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Old 03-20-2013, 10:51 AM   #21
Dave_Mc
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^^ ah right it was you posting on tgp

I thought vht said the ultra had an extra switchable gain stage over and above the bog standard special 6? I only have a very basic knowledge of electronics, though, which often serves to give me the wrong end of the stick I can (sort of) read a schematic but I wouldn't put any money on having read it correctly, kind of thing.

what i would say is (assuming you have the combo), put a new speaker in there before spending tons on tubes. That's not to say tubes won't make a difference, but a speaker will make a far bigger one.

EDIT: ^ yep, it's single-ended so no biasing. I think it can use most octal tubes. I think vht said a couple of the less common ones ran a bit hot, so not to run them for too long, but yeah.

I've only tried a 6v6 as it did the sound i wanted and I'm lazy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:56 AM   #22
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very cool, i was just reading about that. i'm almost tempted to try to find a used on on the usual sites just to try it out.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:57 AM   #23
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it'll even take an el84 if you buy the vht adaptor (which isn't that much... how well it works, though, i dunno).

but yeah it seems quite cool. i got my special 6 before the ultra came out.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:35 AM   #24
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HVHTD



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yngwie#1
For preamp tunes I'm thinking JJ 12AX7's which have slightly less gain than most other 12AX7 brands


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
The JJ isn't perfect- it's possibly a little on the edgy/trebly side of things, but the tungsol is way too far the other way. The JJ is slightly too abrasive-sounding; the TungSol is far too dark and creamy (at least in an amp which is already on the dark side).


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Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
i think the JJs are the wrong way to go for preamp tubes,



I. Don't. Even.

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Old 03-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
^^ ah right it was you posting on tgp

I thought vht said the ultra had an extra switchable gain stage over and above the bog standard special 6? what i would say is (assuming you have the combo), put a new speaker in there before spending tons on tubes. That's not to say tubes won't make a difference, but a speaker will make a far bigger one. I've only tried a 6v6 as it did the sound i wanted and I'm lazy.


^ Yeah, wish I could get my account name here reset to my real name. I'm getting tired of Yngwie, LOL. Still into the neoclassic genre but listening more to new blood playing that style now.

The first 'preamp' tube in the V1 position acts like 2 gain stages. The Clean input uses 1/2 and the Ultra uses both halves of the tube. I had that misconception too. As far as the stock VHT Chromeback speaker I actually like it because it seems to be British voiced which some people refer to as a darker sound. But I do plan on changing it to a 12" Celestion Greenback eventually.

Right now I'm in my tube experimentation phase. I got 2 NOS 'made in USA' tubes from my father-in-law; a '58 GE 6V6GT in it now which I like, and a '53 RCA 6V6GT that I haven't tried yet. The RCA tube has a slight ridge around the base which I'm told means it was run hot in the past. But I really want to try an EL34 power tube that in combination with a Celestion speaker should sound great.

I'm asking about the V2 'FX loop buffer' tube position thinking that a lower gain preamp tube might be better used there since all the real gain and character comes from the V1 tube position and don't need any further amplification through the FX loop. So I'm thinking of using a 12AX7 in V1, and either a 12AT7 or 12AU7 in V2. But I'm looking again at the schematic and see 1/2 of V2 is used in the effects loop and the other half acts as preamp gain to the power tube! So maybe I should leave well enough alone.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 311ZOSOVHJH
I. Don't. Even.





JJ 12ax7s are pretty dark but the JJ 6v6 is pretty bright (and tungsol seems to be vice-versa). that's what i meant. since the vht is a pretty dark amp stock i'd avoid JJ for the preamp tubes (and maybe go with tungsol) but grab a JJ 6v6 for the poweramp. Obviously YMMV and all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yngwie#1
(a) ^ Yeah, wish I could get my account name here reset to my real name. I'm getting tired of Yngwie, LOL. Still into the neoclassic genre but listening more to new blood playing that style now.

(b) The first 'preamp' tube in the V1 position acts like 2 gain stages. The Clean input uses 1/2 and the Ultra uses both halves of the tube. I had that misconception too. (c) As far as the stock VHT Chromeback speaker I actually like it because it seems to be British voiced which some people refer to as a darker sound. But I do plan on changing it to a 12" Celestion Greenback eventually.

(d) Right now I'm in my tube experimentation phase. I got 2 NOS 'made in USA' tubes from my father-in-law; a '58 GE 6V6GT in it now which I like, and a '53 RCA 6V6GT that I haven't tried yet. The RCA tube has a slight ridge around the base which I'm told means it was run hot in the past. But I really want to try an EL34 power tube that in combination with a Celestion speaker should sound great.

