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Unread 03-07-2012, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ampeg VT-22

Does anyone have any experience with the Ampeg VT-22 Combo?

I just picked up one (with assistance. . .it's a heavy b*$tard!) that needs some work; non-working reverb, no speakers and a loud hum when plugged into an external cab. It was only $140 so worst case I can gut it and use the working parts to start a 18-watt TMB project that I've been considering.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

I had a VT40 (same amp but 4 x 10)
Great amp. MASSIVELY loud! The reverb is wonderful.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

That's a very cool amp. I'd build a Fender BF style head cab and dump the combo. The slant face on the chassis screams for it. Then tweek it for more O/D. I wouldn't gut it as there's too much good stuff there.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Don - That's probably what I'll end up doing. I'd like to end up with an amp that gives me nice distortion without deafening me. The only thing that worries me with my relative lack of experience is diagnosing and fixing the hum issue; I can mod and tweak quite well but I'm no amp technician.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Tracking down hum can be a problem, but not always. The hum is the result of aging, so that eliminates a design/layout problem. The obvious sources are tubes and filter caps.

This amp, like some old Fenders, has a hum balance pot. It could be as simple as adjusting it. They did this because the PT didn't have a 6.3V CT. I'd strip the HB circuit and run a 100 ohm resistor to ground for both sides of the heater tap.
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Unread 03-07-2012, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Backing up Hip, probably due for filter caps and filament CT lift.
Death cap/modernizing the power section might be in order.

I can work on these but have no experience modding for more gain.
They take pedals so well I'd be wary of doing much in that area anyway.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

The guitarist in one of my bands plays through a VT-22. I've used it a bunch, too. I find that while the amp gets great natural distortion without going too loud, the problem is that it doesn't get loud enough for a medium sized venue without being mic'd. You keep turning the volume up, but instead of getting louder, the the volume stays the same and the distortion just gets gnarlier.

All that put aside, it DOES get some awesome distortion and take pedals quite well if you need more.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 03:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Up until a few months ago I had a factory master volume for one, but lost it when I let a storage shed go. It was in a little reverb on/off looking box & plugged into the back of the amp. I would think you could probably find a schematic for it online somewhere & one of these guys could build it for you.
As far as it not being loud enough, that's a first for me. That thing was one of the loudest amps I ever heard in my life. It's probably the speakers maxing out rather than the amp. New high wattage speakers or a 4-12 cab should take care of that.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 04:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

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As far as it not being loud enough, that's a first for me. That thing was one of the loudest amps I ever heard in my life. It's probably the speakers maxing out rather than the amp. New high wattage speakers or a 4-12 cab should take care of that.
That's definitely a possibility. It still has the original speakers that came with the amp from back in the '70s, and as far as I know, it's never had any work done other than a tube replacement (with the default NOS tubes.)
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Unread 03-08-2012, 04:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

A VT22 not being loud enough is new to me too! Massive volume. I'd say it needs a service!
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Unread 03-08-2012, 06:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

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Originally Posted by hipofutura View Post
The obvious sources are tubes and filter caps.

This amp, like some old Fenders, has a hum balance pot. It could be as simple as adjusting it. They did this because the PT didn't have a 6.3V CT. I'd strip the HB circuit and run a 100 ohm resistor to ground for both sides of the heater tap.
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Backing up Hip, probably due for filter caps and filament CT lift.
Death cap/modernizing the power section might be in order.
Filter cap replacement is pretty straight forward. For the heater filaments I want to make sure I am on the same page as you.

On this amp there is no 6.3V CT, therefore to lift the CT I have to create a voltage divider like this where Vout = Vin*R2/(R1+R2). From the reading I have done, I have read both the first and last filter cap are good places to tap into B+. The argument for first is that this yields the least hum from the heaters feeding back into the B+. Where do you suggest is the best place to tap into B+?

Again, from my reading, the Vout spread seems to be somewhere between 20 and 50 volts DC from the B+ (plate voltage). What Vout value should I be looking for?

If I use the first filter cap (337V from the schematic) then it looks like the following values would work;

R1=100K
R2=10K

Vout=30V
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Unread 03-08-2012, 06:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

I wouldn't bother with the voltage divider. I've had great results with just running a 100 ohm resistor to ground from the two heater winding taps. I do it at the pilot light.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 07:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

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I wouldn't bother with the voltage divider. I've had great results with just running a 100 ohm resistor to ground from the two heater winding taps. I do it at the pilot light.
Sounds good; Thanks Don!

I hope to tear into this later today. I will post pics of what I find and start a parts list. Do you have a preference on filter caps or is this somewhat irrelevant to the overall tone?

Barry
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Unread 03-08-2012, 09:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

A VT22 is a V4 (in combo form). This should be loud as thunder! There is a hum balance knob on the back. Get some work done on her and she will blow down walls.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 04:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

WOW! Once I got inside, this thing is a bit of a Rat's nest! Someone has been in here before. . .

It looks good from the front. . .



and the back. ..



Doesn't look too bad from the top. . .



But not so good under the reverb tank. . .



Although the mods and trace repairs are pretty obvious from the photo, the pre-amp tube sockets are all loose on their CB's and most of the pins of the power tubes are loose. I think this is going to require a fair bit of surgery to get it back to playable condition. I'm not sure I want to spend that much time and effort on an amp that is well louder than I'll ever need.

I'm looking for opinions; should I fix this up and sell it or use it as a donor platform for another build?
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Unread 09-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

needs caps for sure
Plenty of cold solder joints there I'll bet
Might be the impedance due to one speaker is off, therefore your bias is off
Careful with that hum balance - do you know how to bias?
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Unread 09-25-2012, 05:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Hey Dude - Welcome to MLP!

I haven't had time this summer to do anything with this amp so it's parked in a corner waiting for me to have some spare time.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Thanks Batman
I joined just to reply to you and your amp !
Mine is a 1970
Had the speakers replaced
Retubed a bunch of times
Nothing sounds like this
Super Loud and Clean

I wouldn't mod it if I were you until you got it to work right as it was designed to, and hear what it can do

I think John at the Tubesstore can help you find tubes and stuff
Also Bob at Eurotubes helped me revive this thing when the majority wanted me to mod it

Real parts are available
You will be amazed
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Unread 10-08-2012, 08:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

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The guitarist in one of my bands plays through a VT-22. I've used it a bunch, too. I find that while the amp gets great natural distortion without going too loud, the problem is that it doesn't get loud enough for a medium sized venue without being mic'd.
I've had 3 VT-22's and they are louder than any other combo I've ever had. Something isn't right if a VT-22 isn't loud enough IMHO.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 09:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

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I've had 3 VT-22's and they are louder than any other combo I've ever had. Something isn't right if a VT-22 isn't loud enough IMHO.
I also owned three VT-22s...Very loud amps, with great tone....

They're tanks, and heavy...
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Unread 10-09-2012, 06:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Ampeg VT-22

Correct this old geezer's memory if I am wrong.....but did the Stones do U.S.tours with these in the early 70s with Mick Taylor ?
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