Valvetronix, is it just me or...?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by telest, Jan 24, 2008.


  1. telest

    telest Member

    Messages:
    1,904
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    I just got a Valvetronix AD50VT-212 from AMS at a $299 blowout price. So I try this thing today and it sounds thin and nasal for lack of better terms and I'm using humbuckers. It sounds kinda toy like only louder. Now the general consensus is that this is a pretty good sounding amp, but mine sounds lame. I'm not an overly obsesssed tone geek chasing the dragon as I explained over on the Tele page on this topic. Give me a decent sound and I'm good.

    So what's the deal with this amp? Does it require micro dilaing of eq knobs or could this one be hosed up or something? All amp mods have that before mentioned funny nasal thing. :jo

    Steve
     
  2. gridstopper

    gridstopper Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    i don't know. i hear a ton of great things about these amps. the only amp model that i could get to sound pretty decent was the ac 30 model. i'm glam i'm not the only one.
     
  3. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

    Messages:
    2,935
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    The Jewel of the Rockies
    Doesn't sound right. I had an earlier model, but it sounded great on most default settings.

    Check the tube maybe? Everything goes through there. If you got a spare 12ax7 lying around, pop that in?

    Shouldn't sound that way.

    EP
     
  4. fretless

    fretless Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,968
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I sorta agree with your observation.

    When they first came out I played a bunch of em. They sounded great. Very great "feel" as well. One thing is crucial however. The gain, volume and master volume knobs have a HUGE impact on the tone of each model. What kept me from getting one as a practice amp was this very fact. It was tedious, almost painful to dial in that sweet spot. When I found it I was happy, but one tweak here or there and it sounded blah.

    In the past 6 months or so every single one I have played has sounded, just like you said..."toyish". No bottom end, notes don't blossom, 2 dimensional and sterile (kinda like a bad SS amp). I'm not sure if it's my ears, or they're using a diff. speaker or tube (?).

    I'd try swapping the tube and sitting down with the manual and get to knob twiddlin'. BTW there is a Valvetronix forum. You might want to check some posts there for info, i.e. sample settings, tweaks, etc.
     
  5. Peppy

    Peppy Member

    Messages:
    6,256
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Location:
    Mesa, Arizona
    My VT 120 is about as fat sounding as my tweed Deluxe, my AC30, my JMP and my Vibro-King. I always set both volumes and the gain to at least half, no matter what power level I set on back....that's key. Then again, some of the models are designed to be somewhat "thin" sounding.
     
  6. scott58

    scott58 Member

    Messages:
    3,189
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Northwest, indiana
    After hearing all the rave reviews I went down to go get one. I didn't like it either. I ended up getting the DA 20. Has much better tone just not gigable. Now that I have a pod hooked up to it, it's the only practice gear I'll ever need.
     
  7. Speed_Racer71

    Speed_Racer71 Member

    Messages:
    632
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    US of A
  8. Kewlpack

    Kewlpack Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    Garland, Texas
    FWIW, the Master Volume controls how "saturated" the poweramp emulation (aka, Virtual Reactor Circuit) gets. Try setting the Master Volume to about 75% and use the channel's volume to set your levels. This should improve the fatness/body of the preamp tone quite a lot.

    I find this to be one of the shortcomings of the Valvetronix series. I would much rather have a dedicated VR Saturation dial (as on the ToneLab units) so you can dial in as much of it as you want without having to compensate for volume at the same time.

    This is separate from the attenuator on the back of some of the amps. All that does is throttle the solid state poweramp to the speaker. It does not affect the VR Ciruit.

    FYI - hope that helps.
     
  9. telest

    telest Member

    Messages:
    1,904
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    Screw it...I sent it back. If I have to work to make an amp sound good what's the point? :jo Glad I'm not the only "hater" here. ;)

    Steve
     
  10. cranqued

    cranqued Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    449
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Location:
    Over hills, far away
    I tried the 1x12 AD50 Valvetronix this past weekend in a band situation, and half-expected to be disappointed. But I was pretty blown away by the way it was able to cut through (with a loud drummer) and hold its own in a band setting. I needed something fairly inexpensive to leave at my drummer's house, and this one fits the bill perfectly.

    Wish I could have picked it up at a similar blowout price. Oh well.
     
  11. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,444
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    Pembroke pines-Santiago
    ok let me preface by saying that i can't stand Marshalls "clean" because Marshalls sound thin and like a tin can to my ears.
    THat been said i had a Vox VT 30, what ever it was called and it sounded great.

    So i bought another one for a friend and it sounded different and thin.

    It seems to me that there must be some kind of quality issues with those amps, because Both Vox VT 30 sounded very different from each other.
     
  12. telest

    telest Member

    Messages:
    1,904
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    There was definitely a quality issue with mine...:messedup Plus I'm out almost $40 in return shipping, Yes!

    Steve
     
  13. Boogs

    Boogs Member

    Messages:
    1,332
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Um, don't forget that modeling amps still have speakers that need to break in. "Thin and nasal" is pretty much the dictionary definition of the un-broken-in-speaker sound. If the cone is stiff, it will sound much fuller down low and more open up top with loud playing.

    I had the little 15 watt version (with a smaller speaker), and THAT one even sounded very full. Also, my daughter's music school uses them, and they sound fabulous in a band setting with the wide variety of music they play.

    I don't own a modeling type of amp right now, and have not tried other brands for comparison, but what's the point of trying something if it's not really given a chance? As has been said, you just lose your shipping money.
     
  14. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

    Messages:
    587
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Location:
    East of Eden
    which Marshall?
     
  15. blong

    blong Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,939
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Location:
    Texas Gulf Coast
    The shortfall of the Vox modellers is the speaker, in my opinion. They just tend to flub out at high volume. I never liked the combos. The heads are much better as you can run them through a real cabinet with good speakers and they sound pretty damned good, esepecially at higher volumes.

    Check out a used head if you can find one. I bought AD100VTH for $140 at a local GC. I've been loving it ever since.

    Bob
     

Share This Page