NAD: VHT special 6 combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by srmd22, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. srmd22

    srmd22 Supporting Member

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    I had a some old gear that I traded at a local music chain for this thing yesterday, and now I think I want to collect a couple/few small speaker low watt amps to fool with. I am looking at a used beat up Laney LC15 also. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

    Here are some pics (I know these are not rare, but pics are cool).

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    I am thinking of trying a couple of Tung Sol's in there, not because I have any issues with the tone, but reports are that upgraded tubes are a significant improvement. Never been one to experiment with tubes, but this is a good opportunity I think. I also might try a Legend 1058 I have lying around - there is an 8ohm speaker out, and I need to take the screen off anyway (you Brits are so cautious!) to get at the tubes. Mixed opinions on whether a speaker "upgrade" is really an improvement, a lot of people seem to like the sound of the stock speaker. I actually like the whole stock deal, but it is just so easy to mess with, and I have the parts.

    What do people think about mods for this thing, for those who own one? What other small speaker (say 8" or 10") amps do people dig - I am not interested in vintage so much at this time - I know old tweed champs and what not are awesome, but I have a bunch of vintage amps, so my GAS is under control in that department for now. I am thinking of newer less pricey stuff, say sub-$500 new, maybe sub-$300 used. Vox AC4TV, Laney Cub 10, little Marshalls, Oranges, or anything more esoteric out there. I am really interested in people's experiences and opinions with these little tube amps.

    Not so much like a Blues Jr or Princeton, to me those are a step up in size and price. I guess a Pro Jr would fit the profile though. Say </= 15watts, </= 10" speaker, tubes.

    By the way, for those that may not know, the VHT is marketed as being hand wired:
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  2. OiRogers

    OiRogers Member

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    It may be the bottle of sherry I have imbibed tonight making the OPs post hard to decipher... But um... OP, check out the little Orange Micro Terror head if you are interested in low budget modern amps of modest output.

    It is a bargain (under 100$ used) and puts out a neat sound. It goes from clean to Orange dirt pretty well. An upgraded tube makes it come alive. I'd ignore the intended 1x8" cab though, that "voice of the world" speaker was very underwhelming for me. It is no Dumble, but for the price (and footprint), it is a bargain.

    Also... Tell me about the tone of the VHT. What, if any, well known sound does the VHT do? I've been seriously pondering the Special 6 Ultra head for general duties around the house but no local dealers stock them to try out.
     
  3. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    I have a Special Six head that I really like. I don't feel like modding anything. It is great as is. I did put a NOS KenRad 6V6 and a NOS Jan/GE 5751 in it which made a big positive difference. I also bought a little Blackstar HT1R
    1Watt head and a 4x8 cabinet for it that I really like for late night playing. It has really nice sound at very little volume, and nice breakup when dimed but is still bedroom comfortable. I needed these little guys cause I have a bit of trouble getting the sound I want from my main amp at home.
     
  4. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    To me the tone is very Fender Tweed meets Blackface Champ. With a 5751 in V1 the cleans sound very Blackface. Doesn't have a ton of headroom, but what 6 watt tube amp does? The breakup, to my ear is quite "tweedy". It is a very nice little amp. I run mine through a G12H30 which works quite nicely.
     
  5. crunchman

    crunchman Member

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    Cool little amps, a refined Champ I guess ? Grab a tubescreamer and have at it !
     
  6. OiRogers

    OiRogers Member

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    Welp, that likely sold me an amp.;)

    I am an avowed Fender junkie (Traynor too...but more Fender lean).
     
  7. playthecray

    playthecray Member

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    I also have a Special 6 head. The only thing I did was replace the stock tubes. I went with a JJ 6V6 and a Tungsol 12AX7. I love the simplicity of that little amp and through a Scumback loaded 2x12 cab, it has a fair amount of headroom and some balls.
     
  8. srmd22

    srmd22 Supporting Member

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    I think it is supposed to be a sort of approximation of a Fender Blackface Champ, and it is pretty successful at it, to my ears. But a little smoother breakup then the champ, and a lot less boxy sounding, probably due to a slightly bigger cabinet (I think) and the 10" speaker. I actually prefer it to the champ, but a long margin.

    Exactly why I tried this one out - actually playable at home, although not so much late night - still pretty loud when cranked to overdrive, but very reasonable. You could gig a small room with a reasonable drummer with this thing, I think. A 1 watt might be fun too! My problem is, some of the fun comes from the volume itself - not crazy loud, but somewhat loud. Otherwise, I can just use a distortion pedal, and at low volumes I can't tell difference between a pedal and amp distortion. That's why attenuators don't do the trick for me either.
     
  9. thebard42

    thebard42 Supporting Member

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    I replaced the tube in my Special 6 Head with Tung-Sols. I thought the tone was less grainy if that makes sense, particularly when cranked and using the boost.

    There is a decent amount of volume there with the right cab. Sometimes I run it with a White Box 2x12" (Scumnico and WGS Reaper) and I can concur it has some "balls".
     
  10. champster

    champster Member

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    The VHT Special 6 is one of the small amps I own and probably the best one. It sounds like a Champ on steroids. I've installed an Emi. Legend 1058 speaker. For tube I'm running a Brimar 6V6 and a Tung-Sol preamp. The rimar really made the amp come to life but it still sounds great with other power tubes.

    I also own a vox AC4C1-Bl, and a Laney Cub 10. The Vox didn't sound good to me until I installed an 8ohm Reverend 1030 speaker. Before trying that speaker all other speakers I tried sounded harsh. The stock speaker just sounded dull.
    The Laney is a good small amp except for the really cheap speaker. Other than that is a good sounding small amp that definitely is very small and light.
     
  11. Adagietto

    Adagietto Supporting Member

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    HNAD! I have a S6U head and love it.
     
  12. matt505

    matt505 Member

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    Hi,
    Congrats on the amp, it's a fun lil beast!
    I found the amp to be a bit dark and was running the Tone knob up fairly high, which adds some hiss. But then I swapped 2 of the resistors in the fixed tone stack and it brightened considerably, such that I could keep the Tone knob around noon, less hiss. Looking at a schematic, I think it was the 27k and 180k.
    Other than that, what other people say - it's a good amp to roll tubes and hear the differences. As a bonus, the transformers can also handle just about any octal power tube! Have fun
     
  13. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    I agree that the amp can be a bit dark sounding, but for me the tube changes to a NOS KenRad 6V6 and a NOS Jan/GE 5751 plus running through a G12H30 Anniversary helped alot.
     
  14. srmd22

    srmd22 Supporting Member

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    I am going to try a couple of Tung Sols for fun. I have a few different 12" and 10" speaker cabs I can try it with too, when I get some alone time and can unwind it for a bit. Meanwhile, it is a great little low volume clean practice amp, and will work great for gigs that call for low volume clean tones.
     

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