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> Decent Practice Amp Options, VHT Special 6 Combo Ultra
bleez
post Sep 13 2015, 01:09 PM
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Im thinking about getting a small amp for home use. Has anyone tried the VHT Special 6 Combo Ultra?
I wanted an amp which would be different from the all digital sound Ive been using so far and this is tube driven with an effects loop. I have a couple of overdrive pedals, cry baby at the moment and I'd like to add a few more pedals later on.

I tend to play 70's style blues rock and stoner rock mostly, any thought on this amp good or bad?


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Mertay
post Sep 13 2015, 02:59 PM
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Never played one, checked a youtube demo and sound fine to me.

Incase it helps, if you like to use overdrive pedals for tone variety choose amps that gets some form of distortion when driven. As much as I like them, Fender amps in this range for example (like blues jr.) don't pass overdrive and cause of this might not be as versatile as some expects to be.


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Chris S.
post Sep 13 2015, 05:15 PM
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My only complaint would be the single tone control, but that's just me tongue.gif

I had a bugera that was almost identical to that one except it didn't have an FX loop - wasn't a fan but once I invested in an equalizer pedal that opinion changed cool.gif


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bleez
post Sep 13 2015, 07:24 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Sep 13 2015, 02:59 PM) *
Never played one, checked a youtube demo and sound fine to me.

Incase it helps, if you like to use overdrive pedals for tone variety choose amps that gets some form of distortion when driven. As much as I like them, Fender amps in this range for example (like blues jr.) don't pass overdrive and cause of this might not be as versatile as some expects to be.

yeah, I had been looking at fender amps, all the ones I like are too expensive rolleyes.gif Im hoping to get a strat or tele in the not too distant future so I cant blow all my cash on the amp.

QUOTE (Chris S. @ Sep 13 2015, 05:15 PM) *
My only complaint would be the single tone control, but that's just me tongue.gif

cool.gif Im not too fussed about the tone switch but I do want the fx loop.


I was also looking at the Orange crush 35RT. Im not keen on a solid state but they make a big deal about the analogue circuit, it has an fx loop and as much I want away from the modelling aspect I can see the advantage of the headphone cab sim feature. huh.gif

I kinda wanna go all old school vintagey like the cool kids biggrin.gif
do you think the analogue circuit on the Orange is a gimmick or would that make the amp sound more like a 'real' amp?


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Mertay
post Sep 13 2015, 07:53 PM
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I know this guy from a music store (the company also distributes orange) and we had a chat a month ago on Orange amps.

He told me they're really strict on their circuit designs specially the high-end stuff, commented even Fender used some modern circuitry on the reverb part of its high-end amps (I have no idea about circuits further than this smile.gif ). The place we met first where he previously worked distributed Fender's and after playing some I wouldn't care any bit if they're not true vintage circuited or not smile.gif

As for tone, I told him I liked the amps of Orange but the cab. sounds bad (non-pleasent low-mid fatness to my ears, eq on amp doesn't fix this) to my ears. He said he uses one with a Fender cab. biggrin.gif

Since its all about sound, you really have to get out there demo'ing to find your tone. I always comment here on guitars as they share some relevances of tone but amps are a whole other story...

I'd say if you do like Fender amps and have the cash, just delay the 2.nd guitar as an amp you like will give you better tone and make you like your current guitar much more. To me in the analog world amps have a much bigger % of tone than guitars.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Sep 13 2015, 07:55 PM


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bleez
post Sep 13 2015, 09:36 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Sep 13 2015, 07:53 PM) *
I'd say if you do like Fender amps and have the cash, just delay the 2.nd guitar as an amp you like will give you better tone and make you like your current guitar much more. To me in the analog world amps have a much bigger % of tone than guitars.

I cant argue with your logic here cool.gif

The orange would be quite easy to try but I doubt I can find the VHT in an actual shop, they seem quite rare around here.


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Mudbone
post Sep 13 2015, 09:38 PM
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I just picked up a Fender Blues Junior III Tweed edition a couple of weeks ago. It was a revelation into a whole other aspect of playing I've seriously overlooked - clean playing laugh.gif

I was at Guitar Center a couple of weeks ago and decided to plug a standard Strat into a Fender amp. It was a "holy shit!" moment. That's it! That is THE sound!

I tried to talk myself out of buying it, so I convinced myself to wait until I get a coupon in the mail. The next day I got a 15% off coupon in my inbox. I guess it was a sign lol picked it up the next day.

Once I brought it home there were many things I realized. The most obvious was how poorly my guitars were setup. All of the fret buzz that was normally masked by mountains of gain or digital processing were readily apparent. Also, all of my pedals took on a new life. The few overdrive pedals I have became very distinguishable from each other, before I couldn't tell much of a difference. Mind you, I do have a few tube amps, but they're all geared towards the high gain sound. Plus those other tube amps have massive amounts of clean headroom.

I'm still learning how to get tones out of this amp. It's amazing how such a simple amp can generate so many tones. The most important tip I'll leave you with is this - plugging a Fender into a Fender is one of the most magnificent sounds you'll ever hear biggrin.gif I highly recommend it.


