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#1
I recently purchased a VHT G 5034 CL Pitbull off of ebay. I played my first gig with in last night and I am less than impressed with the tone I was getting. I read a lot about these amps being near the top of the foodchain for high gain amps but the two mesa's in the band before us made my VHT sound like a Spider III.

Today I did a little researching and found a manual on the Fryette website for a VHT 50 CL and according to that manual the rectifier tube and the phase inverter tube on my amp are backwards with the rectifier tube that's in my amp not even matching the number the manual is calling for. Now if I switch the tubes around and have them as it shows in the manual I don't get any sound at all and neither tube lights up but if I switch them to how they were, backwards from the manual, I get sound and both tubes are lit up but the gain is very unimpressive. Hopefully someone out there might have experience with this head or ran into a similiar problem...It's just really frustrating to throw down $1200 on a head and not be too thrilled with it. I know you should try before you buy but I read so many good reviews on VHT's that I took the gamble.

Thanks in advance, I'm really scratching my head here.
#2
Quote by guitardude15801
I recently purchased a VHT G 5034 CL Pitbull off of ebay. I played my first gig with in last night and I am less than impressed with the tone I was getting. I read a lot about these amps being near the top of the foodchain for high gain amps but the two mesa's in the band before us made my VHT sound like a Spider III.

Today I did a little researching and found a manual on the Fryette website for a VHT 50 CL and according to that manual the rectifier tube and the phase inverter tube on my amp are backwards with the rectifier tube that's in my amp not even matching the number the manual is calling for. Now if I switch the tubes around and have them as it shows in the manual I don't get any sound at all and neither tube lights up but if I switch them to how they were, backwards from the manual, I get sound and both tubes are lit up but the gain is very unimpressive. Hopefully someone out there might have experience with this head or ran into a similiar problem...It's just really frustrating to throw down $1200 on a head and not be too thrilled with it. I know you should try before you buy but I read so many good reviews on VHT's that I took the gamble.

Thanks in advance, I'm really scratching my head here.


do you mean the tubes were in each other's sockets? because that makes no snese, seeing as rectifier tubes and PI tubes are completely different animals.
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#3
every pitbull video i've ever seen maxed out it seemed to not really have a really high-gain sound, more like a vintage-y modded tone to my ears. maybe that's why it didn't fit what sound you were looking for? you could also email them and ask what's up, maybe ask if they're the wrong kind of tubes. Maybe some of your preamp tubes aren't working right or it's biased really cold. idk. sorry i'm not much help.
#4
Attatched are some pics of what I mean. In this first pic I have shown the two tubes in the positions the manual calls for them to be in...when I recieved the amp they were in opposite sockets.

#5
In this pic are the two tubes in question. The one on the right is a Ruby 12A7XA which the manual calls for and on the left is a Philips EF 86 which the manual calls for a 5U4GB.

#6
I have the Pittbull 50/12 2x12 combo, running on 2 EL34s.

Make no mistake that the VHT is a high gain amp, but it is nothing like a Mesa. Mesas have sag and compression, VHTs stay tight, unsaturated and defined.

That being said, VHTs are sensitive to both speakers AND EQ settings. What settings were you using, and were you using any pedals?
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#7
Philips EF86? IIRC that's a very old preamp, tube not a rectifier tube. I'll go double check.


Edit: Yeah, that's an old pentode preamp tube. You need to get yourself the specified recto tube and it should be good. I can't begin to imagine how the hell it got there...
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Last edited by justinb904 at Aug 15, 2010,
#8
For the Red drive channel I had the gain maxed, the treble about 1:00 the mid about 11:00 and the bass about 3:00. The heaviest tone I can get out of this is an AC/DC ish type crunch. I tried running a line 6 floor pod that I have lying around but that thing makes all kinds of noise and feedback. Also the drive channel on this thing hisses like crazy even with a noise gate infront of it.
#9
Those settings shouldn't be too bad... Might want to bump the mids up a little bit more and possibly pull back the bass a touch. Again though, the VHT is going to have a much drier sound than you're used to so it might SOUND like you're not getting enough gain.

Also I know you said you were gigging so what was your volume at? Knowing which speakers you were using would also be helpful.
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#10
Cool thanks!! Do you have any idea why the amp will run with the two tubes in opposite sockets to what the manual calls for?? If I put them in the sockets the manual says to they won't even light up and I can't get any sound out of the amp. If I put them in opposite sockets (backwards to what the manual shows) I can get sound out of the amp and even take out the one tube and it makes not effect on the sound.
#11
Quote by DrNick
Those settings shouldn't be too bad... Might want to bump the mids up a little bit more and possibly pull back the bass a touch. Again though, the VHT is going to have a much drier sound than you're used to so it might SOUND like you're not getting enough gain.

Also I know you said you were gigging so what was your volume at? Knowing which speakers you were using would also be helpful.


