#1
So i've had this thing for about a month now and let me say it is convincing, it was convincing in the store too compared to a vox AC15 ( i demoed several amps) i had a hard time hearing how the AC15 was better sounding than the VT with the AC15 model selected.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the valvetronix, its basically a hybrid amp with a 12ax7 tube behaving like a mini power amp, whose signal is then fed to a transparent SS amp, in other words, it sounds like a tube because it is a tube. I can also get a tube overdriven sound by cranking the volume up. After quite a bit of fiddling i'm assuming the master volume control actually controls the input to the 12ax7 and the "power" knob just controls the SS amp. Turn the power knob down and the master knob up and things get nice and crunchy, turn them both to the max and things get crunchy and loud.

Anyways am i really missing out on an all tube amp? I don't gig, i goof around on my guitar in my bedroom and make some recordings every now and then volume is an issue, getting something that's all tube and even only 5-15 watts would be way too damned loud.
#2
If you're just playing at lower volumes, you'll probably be fine. A real AC15 will sound better turned up though. The valvetronix falls apart when turned up and doesn't cut through live as well as other amps.
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#3
Quote by sg4ever
If you're just playing at lower volumes, you'll probably be fine. A real AC15 will sound better turned up though. The valvetronix falls apart when turned up and doesn't cut through live as well as other amps.

This is everything you need to know.

The VT is a great little practice amp and fun to play with, but when you get to a place where you start playing gigs or even just jamming with a drummer, then it's time to buy the AC15/30/other valve amp.
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#4
Quote by sg4ever
If you're just playing at lower volumes, you'll probably be fine. A real AC15 will sound better turned up though. The valvetronix falls apart when turned up and doesn't cut through live as well as other amps.


Couldn't agree more. I've had the same amp for a year or two, it's basically a multieffect unit integrated with the power amp and a speaker.

I would even dare to say it feels more "digital" than a standard SS amplifier without the modelling stuff. You don't hear that as much as you feel it under the fingers, it really has a lack of dynamics. Which is why an all tube amp is usually better.
#5
Agreed with all above. Valvetronix made my Metal Zone sound good (I ain't lying, I swear), but on higher volumes I find the sound just too thin.
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#6
If you don't gig, and you don't hear the difference, then don't get a new amp. In my opinion, one or both of those situations will change down the road sometime, and you can upgrade then. I wig I could go back to being happy with the sound of my practice amp.
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#7
I think the tube in the Valvetronix amp is just a marketing gimmick. "It has a tube so it must sound good." I bet that the good sound of the Vlavetronix amp has very little to do with the tube. It might give it some kind of "flavor" but yeah, the amp is mostly solid state. And I also found that the VT amp lacked dynamics. I liked its Vox tones but the high gain tones sounded weird IMO, didn't like them at all.

But yeah, if you are satisfied with your current amp, I see no point in upgrading it.

And there's a volume knob for a reason. Almost all tube amps will be too loud to be cranked in your bedroom. But the thing is, you don't need to crank them up to sound good. IMO my Laney VC30 at bedroom levels sounds better than any solid state or digital amp I have played through at any levels.
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#8
The Valvetronix line are great little amps for practice.
You can get away with small gigs if you have the 30 watt or better. Barely.
But you cab do it, as long as your drummer isn't to heavy handed.

I used to have an AD30VT (until I had to pawn it for moving money ).

IMO the stock speaker is less than ideal.
I put an Eminence Ragin Cajun in it, and it as like a whole new amp to me.

Although IMO (again), it didn't emulate the AC30 sound all that well.
But that could could be due to the fact that the AD30VT had a single 10 inch speaker and my AC30 has a 2x12 (Celestion Gold and G12K-85).

But the Valvetronix are still great little amps.
I want another one.
#9
I like my Tonelab (the higher end version of the Valvetronix circuit). It gives me the chance to explore a lot of different tones and amps, even if just in a rough sense. But after a few years of it, I realized that I left it on my custom JCM800 setting 90% of the time. (and a Vox the rest) That taught me a lot about what I actually wanted from an amp.

Especially for people who are still finding their own sound, or just want to be able to explore, the Vox modeling stuff is great.
#10
Quote by Promit
I like my Tonelab (the higher end version of the Valvetronix circuit). It gives me the chance to explore a lot of different tones and amps, even if just in a rough sense. But after a few years of it, I realized that I left it on my custom JCM800 setting 90% of the time. (and a Vox the rest) That taught me a lot about what I actually wanted from an amp.