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bleez
post Sep 13 2015, 10:34 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Sep 13 2015, 09:38 PM) *
I just picked up a Fender Blues Junior III Tweed edition a couple of weeks ago. It was a revelation into a whole other aspect of playing I've seriously overlooked - clean playing laugh.gif

I was at Guitar Center a couple of weeks ago and decided to plug a standard Strat into a Fender amp. It was a "holy shit!" moment. That's it! That is THE sound!

I tried to talk myself out of buying it, so I convinced myself to wait until I get a coupon in the mail. The next day I got a 15% off coupon in my inbox. I guess it was a sign lol picked it up the next day.

Once I brought it home there were many things I realized. The most obvious was how poorly my guitars were setup. All of the fret buzz that was normally masked by mountains of gain or digital processing were readily apparent. Also, all of my pedals took on a new life. The few overdrive pedals I have became very distinguishable from each other, before I couldn't tell much of a difference. Mind you, I do have a few tube amps, but they're all geared towards the high gain sound. Plus those other tube amps have massive amounts of clean headroom.

I'm still learning how to get tones out of this amp. It's amazing how such a simple amp can generate so many tones. The most important tip I'll leave you with is this - plugging a Fender into a Fender is one of the most magnificent sounds you'll ever hear biggrin.gif I highly recommend it.

damn dude that sounds great! the blues Jnr was one of the amps I really liked. double the price of the orange and VHT but they sound great in every demo Ive seen. It watched a youtube vid of a guy plug his les paul into one and sounded amazing.
how do you find it is volume wise for playing at home, is it something you need to crank or it is good at a lower volumes?


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Mudbone
post Sep 14 2015, 03:38 AM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Sep 13 2015, 05:34 PM) *
damn dude that sounds great! the blues Jnr was one of the amps I really liked. double the price of the orange and VHT but they sound great in every demo Ive seen. It watched a youtube vid of a guy plug his les paul into one and sounded amazing.
how do you find it is volume wise for playing at home, is it something you need to crank or it is good at a lower volumes?


So far from my limited experience I can say that while using a Strat I can get great clean tones at low volumes. Add some reverb, delay and/or chorus and it sounds great. I've noticed that turning down the preamp volume and turning up the master volume allows the guitar to have more of a dynamic range with out breaking up. So when you brush the strings with your pick its very delicate, but then you dig in and it "pops" much louder. I am just now learning about picking dynamics. Apparently everything I was playing before was much too compressed.

When you get to crunch sounds it gets a bit more complicated, as it varies greatly on the guitar/pickups being used and if a overdrive/distortion pedal is being used. At very low volumes, it does get a bit thin and fizzy. but you don't have to turn it up much to get it to fill out. When I use the LTD H-1001 with EMG 57/66 pickups with the master at 1 and the preamp volume dimed out, I can get decent crunch sounds. It's not loud, but people in the next room will hear it. And if you live in an apartment with paper thin walls, your neighbors might hear a little bit of it. However, the amp in general isn't very heavy on the bottom end - it's definitely not a metal amp.

Keep in mind, I just picked this up, I'm still playing around with it and learning how overdrive and distortion pedals work with it. I just picked up a distortion pedal today (TC Electronic Dark Matter) to see how it handles higher gain, and so far I've been impressed. I also never thought I would've liked a distortion pedal lol

It is a totally different experience than the digital/solid state realm. Definitely give it a try bro biggrin.gif


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"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

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Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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bleez
post Sep 14 2015, 10:22 AM
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aw man, I just noticed that the blues Jr doesnt have an fx loop. Thats a bit of a downer.


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Phil66
post Sep 14 2015, 06:03 PM
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Have you looked at Blackstar 5 watt??


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 14 2015, 06:20 PM
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It's a fine amp and pretty much perfect for what you want smile.gif I'd say run your overdrive in front and chorus/delay in the loop.


QUOTE (bleez @ Sep 13 2015, 08:09 AM) *
Im thinking about getting a small amp for home use. Has anyone tried the VHT Special 6 Combo Ultra?
I wanted an amp which would be different from the all digital sound Ive been using so far and this is tube driven with an effects loop. I have a couple of overdrive pedals, cry baby at the moment and I'd like to add a few more pedals later on.

I tend to play 70's style blues rock and stoner rock mostly, any thought on this amp good or bad?



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Mertay
post Sep 14 2015, 06:25 PM
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Jetcity amps get nice reviews too, the only downside is its almost considered a sin not to change the stock tubes on it with nice ones.

I read a very long review of it (unfortunatly Turkish) but the user commented though this increases the price, options on tube models help customize the tone to users liking.


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bleez
post Sep 14 2015, 07:08 PM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Sep 14 2015, 06:03 PM) *
Have you looked at Blackstar 5 watt??

y'know I glanced at the blackstars but I had it in my head that they were more a metal type amp. I dont know if that's actually correct, probably not smile.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 14 2015, 06:20 PM) *
It's a fine amp and pretty much perfect for what you want smile.gif I'd say run your overdrive in front and chorus/delay in the loop.

yeah, that was what I had in mind. I was also planning on maybe a mxr uni-vibe in the loop as well for some trower / hendrix type vibes

QUOTE (Mertay @ Sep 14 2015, 06:25 PM) *
Jetcity amps get nice reviews too, the only downside is its almost considered a sin not to change the stock tubes on it with nice ones.

