Ampeg GVT-15H 15W Tube Guitar Amp Head

Head/Combo: 
Head
Price Paid: 
$500
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
Not sure
Tube Type: 
6V6
Features: 

 

  • Dual power modes
    • Full power – 15 watts RMS
    • Half power – 7.5 watts RMS
  • Preamp: Tube ( 2 x 12AX7 )
  • Rectifier: Solid state
  • Power amp: Tube ( 2 x 6V6GT )
  • Tone controls: Baxandall treble, middle and bass
  • Effects: Spring reverb, footswitchable
  • Effects loop: Yes, footswitchable
  • Speaker outputs: 1 x 16 ohm, 2 x 8 ohm and 2 x 4 ohm
  • Cabinet: Void-free 15mm plywood
  • Footswitch: GVT-FS2, 2-button footswitch for reverb and effects loop on/off (sold separately)
  • Dimensions (H x W x D inches excluding handle approx.): 9.8 x 18.0 x 10.0
  • Handling weight (approx.): 27.4 lbs / 12.4 kg
Pros: 

This amp is voiced with the classic 70s Ampeg sound. Think late 60s/early 70s Rolling Stones sounds. Get Yer Ya Yas Out, Sticky Fingers -- those kinds of tones -- in a nice low-wattage head. 

The amp is larger than a lunchbox, but light.

The Baxandall tone controls are kind of interesting. They work completely indepedant of each other with no overlapping frequencies, and each knob can boost or cut 12db. They are almost like mini gain stages so if you run Treble, Mid, and Bass, full out, you're actually pushing the amp harder.

Reverb is a nice touch on this head. Dial in just a touch and it sounds good.

 

Cons: 

The amp has very little gain on tap.

Unlike the GVT5, you actually have DO Gain and Volume controls which lets you push the amp with more control. But even with both dimed, this thing doesn't get into Dino crunch territory without adding a boost pedal. To be fair, that wasn't the point , but I kind of thought with the extra gain stage, it would give me more scuzzy distortion.  It's not in the amp.

So even if you crank everything up -- Gain, Volume, all three tone controls you're only getting into the very beginnings of distortion. You get slightly more distortion than on the GVT-5, but to take this amp further requires a boost pedal.

Would have been nice if the foot switch was included.

Sound Quality: 
4
Reliability: 

N/A

Customer Support: 

N/A

Summary: 

I wanted a recording amp that would do the old Stones sound, and this amp nails those sounds very well.  I also wanted the flexibility to be able to gig with this amp if necessary.

I originally bought the 5 watt Ampeg GVT-5, but I returned it because it was just too limited, I bought the more feature-rich GVT-15 in the hopes that the added functionality would make the amp more versatile.  It definitely does.  Having Gain and Volume controls lets you can control the volume much better than on the GVT-5. You can also get a little bit more distortion out of the 15 than you can out of the 5, but it's still only like 5% more. 

If you want warm brown Dino tones, this is not your amp. If you put a boost pedal in front of this amp, it will go nicely into warm, tube distortion, but it does NOT sound like a British EL34 or EL84 distortion and it wasn't meant to.

The sound of this amp is that classic, bright, chirpy, Ampeg "bark." Think the opening of Brown Sugar or Can't you Hear me Knockin'. It nails those sound dead-on, but that's also about as much distortion the amp produces on its own.

This amp is a keeper for me. It's very tonally different from my British voiced amps, and that was the point.  I need these sounds for a recording project, but unlike the 5 watter, I could also gig with this amp (i.e. control volume without losing gain). I was hoping for more gain on tap, but I can easily boost it with a pedal.

Overall Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)