Especially for people who are still finding their own sound, or just want to be able to explore, the Vox modeling stuff is great.

this is one thing i like about it. so many different things i can do and so many different sounds i can get. being someone who is still learning guitar and fairly new at it, the ability to get everything from over the top black metal distortion to crunchy classic rock is pretty useful.
#11
Quote by souperman08
If you don't gig, and you don't hear the difference, then don't get a new amp. In my opinion, one or both of those situations will change down the road sometime, and you can upgrade then. I wig I could go back to being happy with the sound of my practice amp.
There is a big difference in feel. Wind the AC15 up to the edge of breakup and it will respond to your picking in ways that the Valvetronix can only dream of. It's a massive difference if you use it right.
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#12
Quote by Cathbard
There is a big difference in feel. Wind the AC15 up to the edge of breakup and it will respond to your picking in ways that the Valvetronix can only dream of. It's a massive difference if you use it right.

You and I may notice that, but if the OP doesn't, what's the use in spending more money on an amp? Just to be clear, I'd spend the extra money on an AC15 any day of the week, and I currently don't gig with electric.
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#13
cath, i was wondering if you know what the 12ax7 in the valvetronix does?

i don't think OP is correct, but am not sure.


here is OP's first post:


a hybrid amp with a 12ax7 tube behaving like a mini power amp, whose signal is then fed to a transparent SS amp, in other words, it sounds like a tube because it is a tube.


is that true? i have heard a lot of different thing people say, or some for example say not enough current is actually getting to it to get the tube to amplify.

what do you think cath? i am interested (and you can go through scem sheets a million times faster than me) as well as more accurate.

i get lost past two channels five or six tubes and other wizardry... lol.
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#14
Quote by antisun
this is one thing i like about it. so many different things i can do and so many different sounds i can get. being someone who is still learning guitar and fairly new at it, the ability to get everything from over the top black metal distortion to crunchy classic rock is pretty useful.

I think you just wanted others to help justify your decision.

If it makes you feel better, the Valvetronix is perfect for you.
#15
Yeah, it'a little make believe power amp which then feeds the output transistors of the real power amp. Anybody else would call it a buffer or a driver. Bit of a gimick really.
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#16
Quote by Cathbard
Yeah, it'a little make believe power amp which then feeds the output transistors of the real power amp. Anybody else would call it a buffer or a driver. Bit of a gimick really.


so its just tube buffered technically? and i knew it was a gimmic, just didn't know what it was 'supposed' to do.
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#17
Yeah, it's got a tube buffered power amp. Damn, better patent that!!
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#18
Quote by Cathbard
Yeah, it's got a tube buffered power amp. Damn, better patent that!!


well at least there is no tone lost due to capacitance on the 1678th winding of the transformer... tube buffer FTW!
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#20
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I read somewhere that you can take that tube out and it makes no difference to the tone. Never tried it myself so maybe someone else can disprove that.


i think i read that article or something similar. forgot about that.

and then people get under the notion that they have to change that tube. there was a guy on here in the last month or so who was dead set changing his tube that was still fine because how they read that tubes need to be replaced.
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#22
I'm sure you can, it's gonna act as a type of filter aint it?
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#23
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
well, despite any gimmicks I've also read that some people can hear differences in different 12AX7s in these amps
I wonder if that's still true in blind testing. Difficult not to hear what you want to hear. My personal take is that the tube thing is a load of bs, but that's okay because the Vox stuff is the best modeling I've heard in consumer gear. Don't care if it's tubes or analog solid state or digital or fricking steam powered.
#24
I still think that my Peavey Vypyr does better job to imitate tube sound than those tube-driven Valvetronixes.
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#25
Quote by Cathbard
There is a big difference in feel. Wind the AC15 up to the edge of breakup and it will respond to your picking in ways that the Valvetronix can only dream of. It's a massive difference if you use it right.

Even though this is true, it doesn't help TS. From the OP:
Quote by antisun
I don't gig, i goof around on my guitar in my bedroom and make some recordings every now and then volume is an issue, getting something that's all tube and even only 5-15 watts would be way too damned loud.

For now, TS is probably better off with his VT. If he really wanted to switch to a tube amp and likes the Vox sound, the AC4 stack could be a good suggestion.
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#26
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
well, despite any gimmicks I've also read that some people can hear differences in different 12AX7s in these amps


i don't see how it could be a gimmick.

http://www.voxamps.com/us/valvetronix/valvereactor/

pretty straightforward.

and no, im not looking for someone to vaidate my love of the valvetronix, i'm genuinely wanting to know if getting an all tube amp is going to be a "blow me out of the water" difference, and all i was saying is out of all the SS amp and modeling amps i've heard, the valvetronix has something in its sound they don't. i also stating that i had a difficult time hearing a better sound coming from an all tube amp, however, i did enjoy the sound i got from my line 6 when i first got it (until i really heard better things) so maybe i just have no frickin clue what i'm doing
Last edited by antisun at Mar 23, 2013,
#27
I have an AC15 in my bedroom and it is definitely playable at those levels, and sounds great.

