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Les Paul Ultra-III & Vox VT40+ (w/ pics!)


LHW

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Well, on Saturday I pulled the trigger and picked up my Midnight Sapphire Ultra-III, along with a VT40+ amp. I gotta say, they're a sweet combination! I've only gone through about half a dozen of the preset amp models, and am already in love with two of them. And for such a tiny amp, this thing can really crank out the sound! Too bad I can only do that when no one else is home. :(

 

The U3 is my first-ever Les Paul, and my first satin neck. It's definitely different than the necks I've played in the past, and is slightly wider, so my fingers are still relearning a few chords. Overall, though, I really like it. The NanoMag pickup, combined with a clean channel with an acoustic effect, really makes it sound like an acoustic guitar. Not entirely, to be sure, but bloody close enough for me.

 

There are a couple of things to note about the Midnight Sapphire finish. First of all, it's not the brite-blue you see in the online pics. It's more of a darker coral-blue, with a slight hint of blue-green. And the trim is Ivory, not White. Also, the back is NOT black like advertised: it's dark blue, and you CAN see the wood grain. Hopefully the pic I'm about to upload will show this.

 

Sorry for any fuzziness...pics where taken with my cell phone.

 

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complete_setup_01_by_lordhighwarlock-d48cax0.jpg

 

complete_setup_02_by_lordhighwarlock-d48cb3t.jpg

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HNGD! Looks really classy, they really go good together visually, and I'm sure sonically as well. [thumbup] I've been interested in the VT40+ myself...what is the foot switch used to control?

Thanks, LSAR! :)

 

The VT+ series allows you to create / save up to 8 sounds (amp of choice + tone settings + effects). You save these in two banks of 4. The VFS5 allows you to switch between any of these 8 sounds. I overwrote the first three before I realized it had presets already saved. The fourth channel of the first bank seems to be a "standard distortion" setting w/o reverb. I don't recall the others off the top of my head, sorry.

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I have to say, now that I've done some research, I must be having a slow few days here, 'cause all those knobs just seem really complicated... I think theres a Vox lil Night Train head and a new speaker for my current cab coming in my future... Thanks for givin me some motivation to take a closer look at Vox stuff! :)

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I can totally understand that. The manual says there are 99 preset "sounds" in this thing, and I've only touched on half a dozen, maybe a dozen, tops. I messed around with the manual mode for about 10 minutes, and decided to leave it and come back to it later...I just didn't want to mess up any of the default settings until I became more familiar with it. At least my dog is finally getting used to it! LOL

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According to my calculations, with that new Ultra 3 and the Vox VT, you now have 97 million tonal options available. [lol] Should keep you busy for quite a while!

 

That ^ is a lot . . .

[blink] Holy cow! Don't let my wife know that...she'll never let me near it again! LOL

 

HNG&AD LHW... very nice indeed... but ya could have saved some cake for us!!!

Thanks, EM! Sorry about the cake...between the missus and my 15-year-old daughter, they don't leave much for anyone else. Myself included! LOL

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The controls and settings for the amp appear similar to my ToneLab.For me, the amp simulations are the best and most useful feature and do a pretty good job of replicating the originals. I notice that there is a "valve" knob in the middle of the lower bank of controls on your amp. Have you had a chance to goof around with it and figure out what it does?

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The controls and settings for the amp appear similar to my ToneLab.For me, the amp simulations are the best and most useful feature and do a pretty good job of replicating the originals. I notice that there is a "valve" knob in the middle of the lower bank of controls on your amp. Have you had a chance to goof around with it and figure out what it does?

Only briefly, Tweed. That knob adjusts the parameters of the Pedal Effects knob to its left. It's also used for Noise Reduction (after you press the Tuner/Bypass button), which is why it's all the way to the left...I had turned that off.

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Wonderful guitar LHW, if I'd known these were so close to release there's a good chance I would have bought one of them last week instead of an amp, congrats on being the first on here with one of them, looking forward to your impressions once you've had some time to put it through it's paces, fantastic guitar, HNGD & HNAD.

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Thanks, RaSTuS! Yeah, I kinda figured others would get one before me...I was rather surprised by that. I'm also glad that the back isn't black...it looks so cool in person. I'll be sure to letcha know what I think of it after awhile. :)

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I'm also glad that the back isn't black...it looks so cool in person.

Oh yeah, I chose the Faded Cherryburst because it was the only one in their pictures that didn't have a black back, nice to see that mightn't be a problem after all.

