FX or Eleven Rack. At first, the sound has a sort of "boxy" feel to it. But after plenty of tweaking and understanding of the unit, I was able to create some usable patches. As far as finding a good metal tone, I was unable to tweak the settings to my liking. I would not recommend this unit to someone who plays metal especially with extended range guitars!
- Lots of Amp models to choose from
- Lots of Effects
- Midi controller friendly
- GREAT Noise Gate
- Amp Models are very "bassy"
- Sounds "boxy" without proper tweakage
- Effects lack great quality
- Can only use 2 effects at a time
- NO USB CONNECTIVITY
Reliability & Durability — 8
This 2U Rack unit is very reliable. I have never experienced any issues with it. It is built with a metal frame and looks like it can take some abuse. The only problem I had with it is that the knobs feel very cheap. They feel like they can be broken pretty easily and the buyer should beware. I would have this unit in a case when you go out for a gig.
The sharp blue color looks pretty cool in my opinion. However it is a very thin coat of paint and does scratch off rather easily. I would definitely use this as a back-up in case one of my amps did not work. It can get the job done but that's it. You won't really "wow" anybody with your tone though.
Overall Impression — 7
As I stated earlier, I play many styles of music but my most preferred is prog metal. I do NOT recommend this unit for guys looking for a good metal tone, especially those with extended range guitars. When I would play my 7th string, it would not give me the attack that I was looking for no matter how much I tried tweaking.
I have been playing the guitar for 10 years and currently own an Eleven Rack, Hughes & Kettner Power Amp and Mesa Boogie 4x12 cabinet. Compared to the Eleven Rack, the V-AMP has nothing (in my opinion). For just $250 - $300 more, you can purchase an Eleven Rack. I HIGHLY recommend this because the tone, effects and feel are superior on the Eleven Rack. I purchased the V-AMP because I wanted to try it out. For the price, it is a great unit but if you can save a bit more, get the Eleven Rack.