We were playing an outdoor gig sound my volume was cranked. I'm running through Rivera 2x12 cab with 2 Celestion G 70 8 ohm speakers.
#12
Quote by guitardude15801
For the Red drive channel I had the gain maxed, the treble about 1:00 the mid about 11:00 and the bass about 3:00. The heaviest tone I can get out of this is an AC/DC ish type crunch. I tried running a line 6 floor pod that I have lying around but that thing makes all kinds of noise and feedback. Also the drive channel on this thing hisses like crazy even with a noise gate infront of it.

Check the edit in my other post. Some idiot put a NOS pentode preamp tube in there. I'm not surprised it sounds bad. I'm kinda surprised it makes sound at all. Finding an old Philips EF86 in your relatively new amp is like finding an old rare vinyl lp in a used cd player you bought(except it fits the socket).
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#13
I do like the tightness of the amp but the ovedrive is definately lacking because pinch harmonics sound like I'm on a clean channel or something
#14
Quote by justinb904
Check the edit in my other post. Some idiot put a NOS pentode preamp tube in there. I'm not surprised it sounds bad. I'm kinda surprised it makes sound at all. Finding an old Philips EF86 in your relatively new amp is like finding an old rare vinyl lp in a used cd player you bought(except it fits the socket).


That's why I hate buying things like this used!! This is my first tube head so this is all new to me but when my Spider II sounds better than a $1200 all tube head there's something wrong lol. Do you have an idea how much a rectifier tube runs and where I can get one at??
#15
https://ssl.eurotubes.com/cart/index.php?page=view_products&category_id=4&sub_category_id=175
$14
order one, pop it in and your amp should roar

You could probably sell the EF86 on ebay, old Philips tubes are hard to come by and amp junkies love them
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Last edited by justinb904 at Aug 15, 2010,
#16
sort out those valves and maybe get it checked out by a tech (just make sure nothing else is wrong, he'll sort the rectifier for you)... oh and sell that EF86, it may be worth something...

Trust me, Pitbulls do not disappoint - albeit mine is a much less high gain oriented amp, but its the same company and product line and they're rockin amps!

also Im sure you've played with the amp enough to work this out, but if its sounding too vintagey, you probably have it in the wrong class...
Last edited by SwampAshSpecial at Aug 15, 2010,
#17
olololololol

Did you not notice the 12AX7 just hanging on the side? Maybe you should swap the two.
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#18
How the hell did it take this long for everybody to realize the EF86 shouldn't be there?

That's a Vox preamp tube.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#19
Quote by bubb_tubbs
How the hell did it take this long for everybody to realize the EF86 shouldn't be there?

That's a Vox preamp tube.


That and the 12AX7 just sitting there in an odd tube holder.
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#20
Quote by justinb904
Philips EF86? IIRC that's a very old preamp, tube not a rectifier tube. I'll go double check.


Edit: Yeah, that's an old pentode preamp tube. You need to get yourself the specified recto tube and it should be good. I can't begin to imagine how the hell it got there...


That's not the rectifier socket. All he needs to do is swap the aforementioned 12AX7 with the EF86 in there.
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#21
yeah I was checking that spare out and the manual says that I can switch the shielded tube with that one for more gain on the green channel which is the amps clean channel so I didn't mess with it. The guy I bought it from is trying to pull a fast one on me, he's trying to tell me the amp is stock from the factory!!
#22
Quote by bubb_tubbs
How the hell did it take this long for everybody to realize the EF86 shouldn't be there?

That's a Vox preamp tube.

I did as soon as he posted the pic buy my posts seemed to go unnoticed for a while...

and to think, I have a really colorful sig just so people would notice me

Quote by mmolteratx
That's not the rectifier socket. All he needs to do is swap the aforementioned 12AX7 with the EF86 in there.

from what I could tell based on his description, he had the 12ax7 in the recto socket and the EF86 in the preamp socket and no rectifier tube anywhere
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Last edited by justinb904 at Aug 15, 2010,
#23
Quote by guitardude15801
yeah I was checking that spare out and the manual says that I can switch the shielded tube with that one for more gain on the green channel which is the amps clean channel so I didn't mess with it. The guy I bought it from is trying to pull a fast one on me, he's trying to tell me the amp is stock from the factory!!


It is... Changing tubes isn't considered modding.
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#24
Quote by mmolteratx
It is... Changing tubes isn't considered modding.


But putting the wrong tube in the wrong socket's gotta count for something
#25
^ To be fair, you were reading a diagram and didn't catch it either.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#26
It's got the correct tube sitting in a holder on the inside of the headshell... I mean, the guy is a dumb ass for putting that in there but it's still a stock amp.
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#27
Quote by mmolteratx
It's got the correct tube sitting in a holder on the inside of the headshell... I mean, the guy is a dumb ass for putting that in there but it's still a stock amp.


He told me it is a stock amp and noone has ever messed with it. It's plain as day that the back has been taken off this thing.

