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Review for: Ibanez VA3 Virtual Amp
Purchase price of 270 USD
Rating: 4.0
Comments:I would definitely buy it again. Actually I have bought it twice. I first ordered it from a mailorder company but they had a backorder for it so long that I rushed away and bought a Boss GT-5 instead. After a couple of weeks a came to my senses and changed the $750 GT-5 to a VA3. Not because the GT-5 sounded bad but because the VA3 suitet my purpose better. The price is much lower, the size makes it fit into your gigbag, the weight can't be more than 2 pounds than the GT-5 and the VA3 sounds almost as good and sometimes even better. With the GT-5 I always ended up tweaking parameters forever when what I actually want to do is play and this thing also makes me a feel as a better guitarplayer. For homestudio recording the VA3 is perfect. Before buying it I tried lots of other units. The Digitech RP-6, Zoom 3030, Boss ME-8 and Korg AX30G is in the same pricerange, are all floorunit but has lots of more effects but the ampsound where not at all as good as in the VA3 with the Korg as a clear second. The Digi- tech Valve State has tons of more effects, is double the price and has real nice dynamics when you're playing but I felt the sound had more life in the VA3. The Boss GX700/GT5 is very similar in the sound which is no wonder since they are supposed to emulate almost the same type of amplifiers. The price is double or triple the price of a VA3 and they are also much larger and heavier but has also a much, much better eq-section. You also get tons of stereoeffects which I prefer to have in a separete unit in the effectloop on the mixer. Other units I would have liked to try is the Sansamp and a Hughes & Kettner unit I forgot the name of including a Red Box. They are supposed to give a real good sound lined and are cheaper and smaller like stompboxes. I have also heard that the manuals for these are really good giving advise for parametersettings. These 2 units are however not programmable and have no effects at all included. If I shall suggest any improvement on the VA3 I would replace the modulation and ambience effects with a better eq, an analog autowah and an outlet for expressionpedal for volume and wah. A small chorus or phaser before the ampsection wouldn't be bad either but as it is right now, for this price I couldn't find anything better for use at home.
Reviewer: Robert Lundmark
Post Date:11/29/1996

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