Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Calling all VHT Special 6 owners!

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Obsessed, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    After final A/B testing primarily 5 watt 6V6 amps (with occasional EL-84s and such), I have decided on the Special 6 for my next amp. Over and over, nothing seems to beat it in it's class for my needs.

    Primary purpose is for grab 'n go jams with friends (no drummer). My intent is to use a mini pedalboard into the clean channel. I play classic rock and old school kind of blues, both single coils and humbuckers.

    The question is after enough years of your experiences, is there a collective conventional wisdom of which way is best to go? :confused:

    A) Special 6 combo (I have not seen one yet, but can I assume it is pretty light weight?)
    B) Special 6 head and (suggest a cab 8 ohm speaker for clean high headroom)
    C) Special 6 Ultra Combo (least desirable due to my 60 year old back, but I kinda liked the bells and whistles)
    D) Special 6 Ultra head (again, suggest a cab 8 ohm speaker for clean high headroom)

    Thanks for any and all suggestions. :D
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

  2. ImACracka

    ImACracka TDPRI Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I have the Special 6 1x10 combo and it is surprisingly heavy for its size. Not to say it will be too heavy but it isn't light. I just checked amazon and it states the shipping weight at 30 pounds.

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Thanks and hey, welcome to TDPRI. You have found the most informative, supportive guitar forum there is. Enjoy. So, given that the standard Combo is heavy, would you have liked the bells and whistles of the Ultra?

  4. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Special 6 Head owner here. Having owned it I dont think I need the bells and whistles of the Ultra. The amp sounds great as is, and is voiced right imo. Maybe a little bassy but likely it's the speaker I'm using. I like the head very lightweight, like 0 pounds give or take, especially if the place I'm going to has a speaker cabinet to use. Next speaker I will try will be the stock speaker from my Crate amp which sounded too bright in that amp. Likely will be perfect for the VHT. Current speaker is a smooth cone old alnico, so not lots of treble. Sounds good with a strat but too dark with humbuckers and gets lost at volume with the band with current speaker. Note: I am not an effects loop person. I have never used it with the one amp I own that has one, other than briefly experimenting.

  5. rambleon

    rambleon Tele-Meister

    Oct 29, 2011
    New York
    The Special series is really good. Here's the happy story of my VHT addiction.
    I started with a Special 6 Ultra, which I used at home. Soon after I felt like I wanted one to play with my band as well, so I got a Special 12/20 head which I ran in high power mode with 6L6s. This one lived in my band's practice space.
    Then I found a good deal on a Special 44 combo, which I have since been using for gigs and home practice. Compact and LOUD.
    Finally a couple of months back, I decided I needed more headroom at practice, so I sprang for a Special 44 head that replaced the Special 12/20 in my band's studio. That through an oversized 2x12 is tone heaven!
    I have the 12/20 sitting at home, and I'm going to use that as an experimental platform for different tube types.
    As you can see, I'm sort of addicted :p

  6. olefudd

    olefudd Tele-Meister

    Sep 27, 2009
    out yonder!
    In my humble opinion, I would get the 1x10 combo. I've had mine for two years and love it. Mine weighs 24lbs with a Eminence Legend 1058 speaker and takes all my pedals just great. Mine stays on the 3 watt setting most of the time at home and has plenty of volume.

  7. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Tele-Holic

    Jan 25, 2015
    Hayward, WI
    I went with the Ultra Combo. Yeah, it's heavy. If I were into gigging I'd get one of those wheeled containers to transport it. Since it stays in my living room rattling my windows (and the neighbors - 6 watts is louder than you realize till you hit both the boost and the distortion pedal with amp and guitar both dimed o_O ) that's not as big an issue as I was concerned with it being.

    The extras, though for me, are worth it. I like the extra tone shaping, the FX loop and I've not felt any need to change the speaker.

    I am currently using a VHT adapter and a JJ EL84 for the power tube. Gets me some nice breakup at a bit lower volume and plays nice with my DS-1 and chorus pedals.

  8. ImACracka

    ImACracka TDPRI Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Thanks. Long time lurker. The extra controls of the Ultra would be nice, but I also really like the simplicity of the non Ultra. The one thing I wish the it had was an effects loop, which the Ultra does have.

  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Awesome input guys!

    Wow "0" pounds waparker4? Those heads are lighter than I thought.:D I like the sound of it stock as well through the combo 16 ohm speaker and if I go with a head, I could eventually find the speaker I like or wait for you to. Are you using it at practice with the band?

    I can see how the VHT can become your own sound rambleon. It seems uniquely voiced and one that I really like, but I don't know if that is the speaker.

    Thanks olefud. So 24 lbs for the 10" combo. I'll need to find out how heavy the 12" combo to compare, because it seemed much heavier than that.

    Yeah wlewisiii, I think about the f/x loop a lot. I'm planning on just a 4 pedal pedal board or maybe just one reverb/trem pedal in the loop depending on circumstances. This is the model I have played on three different units and would not need to change the speaker either. I'll have it upstairs in the new house and will need to take it in and out of the car often, so seems too heavy for my back. Hence my post, but maybe split the weight going with a head and stick with the Ultra. The grab 'n go with a cab loses a little attraction though and then my one pedal in the loop doesn't seem to add much value.

