IMO- This amp can do blues, country, rock, metal and even jazz! It absolutely loves overwound start pickups. I own an Ampeg GVT52 112 amp. Initially I wasn't too fond of the sounds I was getting until I broke in the speaker and learned how to use the gain and tone controls. For example, this amp has a Baxandall EQ. Unlike conventional equalizer controls (EQ), raising or lowering the Baxandall mid's has no effect on the treble and bass settings. In fact it is not even in line with the treble and bass if you were to look at the schematic. The Mid control is placed between the second and third preamp tube and acts as a volume boost of +-10 decibels while driving the third 12AX7 tube. The actual Gain control knob drives the first two 12AX7 tubes.
You can choose between 25watt and 50watt power output using the switch on the front panel. Remember, to double the volume of a 5watt tube amp you need ten times five. That's 50watts. What you get is super clean tone at deafening volumes. But you can also simulate a 5watt amp by attenuating the output by doing the following:
Here is a little secret for those who think this is way too much power for their bedroom. By inserting a volume pedal in the effects loop you can crank the preamp tubes and guitar volume to their max, even add a boost pedal to drive those tubes into surreal distortion and still totally control the volume level to the output tubes. Even though the preamp is cranked you can bring the output volume down to a whisper using this volume pedal.
You can also purchase from Ampeg two useful, inexpensive foot switches:
Channel SELECT/BOOST FOOT SWITCH -p/n GVT-FS1
REVERB/EFFECTS LOOP FOOT SWITCH- p/n GVT-FS2
There are forums dedicated to this amp that suggest replacing the power tubes with Sovtek 6L6WXT+ about $40 for a matched pair. Another suggestion is to replace the speaker with a Eminence Cannibus Rex 50watt 16ohm about $80. They say this speaker opens the amp up to amazing tonal qualities. Tubes and speakers are consumables. Eventually you will need them anyway!
Bottom line, this quality amp can not be purchased for under $1000 by any other company selling tube amps.
You can even run a wall of speaker cabinets using the wide range of speaker output on the back of the amp.
You can even unplug the amp head jack going into the speaker cabinet and plug any wattage amp head into it.
I called Ampeg questioning if it would hurt the amp to plug a bass guitar into it. They said not at all, so I tried it. I was amazed at how great it sounded. Tone pallet is huge! The Seventy 80 Celestion speaker handles bass notes beautifully!
The reverb tank sounds perfect. No real need for a distortion, boost or drive pedal with this amp yet it takes pedals well. A delay pedal placed after a volume pedal in the effects loop is all you need. Guitar goes straight into the amp input.
It took me one year to get from "not what I'm looking for in an amp" to "I will never give this built like a tank, rainbow of tones beast up".
Bless you all,