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Lord High Warlock: Congratulations, man!! I think it´s a fantastic guitar! I´d like to think that maybe I could grab one for myself someday! As soon as you got the chance, please, give us some info on how she plays (according to your style and musical taste), if that chambered body affects sustain at all (for better or for worst), and the acoustic-like sound (knowing it won´t be like an acoustic, this point is clear), and how easy/hard is it to swap channels with the A/B/C knob switch (meaning, when playing a song where you use both electric and acoustic sounds). I´d really like to know your thoughts and feelings once you spend some good time playing and experimenting.

 

Yes, I saw epiphone´s ultra III video with Aspey, and he plays it very nicely and sounds great, but your experience will be more educative since we know what amp are you using (we don´t know the settings and equipment used for the video). I have a Fender Mustang I (wich I like), and is more or less similar to your vox, so your review will be very useful to me.

 

I´m beetwen the Tribute, Traditional Pro or this Ultra III. For now the U3 is ahead ´cause I like the acoustic/electric sound switching better than the coil tap option (I know there is more than this that differentiates them,but to my thinking this is the really big difference) but if I could afford two guitars, they will be the U3 and either one of the other two...

 

Enjoy your guitar, HNGD!!

 

Sabas.

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[love] She looks absolutely gorgeous and if she's anything like my Ultra II, she must sound fantastic as well! Don't forget to update us on how well the new features work, such as the onboard tuner and the push-pull switch for the nanomag selection.

 

 

 

HNGD!!!!! eusa_clap.gif

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She looks gorgeous!

Actually looks better than I thought it would look in that shade of blue.

Aaahhh... the GAS...

HNGD and HNAD!

Thanks, Xaj! :)

 

Lord High Warlock: Congratulations, man!! I think it´s a fantastic guitar! I´d like to think that maybe I could grab one for myself someday! As soon as you got the chance, please, give us some info on how she plays (according to your style and musical taste), if that chambered body affects sustain at all (for better or for worst), and the acoustic-like sound (knowing it won´t be like an acoustic, this point is clear), and how easy/hard is it to swap channels with the A/B/C knob switch (meaning, when playing a song where you use both electric and acoustic sounds). I´d really like to know your thoughts and feelings once you spend some good time playing and experimenting.

 

Yes, I saw epiphone´s ultra III video with Aspey, and he plays it very nicely and sounds great, but your experience will be more educative since we know what amp are you using (we don´t know the settings and equipment used for the video). I have a Fender Mustang I (wich I like), and is more or less similar to your vox, so your review will be very useful to me.

 

I´m beetwen the Tribute, Traditional Pro or this Ultra III. For now the U3 is ahead ´cause I like the acoustic/electric sound switching better than the coil tap option (I know there is more than this that differentiates them,but to my thinking this is the really big difference) but if I could afford two guitars, they will be the U3 and either one of the other two...

 

Enjoy your guitar, HNGD!!

 

Sabas.

Thanks, Sabas! For now, I can tell you that with the a/b push/push button, there's a slight lag. Only a split second or so. And there's no popping whatsoever, so that's a plus. I can't comment on the tuner yet as mine was DOA...I'm waiting on a replacement. After I get that, and get more familiar with it, I'll give a more detailed report on it. :)

 

Enjoy your Ultra 3 LHW. That is a beautiful finish. And the Vox is a little tone monster isn't it?

Thanks, Gordy! And, yes, it's quite the monster! LOL I'm going to need to pace myself with it, though. Otherwise I'll spend more time switching to different sounds than I will practicing! :D

 

Happy New Epi Day [thumbup]

 

Happy New Vox Day [thumbup]

 

now PG off,

 

black knobs and plastics on

 

 

outch #-o

 

you've to get a new onboard-tuner, if you want to change the pup-frames..

Thanks, Pete! I think for now, I'm going to leave things as they are. I had initially purchased some white speed knobs to put on it, based on the brighter pics posted by Epi, but they just didn't seem to fit once I got the git...the knobs themselves were too bright. And I think black ones would be too dark...dunno about that yet, as I'll need to hold 'em up to the guitar to know for sure.

 

[love] She looks absolutely gorgeous and if she's anything like my Ultra II, she must sound fantastic as well! Don't forget to update us on how well the new features work, such as the onboard tuner and the push-pull switch for the nanomag selection.

 

 

 

HNGD!!!!! eusa_clap.gif

Thanks, Barcham! And, yes, she does sound awesome! I'm really glad I held out for the U3...I think it's going to be a great relationship. :D

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