(e) I'm asking about the V2 'FX loop buffer' tube position thinking that a lower gain preamp tube might be better used there since all the real gain and character comes from the V1 tube position and don't need any further amplification through the FX loop. So I'm thinking of using a 12AX7 in V1, and either a 12AT7 or 12AU7 in V2. But I'm looking again at the schematic and see 1/2 of V2 is used in the effects loop and the other half acts as preamp gain to the power tube! So maybe I should leave well enough alone.


(a)

(b) yeah I'm aware that 12ax7s are dual triodes, but in the special 6 its preamp uses both triodes. Granted you can get more or less gain out of a gain stage depending on how the circuit is designed etc. But it does make me wonder about the claims of the ultra's clean channel being the same as the regular special 6, and the claims that the ultra has an extra gain stage.

Unless I misread the ad copy. Or unless we've misread the schematic (that's certainly a definite possibility in my case)

(c) I didn't really like the stock speaker (assuming the speaker in the 1x12 extension cab is the same as in your combo, of course). It seemed very muffled etc. I don't think it sounded that much like a greenback. Admittedly- i only tried it for a few minutes to see what it was like, as I already had a replacement eminence gb128 that I was itching to get loaded up. It's entirely possible (make that "probable") that breaking the stock speaker in better would have helped the tone a lot. But certainly out of the box, the eminence smoked it.

(d) nice

(e) that makes more sense, and ties in with the suggestions that it has an extra gain stage

It may well be worth emailing vht, any time i emailed them they were more than happy to get technical (the vht/axl main dude who designed the amp answered!)- they could clarify for sure how many gain stages the thing has, what effect different tubes will have, etc. etc.

good luck
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:26 PM   #27
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Oh, VHT says the 12" Chromeback speaker is British voiced. But based on YouTube sound comparisons of different speakers (but not with the Chromeback) the Celestion Greenback sounds a bit brighter to me. An EL34 power tube swap should help the Celestion sound slightly more Marshall-esque I suppose. Plus the amp is mod-friendly so over time I'll be making some changes. VHT support like you said is very responsive. I've emailed them many times before and after purchasing the amp and they've answered every question very promptly! They even said doing mods won't violate the warranty and will stand behind the quality of their components within reason of course as long as you don't do anything crazy.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:41 PM   #28
Dave_Mc
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yeah it may well be british-voiced, but as you said, the greenback is a fair bit brighter. there's warm (which the greenback is) and then there's muffled (which the vht speaker was- granted, it wasn't broken in).

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Old 03-20-2013, 06:07 PM   #29
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Yes well I'm thinking near the end of May I'll justify to my wife the speaker upgrade for my birthday
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:09 PM   #30
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hahahaha

yeah i sorta forget that i'm my own boss (within reason), and i only have to justify this stuff to myself. Which isn't as hard as it sounds
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:16 AM   #31
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These cop shit because of the whole Fryette name situation, but honestly, people really need to actually listen to these amps before judging them purely on legal matters. They are a great amp at this price point, and I play through them every time I test guitars at my local shop.
A great overall product. Good buy man, good buy.

HNAD
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:18 PM   #32
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Tonight I installed a '53 RCA 6V6GT power tube in my Special 6 Ultra that I got from my father-in-law and it still works! Hard to tell from memory if it sounds different than the '58 GE 6V6GT that I also got from him. Never thought I'd dig using a 6V6 before I got this amp. Next weekend I hope to score some more vintage era tubes from the yearly Computerfest/Ham Radio show event at my State Fairgrounds. I'll try an EL34 if I get one there, since that should be different sounding. That will also help determine getting either a 16 ohm or 8 ohm Celestion V30 speaker if I like it with the stock speaker. VHT told me if I stick with an EL34 an 8 ohm speaker would be a more optimal for that tube's output, but it would still work with a 16 ohm speaker.

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:50 AM   #33
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6V6 amps are very underrated with today's guitarist. They've got their own thing going on (in a good way), and vintage ones aren't through the roof like 6L6's or EL34's. I wonder if that will take a 6L6B or whatever it was, the low power 6L6. I've got a couple floating around somewhere.. I've been tempted to try one in my Champ, but I don't wanna risk blowing the original OT in it .

