Valvetech VAC22?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gasp100, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone using one of these amps? I did a quick search and there were some nice hits and good reviews. Some of the early reviews on HC were less than positive (but less than informative as well :NUTS) so I'd like to get current or previous owners experiences with this amp. I guess these are under the radar a little bit. The one in question is actually a 2x12 (might be heavy) which is not listed as an option on Rob's site anymore.
    I didn't realize these run 6v6's (can you install 6L6 for more power/clean headroom?) which is pretty interesting. Without the manual in hand I'm trying to glean more information about the clean channel / dirty channel and then boosting? and jumpering? Sounds like many tones are available in this beast.
     
  2. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    the current vac22 is the vac25 now, using 6v6's. i am sure rob can set one up for you to run 6l6's. i have one of his vac50 heads running el34's and 2 custom hayseed variants. they are fantastic amps and have evolved quite nicely over the years. some early users thought they were a little low end heavy but the subsequent updates have taken care of this and they are incredibly tweakable amps. my vac50 (which is closest to the vac22/25) is a super amp that can do a great, punchy clean and great lead sounds all footswitchable. email rob at valvetech for more info. he has always been very helpful quick to answer questions. here's a pic of mine. the red one is the vac50, the b+w one is the hayseed custom and the w+b is a custom one-off.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks Teefus, that rig is just sick! Love the red Master knob on the red one
    :RoCkIn
    I've been catching up on older posts and it looks like people are very happy with the VAC. I decided to buy the amp before playing it (this is normal practice for me :NUTS) Even though I'm driving up to NJ to pick it up this afternoon and take it straight to an "amp testing" session with my buddy. I do realize the controls are a little different and it may take some time to learn the amp (the seller is including the manual).
    It sounds like it's had most of the mods except the last one (F)? I wanted to play it first to see if that's of interest to me. It's a 2x12 which is much larger than I was considering at first, but the reviews indicate 2 12's can make a big difference, but still be "liftable" :YinYang.
    There is an outside chance I might "commission" someone (maybe Rob)? to build a head cab, then turn the 2x12 into an extension cab only. We shall see.
    Truth be told I forgot what speakers are even in there (some type of Mojotone clone of Greenbacks or something?). I do have one Alnico Blue in house, thoughts about leaving the one speaker in and adding the Alnico Blue in there for a different effect? Just curious, I can play with it over time.
    Thanks!
     
  4. ford

    ford Supporting Member

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    Love em all Teefus!

    I hopefully see a Vac25 in my future in the next couple of years... love my Hayseed 30..

    rock

    bford
     
  5. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    I have a VAC 22 with 2x10 configuration. It is very very heavy so I'd imagine that a 2x12 would be even heavier. It IS a stellar amp though. I get comments on how great it sounds all the time.
     
  6. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    rob's cabinets are very solid and i am sure he could make your request for a head shell happen. someone was selling an empty vac 12/10 cabinet recently for a blowout price. i don't know if it is still available or not but search "valvetech".the footswitchable gain stage on the vac series works great as a channel switching type amp. definitely read the manual first. the controls are very interactive. lot's of gain available if desired and just about anything in between.
    the b+w valvetech is my desert island amp. it has a very distinctive sound and gets lots of attention at ampfests.
     
  7. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    WOW!!! First off, excellent dealing with a GREAT TGPer JHX. I was going to another mini-amp shootout with my bud fr8_trane and JHX happened to live not far away in NJ so we had a meet and a pickup. Great guy, great conversation, great deal all the way around. HIGHLY recommended seller!
    The amp is KILLER! We had my Fargen Mini through my Marshall 4x10, the VAC 25 and Fr8's Heritage Victory. I can honestly say that covered Marshall, Fender and the VAC filled perfectly in the middle. I heard a LOT of Vox-like mid's and growl with chime throughout the testing. It sounded really nice with my USA Reverend (which can sometimes be hard to match with an amp) but I can't wait until the G&L ASAT classic comes in (a true Tele). I really think that's going to be a fantastic match... and they are both ORANGE!
    I'm going to do some more serious testing over the week and contact Rob about the F mod. There is some crackle with the MV cranked, but I'm sure we can figure that out as well.
    This is a super versatile amp, even after only testing it for a few hours. I can't wait to really dig in - the FX loop is awesome, this one has reverb which sounds really good. The 2x12's make the cab bigger and a bit heavier, but it's not completely unmanageable and the sonic footprint is huge. A heavy "grabngo" if you will. The gain boost is really cool. I'll have to mess with settings/volumes to get it where I would normally play, but I can't imagine needing more than a pedal or two for goosing anything on this amp if that. It took the Timmy really well though (what amp doesn't?).
    Anyone know what the 1/4" input directly ON the footswitch is for???
    Thanks! Heavier review post F mod, pic's, clips to come in the near future. This one is a vox/marshall/little bit o' fender sleeper jem imho. HAPPY!
    NOTE: This can get very loud for 25 watts, but I feel the MV works exceptionally well. :AOK

    We call it the Great Pumpkin:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    post a pic of the footswitch if you can. mine is just a regular hammond box with a cord and a led. might be an aftermarket footswitch.








