Lots of People Looking For/At Low Wattage Amps!

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by hipofutura, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    Just checked a video, some dude named the Tone King did on the VHT Ultra... heard some tones I certainly liked, watching the whole 10 minutes.

    Thanks for the tip. Think this moves to the very short list.
     
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  2. StandingWave

    StandingWave Senior Member

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    "Hello boys and girls." I don't think I've seen that clip. I'm mostly a home player, with seven amps at the moment, ranging from 6w-45w. For practice and most other things, I like plugging into the VHT head with a 12" open-back cab, even though most of the other amps are 'better.' YMMV.
     
  3. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    Did my weekly stop by GC, say hi check out the used gear. Our GC isn't one for used guitars, but they have some insane used amps come through there, for pretty good prices.

    Plus, a lot of people are dumping guitars/amps. They had to move a whole section to make room for the guitars they got in and oh my... bunch of LPs and SGs. Usually its just stock, people had on layaway... but they had 2 or 3 SGs I hadn't seen in there before. Too much eye-candy, nothing except the sea lime/spray, whatever color it is LP they had was too memorable. For such a funky color, it is such a beautiful guitar.

    They do not have a single damn VHT amp in there. I asked about getting one and they don't have them in any of the local stores. Warehouse (in Kansas) only... same with the 10X, I was going to trade the THC-10 in for. All gone.

    Though, I spent about 45 minutes to an hour playing a Vox Lil Night Train, with its 1x10" cab... and that thing is a beast. At first, I wasn't feeling it... but as I got it dialed in a bit more and the tubes warmed up, its a damn nice amp. No reverb, no mp3 in... but at $329 and oh yeah, that's definitely got "tube tone". I don't like the sound of a lot of Vox amps, but the ones I do like... I think that lil' Night Train joined the VHT on the short list.

    VHT Special 6 Ultra
    Vox lil' Night Train
    Blackstar HT-1R (a distant third, to two close ones)

    They had a Vox Night Train also... but no cab. Its used at $299... which I thought was asking a bit much, for what they usually ask for used gear and what I can find on ebay, or elsewhere.
     
  4. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Senior Member

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    They've got a couple of VHT Special 6 heads used across the country. You could have them ship one in. Free shipping and 30 day return.

    If you can find a Lil Night Train without the meh grade 10" cab get it. I got one for $149 which is about typical, and put it on top of a nice 1x12 closed back cab with a Jensen Falcon in it. Quite the little monster for 2W
     
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  5. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    I didn't know the circuitry in the Night Train's until I got home and started reading more. Quite the interesting amp. I thought I was imagining things when the EQ dials seemed to stop working (because they did), when I switched to that thick channel. Then I read about how it bypasses and its pure guitar and tubes.

    Means you better have a nice guitar I guess.

    Glad I have a few. :D

    I played a 2015 SG the whole time thru it. I'd love to hear my LP.

    Going to be a tough battle between the VHT and that Lil' Night Train.
     
  6. StandingWave

    StandingWave Senior Member

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    One thing to be aware of is that the S6U is more towards the vintage side. I've read that it's based on a Champ circuit. The boost is a partial tone stack bypass. Without the boost, it leans towards Blackface. With the boost engaged, it gets Tweedier. The Ultra 'channel' adds in half a triode, allowing for preamp gain (MV).
     
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  7. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Senior Member

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    It loves my tele. And Sorrento. Both have a lot of variety on tap. Def worth keeping an eye out for when one pops up.
     
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  8. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    I like the way the amp dirties up. I think my tastes for tone have changed slightly. I used to run full gain all the time, any amp I had. Only way I could get the sound I wanted. Now, that just sounds harsh to me... I find myself running around 6-7 now and even mid on dirtiest channels. Though one thing I like about the Yamaha, is cranking gain and volume, then controlling sound out, with the Guitar output control.

    I didn't think I wad going to like the lil' Night Train, when I flipped that switch and just strummed an E. Once I started playing it really comes alive. It sounded great thru their little cab, I can only imagine how much better, thru a better cab. I watched a video last night, they were running a cab with a single Greenback. He noted, how some don't like them for higher gain... as they break up. Running at 2W, however... one of the nicest small setups I've heard.

    I spent a good hour with it. Right at ear level. Didn't get to run it as loud as I would have liked, but if/when I decide to pull the trigger... I'm going to take my LP or SGJ in.
     
  9. Mr Papa

    Mr Papa Banned

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    Here is my VHT Special 6 Ultra w/ A Plexi facelift ... It's hand wired 6 watts max scalable down to a 10th of a watt with a low/high power switch as well as lots of tone shaping . Runs on 1 6v6 and 2 12ax7's . I had to take off the wire screen on the back of the amp ! I changed out the stock Chinese tubes with vintage Tung-Sol's and got rid of the ugly VHT logo and replaced it with a Plexi replica from a guy across the pond .

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Mr Papa

    Mr Papa Banned

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    I may be biased but the Special 6 Ultra has a lot more options for not a whole lot more $
     
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  11. StandingWave

    StandingWave Senior Member

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    Nice little "Marshall" there. The original VHT logo seems a bit bigger and bolder than necessary. I leave the back of my S6U head also, although I don't mess with the tubes that much. I'm running two JJ ECC803s and a JJ EL84. I always thought I preferred 6V6s, but I really like the EL84 in this amp.
     
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  12. Mr Papa

    Mr Papa Banned

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    As long as you got those stock Chinese tubes out you should be better off ! I just have a liking for NOS vintage tubes . I never had a 6v6 amp I always had el34 based Marshall's which was one of the reasons for the Marshall logo . I've never owned anything but a Marshall and the VHT logo is butt ugly !
     