Also I'm a bit confused about the rectifier tube and the phase inverter tubes. The ones that I took out of this amp which are pictured are both 9 prongs and were in opposite sockets?? I hear this is impossible so I'm confused lol
#28
Quote by guitardude15801
But putting the wrong tube in the wrong socket's gotta count for something

That's just more being stupid, though you could make the argument that one of the tubes isn't stock but that's not really much to worry about considering you'd change them eventually.

What you should do is make sure you have all the right tubes in all the right sockets. For all we know the rectifier tube is hiding somewhere in there, but if it's missing you will need to buy a new one.
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#29
Those are both preamp tubes. A rectifier is an octal tube and is much larger than your typical noval ones. One of the ones you labeled may be the PI but I'm not sure about the layout of your amp. You mind posting a larger picture of the entire back?

EDIT: ^lol at rectifier tube hiding. If it wasn't there the amp wouldn't work.
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#31
Quote by DrNick
http://www.vhtusers.com/documents/G50CL_functions.pdf

Page 3. The EF86 IS supposed to be in there... Just make sure it was in the right spot.

FWIW, my VHT has an EF86 as well. I just verified the tubes in my amp and they're all in the correct spots. My amp sounds fine.


Come on TS. You have the tube diagram right?

And this is what a 5U4GB looks like.
https://www.cryoset.com/catalog/images/eh5u4.jpg

And this picture:


The rectifier is the one on the far left by itself. That model is slightly different from yours as there is no reverb.
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Last edited by mmolteratx at Aug 15, 2010,
#32
Quote by DrNick
http://www.vhtusers.com/documents/G50CL_functions.pdf

Page 3. The EF86 IS supposed to be in there... Just make sure it was in the right spot.

FWIW, my VHT has an EF86 as well. I just verified the tubes in my amp and they're all in the correct spots. My amp sounds fine.

I'll be damned, I've never herd of a EF86 being used other than as a preamp gain stage in old tweeds and in vox amps.
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#33
Quote by justinb904
That's just more being stupid, though you could make the argument that one of the tubes isn't stock but that's not really much to worry about considering you'd change them eventually.

What you should do is make sure you have all the right tubes in all the right sockets. For all we know the rectifier tube is hiding somewhere in there, but if it's missing you will need to buy a new one.


A friend and I were checking it out earlier and looking at the back of the amp starting on the right and with the row of tubes closest to the front panel are:

1. shielded tube - Sovtek 0404 12AX7WB (the spare tube is the same exact thing)
2. Ruby - 7025SS/ 12AX7A
3. Ruby - 12AX7A
4. Phase Inverter - Ruby 7025SS/ 12AX7A
5. Rectifier Tube - Philips EF 86
6-7 EL 34's

Now when I recieved the amp 4 and 5 where in opposite sockets. With the recommended rectifier tube being nowhere in site.
#34
The EF86 isn't a rectifier tube! It serves as the reverb driver in your amp!
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#35
Like I said I'm new to tube amps, just trying to figure out why this things sounds like ass. the Rectifier tube that is in it is a 5AR4
#36
I'll take a picture of my amp in a little while and help you sort things out.

My amp has four different types of tubes - 12AX7s, one EF86, two EL34s, and some sort of separate rectifier tube (manual says 5AR4 but I'll check).
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#37
Sorry for the double post but this is pretty relevant on its own.

Any chance you could get us a clip/video? It's still ENTIRELY possible that you're just not a fan of the VHT tone and your amp is working okay. It's a love/hate thing.
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#38
The voltages will be higher with the 5AR4. Throws off the bias on the preamp tubes as well as the power tubes. Throw a 5U4GB in there.

EDIT: Nevermind. I forgot we established that your amp was the reverb model. The rectifier tube is correct.
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Last edited by mmolteratx at Aug 15, 2010,
#39
According to the PDF DrNick posted the EF86 should be in V4, V5 is a 12ax7 as a phase inverter then the V6 as the rectifier followed by the two EL34s.

A better pic of the tube sockets might be helpful.
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Last edited by justinb904 at Aug 15, 2010,
#40
Quote by DrNick
Sorry for the double post but this is pretty relevant on its own.

Any chance you could get us a clip/video? It's still ENTIRELY possible that you're just not a fan of the VHT tone and your amp is working okay. It's a love/hate thing.


I can probably have a clip tomorrow, it's a little late here now. To describe the tone I'm getting with this is at heaviest a good crunchy AC/DC tone and is good for lighter stuff like Buckcherry, theory of a deadman, 7 mary 3, etc. The amp when turned up to band level on the drive channel has a decently loud hiss and I'm using a MXR Smartgate infront of it. When it comes time for us to do our heavier covers (Killswitch Engage, Bullet for my Valentine) the overdrive just lacks big time. Instead of my pinch harmonics squeeling they sound kinda like when you try doing a pinch harmonic on a crunch setting kinda hollow sounding-ish. I just can't believe this is the best this amp can do...if so I am extremely dissapointed.
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