    As ImACraka mentions, the simplicity of the 10" combo is very attractive.

    Thanks everyone for your input. Much to ponder.

  10. medblues

    medblues TDPRI Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    United States
    Special 6 head with two cabs: 12" Eminence Wizard (blues, rock) and 10" Eminence Lil Buddy (jazz, blues). Both high efficiency speakers.

    Mine picks up radio stations when in high gain, haven't done the input grid resistor mod described in this forum.


  11. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Tele-Holic

    Jan 25, 2015
    Hayward, WI
    According to the manual I have, the Ultra head is 26 lbs and the Combo is 37 lbs.

    Hope that helps.

  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Thanks medblues for the speaker report. Sweet having two different cabs available. I assume your head is not the Ultra?

    Oh, and thanks for the heads up about the radio interference mod. Good to know.

  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Thanks a bunch wlewisiii. Just what I needed to consider hauling around. Ultra combo at 37 lbs. confirms what it felt like to me. With the 10" combo at 24 lbs. that is a monster difference. Of course I lose that great sounding 12" on board speaker and probably some volume and headroom. The Ultra head at 26 lbs gives me everything, but have to haul a cab separately. Hmmm, the decision matrix is getting tough. The only weight I don't have is the non Ultra head which must be in the 20 lb range if I took a guess, but no f/x loop and still have to haul a cab. However, the idea of two different cabs is pretty darn cool to me. The cost of the non ultra head saves me a bunch to put into speakers.

    Okay, I think I've got enough info now unless anyone can throw in some sage wisdom/second thoughts.

    Thanks everyone. I'm very much excited about this amp.
    Impellitteri likes this.

  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    I found out that the Standard S6 head is 17.5 lbs (thanks waparker4). So, the decision matrix is complete. I like the simplicity and weight of the 10" combo, but for two more lbs., I can get the Ultra head with the f/x loop and a second trip to the car with a cab. Two of you have multiple cabs for your heads for different needs and that is very appealing to me since I'm planning on building an 8 ohm cab for a different amp of mine anyway. Of course 17 1/2 lbs. is sweet too. I might be able to carry the head and a cab at the same time ... especially a 10" cab. :idea: Ahh, that f/x loop though. :twisted: My head is starting to hurt.:rolleyes:

    Major soul searching before I do it, but all of you gave me great fodder to contemplate.

    Thank you so much again! :D

  15. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2010
    I'm using the Special 6 head into a 2x10 open back cab using a pair of old 1960 Jensens and I'm very happy with the sound. It's a big giant Champ. Great practice amp and it will keep up with a drummer if it's cranked. No way to play clean that loud, though, even with the big cabinet.
    For a grab and go, I'd probably buy the combo next time. Carrying two boxes instead of one is a bit of a pain.
    TequilaCaster likes this.

  16. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Thanks Elias Graves. Yeah, the combo is inviting for making the whole grab 'n go concept simpler. I like the idea of changing speakers in a cab, but I suppose I could do that in the combo. I'm starting to think that the 10" combo being about the same weight as the Ultra head, makes the f/x loop not worth it and since I like clean with pedals mostly, I don't really need the extra gain stage and the tube that goes with it (although I did have fun trying it out in the store). If I needed to or wanted to play through a 12", I could haul the 10" combo and a cab just for those circumstances.

    Eh, just thinking out loud. Thanks for your input Elias Graves.

  17. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    I use a Special 6 with a large 2x12" closed back cab with Celestion Elite 80s. It sounds very full. Sometimes I use a single EVM 12L, also awesome.

    Not a fan of the half power triode mode, it sounds a bit darker than I like. I don't need an FX loop or TMB tone stack.

  18. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    I bought the Ultra combo, but never use the Ultra input. Really liked the basic tone so I bought a secondhand 12/20RT combo that came up on eBay, and also 1x12" extension cabinet. The 12/20RT and extension cab give me plenty of volume if I need it (I also have a set of tubes waiting to be installed to take it to the 20 watt setting when I have the time). The Ultra is enough for small gigs with a restrained drummer, but having the 12/20 I am inclined to swap the Ultra for a Special 6.

  19. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Hmmm, not quite coalescence of consensus, but seems like the non-ultra models are the way to go with the TDPRI crowd. I never considered a "down the road" option of a 2x12 cab, but I can see that happening. Okay, I'm down to the 10" combo or the head. Since I plan to build a cab for another amp, having two different cabs to choose from for either amp gives me the most diversity in many ways, so the Standard head is winning out at this point.

    Thanks paratus and bettyseldest for your input that is pretty much pushing me over the finish line for the standard head.

  20. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

    Just got my Special 6 10" combo back from my son (he's into to drums now). It's been over a year since I played it and I like it as much now as I did then. Nicely voiced blackface and tweed (in the boost mode) tones. I when I bought it it was $200 about 5 years ago. Great amp for the money and I really like the stock ceramic speaker. I tried other speakers, including a Weber Blue Pup, Celestion Gold 10, WS G10c/s, Weber F10150, Jensen P10R, and a Jensen MOD 35, but VHT really got their stock speaker voiced right for this amp.
    TequilaCaster and Impellitteri like this.

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