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VHT 12/20RT opinions

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by JustABluesGuy, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m looking for feedback from those who have used the VHT 12/20RT or other, similar VHT amps.

    Likes? Dislikes? Problems?

    They seem to offer a lot of bang for the buck and the tonz seem to fit my needs well.

    I own a Fender Bassbreaker 15 and an Ibanez TSA 15. I wonder if the VHT will be a good complement for them (and possibly a replacement for the TSA 15) I’m planning to use it with 6L6s, at 20 watts and mainly hoping to get louder cleans than the BB or the Ibanez is capable of.

    The Ibanez does great, fenderish cleans, but it’s not all that loud. The TSA30 is an option obviously, but I prefer the VHT’s better build quality, and their prices are excellent as well.
     
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  2. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I own a VHT 12/20 (non reverb) and recently sold a VHT Special 6 Ultra. I was using the 12/20 almost exclusively until a Deluxe Reverb showed up. Since then it has been part of the back line in the barn and gets used about once a week for a couple of hours. I sold the Special 6 Ultra because I was not using it anymore. I do not know anything about your two amps.

    I like that you can change tubes and go from a 12 watt amp to a 20 watt amp. the 6V6 to 6L6 swap will give a different sound to the amp. On my non reverb amp I put a reverb and tremolo pedal in he effects loop. Works fine. I also like that there is a 9v output on the back of the 12/20 for these twp pedals. The controls will take a bit of experimentation of give the sounds you may be looking for. It is not Fender DR clean. But it does well with the barn band at our volumes. Good little amp.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  3. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I also have the non RT version. It has been my main gigging amp for at least 5-6 years. I loaded it with a canabis rex speaker. I had trouble getting what I want out of the stock speaker.

    The feature I like the most is the ' "depth" knob. Three settings to the left are for humbucking guitars to tame bass, and 3 settings to the right are for single coil loaded guitars. It makes dialing in a good tone in a snap.

    With 6l6 tubes and the very efficient speaker, I never have volume or headroom issues.

    I love mine. I think Im in the minority but, hey, it works for me!
     
  4. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks for the feedback. Do you know offhand how the RT differs from the model without? Are they the same otherwise? I have good reverb and Trem pedals.

    I guess if it only got bumped by a Deluxe, that says a lot for it.
     
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  5. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    Hi! Thanks for the feedback!

    I only remember hearing mostly good things about them. I might also go with the non-RT version since I have both of those effects covered with pedals.

    I’m looking at the head version and I have several cabs with drivers of varying efficiency to work with. The goal is nice, loud cleans.

    How difficult is it to swap out the tubes? I’m assuming it’s fairly easy (I know it’s self-biasing), but not something you’d want to do when you get to the venue and realize you need the “other” tubes instead.

    In the 5-6 years you have used it, have you had any reliability issues?

    Thanks again for the feedback!
     
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  6. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Swapping tubes is very easy. And if you email the company they will give you thoughts on tubes.
     
  7. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    There is a screen on the back panel on the combo. You have to remove the back panel to swap tubes. I cut the back panel so its more like a fender combo in back, for easier access. I dont know what the heads look like.

    Never had any reliability issues but, have read that qc is hit and miss. My combo was a little noisey when I got it. Some new preamp tubes took care of that.
     
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  8. moullineaux

    moullineaux Senior Stratmaster

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    Have a Special 6 that sounds good. Haven’t played at 12
     
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  9. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I don't have that model, but I do have a special 6 ultra.
    I have had it for several years, with no problems.
    I mention it because I like the build quality of their stuff. Very neat, decent components and chassis mounted parts. Good stuff at a good price.
     
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  10. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    The build quality for the price is definitely a plus. They have have some interesting features as well. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try one out yet.
     
  11. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I like the features as well.
    The 12/20 has more features than mine, but I think they're both great.
    I can pull a lot of different sounds from it as well.
    Good luck with it.
     
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  12. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    I’ve checked out some older posts about QC issues with them, like power scaling failures and cold solder joint problems that concern me.

    It seems a bit paradoxical that VHT is praised for offering hand wired, non-PCB amps at a very competitive price, but they seem to have (or had) quality control issues.

    If I was more electronically skilled, I would look for a used, broken one, sold “as is” for really cheap and repair it myself.

    I prefer to buy used, but don’t want to buy someone else’s problem amp.

    Do you know if their previous QC issues have been improved?
     
  13. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    That’s good to hear.

    I have read a lot of past posts about it, and the QC issues do concern me. At their price point I guess it’s difficult to pull off hand wiring AND excellent QC as well?

    If I was electronically educated enough to do my tech work, I wouldn’t be that concerned, especially at the prices they sell for. However, I don’t even have an amp tech at the moment.
     
  14. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My VHT Special 6 Ultra was a very solid amp. With the 12/20, I had a self inflicted failure of the Watts feature. I was trying multiple amps together and lifted the ground on the VHT. Pfft and the "watts" died. That was a year + ago.Simple amp to repair, no special parts or anything. Other than this self inflicted issue, nothing.
     
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  15. dbtussey

    dbtussey New Member!

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    I have had 2 VHT Special 6 amps in the last three weeks. The first one was extremely noisy and had almost no headroom. A change of tubes did not help at all. I returned to Amazon and got another one and it had the same issues as well as really low volume and the push/pull boost sounded terrible. The build quality of both amps were great. They look and feel like a more expensive boutique type amp. When I pulled them out of the box I could not believe they were only $249 but after I turned them on I could see why they are priced as low as they are. I sent the second one back for a refund. Be careful out there.
     
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  16. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    I would not buy used or open box with these.
    The reason I say this is, the amps are advertised as mod friendly, and tube swappable (which they are).
    This gives people the confidence to go in there and start messing around. I think many "modders" shouldn't go anywhere near a soldering iron .

    So, I'd be put off by open box and used.

    As far as problems with VHT, I can only speak about my amp, and it has been flawless.
    I'm not a salesman for them, and I don't have an agenda or anything, lol , I'm just happy with mine.
     
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  17. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks for the feedback. I saw a YouTube video about a "watts" repair, and it was a short to ground issue. It was an easy fix as well. Did you get the 12/20 repaired?
     
  18. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm really gassing for one because of the build quality, features and mostly the sound, but the QC issues scare me. If I was more knowledgeable about electronics repair I wouldn't hesitate to buy one since they are so easy to work on.

    I'm thinking that if they have QC issues, can they really be said to have good build quality? They use quality design and components, along with more traditional, easily repairable and moddable construction techniques, but sadly the actual workmanship of the hand wiring seems to be hit or miss...

    It seems ideal for me otherwise.
     
  19. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    yes. I don't lift grounds anymore either.
     
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  20. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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