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Speaker and Tube Suggestions for VHT Special 6

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by Clifton82, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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    I picked up a used VHT Special 6 for cheap last week.

    This amp is completely stock, and doesnt sound terrible, but it has cheap chinese tubes (1 6v6 and 1 12ax7) and a fairly plain jane 10" 16ohm speaker.

    I dont want to spend a fortune on a new speaker and tubes, I thinking about $100 Max (which is over half of what I paid for the whole amp!)

    Id like the amp to have a little more clean headroom since I use a bunch of pedals. I also want to make sure that the speaker doesnt flub out on the bass side, and doesnt have piercing icepick highs in the terrible side.

    For Power Tubes: (6v6)
    - Dont want to Pay for NOS Tubes
    - Looking for a smooth tube, not harsh and over powerful
    - What brand?

    For PreAmp Tubes: (12ax7 or the like)
    - 12ax7, 5751, 12at7, 12ay7 ???
    - If I want later breakup with clean headroom, should I used a tube with less gain factor?
    - What brand?

    For the Speaker: (10" 16ohm Ceramic)
    - What Wattage Speaker for a 6Watt Amp?
    - Ribbed or Smooth Cone?
    - What brand? Jensen, Eminence, Celestion? (Weber doesnt carry 16ohm!)

    Any and all suggestions would be very helpful. Id like to make an order this week. Thanks everyone for the help!
     
  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Check your amp. According to the pics on the VHT website it has 4 ohm, 8 ohm, and 16 ohm outputs.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    The amp will run any octal tube. So, I run mine with a 5881, which gives you about 10 watts. I use an Eminence Legend 105. The Legend makes the amp sound much bigger. The tube and speaker give the amp a very tweed like sound. It is a single ended copy of a tweed Deluxe, after all.
     
  4. Delta Blues

    Delta Blues Tele-Afflicted

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    JJ tubes and a WGS G10C/S Speaker is what I'd go with.
     
  5. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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    I want to go with a 16ohm speaker so that I can use the internal wiring and not have to run a speaker wire into one of the jacks in the back.
     
  6. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    I already had a couple of 15 watt, 10" combo's. So, I had some speakers and tubes on hand, for comparison.

    The Eminence Legend 105, comes in 16 ohms, and the price isn't bad. I also tried a Jensen C10R (8 ohm), 10" Fender (8 ohms), and Celestion G10N-40 (16 ohm). The Jensen and Fender didn't sound good at all, in the small cabinet. The original Chrome-back speaker sounded better. The Celestion sounded better, but not as good as the Legend 105.

    I tried different preamp tubes, as I already have a bunch of NOS tubes. The main difference was the position of the Volume control, where you would get breakup. The actual volume would stay about the same. So, I went with a good quality (GE) 12AX7. The Hi and Lo inputs, basically allows you to do the same thing as changing the preamp tube value.

    Some people like to run a 6L6 or EL34 power tube, for more clean headroom. I've only used an Electro-harmonix 6V6GT, or Tung-Sol 5881. Both were big improvements, over the original tubes. They have a similar sound, and the 5881, naturally has more clean headroom.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
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  7. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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    This might be a silly question - excuse my ignorance - but in my research I am seeing that 10" 16ohm speakers come in Wattages from 20 to 100. The original speaker that came with the amp is 50 watts. How do I know what wattage speaker would be best for this low power amp? Is pairing a higher wattage speaker with a lower wattage amp going to produce a less distorted tone at higher volumes due to the efficency of the speaker? In turn, a 20 watt speaker will break up sooner at lower volumes?
     
  8. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    Power rating are designed to help keep you from melting the windings, in the voice coil. The Special 6 will be alright with almost any guitar speaker. I had ungraded the speaker in a 15 watt, Fender Super Champ XD, and thought that the speaker would easily handle anything that the Special 6 would put out. It did handle it, but it sounded terrible.

    The efficiency rating, will help you compare how loud it will sound, and only somewhat, how much clean headroom you will get. In general, a non-ribbed speaker will breakup more and sooner, and give you more of a British sound. A ribbed speaker, will have more of an American (Fender) sound, and more clean headroom.

    The small cabinet, tends to reduce the amount of bass that you will hear. So, they compensated with the speaker. The 10" Chromeback speaker sounded similar to a Hartke bass speaker, that I have. It sounds better than many speakers, for your typical overdriven blues. Clean will be another matter.

    More important info: Larger power tubes do not fit with the original speaker. You have to change to speaker, in order to fit a larger power tube, with more headroom.

    My advice is based on really liking a tweed type of sound, so I hope it helps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  9. dlaroe

    dlaroe Tele-Meister

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    Other than no negative feedback I don't see the tweed Deluxe comparison. The circuit looks and sounds Champy to me.

