Valvulator any good for reducing noise

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by reallylost, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. reallylost

    reallylost Member

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    Is the Valvulator any good at reducing noise?

    It looks tempting and the 9V outputs would solve another problem.

    Anybody tried it and found it works well?

    John.
     
  2. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hey reallylost,

    I found the Valvulator helpful in reducing the hum from long cables and patch cables hooked up to various effect pedals on my pedalboard. It also helps restore the tone lost from cable capacitance because of the tube buffer. I originally bought the Valvulator I solely for the tube buffer, but now I'm using it for the extra DC output jacks as well.
    The 4 isolated and regulated DC jack outputs are very nice as well. The first DC jack output delivers 12 VDC @150ma, outlets 2, 3, 4 deliver 9.5 volts @80ma. You can run several effect pedals from outlets 2,3, or 4 as long as you don't exceed 80ma per output.
    I found the Valvulator I buffer/power supply to be one of my best investments if you have a pedalboard with a lot of pedals.

    [​IMG]


    Click on the VHT link, click on Valvulator I and download the PDF file. You'll find the technical information about the Valvulator I buffer/power supply.
    http://www.vhtamp.com/frames.html

    Guitar George
     
  3. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I didn't find the buffer any better than the Zvex SHO which is cheaper and adds a footswitchable boost. I didn't find it reduced hum...
     
  4. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I've had a Valvulator since 2001. I never knew that one of the outputs was 12v. I use one of them to power my midi switcher, but I don't remember which out it's connected too.

    I get zero hum, and the buffer function works as advertised.
     
  5. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    Only reason I have shied away from the Valvulator is I keep hearing about dependability problems with it and poor customer service. Granted, most of that was from HC :rolleyes: so I take it with a grain of salt. But have any of you users had any problems with it? I know you have to deal with tubes, but apart from normal tube changing?
     
  6. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hello ABKB,

    I've had my VHT Valvulator I for a couple of months. I use it rehearsals, gigs and the local jam nights. I've had no issues concerning reliability. I bought mine used from E-bay, it survived the shipping and has been mounted on my pedaboard ever since. Try one out on your pedalboard before you buy it. It helps your tone if you have a lot of effects pedal in your rig like I do.

    Guitar George
     
  7. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    Thanks Hamer. I do have a long chain as well so I would like to try it out. And thanks again for the input.
     
  8. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    I owned one for a few days before I took it back over noise issues. It wasn't that the Valvulator made noise, but that it contributed to the noise created by my other pedals, especially wahs. It appears that other folks are having better luck than I did, so your results may vary.

    You'll notice that some high end buffers use torroidal transformers which don't generate so much of a magnetic field, but they tend to be more expensive. I think maybe the Valvulator falls a bit short by trying to meet a certain price point.

    On a positive note, I tried the Valvulator with my PodXT and noticed an improvement in clarity and response. It seems that one of the reasons modeling devices don't quite cut it is because of the way they handle high impedance guitar signals. I am wondering if anyone else has tried this?
     
  9. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

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    I had a Valvulator. I loved what it did with long cable runs. I'm a big fan of Stevie Fryette, the thing worked nicely.

    The wah pedals I have, would not play nice with the unit. Much hum unless located more than three feet away. I turned it all sorts of angles, which changed the hum, but wouldn't eliminate it. This might be a hard wire bypass tweaky boutiquey problem. I see pics of people using normal crybabys with Valvulators often enough.

    The wahs I tried with it were Fulltone Clyde, Teese RMC-1 and RMC-2.
     
  10. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    This must be one of those YMMV things...

    I have a Fulltone Clyde, and it is positioned on my pedalboard right next to a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power and not more than one foot from my Valvulator. I get zero hum.

    However, there is a 1/4 inch wood panel between each device. Could that make a difference? I'm not using anything else in the way of electronic shielding, and every pedal is true bypass (yes, even the EVH, I had it modded).

    As you look at this picture, the Pedal Power is under the Banshee and the Boss tuner. The Valvulator is in the compartment behind switches 2-4 of the MidiBuddy.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. reallylost

    reallylost Member

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    Thanks for all the replies ... sounds like it's NOT a slam dunk. I'll have to try one.

    Are there any alternatives that I should consider?

    John.
     
  12. prsflame

    prsflame Member

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    I've had the Valvulator on my board since 2001. It's rock solid, and I've never had any type of reliability issues whatsoever. I gig with it at least 2-3 times per week, and it seems to be holding up quite nicely.:)

    It is also dead quite.
     
  13. LReese

    LReese Member

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    Just opened up my new Valvulator...

    A big disappointment, broken upon arrival... Peeking through the vent, I have a broken tube, at least 1 wire is detached, and the entire circuit board is loose. Back it goes.

    Dunno if I want to exchange, I would not sweat a broken tube but never had this happen before.

    Edit: Any alternatives in the same price range? Seemed to be the ticket for a powering the few effects I use and providing a buffer.
     
  14. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    Hey LReese,

    I'd contact VHT concerning your situation. I'd ask VHT to repair it and send it back to me or exchange the Valvulator I with the dealer. Or you can contact Steve at VHT for technical support and fix it yourself. The Radial Dragster or the Axcess Electronics BS-2 is a buffer you might want to check out. Neither does not supply power for effect pedals though.

    Guitar George
     
  15. reallylost

    reallylost Member

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    This post seems to confirm much of what I've read about the Valvulator ... that the quality is a craphoot. You might be
    lucky ... or not.

    I think I'll try find some alternative.

    John.
     
  16. gtrguy17

    gtrguy17 Member

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    I toured with one for 2 years without a problem, right underneath a Budda wah and a Rotovibe. I moved it to my new board and it is the loudest thing ever. It hums loudly on my amp's clean channel with no effects engaged at all. I can't use it at all anymore and replaced it with an Axxess buffer, and I love it WAY better.
     

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