Just got a VHT Valulator 1 !!!

Macaroni

Member
Messages
4,351
I was reorganizing my pedal board and I needed some extra power outlets for 3 other pedals, since my Pedal Power 2 only has 8. I checked other power boxes, but they all had 7-8 and cost the same or more than the PP2, and I was trying to avoid buying another PP2.

Then I stumbled on to the VHT Valvulator 1, which is really a tube buffer first, and a pedal power outlet secondarily. As I read more about it, as well as reading the reviews, I became intrigued. I've already got an Axess BS2, which performs its job quite well, so I didn't really 'need' a buffer, but the extra pedal power outlets (4) and the 'tube' component got my attention.

So I bought one used from a GP member and it arrived today. At first, it was noisy, and I was concerned, but flipping the Ground Lift switch took care of that - dead quiet. The tone was nice, but a bit harsh, so I swapped out the 2 year old Sovtek tube (12AX7) for a Telefunken, and WOW! That did it! :AOK What beautiful sweet tones. Then I tried a NOS JAN GE 12AX7WA (excellent, inexpensive NOS tube BTW), and that was also terrific. Slightly different from the Telefunken, but excellent in its own right. They were both really nice, but I decided to leave the JAN GE in for now. I can always swap it out later if I feel like a change - very cool!

The Valvulator 1 buffers as well as the BS2, but the 'tube mojo' puts it over the top. My pedals sounded better - more upper end detail and tighter lower end, and the 'feel/articulation' was noticably improved all round - pedals or not. I am very impressed. :D

Plus, I have 4 isolated outlets for pedals, including a 12v outlet (#1), which I plan to use for my new Zendrive2, whenever it arrives. I can't wait to try different tubes in the Zendrive2.

Anyone looking for a buffer for their pedal board should definitely check out a VHT Valvulator 1, and don't forget to put in a nice tube. Highly recommended.
 

cvansickle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,044
I've had a Valvulator on my board since 2001, and I have no complaints whatsoever. I've never been aware of one of the outlets as being 12v though.

I use an Electro-Harmonix 12AX7EH tube in mine. I think it gives a little more headroom than the stock tube did. I wouldn't classify the EH as harsh, but I could be willing to try other tubes too.
 

shakti

Member
Messages
1,310
I've been saying for years...these things are *great*! For some reason they got a slighlty bad rep, mostly for reliability issues. I've had mine for about 4 years, and not a single problem! People also said you could achieve the same results with less expensive means...maybe, maybe not...but don't forget it's also a power supply!

For me it was perfect since I have so many pedals that I have to set up two boards, first a smaller one which is entirely powered by the Valvulator, then another bigger one which has its own supply. The great thing is the Valvulator can then sit first in the chain and just work its mojo all over the rest over the board! Actually, I have two fuzzes before it since they don't like the low impedance out. And lastly, it has a tuner out!

What realy intrigued me, though, was how different tubes sound different!? I never tried that - it still has the old Sovtek in there. When I bought it I read somewhere that different tubes weren't supposed to make a difference since they're apparently not really amplifying the signal...I was never sure I bought that, but never got around to trying. Just the thought that swapping out that very first tube could suddenly improve the tone of my whole rig brings washes of GAS delirium...can't wait to get home and go through the tube stash!! Thanks for the tip! :AOK
 

reachjkh

Member
Messages
436
I just decided to get one of these yesterday and was glad to see this post.

I've been puzzling over which power supply to get and I thought the Valvulator might be a good option to fill two needs. I'm going to put a Crate Powerblock on my pedal board for backup purposes and also for travelling light to some gigs where I don't want to carry my tube amp. I'm hoping that the Valvulator warms the Crate up a little bit while providing my pedals some power.

Does anyone know what the difference is between the Valvulator and the Valvulator1?
 

Macaroni

Member
Messages
4,351
I've never been aware of one of the outlets as being 12v though.
I read that on the VHT website and in several reviews. It's 12v and 160ma, and it's the top outlet.

Actually, I have two fuzzes before it since they don't like the low impedance out.
Same here - I plug my guitar directly into my V-Stack Classic & then into the V1. Then I go directly into my Strobostomp, so it mutes the signal when tuning, as opposed to using the 2nd line out.

Just the thought that swapping out that very first tube could suddenly improve the tone of my whole rig brings washes of GAS delirium... can't wait to get home and go through the tube stash!! Thanks for the tip!
The tube definitely makes an audible difference. Let us know the results of your tube swaps.

Does anyone know what the difference is between the Valvulator and the Valvulator1?
I believe the Valvulator is a tube pre amp, vs the Valvulator 1, which is a buffer/splitter.
 

Gamle John

Member
Messages
66
I couldn't find an ebay seller or an online dealer in the US who would ship to Europe so I ordered one through a danish store. After waiting for three month I cancelled the order.

Maybe I should have been more patient?
 

LReese

Member
Messages
2,150
I'd like to have one. I ordered one about a month ago, it arrived broken. Even though the transformer was sufficiently strapped down with 2 heavy duty ties, they broke and the transformer detached itself from the board and physically took out several capacitors.

After that, I'm not sure I want to try again.
 

Macaroni

Member
Messages
4,351
I already sold the BS2!

I also put the Telefunken back in and I like it better - it's cleaner and more detailed - amazing.

Maybe I should have been more patient?
Now that I'm using it, I wouldn't be without it. A very useful device for me.
 

justicetones

Member
Messages
639
Saw Ron's setup today. SWEET!!!! And yes I am the one that now owns the BS2. Sorry Guys.

Ron is a great guy to deal with. I have a tube pre (Bad Cat Extreme Tone) on my board so I wanted to try a non-tube option first. Sounds great. Although Ron got my G.A.S going and now I may have to try a Valvulator 1 too and see what I like better for my board.

Thanks again Ron
 

Hamer95USA

Member
Messages
2,839
Hey people,

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My humble pedalboard. I like the VHT Valvulator I myself. It restores the lost frequencies from being plugged into all of my effects & long guitar cables, supplies voltage to my MXR 117R flanger and gives my pedalboard a very responsive, touch sensitive and killer sound. It's a great tone investment if you gig with a lot of effect pedals in your setup. I had a slight hum, tone loss and need for extra DC jack outputs and the VHT met my tonal needs, remove the hum and restored my tone. A worthwhile investment.

Guitar George
 




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