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  13. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    Eh... I don't mind the VHT logo, they integrated it into the cabinetry... I'm cool with that. So it advertises you have a hand-wired Chinese amp. A lot of people are going to mod them up, so its also cool, to pretty much put what you want on them, also. I was talking to a small shop owner the other day, told me VHT had been bought by a company up N of us, in San Francisco and they were actually going to manufactured there... but I would think that would cause the cost to go up considerably, unless they're going to have 2 lines, or something.

    Took the THR in Monday, paid the difference and have the 10X in transit. Not happy about the shipping time, it shows it arriving on the 6th... but it did that last time and I had it in a couple days. We'll see.

    I'm still having issues with the circulation and/or nerve thing going on in both my arms, so until that gets a bit better, haven't been playing much.
     
  14. StandingWave

    StandingWave Senior Member

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    Bummer about the circulation/nerve thing. It's always worrisome, at any age. You might want to see if you have a pinched nerve, or something in the spine if it's bilateral.

    Not the same thing, but I thought I was getting 'frozen shoulder' or a rotator cuff problem on the left side a while back (had it before). I switched to a 4" padded bass strap for my LP, and that was the cure.
     
  15. GibsonKramer

    GibsonKramer The Three G's Premium Member

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    I have some pretty significant health issues. Six years ago, I had Type A and B aortic dissections (same thing that killed John Ritter), 3 aortic aneurysms and a couple strokes. They were able to patch up 1 of the aneurysms (6 cm) and the rest is a shredded mess. All the arteries supplying blood all my extremities and organs, are torn. If you think of it like a radiator hose (the aorta is layered similar)... my inner layer is mostly gone, what's left... the blood flows in, under, over, around...

    I recently saw a neurologist and explained my symptoms. He went where, I didn't expect him... citing possible circulatory issues. I'm possibly cutting off blood flow to my arms, when I'm in that position. I disagree, as I already have lower degenerative back problems, I've got some issues going on in my neck and upper back... and this dude is blaming circulatory? But, I would also think a neurologist would be inclined to look towards nerves, unless he had reason to believe otherwise. ???

    So I have to go back to see vascular again, to see what they say.
     
  16. StandingWave

    StandingWave Senior Member

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    Definitely lots of stuff going on. One would guess that a neurologist would want to look at nerves first and foremost, so that's interesting. It seems that circulation issues would show up in the legs more that the arms, but they're fed by different arteries -- and I'm no physician. I wish you the best in getting it figured out.
     
  17. DanielJ10

    DanielJ10 Member

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    I appreciate this feedback, Roman. Unfortunately by the time I got in contact with the seller, he had already made a deal.

    In the meantime, I have now turned my attention to a Fender Vibro Champ XD. I found one on Guitar Center's used listings for $160, and it looks to be in really good shape. I contacted the store and they quoted me at the same time, so I'm not sure if they offer free shipping on used gear as well, but it seems like a good deal to me.

    A part of me can't get over the voicings and whatnot, but having read thorough some of the earlier pages in this thread, it seems to have a good clean channel.
     
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  18. moomtazz

    moomtazz Senior Member

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    I've had a VHT Special 6 Ultra combo for about 6 months. I haven't played with it too much yet though. I just started playing guitar in February so most of my time has been spent with a Pocket Pod + headphones or Acoustic. Trying to keep the wife from kicking me out as I hack away.

    I have not been able to get tones that I am happy with yet. I'm sure most of that is due to inexperience + all of the different features that the amp has. I added Bass/Mid/Treble pots early on and just a few days ago I added a Master Volume. I also put a JJ EL34 and EH 12AX7's in and those really helped with the ice picky sound I was getting with the stock tubes.

    The Master Volume has really helped because the amp sounds best when everything is cranked, but that is way too loud for the house. On the stock amp, if you are in the Ultra channel then the normal Volume pot acts as a master (I guess) but the clean won't break up until it is too loud.

    Of course I should say that if you lower the watts down then it will break up at lower volumes but to me the amp sounds kinda crummy when the power is that low.

    Can any of you VHT owners give me any tips on setting tone?
     
  19. StandingWave

    StandingWave Senior Member

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    It could be a matter of expectations and reality. Six watts cranked for distortion can be loud for home playing. Turning the Watts down won't sound quite the same as a wide open amp, especially the further the power is reduced. Playing a distorted amp quietly is a compromise, no matter how it's done.

    Two problems with running an EL34: You have to turn the volume or power down even further (over the standard 6V6), and you risk overheating the power transformer. Better to stick an EL84 in there.

    Agreed that the stock Chinese tubes are a bit bright and edgy. Yes, the amp already had a master volume.

    For playing distorted at home, I usually set it clean and use pedals. For playing the amp dirty, I use the the Ultra channel and set it for the amount of preamp distortion I want, set the volume to taste, then bring down the Watts to add in some power tube distortion -- again to taste. It's a fairly vintage-sounding amp, although you can get more preamp drive at lower volumes than with an old NMV amp.
     
  20. moomtazz

    moomtazz Senior Member

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    What about the Depth and the 3 way switch? Also any idea what you should do with the Tone knob once the bass/mid/treble pots have been added? They all affect each other. Not sure if I should just max the Tone knob or keep it at noon. Tried it a few ways.

    I think a big part of my problem is I am too inexperienced to even know what's causing something to sound bad. Last night I poked around on the internet and saw the same advice on a few different sites: set the knobs at the point where you hear a big change. I did that and I think it certainly sounds better.
     

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