There was a regular Special 6 that popped up on my CL a few days ago for a decent price, I was very tempted to buy it but feared it *might* weasel out my Champ


EDIT: I just skimmed over this, but I believe you're going for a warmer tone yes? Try finding a vintage American Tung Sol and try it in there, they're my favorite of the American tubes and have a chimey warm tone to them. My next favorite are the RCA 7025's which you might like as well, though they are pricey

A speaker upgrade will have a LOT more bank for your buck. I wish I could help suggest a speaker but I wouldn't know where to start on such a low wattage amp, I kept the stock CTS speaker in my Champ. Currently my favorite speaker for blues/light rock is a G12H30, the anniversary edition. Fat bottom end
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:24 AM   #34
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ah right i didn't realise that about different power tubes affecting the impedance (but it stands to sense, i guess), thanks for the info.

Yeah I like 6v6es. Enough that I never bothered experimenting with other power amp tubes, lol.

as i've said before, i agree that a new speaker probably has more bang for the buck than tubes.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:08 AM   #35
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The stock speaker gives this amp a warm or dark tone right out of the box. I like it but want to try a 12" Celestion Vintage 30, which will probably make it 'seem' brighter in comparision, and I'm not sure if I should buy an 16 ohm or 8 ohm version depending on the power tube used. The amp has a 4ohm/8ohm/16ohm selector switch that works for both external cabs and the internal speaker. So I want to settle on which tubes I like, especially the power tube type between 6V6GT/EL34 first. At the Computerfest/Radio show (actually more of an electronics flea market) there will be a lot of low price vintage NOS tubes for sale. I will buy a selection of them. Here is the most recent VHT tech support email reply I got over the issue of EL34 and matching a replacement speaker's 16 ohm vs 8 ohm impedance:

Quote:
"You are correct about the impedance, when substituting tubes like an EL34, to be theoretically correct, the impedance selector should be set to twice the speaker impedance. To say it another way, to be theoretically correct, you should use the 16 ohm impedance selector setting with an 8 ohm speaker. Of course the stock speaker is 16 ohms, so theoretically it would need a 32 ohm impedance selector setting, and of course the Ultra doesn't have a 32 ohm output setting. The good news is the impedance setting isn't as critical as some people think, so you can run the stock 16 ohm speaker with an EL34 without any problems. No worries. If you're considering a replacement speaker to run with an EL34, you should consider an 8 ohm speaker, as it will give you the option of being theoretically correct, and it will also allow you to experiment with different impedances as well. The key to understanding how this works is understanding that a speaker's rated impedance is a "nominal" impedance, and a speaker's actually impedance varies greatly with frequency, so it's really only "8 ohms" at certain frequencies, and generally much higher at other frequencies. Hope this helps, no worries, feel free to experiment, thanks for contacting VHT Customer Support."
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:56 AM   #36
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ah yeah that's a good point, you can't decide on the speaker to a certain extent until you've decided on the tubes because of the impedance thing. sorry about that, had a bit of a "there's a hole in the bucket" moment there

And yeah i mean if you can pick up a bunch of cheap NOS tubes then do that

thanks for the info from VHT, too.

EDIT: yeah the v30 can be either brightish or darkish depending on how you look at it. it's bright because it doesn't have much bass and has a lot of upper mids, but it's also quite dark if you consider the top-end is rolled off. It's also brighter before it's been broken in.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:49 PM   #37
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i would not recommend a 12AU7 in place of the 12ax7 in the preamp. that is a very drastic drop in gain and your amp might not be designed for it.

12at7 in the last spot generally works fine, but even then, do your research and make sure the amp can take it. the current of a 12at7 is like 10x that of a 12ax7 (though lower gain...or something like that). i rock 12at7s in the last, i like the effect.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:35 AM   #38
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At the local Computerfest Hamboree show yesterday I ended up getting an Electro-Harmonix EL34 for $12 and two Tung-Sol 12AX7 preamp tubes for $10 each. Surprisingly I didn't like the Electro-Harmonix EL34 that I bought not because of the tone, but because it felt like the speaker was buzzing or distorting. This was probably because to be optimal with the output impedance change an EL34 really needs an 8 Ohm speaker in this amp instead of the stock 16 Ohm.



So in the end I'm running the two Tung-Sol 12AX7's and any one of my RCA 6V6GT's - right now the 1961 one just to check that one out too. All the vintage GE and RCA 6V6GT's that I tried sound good in this amp.



How would you rank these NOS vintage 6V6GT power tubes to each other? I've tried the following in my 'S6U' and they all sound great - 1953 GE 6V6GT, 1958 RCA 6V6GT Grey Glass, and 1961 RCA 6V6GT Clear Glass. Are there any favorites?
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