Ampeg GVT15-112 Tube Combo: Straight Up Tube Tone!

Wow, time goes so fast and unfortunately I have been way too busy to do many reviews, sorry about that! Anyway, I picked up a new friend the other day. It’s an Ampeg GVT15-112 tube combo, which is a 15-Watt valve amp, that can also be switched to 7-Watts thanks to its  half-power, power amp mode. I got mine at a really good price, and straight up I must say that it has a bold, clear (but not overly bright) warm tube tone.

Anyway, Ampeg are better known for their bass amps, although in the 70s and 80s it released some well regarded tube amps for guitar as well.

Ampeg SVT Micro VR 200-Watt Classic Head

$164.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday May-29-2019 18:20:46 PDT
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Initially I must admit that aesthetically it is refreshingly different from your typical Marshall or Fender (nothing wrong with those amps) amps. With its black tolex off set by a brushed metal control panel, black n’ chrome knobs and overall high quality build, I was impressed even before I had turned it on. The controls, by the way, are all Bandaxall controls which are slightly different from the conventional ones. Bandaxall actually incorporate a boost function into them, so when you turn over half way you get a boost in the mids for example.

Powering this baby are two 6L6s and the two standard 12AX7s pre-amp tubes, so I would hazard a guess to say that we are more in the Fender type of tone. Ampeg describes itself as having an American tone. This means that, well to my ear, it has nice clear cleans with plenty of headroom, it’s very warm and sounds particularly great with single coils. However I have an ES355 clone with vintage style Humbuckers and it sounds great with that too.

The foot switchable reverb is stunning (Footswitch not included), lush but not in an over the top Fender way, but full and lush under currents that fill out the sound but don’t overpower it. Magnificent with OD and I thought it took pedals really well (Another cool feature which I think all amps should have is the effects loop). I think for humbuckers, the reverb helps a little by making the sound a bit more lively or warmer. I have found that some humbuckers particularly on clean can sound a little flat, but a bit of reverb, plus this amps wonderful Bandaxall boost really fills it out. The tank is neatly stowed at the base of the amp with a padded bag protecting it.

Okay so overall how is this little amp? I am guilty of using the word ‘Keeper‘ and I must admit that I am untrustworthy about that. However, after finding this little gem I have lost the urge to look for other amps. The pre-gain boost you can give it, combined with great tone controls that really affect the tone, the wonderful reverb and a Master volume make this a no brainer, and I got mine brand new in box with warranty shipped for $469!

Now I did change the speaker from the Celestion 70/80 (which honestly sounded fine at bedroom levels) to a Vintage 30 I had lying around. Was there much difference, hmmm possibly a tiny bit more clarity and handled OD better, but I wouldn’t say that it improved the overall sound and tone much. Speakers are another story altogether and best left for another day! Seriously, Ampeg make strong durable cabinets, quality electronics, and have a great reputation. This gets a big thumbs up from me!


Ampeg '60s B-18N #383-1564

End Date: Tuesday Jun-18-2019 8:54:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $5,806.69
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Ampeg 1970's SVT Head #383-715

End Date: Tuesday Jun-18-2019 8:53:19 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $5,392.66
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Ampeg SVT-VR HEAD 300w Tube Bass Amplifier #383-3244

End Date: Tuesday Jun-18-2019 8:55:02 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,985.97
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End Date: Friday May-31-2019 2:09:10 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,652.80
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Ampeg 1968 Portaflex SB-12 #383-2884

End Date: Tuesday Jun-18-2019 8:54:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,816.17
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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

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