However, there is nothing like plugging into the top boost channel and cranking it. Sounds so good. I bought mine used that somebody had thrown an Alnico Blue in. Really happy with it.
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#28
Quote by antisun
i don't see how it could be a gimmick.

http://www.voxamps.com/us/valvetronix/valvereactor/

pretty straightforward.

and no, im not looking for someone to vaidate my love of the valvetronix, i'm genuinely wanting to know if getting an all tube amp is going to be a "blow me out of the water" difference, and all i was saying is out of all the SS amp and modeling amps i've heard, the valvetronix has something in its sound they don't. i also stating that i had a difficult time hearing a better sound coming from an all tube amp, however, i did enjoy the sound i got from my line 6 when i first got it (until i really heard better things) so maybe i just have no frickin clue what i'm doing


You don't see how it could be a gimmick? I do.

And I was actually trying to defend your side of the argument. I actually have no problem with the Valvetronix series and I also recommend them. That said, I think the Vypyrs are better - especially for higher gain stuff and cleans.

However, I've read that Valvereactor description off the Vox web site countless times.

Rather than connecting the vacuum tube directly to a speaker via an output transformer, the signal is converted by a virtual output transformer in which solid stage components emulate the output transformer

This VariAmp power circuit is completely transparent – i.e., it does not modify the signal – so the output tone will be the pure sound of a tube amp.

The wide dynamic range seen in a conventional tube amp is also maintained. This dynamic range is a characteristic that is difficult to obtain from a solid-state amp; this is why a tube amp sounds more powerful than a solid-stage amp of the same output specifications

The output of the Valve Reactor power amp “reads” the constantly changing impedance curve of the connected speaker system, and feeds this information back to the vacuum tube. In response to this information, the operation of the amp’s tube stage will vary according to the speaker load (impedance).



Seriously?

To me...that all reads like a bunch of marketing goop. Does that really come across as strait-forward? Maybe I'm getting old.

To me a tube amp produces even (and odd) order harmonics that solid state cannot. Tone comes from the reaction of the power section and its filtering with the input signal as it is fed by the preamp. Another key aspect of tube amps IS the Output Transformer. There is no substitute for lots of iron in this department. Tube amps also give you better dynamics imo and have a way of tickling your guts. Granted, technology has come a long way - but it can't touch tube amps. Not yet anyway.

That said, if you played both side by side and you preferred the Valvetronix - then good on you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Point being - it just doesn't matter. If you like it then that is all that matters.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Mar 23, 2013,
#29
Quote by antisun
i don't see how it could be a gimmick.

http://www.voxamps.com/us/valvetronix/valvereactor/

pretty straightforward.

and no, im not looking for someone to vaidate my love of the valvetronix, i'm genuinely wanting to know if getting an all tube amp is going to be a "blow me out of the water" difference, and all i was saying is out of all the SS amp and modeling amps i've heard, the valvetronix has something in its sound they don't. i also stating that i had a difficult time hearing a better sound coming from an all tube amp, however, i did enjoy the sound i got from my line 6 when i first got it (until i really heard better things) so maybe i just have no frickin clue what i'm doing

The thing is, if you just use common sense, one pre amp tube is not going to make it sound any different. It's still mostly solid state. That's why it's a marketing gimmick. It makes people get interested because they think "there's a tube so it has to sound good". And when they have bought the amp they say "it has a good tone because of the tube". Tubes don't equal magic but many people seem to think so. And I wouldn't trust on what Vox's own website tells about it because the website is about advertising and selling their products. Of course they want to make it look better than it really is. For example if Marshall's website told the truth and said "MG sucks, don't buy it", nobody would buy it. Of course they want to advertise it so that people buy it.

But the thing is, good sounds may not have anything to do with tubes. There are good solid state amps and bad tube amps. For example Roland Jazz Chorus is completely solid state but it's considered as one of the best clean sounds. The good sound in Valvetronix amps has very little to do with the tube.

And certain amps aren't for everybody. I bet the Vox AC15 amp model will sound pretty close to real AC15, especially when both the modeler and the real thing are made by Vox. It will have same characteristics in sound. But of course the real thing will sound better. But if you are satisfied with your tone, I don't see no point in upgrading your amp. It would be a different thing if you were here asking for help to find a good distortion pedal or pickups. Then you should first look at your amp. I wouldn't buy a new amp if I didn't feel I really needed it.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 23, 2013,