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Peavey VMP 2

Peavey Electronics VMP 2

4.4 4.4 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Two channel tube pre with a bunch of cool features and great overall sound. Quite expensive when it was new, it is now a good (albeit well known) value used.


21st February 2012

Peavey Electronics VMP 2 by Magpel

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Peavey VMP 2

As you probably already, prosumer frienndly giant Peavey partnered some time back (was it in the '90s?) with the company AMR and during that time produced some big and medium sized consoles, a nice tube compressor and this two excellent channel two pre, which is really quite nice and has a deserved reputation as a good used value. I see them going for anywhere between 600 and 800, seldom on the lower end of that range anymore.

It is made in the USA. Build quality seems excellent. A well known Sound-on-sound review on the '90s question some of the internal wiring and was a tad lukewarm about the unit but primarily because of its original list price. the review also has lots of favorable things to say.

let's take a look at the features: there's a power switch and light all the way on the right of the unit. Each channel has a direct instrument input (works great! A/B'd it recently with the Countryman, my favorite for bass, and the Peavey fared quite well). Gain control, of course, a 20 db pad, a two band tube EQ circuit with a high knob, a low knob, and a bypass. The EQ which is subtle until abused. There is a phantom power switch, and a three way select switch in which center is off, up is 80 z low cut and down is a 40 Hz low cut.

Around back, there are XLR inputs and XLR and quarter inch outs.

I don't have the most experience with high end pres. Well, I have used a lot in studios where I have recorded, but in my own composing and overdub studio, I have had few of the units that we hear so much about on GS. I had the Sytek four channel. I had the Presonus ADL 600 (grew up with AD himself and borrowed one of his for a couple of months...).

I love the Peavey, love it love love it. I would describe it as on the warm, full side, but subtly so--it is pretty clean, too. Love it on vocals and acoustic guitars, and cabs. And that's all I pretty much record here, so it is my go to guy for my modest purposes.

  • 1
6th August 2012

Peavey Electronics VMP 2 by musicroom

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Peavey VMP 2

I've had the Peavey VMP2 for about 15 years or so. Bought it new and have used it with varying success over the years. It wasn't until recently that I discovered just how great sounding this unit really is!!

I had read many forum posts from users and a few expert mod folks who will tell you that when using the VMP2 one should bypass the transformer balanced outputs and use the unbalanced outputs for a cleaner sound. Using their direction was workable and I enjoyed many fine sessions going the unbalanced route. Still, there had to be something better from this unit was my thinking. I was right and fortunately for me, they were very wrong!

A couple of issues kept popping up that led me to start reviewing the VMP2 setup. It really centered around getting a usable signal from the unbalanced outs. According to the specifications the unbalanced outs operate at (+)10dbV, so I obviously would want to use the +4 inputs on my audio interface, right? But doing so produced an almost ugly sound with a boxed-in looking wave form to boot. Setting the switch to -10 on the audio interface produced a much fuller sound, but very sensitive to clipping. To top that off, the sound for a vocal in particular was edgy and bright with the unbalanced outputs. There is a time and a place for that sound in my arsenal no doubt, but not all the time. I wanted something larger and smooth without sacrificing clarity and sheen.

I had a lot of discussion on the Sonar forums recently and one of the gents there encouraged me to at least try the balanced outputs thus having the VMP2's transformer in the loop.

The results are amazing!! I'm kicking myself for having this unbelievable sound at my disposal and not using it all these years! This unit is one of the best sounding preamps I have ever heard or used - both in my home studio and professionally. I would not sell or trade this unit for any other preamp at this point. This is as good as it gets as far as I'm concerned.

If you are looking for that larger than life sound that is full, round, clear and full of sheen, then grab of these as you see them pop up for sale. They are on e-bay for around an average of $800 these days. It would take 3 or 4 times that much to get mine.

  • 2
 
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