#1
I'm on the look out for a new amp. I currently have a Spider Valve MK112 but can't seem to get the tone I need no matter how much tweaking I do.

When I tried it in the store I didn’t really have the time to dial in the tones I wanted but I was confident that once home this could be achieved. I wanted an amp that would deliver great tones at low bedroom volumes but also wanted some beef there to crank it up if I had the odd jamming session with friends. I wanted the best of both worlds in that respect. I‘ve had plenty of time to dabble to try and make my own patches and edit other patches downloaded from customtone but to be honest I still haven’t really found what I’m looking for.

This is probably all down to my own naivety. I was assuming that I would still be able to dial in great tones to be played at bedroom volumes. I’m sure this amp is amazing when it is cranked up (I haven’t tried), I mean lets face it is a valve amp and I’m just not pushing them very hard which makes me think I’m not getting the best out of it. I have managed to dial in what I would say are acceptable cleans but I haven’t found a good distorted rock tone that I like at low volumes. I’ve messed around and tweaked countless tones. Downloaded, and tried different firmware versions but still am not impressed. The main problem I find is that the tone breaks up too quickly on distorted tones when soloing unless I use loads of vibrato. I've tried messing with the noise gate to remedy this to no avail.

Perhaps a change of valves would help?

Or maybe its time to move on…..

Vox Valvetronix VT+. Wow!!!!

I was in a store recently and tried the Vox Valvetronix VT20+. To be honest I was blown away by it. I could pretty much dial in the tones I had been looking for instantly. The clean and distorted tones were amazing and the I found that notes would just keep ringing out forever without any break up of the tone.

Again I’m looking for the best of both worlds. I’d like an amp that will be great for use at home but I also want to be able to crank it up for the odd jamming session. These amps have a built in attenuator so I'm assuming I could still push the valve hard but have low volumes if needed? Line 6 why couldn’t you have done this with the spider valve? There might not have been any need for this thread if you had!!!

I know the valvetronix isn’t a true tube amp unlike the spider valve, although some will still argue that the spider valve isn’t either because of modelling and other electrickery etc, but that’s not why I’m here. I just want great tones at low volumes but with the option to crank it up once every now and again.

So that said. Does anyone have any experience of the Vox Valvetronix + range? I was thinking of maybe the VT40+ or the VT80+. I like the idea of the VT120+ but think it might be a bit overkill. But that said if it has an attenuator then in theory I shouldn't I still be able to crank it up pushing the valve and still have great tones at low volumes?

Or would I be mad to sell the spider valve for one of these and perhaps a change of tubes would sort out the sustain problem? Or will I only ever get a good tone from the spider valve when its cranked up?

If you're just a Line 6 hater of which I know there are many here I've heard it all before.

Any constructive advice would be greatfully received.
Last edited by Goochster at Mar 28, 2012,
#2
If you tried the VT20+ and were blown away with it, you've pretty much already answered your question about whether you should upgrade from your Spider.

Changing the tubes in an amp like a Spider isn't really worth it IMO.

VT's have some great tones and provide some good effects (some not so good - namely the auto-wah) and like you said the attenuator is a good addition.

Not sure about the 20, but the 40 is certainly enough for the occasional jam session. The 80 & 120 probably would be a bit of overkill for that, but if your jam sessions evolve into a gigging band I'm not convinced the 40 would be enough, so make sure you take that into consideration.

Do you use any effects? Although the VT's do have some built in, if you need any more the amp doesn't have an effects loop so everything you add is going in before the modelling and that doesn't always work.

Also, the volume changes significantly when changing between models, but that's easily worked around.

Other than that, I'd definitely say the VT+ range is definitely a good buy considering how much you get for the money you pay for them, and as you've already decided you prefer it to your current amp there seems to be no reason for you not to buy it.

Did you try other amps as well as the VT series? You will probably get loads of comments saying you should buy whatever is that person's favourite, but that really means nothing - the only way to find out which is best for you is to try things yourself.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Mar 28, 2012,
#3
Thanks for the reply Gary.

My main question with the VT series though is, if it has an attenuator can I get the best of both worlds by buying say a VT120+? I know it may sound a bit overkill but if I could afford it would it be better to get that then attenuate it for low volumes when used at home which is most of the time? Would I still get as good as tone or even better at low volumes as say a VT40+ at the same volume?

I could sell the spider valve and get a VT120+ which again would be played at low volume 99% of the time or would this be mad? I'm just trying to future proof myself by having a bigger amp. But if the tone is going to be crap at low volumes then I should probably go for something smaller.

If I could fix the hideous sustain/tone breakup problem on my spider valve then maybe I would think again about selling it. But the Valvetronix amps do sound good for the price. I just need to get my hands on the VT40+, 80 and 120 to compare.
#4
Although I loved my old Vox AD15, the Vox will be a step down from the Spider valve. Even though the spider valve has a tube power section, it still sounds good at low volumes. Can you please explain the sustain problem you are having in more detail? What do you mean by "tone breakup"? If it truly is a sustain problem, it could be guitar related rather than amp related.
#5
Have you tried running the preamp on the SV supremely low (like just a tic above 0) and the master wide open? It makes a massive difference to the tone.
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#6
Quote by Goochster
My main question with the VT series though is, if it has an attenuator can I get the best of both worlds by buying say a VT120+? I know it may sound a bit overkill but if I could afford it would it be better to get that then attenuate it for low volumes when used at home which is most of the time? Would I still get as good as tone or even better at low volumes as say a VT40+ at the same volume?

My VT40+ almost permanently has the attenuator set at around 25%. The main reason I bought the 40 was because I only currently play at home, so didn't need anything louder, however like you I also wanted to be able to use it for jam sessions should the opportunity arise. The 40 seemed like the best compromise for me. (Also I think the 20 only has 22 models instead of 33, but don't quote me on that).

If you're definitely going to be regularly using it for jamming, then the larger one would definitely be worth the investment in your case. The 120 would probably provide a better overall sound because it is a 2x12 instead of the single speaker you'd get in the 80 (IIRC). You'd need to try both to compare.

Quote by zl1288
Can you please explain the sustain problem you are having in more detail? What do you mean by "tone breakup"? If it truly is a sustain problem, it could be guitar related rather than amp related.

This is worth investigating, can you confirm if it is a sustain thing you're having problems with? If it is, the VT+ may not be the answer:
It's very possible that I just haven't quite dialed it in yet to get the perfect setup, but I definitely get less usable sustain with my VT than I did with my previous amp (using the same guitars), and that was only an AVT so it wasn't like I've downgraded from something awesome and noticed the difference.

If increasing sustain is your only reason for wanting a new amp, then try someone else's guitar in your current amp to see if their guitar works better with it. If it does, a different guitar may be the answer.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Mar 28, 2012,
#7
Thanks all for your advice. Its much appreciated.

I have tried 2 different guitars with the same results. I have also tried having the master as low as possible and the channel volume as high and possible and vice versa.

When I plug my guitars in to friends amps the tone seems fine when soloing.

I've been without my FBV pedal for a while as it was being repaired and without it tweaking tones are a nighmare. Now I 've got it back I'm going to have one last marathon session messing with the setttings this weekend before investigating new amp possibilities.

Thanks again!