     
  9. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Teefus, sorry for another giant pic but I just got done tacking gear pics and it's a PITA. You can see the footswitch on top of the amp in this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

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    Hi, I believe the extra jack is for switching the boost on a second amp. I did that for a guy who ran 2 of these at once.

    I think this amp has all the mods, just let me know the seial number, or if you want to check yourself, see if there is a 47 pf cap across the MASTER volume pot. If so, it is good. The only other small tweak would be adding the shunt cap to the reverb drive transformer and changing the value of the reverb pot from 250k to 500k audio.
    You can have that done locally and save the shipping costs, or i can do it for you.
    Wierd noises is almost always a tube issue.
    As teefus said, these amps have been greatly improved since I started making them in the late 90s
    Rob
     
  11. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    rob's original vac circuit was and still is quite unique and there are a few out there that people have kept original since they liked them so much. having said that i think the evolution of rob's amps show a great level of individualized customer service and shows that he really stands behind his amps. if you ever get a chance to look under the hood i imagine you will be very impressed with the build quality and layout.
     
  12. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Rob, first off thanks for jumping in so fast! Where do I find the serial number on this? I will take off the back panel and look a little closer (and reseat the tubes. I just did more testing (only about 30 minutes, kids are hammering me
    :BITCH)
    I was in Channel 1 (Hi input) and tried the MV again full tilt just using the volume 1 for volume/gain and it sounded perfect -- no issues. I will reseat / maybe replace some tubes anyway. The channel 1 straight up really brings out the Fender tones, I must have missed that yesterday as we were mainly in channel 2 most of the day. Really, at LEAST 2 great amps in one...
    If the mod above that you mention for the verb just adds a touch more to the reverb only, then I'm good. I use verb sparingly at best, most of the time I'm verbless.
    But, I'll try to find the serial # and send it to you for verification. This is a great, superior amp filled with tons of options and tone.
    I might run this through my Marshall 4x10 for kicks and compare and contrast. Maybe putting this amp in a head shell and just converting the existing cab to a straight up 2x12 would give me more flexibility... decisions, decisions
    :AOK
     
  13. ford

    ford Supporting Member

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    Love the great pumpkin. Looks fantastic.

    Congrats!

    bford
     
  14. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

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    Hi,
    The shunt cap keeps the reverb drive transformer from being shorted out due to the high voltage transients it gets hit with when you use a lot of overdrive. The reverb pot change beefs up the tone of the entire amp a bit, it is the most noticeable when useing it for power tube distortion. The pot change also gives the reverb level a nicer taper. Anytime I have upgraded and amp I write the date inside the amp, if it was modded 03/07 or after, the little reverb tweak would be the only thing you would need. Your amp may already have that too, if there is a blue cap (.002 3kv) from pin 1 to 3 on the reverb tube socket.
    Rob
     
  15. Maruuk

    Maruuk Member

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    It should be noted that Valvetech prides itself on two unique things:

    They are not trying to recreate anything. They try to make stuff BETTER than it ever was, plus give the modern player enough overdrive to work for a wide variety of styles.

    Secondly they really hold price down way below the typical "boutique" amps. Their combos are around $1100, about half of what the other guys charge.

    For my money in the 6V6 zone, I'd like to compare the new PTP Ampeg Jet20 at $799 (Chinese-built) with the VAC25 (made in USA).
     
  16. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    here, here! rob's customer service is second to none. he has always answered my (usually) stupid questions very quickly and has always gone out of his way to make sure my amps sound fantastic.
     
  17. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    G, reading this thread finally jolted my memory about where I had heard that CRACKLE we were getting yesterday. I heard the same thing from one of my fenders when one of the power tubes (or maybe the rectifier) was halfway out of the socket. Reseating all the tubes is definitely the place to start.

    What is the procedure for jumpering the channels with this amp? I don't think that was in the manual.

    BTW we had it side by side with the Fargen miniplex and there was nothing remotely Marshall about the VAC. Ch. 2 had that smooth squishy breakup I attribute to vox style amps and it didn't have a ton of gain even with the preamp maxed. The cleans were juicy with a nice harmonic edge and a forward but musical midrange. Nice amp and we didn't really get into everything it can do.
     
  18. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

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    My VAC is a keeper. Great tones and versatility.

    It is a tweed meets a Vox on steriods. It goes from almost vintage tweedy tones...to almost modern hard rock tones.

    [​IMG]

    The channel blend/boost has a great range of OD that you can dial in. Use Jumpers for even more possibilities.

    Valvetech Amps rock... Rob is a great guy to offer these hand-built amps at such great prices...
     
  19. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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  20. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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