VVT ToneBlender

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by riffmeister, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got one of these on order, should be a month or two away. In the meantime, I've created my own Tone Blender by combining an X-40 with my Fralin amp. The X-40 is connected to the top speaker (Eminence Red White & Blues) and the Fralin amp is connected to the bottom speaker (Tone King 1891 hemp cone) in the vertical 2x12.

    [​IMG]

    The guitar runs into a wah which runs into an ABY box set for Y mode, channel A from the ABY box goes to chorus and delay pedals and then to the clean Fralin amp, channel B from the ABY box goes right into the X-40 which has footswitches for the clean/OD channel and a global boost.

    Holy Sh*t Batman, this sounds orgasmically great! The Fralin amp with mid-scoopy speaker provides the base clean tone with deep lows and extended highs, the X-40 with darker speaker provides all the midrange punch and gain textures. Having the two speakers in the same cab really helps blend the sounds from the two amps.

    Two thumbs (and ten toes) up!!!!!!
     
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  2. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    Yeah that sounds sweet!

    I really liked the toneblender.... If sounded good at low volumes... So it's. Kind to sound great at higher volumes....
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    passive guitar into unbuffered wah into passive splitter box?

    you're losing a lot of signal that way, basically putting half the pickup output into each amp.

    some kind of buffer before the A-B box will give you full-strength guitar signal into both amps.
     
  4. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Walter.....I'm using a Framptone amp switcher, so I believe each amp sees full strength guitar signal........also no ground loop hum.

    Mikey.....yeah, the ToneBlender is going to be sweeeeeeet! I'm getting a second 2x12 cab with it, so basically I will have double the Fralin amp setup above. And I will be using the two amps together with an ABY box as above. It's going to sound massive!!!! :)
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Gotcha. Yep, that framptone is indeed buffered, so it'll present two full-strength outputs.
     
  6. MHG

    MHG Member

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    I'm thinking about buying one of these. I was hoping some owners could share their experiences with this amp, as there are basically no user reviews out there. How is the clean tone on this amp? I know that it's supposed to be the same as the Fralin model, but with the higher wattage, I would imagine it would be a bit different. How do you like the overdrive voicing? Also, how does the amp sound with single coils? Does this amp favor humbuckers? Any info would be much appreciated.
     
  7. Billion81

    Billion81 It'd be a whole lot cooler if you did. Gold Supporting Member

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    There's a clip out there somewhere of a VVT that is just stuck in my head. I'll try and find it. Savage tone!! really killer.
    Is Tony still running the show over there?

    He's a HIGHLY under rated builder!!
     
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    The actual ToneBlender head arrived last year:

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1119446

    It is a great sounding amp, 2x6L6 poweramp section with switch for tube/ss rectifier.

    There are six voicing options available via three button footswitch:

    clean
    clean + blend (adds just a tad more upper mid punch to the clean sound)
    OD
    OD + boost
    blend: clean + OD
    blend: clean + OD + boost

    Nice parallel loop with send/return levels (serial loop can also be made). I am really impressed with the Toneblender.......the sounds, the build quality, the looks.

    But for now, I am still favoring the two amp rig pictured at the top of the page. I no longer use the Framptone, I split the guitar signal from the outs of a buffered stereo chorus pedal (Fulltone Choralflange).
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  9. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    1. The Toneblender can be made as a 50W or 100W amp. I got the 50W version, 2x6L6 with tube/ss rectifier switch. Jim also offered another 50W version which holds four power tubes, a pair of 6L6's and a pair of EL34's and a switch to select which pair is running. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had gotten that version, as I use the amp in ss rectification mode only (more headroom). The Toneblender doesn't have a bright switch or a reverb circuit, so it does sound a little bit different than the Fralin head. But still excellent clean sounds, and I am very picky about clean sounds.

    2. The gain channel can be dialed in for moderate crunch to singing sustaining high gain sounds. The amp has T/M/B controls for the gain channel on the front panel as well as internal T/M/B trimmers. So you can vary the voicing to some degree. I think it sounds more rock-n-roll than smooth jazz, which suits me perfectly.

    3. I mostly play a humbucker Les Paul, but I do switch to a s/s/h Strat type Suhr from time to time, and I think the amp sounds great with either guitar.
     
  10. MHG

    MHG Member

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    Thanks so much for the response. I was hoping you could share why you favor the two amp setup. Do you feel that the clean of the Fralin, and the overdrive of the X40, are better than the clean/overdrive of the Toneblender? Thanks again for your help.
     
  11. Babaji

    Babaji Member

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    ...The "Tone Blender" is a killer amp! I was knocked out by the first one that Jim built...The ability to add clean tone to solo OD tone. Works very well! There is a video on the vvtamps1 Youtube site of Nicky Moroch playing it at a Nashville amp show, a couple of years ago. Your LF and X model together is another killer combination(I know...Because I tested both amps before they shipped!...Confession, I test designs and do demos for VVT). Enjoy your Blender!
    Bill
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    It's really hard to beat the sounds coming from two amps. Keep in mind that both amps are on all the time, I am not switching between amps. With two amps running, there is an additional 'dimensionality' to the sound that you just can't get from a single amp. And the two amps sound sooooo good when I turn on the stereo chorus pedal.

    If I had to choose between running the X40 alone, the Fralin alone, or the Toneblender alone there is absolutely no question I'd be using the Toneblender.

    Also, I have just begun experimenting running the Toneblender and X40 together in a two amp rig. Since both amps have clean and OD channels, it gets a little confusing how to set things up, but in preliminary trials I've been setting the Toneblender to run in clean and crunch modes (clean + blend or blend: clean + OD), with a delay in the loop, and run the X40 the same way I did with the Fralin. Trust me, the sound from this two amp rig does not suck one bit! ;)

    P.S. I play in a band that does mostly classic rock and R&B from the 60s/70s (and maybe a little 80s).
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for pressure testing these amps before I got them, Bill!
     
  14. MHG

    MHG Member

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    Well, I've just been informed that the ToneBlender has in fact been discontinued. Damn!!!! I was very excited about this amp!!!!
     
  15. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Ouch! Sorry to hear the news!

    Looks like I may have gotten the last one.......

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
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  16. northfortyrecords

    northfortyrecords Supporting Member

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    I just had to resurrect this thread because I just recently tried the basic idea behind it - to run two heads into one stereo 2x12 cab - and I really think it sounds great.

    In my case, I'm using a Suhr buffer that has two outs. I'm sending one to my Carr Slant 6v (in fixed bias 22 watt mode) to a Celestion Blue and the other signal goes through some effects first, then on to my Bruno Cowtipper running through the other speaker in the 2x12 cab, which is a Celestion G12H-30 Anniversary.

    The Bruno always stays clean and acts as a the 'wet' side of the equation with clear/clean delay and chorus and what have you, while the Slant 6v takes the raw signal and can footswitch between clean/crunch/lead tones. The two together out of one 2x12 cab is a real treat. Running the two amps is just a different experience. Darn near worth the setup time. And having the clean/wet side to blend into the crunch from the Slant 6v (which I love to death) is awesome.

    Props to Riffmeister for the idea!
     

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