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Got my Old Blue Grille Valvetronix AD12VTH!!

jhall

Member
Messages
849
I had givin it to my brother years back. It was a gigging amp for him for a while and he loved it. It died on him so he asked If I wanted it back since I'm fairly handy with amp repairs sometimes. I tried it and there was a channel cutting in and out and it would die alltogether and finally stopped alltogether. I tried jumpering the left and right loops (a known sometimes fix for this problem) to no avail. I then plugged the right and left outputs from my Zoom G3 into the EFX returns and the power amps worked fine. So I knew it would be in the pre or input stage. I took the amp out of the head and removed the Main power amp circut board and found several cold solder joints. (as that amp line has been plagued with these problems I chanced to look and happened on them). I then removed the input pcb and the grounds were nearly disconnected. So I resoldered them too. I put the amp back together and thoroughly cleaned all 1/4" jacks (there's a lot of them on this amp as it it has four speaker outs, Four EFX loop holes, Two Line out holes, two input holes and a Phones jack).
I sat the amp on top of my 1970s era Marshall 4x12 wired in stereo loaded with Celestion GT1275s and fired her up.
Worked excellently!!!
Those old Blue Grille Valvetronix amps are Deffinately no comprimises tone. Best Modelling amp ever. Too bad they used such sloppy soldering machines and cheap ass jacks. I guess at the time the production costs of an amp that well designed were very very high and Vox quickly killed them rather than charging a few hundred more for a more robust design.
What I did learn from being inside the amp is that there are only a handful of potential problems that with a little effort can virtually bulletproof these fine amps. I will order all new Neutric jacks for them and hot glue down ant caps and components thae look like they would benefit from it. But I'll wait untill it actually needs it as I may just need to clean the jacks from time to time.
As I said earlier in this post, These blue grille Valvetronix amps really hit the nail on the head with their modelling capabilities. I sat there trying to find a niggle with the sounds and couldn't. It is that good.
 
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Hard2Hear

Member
Messages
1,238
Shhh!

I use my AD120VT all the time. Its fantastic. And I have some pretty decent stuff to compare it to. Once I set up the presets to my liking (comparing next to some of the actual amps like my AC30, AC15, and TSL) it's been my main workhorse amp live for years now.

I've been wanting to buy a second for backup. It seems like the prices are going up lately from where they were sitting for a while.
 

shasha

Member
Messages
1,207
My old man's got one of the heads with the half stack. I'm still trying to figure out what he needs it for; it's insanely loud. I was impressed with it when I got to play it a few years ago, but it's such overkill for my modest needs.

I'll keep the solder joint info in the back of my mind if he ever runs into issues with it though. :aok
 

jhall

Member
Messages
849
My old man's got one of the heads with the half stack. I'm still trying to figure out what he needs it for; it's insanely loud. I was impressed with it when I got to play it a few years ago, but it's such overkill for my modest needs.

I'll keep the solder joint info in the back of my mind if he ever runs into issues with it though. :aok
Don't forget that the jacks are really lousy and are the cause of 95% (from my reading at the Valvtronix forums) of the problems with thes older Valvtronix amps. There is a guy on the forums that has assembled a "bullet proofing" kit for these amps. What they are is a set of direct replacements for the jacks but made to a higher quality standard than the originals, and a hot glue gun to glue down any loose or shakable under working and gigging haularound conditions.
After going over mine I'm thrilled to have it back in my posession. I could see this as my main amp (and I have a TON of the amps that this thing models). It's that good.
I know the combos were kind of pricey compared to the other modelling 2x12s of the time so they never really took off. The 120 watt head was about half the price of the combo so that was a very good value.
 

rmpacheco

Member
Messages
455
These amps are definitely sleepers. I have a 1x12 60 watt combo and though I'd prefer it in head form the combo is a great value. I picked it up for about $225 last year and it works perfectly, sounds great! It actually sounds better than some tube amps I've owned recently.
 

rsm

Senior Member
Messages
14,081
I had a AD120VTH and 2 of the matching 2x12 cabs. It was a very good amp soundwise and looks (I also had the large floor controller...forget the model number).

 

jhall

Member
Messages
849
I had a AD120VTH and 2 of the matching 2x12 cabs. It was a very good amp soundwise and looks (I also had the large floor controller...forget the model number).

Pretty!! I've got the VC-4 controller (the smaller one).
 

hearmecrybaby

Senior Member
Messages
488
i liked the blackface, vox, and bluesbreaker models. the plexi was usable as well and the effects were good. i had the same build quality problems and eventually got rid of my ad60vt for those reasons. its a good no-frills practice/recording amp
 

Lawless33

Member
Messages
538
I've had the AD60VTX 1x12 combo for years but could never seem to get a good Marshall-y crunch out of it or decent fizz-free high gain tone. For clean, it's fine (as it should be). I have the Vietnamese model (versus the Korean model), which seemed to use cheaper components (solder, etc.) and had a lot more hiss. I had to have an amp tech touch up the solder points to get rid of it.

That amp stays in my bedroom now and never gets played. Never could bond with it, whether using humbuckers or single coils.

Wes
 






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