MERIDIAN — Bass Player magazine awarded the Peavey VB-3™ all-tube bass amplifier its prestigious Bass Player Editor Award, heralding the amp’s design as “revolutionary” and its array of tones and power as “brutally potent.”
Designed with a world-compatible switch-mode power supply and Peavey’s patented SmartRail™ technology, the Peavey VB-3 bass amplifier gives players nearly infinite control over EQ and gain structure in a tremendously versatile and powerful 300-watt tube amplifier that weighs just 37 lbs.
“The VB-3 behaves like a super-versatile all-tube head with a well-regulated, high-current power supply,” wrote senior editor Jonathan Herrera in the September 2009 issue of Bass Player. “There’s no knowing that it’s anything but typical—a testament to Peavey’s excellent engineering. It is a huge step forward in a product category that seemed to be done walking decades ago. Tube purists … will be pleased.”
Peavey outfitted the VB-3 with three 12AX7 and two 12AT7 preamp tubes, a matched octet of EL34 power tubes, and two channels—Clean and Overdrive—to give players tons of characteristic tube tone.
“Major kudos to Peavey for the wicked Overdrive circuit, and double-kudos for making it available via footswitch,” wrote Herrera. “The VB-3’s distortion was wonderfully rich and organic sounding, with gobs of mellifluous overtones and pleasing saturation. The head’s controls … offer substantial power to utterly change the amp’s personality from loose and chaotic, to tight and controlled.”
Backing up the amplifier’s organic tube tone is a vintage three-band active/mid-cut EQ that combines traditional high and low tone controls with a mid control featuring a four-position midrange selector switch that allows players to set the mid-frequency at 200, 450, 600 or 800 Hz. Combined with the nine-band, constant-Q graphic equalizer—spaced at optimized frequencies, with each slider providing 15 dB of cut and boost—the VB-3 allows virtually any EQ curve imaginable.
The VB-3 also features an all-tube optical compressor that uses a unique “feed-forward” design that is positioned between the two EQ sections to help tame extreme settings and allow full use of the graphic EQ. The compressor is highly sensitive and activated from the first tube stage so it can produce a wide range of compression. The amp’s master volume controls the overall output, while the Clean channel has an independent volume control and the Overdrive channel has an overdrive gain control.
Peavey’s patented Resonance and Presence controls adjust the damping factor at the low and high ends, respectively, and are useful in dialing in tones for particular styles, including “tight” sounds that are not normally associated with tube amplifiers. A three-position speaker impedance selector enables players to match the VB-3 to virtually any bass speaker enclosure.
Pro bass players such as Michael Anthony (Chickenfoot), Zakk Sandler (Black Tide), Jon Lawhon (Black Stone Cherry), Eric Taylor (Saving Abel) and Randy Armstrong (Red) use the Peavey VB-3.
The Peavey VB-3 (MSRP $2499.99) is made in the U.S.A. and available now from authorized Peavey retailers.
Founded in 1965, Peavey® is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment. Peavey has earned more than 180 patents and produces more than 2,000 products, which are distributed throughout the United States and to 136 other countries. Peavey and its MediaMatrix®, Architectural Acoustics®, PVDJ®, Crest Audio® and Trace Elliot® brands and affiliates can be found on concert stages and in more than 5,000 airports, stadiums, theme parks and other venues around the world. To find out more, visit www.peavey.com.