    A JJ 6v6 or a larger octal (be careful of heater draw, PT getting too hot) and a lower gain 12a*7 should get more clean headroom. A 12at7 at a gain of 60 might be on the low side, it was for me but that's the only other tube I've tested.
     
  10. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    try tung-sol 6v6 and tung-sol 12ax7

    I believe the VHT 12 is the tweed deluxe clone. not sure what the 6 is. they also make a marshall bluesbreaker called the 18.
     
  11. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I think the Chromeback is pretty damn good. I've played the Special 6 through a Weber Blue Pup, a Jensen P10R, a WGS G10C/S, a Weber 12A125 and didn't think any of them sounded as good as the Chromeback. Lots of other speakers to try, though... I've been interested in the 10" Celestion Gold and the 10" Red Fang, but they're EXPENSIVE...
     
  12. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    OK, but that limits your options, and it is as simple as buying or making one of these

    [​IMG]

    The speaker ad copy should state how the speaker "breaks up" or what its drive characteristics are. You just want a speaker to be at least 2 times the output wattage of your amp. So 6 watt amp -- 12 W speaker or more.

    The efficiency rating (dB @ 1W / 1m ) will tell you some of how loud the speaker is.
     
  13. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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  14. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  15. Delta Blues

    Delta Blues Tele-Afflicted

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  16. Clifton82

    Clifton82 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Guys.

    Now that gives me the option to use a 4,8,or 16 ohm speaker.

    Are there pros and cons to each of these options?
     
  17. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well, you browse on over to the weber signature series and they are all 8 ohms. That is the only con to 16 or 4 ohms I can think of.
     
  18. bluuzguy

    bluuzguy TDPRI Member

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    VHT Special 6

    I found the perfect combination: a 16 ohm Jensen Electric Lightning 10", with an EH 6L6,and Tung Sol 12AX7 ri. This will blow you away, no kidding!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just a word of caution - even though it will run an EL34 or the stuff in the KT-family of tubes, the current draw will put a bit more strain on your PT.

    If you like the way these particular tubes sound in this amp, you might want to periodically check how hot the PT is getting, and shut down the amp at the appropriate point. Some users claim around an hour's usage with the EL34, but I've only run one for about 20 minutes or so. So I can't verify that.

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to like about such a thing either.

    Another thing - even though it will run any octal, it is biased specifically for the 6V6. To get the most out of other tubes, a rebias is necessary. With cathode bias, this means a different value resistor, and it will have to be on a switch if you go back and forth between tubes. Someone here (Kleuck I think his name is) has figured out a good value for a cathode resistor to use with a 6L6, IIRC.

    So due to the bias issue, I didn't really hear any of what I would call an improvement over a decent 6V6. I can say that upgrading the 6V6 in my Sp 6 gave a lot more of a performance increase than upgrading the EL84 in my Blackheart Little Giant (even with a good OT upgrade in the LG).
     
  20. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I actually use mine with a Jensen Mod 12-70 in an external cab.

    The speaker was basically too ratty to use with bigger amps - lots of cone cry and other unpleasant sounds when it got pushed. I was going to toss it, but really enjoyed that it has a sort of unique mid scoop that I haven't heard with any other speaker.

    While I wouldn't call the sound "Fender clean," it seems to add a little bit of extra headroom, and it makes the tweedy/Marshall'ish sounds actually a little better, IMO.

    The only issue IMO is that because of the lack of durability, the Mod 12-70 is overprice WRT other speakers. If you only use it with low watt amps, it's not an issue, but I wouldn't use it as a 1X12 option with even a 22 watt amp. 2X12 would be okay, but that's kind of nutty with the Sp 6 IMO.

    But I do have the head version, and I've tried the Sp 6 with a LOT of different speakers - both 10's and 12's. I like the Mod the best. The Emi Copperhead comes in 2nd, and then it's a tie between the Ragin Cajun and the Ramrod. They all sound different, so it comes down to preferences, obviously. I'd like to try it with a Celestion G10, but the Ramrod is kind of a facsimile of that.

    I was disappointed by most of my other speakers - other Celestions, clones of them like the WGS offerings, other Eminence stuff, and the few Webers that I have on hand. I have the Sig 10 ceramic and thought that would be a cool low watt choice, but I just didn't prefer it.

    Could just be me, but I don't want to use anything other than the Mod 12-70 with the Sp 6. Even with a closed back cab, it sounds good. Usually, the low watt SE amps sound kind of dull and dead to me if it's not an open back cab, as they just generally don't have the power to "just push enough sound out front." The sound from the back of an open back cab is kind of a necessity, but not with the Mod 12-70, for some reason. Maybe it's because it just has a low efficiency compared to most other speakers, so the cab design becomes less important. Not sure.
     
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