I read a very long review of it (unfortunatly Turkish) but the user commented though this increases the price, options on tube models help customize the tone to users liking.

not heard of jetcity. Ive read a few reviews about the VHT special where people have upgraded the speaker to a jensen.


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Phil66
post Sep 14 2015, 07:22 PM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Sep 14 2015, 07:08 PM) *
y'know I glanced at the blackstars but I had it in my head that they were more a metal type amp. I dont know if that's actually correct, probably not smile.gif


Not really, the company was started by ex Marshall staff and users include Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne/Firewind), Neal Schon(Journey), and James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers) so not just metal. They do have a metal range though wink.gif

Couple of demos. I have the HT1 R head and it is plenty loud enough for home use but no fx loop.



Or maybe the combo for you smile.gif



The last model of the combo was the best selling amp at Andertons for two years. MP3 input and emulated output too wink.gif



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Todd Simpson
post Sep 15 2015, 02:08 AM
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P.S. The "JET CITY" stuff is designed by MIKE SOLDANO of SOLDANO AMPLIFICATION. If you haven't heard of them do a quck youtube search. Jet City is sort of his budget line but still very good stuff smile.gif


QUOTE (bleez @ Sep 13 2015, 08:09 AM) *
Im thinking about getting a small amp for home use. Has anyone tried the VHT Special 6 Combo Ultra?
I wanted an amp which would be different from the all digital sound Ive been using so far and this is tube driven with an effects loop. I have a couple of overdrive pedals, cry baby at the moment and I'd like to add a few more pedals later on.

I tend to play 70's style blues rock and stoner rock mostly, any thought on this amp good or bad?



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bleez
post Sep 15 2015, 08:16 AM
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QUOTE (Phil66 @ Sep 14 2015, 07:22 PM) *
The last model of the combo was the best selling amp at Andertons for two years. MP3 input and emulated output too wink.gif

that combo has quite good specs, not sure its as versatile as the vht but worth checking out, thanks dude.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 15 2015, 02:08 AM) *
P.S. The "JET CITY" stuff is designed by MIKE SOLDANO of SOLDANO AMPLIFICATION. If you haven't heard of them do a quck youtube search. Jet City is sort of his budget line but still very good stuff smile.gif

ah cool, I know soldano amps. I'll check them out.


Here's a pretty decent example of the tones from the vht -


This post has been edited by bleez: Sep 15 2015, 08:29 AM


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Mertay
post Sep 15 2015, 11:35 AM
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1 tone amp users (Classic Fender amps) usually buy boutique eq pedals to shape character if needed.

These are kind of expensive cause they imitate amp eq's and much smoother sounding then graphic eq's (affordable ones). You also have the fx loop option for eq but that will work more like a balance thing rather than character, it will be almost like changing the speaker.

The VHT sounds fine on video's but engineering-wise I felt they had the idea of user friendly customization design if extras are ever requested. This is really up to you, while some enjoy this process a lot (like me) some feels more comfortable working around an overall tone center. It comes down to the use of money though if customization is wanted, as a preference of customizing the hell out of an amp like the VHT or simply buying a more expensive amp that covers enough needs and moving on. I guess this is the hard decision you're going to make.

Do check the Jet City stuff too, I remember amplitube has modeled of 2 of their amps.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Sep 15 2015, 11:37 AM


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Mudbone
post Sep 16 2015, 02:35 AM
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QUOTE (bleez @ Sep 14 2015, 05:22 AM) *
aw man, I just noticed that the blues Jr doesnt have an fx loop. Thats a bit of a downer.


What's funny is I didn't realize it until I had it at home for a couple of days laugh.gif I was a bit disappointed at first, but so far it hasn't been as essential as I thought it would be. But then again, I'm playing mostly clean stuff and am using overdrive and distortion pedals for the more gainy stuff.

But I must say, after playing around with it, for a nice rock tone, you will need to turn it up a bit. You won't really be able to get the tone to fill out at very low volumes. Fifteen watt tube amps aren't as quiet as you'd think. That's part of the reason why I'm having reservations about keeping it (I really don't want to part with it). Even 5 watt tube amps move some serious air. I don't know what your living arrangement is like, but if you live in a small apartment, a 1 watt tube amp might be your best bet.


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He who laughs last thinks slowest.

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
Amps: Mississippi Boom Box
Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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bleez
post Sep 16 2015, 08:34 AM
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Im not too bad for volume. I only have neighbours on one side, I cant crank an amp mega loud but I can get away with a bit of noise.
the VHT that is currently at the top of my shortlist has a switch for adjusting the watts, the theory being you turn that down and are able to crank the amp without needing too much overall volume to get it overdriven. How that works in real life, I dont know but I like the idea of that.


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