Originally Posted by tjnugent
I am no technical genius, but I have heard that you can use the VHT Head as a preamp for a more powerful amp. I have heard you use the Direct Out to do this. If you use the direct out, do you still have to have a speaker load on that head or can I hook my cab into a power powerful head to make that my speaker cab. I love the tone of my 6 Ultra, but it is not loud enough to rock n roll gig. How would you do that and what amp would be good to drive the preamp?
You can do the preamp out to another amp whether you have the Ultra head or the combo, but it has to be the Ultra model. In either case you still need a speaker load or you'll fry the output transformer (it's a tube amp
). If you're looking for more power than 6 watts, the manual says there's no problem daisy chaining one Ultra's line out to the return of another Ultra. But think about this: That's more than a $600 investment in combo amps to get you only 12 watts.
I tried daisy chaining my Ultra's preamp stage through the guitar input of another 20 watt tube amp and also tried it through the "power amp in" of the 20 watt amp (same thing as an FX loop return), and there was too much noise and hum. I don't know if using two Ultra's will yield better results (in terms of impedance matching), but I'd still say you're probably better off with another amp in the 20 watt range, not multiples of a 5 watt single-ended amp.
Here's my take on the very Special 6 Ultra combo (all hype aside):
Noisy at loud volume, even with humbuckers (likely because it's single ended). VERY noisy if you think you're going to dime the pull boost on the Ultra channel for distortion.
The wattage selector, tone control, depth, and boost switch are so interactive that it makes duplicating a setting a bit annoying. It got very time consuming for me to have to work with all the tone controls in tandem, but maybe I just lack patience. The 11 position depth switch only really needs 3 positions (bass cut, off, and full bass). You're forced to mod the amp if you want an adjustable B-M-T tone stack.
Not loud enough to gig with. So, you'd need additional sound reinforcement to get your volume loud enough (another amp or mic/line out through a mixer). Gotta think twice before you spend $300 for an amp that may not be loud enough for a gig.
Through the 12" VHT Chromeback speaker the overdrive tone can get thin and squishy. There's not much bottom end there (at least at lower volumes) for a 12" speaker even with the depth full up.
Line out and FX loop for signal processors. Also allows for daisy chaining more than one amp.
Impedance selector switch makes for easy matching of speakers and external cabinets.
Single-ended class A design with a "sweeter" type of distortion and a bit more touch sensitivity than what you can get with a typical push-pull Class AB design, but this might also account for the "squishy" and sometimes thin tone.
Hand-wired, but I doubt this does anything advantageous for the tone of the amp. What it allows for is easier modification of components, but most guitarists aren't buying an amp to start pulling it apart to get it to sound better (and work of this type can be quite dangerous if you don't know about the need to discharge components).
You can spend a lifetime swapping a variety of tubes to see what change in tone it creates without the need to rebias the output tube. However, this approach can get counterproductive after a while and expensive. I tried an Electro-Harmonix 6v6GT in place of the original Chinese tube and heard no significant sonic difference.
Attractive and solidly built cabinet construction.
You get quite a bit for your money, so it's easier to justify the purchase rather than critically judge the sound and performance.