Marshall class 5 head vs. VHT special 6 ultra head

Abe the dude
December 14th, 2011, 02:22 AM
I just finished building a cabinet and want to get a low watt head for it. I was set on getting the Marshall class 5 untill I saw this VHT brand and they seem to get good reviews.

The Marshall class 5 head doesn't have the 4ohm output, extra watt, watt control knob, two channels, tube driven fx loop and it is not hand-wired like the VHT. But I thought the c5h may have better overall tone.

I'm going to try to find the VHT and hopefully compare the two but untill then does anyone have experience with both who could share their thoughts?

December 14th, 2011, 08:12 AM
I have not tried the VHT, but have some experience with a Class 5 and an Orange Tiny Terror.

The TT and the C5 sound very similar through the same speaker. From what I understand, the VHT amps are a little different creature. I believe they are based more on tweed type circuits, rather than the later Marshall voices of the C5 and the 70's Orange tone of the TT. The 6 Ultra may get closer to those gain levels with the extra gain stage...

But I wonder about the volume levels? Does it require the same volume levels to get there and how does that extra gain stage compare volume-wise to the cleaner less ultra'd settings?

The cleans on the VHTs sound amazing on the demos I've seen.. So much so, that I am also actively seeking one to try myself.

December 14th, 2011, 08:38 AM
I have played Class 5 combo and have Ultra head.

I would definitely go with Ultra.
Great cleans, nice drive, many features.
Class 5 is fun, but it's really a one trick pony.
And it costs twice more.
For that money YOu can have Ultra head + nice 1x12 cab.

December 14th, 2011, 04:09 PM
I got the Special 6 Ultra Head last weekand its amazing, especially for the money.My Strat sounds like a different guitar on clean channel, not really tried Les Paul yet. It does need some fine tuning though, there is a lot more to the VHT than there appears to be.

December 14th, 2011, 04:32 PM
It does need some fine tuning though, there is a lot more to the VHT than there appears to be.

Elaborate please :grin:

December 14th, 2011, 04:46 PM
Its just that when you look at the control panel there doesnt appear to be much there compared to some other amps and the controls are very responsive, especially the watts dial on the clean channel. I can get my Strat to go from really chimey clean to really dirty. As I said for the money the VHT is amazing value IMHO.

Abe the dude
December 14th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Just went to the store and played the vht. That amp is amazing for the price and in a comparison between the two I would say the Marshall sounds a little better when it comes to natural breakup (through a 4x12) but the vht is better in so many ways. And its definately not a one trick pony like the rest of these low cost low watt tube amps seem to be

December 14th, 2011, 11:04 PM
+1 for the VHT

December 15th, 2011, 01:32 AM
Great time for this post! I've been looking for a small watt amp and really like 6v6 crunch. I checked out the VHT and man you guys are right way versatile and really easy to mod if desired but then I got looking at the 12/20 on line and that looks cool.

December 15th, 2011, 01:57 AM
I just watched a video of the VHT and it sounds NOTHING like a Marshall - not a vintage one anyway. The Class 5 is veryyyy close to nailing the old Plexi sound so you better try out both before buying.

I have to add that I used a class 5 head CRANKED through a Marshall 4x12 cab and it is, for sure, loud enough to gig with if you mic the amp. Probably even if you don't.

OH, and the Class 5 is a one trick pony but it's the best trick ever. :lol:

Abe the dude
December 15th, 2011, 12:01 PM
You do have a good point on the class 5. I think I'm going to eventually get both but the vht seems like a smarter buy

December 15th, 2011, 10:06 PM
It would be interesting to know if anybody has been able to get a Plexi tone by upgrading the stock tubes to EL84 or EL34.

If I was trying to decide which way to go Ultra or c5 it would be nice to know that just by spending an extra 75 on tubes I could get the Plexi tone out of an Ultra.

December 15th, 2011, 11:45 PM
I know you're looking to get either the class 5 or a VHT but have you considered anything from Egnater? The tweaker 15 or the Rebel 20 would likely fit what you are looking for sound-wise and they're not too spendy. The Tweaker 15 head is $350. I only mention it because I just bought a tweaker and it is a very good "bang for the buck" type amp and apparently (I haven't tried it yet) you can swap out the 6v6 tubes with EL34's, 6L6, or whatever fits.

December 16th, 2011, 09:37 AM
I don't know the Marshall, but I've got the VHT Ultra head and I'm very happy with it. Great amp for practice or studio, can be easily modded or upgraded. The ultra channel with the "watts" control gives you a very sweet overdrive at room levels. The cleans are also really nice.

December 16th, 2011, 01:41 PM
I have a VHT Special 6, Vht 12/20, Marshall Class 5, and, and....
What I can say about the VHT's is that they are fantastic amps both in sound/versatility and quality.. I gig 3-4 days per week and have been using the Special 6 onstage for many months it is absolutely "bulletproof". It is "miked" (senn 609e) and I play it through an EVM-12L. One band is your basic "classic rock" band, the other is a "corp" band (hotel, convention, party gigs). Having said that, I have to play everything from "Scorpions/Zep/EVH to George Benson stuff" and this amp is up to the task. The only pedal i currently use is a TS-808 (sometimes a boss RV-5), but have used many different ones.. players are constantly coming up and raving about the "tone machine" amp I am using....

You do need to "play" with the tubes you use in VHT as they are very responive to different tubes in both the pre-amp as well as the power sections. I am currently using Mullard el 84 and tung sol 12ax7... although if ya need some extra headroom you can switch the 12ax7 for a 12at7.. The same goes for the VHT 12/20 although the tube options are numerous in that amp as it has three pre-amp tubes and two power amp tubes, it also allows you to change the power tube volt so you can use any of the following; 6v6,6l6,el34,el84....

The MC5 is also a great amp however it is a great "marshall" amp and as mentioned earlier is a "one-trick" pony...

There is a "plexi" mod for the VHT special 6 ultra... here is a link to the clip..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa2rZBUXQU4