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PROS: Great sound selection, incredible modeling abilities.
CONS: Really requires the Sanpera Pro foot controller to unlock full potential as a live rig.▼ Article continues below ▼
Modeling amps were quite the rage not all that long ago, and purists might think of them as an old trend. But, there have been major leaps in technology that bring more to the table in recent years. The Peavey Vypyr Pro 100 Amplifier has gone to the next level in digital modeling.
The front panel controls the models, effects, EQ and overall volume, with headphone outs and aux inputs. The back has MIDI and footswitch outputs (more on that later), an effects loop, XLR and output controls for connection to a PA or interface, as well as USB connection.
Inside this standard size 1×12 combo amp package there are tons of amp models to choose from. Peavey’s 6505 is an amazing amp, and if anyone is going to emulate it and nail the tone, it’s Peavey. But classic and modern amp models reside inside as well, from high gain beasts to vintage and classic models as well, some of which aren’t in Peavey’s stable. While the amp is digital for data storage and processing, the distortions come from analog sources, and at 100 watts, there’s plenty of headroom for most stages.
Effects-wise, the industry standards are all there: modulations, reverbs, delays — even some non-standard fx such as the slicer are nice touches that go beyond the norm. There are also instrument emulations, such as 7-strings, 12-string, bass guitars, synths, electric violin, sitar, baritone, acoustics, as well as the ability to get a single coil guitar to react as a humbucker, and vice versa. Nice touch.
It’s not one of those “just plug in and go” amps; really getting into the presets and parameters can unlock so many options across the board. Peavey has a free editor for Mac and PC that when downloaded and connected to the amp via USB, can really get into some deep editing. Downloading the editor is tougher than using it. Selecting and configuring a setup is super easy – just drag and drop and you’re off.
Sound-wise, the Peavey Vypyr Pro 100 doesn’t fail to deliver, with plenty of traditional tones most guitarists will crave, as well as hyper extreme versions, all while still retaining the musical qualities of the sounds being emulated. The tracking on emulated instruments like violins and bass guitar is amazing, with no lag or latency issues.
All of the functions such as switching patches and models can be controlled in a live setting via the Sanpera Pro foot controller. With two expression pedals, boost, tap tempo, delay and reverb switching, it feels more like a traditional pedalboard. There’s also a control for looping and playback as well. The easiest way to set a lot functions like boost and reverb is through the computer editor. For practicing, set a sound to a bass guitar, play the bass line through the looper, then play back and solo over it with a guitar sound. For players that need tons of great sounds at the touch of a button, this really nails it. In a Top 40/gb/club band situation this is an all in one package that can save space and money.
With the Vypyr coming in at $599, and the Sanpera Pro at $299, the whole package isn’t exactly cheap. Yes, you could cut costs with another manufacturer’s foot controller, but any issues that might arise, as well as missing out on the overall functionality of the amp and controller as a whole, just diminishes the overall package. But the only other items really needed to do a proper gig would be a guitar and a cable, which can really simplify your rig, while bringing expansive tone selection to your stage rig.