VHT Special 6 Mod thread

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by TNO, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. tombob

    tombob Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sonora, TX
    I would bet the VHT speakers are made for them by some major speaker company. Probably Emi or Celestion, not that it really matters other than satisfying my curiosity. I haven't heard the 10" but those chromeback 12s are good speakers from what experience I've had with them so I'm sure the 10s are good too. I'd like to pick one up myself, it would be good for my Sp6 head and being 50w I could use it with my Pignose 40! The little Pignose 40w tube amps are great, I modded mine more like a jtm45/5f6a bassman.
     
    TequilaCaster likes this.
  2. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    628
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Location:
    WI, USA
    I got my SP6 used over 3 years ago so any break-in period for the speaker has passed.

    I know many ppl swap the speaker, but the stock 10" speaker does all I need it to do. Investing in a speaker would defeat the purpose for me, I didn't pay a lot and I get great tones...and THAT was the point of getting the amp:cool:
    I mostly use mine @ church, clean, w/ a Tonelab in front. It sounds excellent.

    I have old RCA's in it, 12ax7 and an EL84. Mods that interest me would be reverb and a pot to make the boost variable but as a speaker & amp to support the Vox it's more than capable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  3. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    601
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Between Time and Space, in Temperance
    Here's a link to the archived interview with Terry Buddingh of VHT, in which he talks about the Special 6 and mod ideas. He also states VHT builds everything 'in house', at their factory in China, including speakers and transformers.


    https://web.archive.org/web/20110824160848/http://www.frugalguitarist.com/Frugal.aspx?ISSUE=19&PAGE=Terry Buddingh Interview

    When I got my Special 6 combo, I was going to do lots of modding, but after putting in an Eminence Alnico 1028K, and adding a cheap but good Behringer DR600 reverb pedal, and an equally cheap but good Joyo Tremolo pedal, I am super happy. It's now a killer mini Princeton reverb!

    I like the stock tubes too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  4. Revnelli

    Revnelli TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    89
    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Location:
    Trail, BC, Canada
    Thanks for the link to that interview - I heard of it but couldn't find it since the frugal guitarist site went down.
    BTW I have the specs for the 12" VHT speaker -here (Hope that works PM me if it doesn't)
     

    Attached Files:

  5. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    7,612
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    I can't find where I read it but the Chromeback speakers are custom made by a famous brand--I can't remember which one.
     
  6. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    628
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Location:
    WI, USA
    Just a few posts up @TequilaCaster posted an article with Terry Buddingh of VHT where he explicitly states they make their own speakers and transformers.
     
  7. tombob

    tombob Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sonora, TX
    Chinese factories are known for making more than one brand. It's probably the same place that makes other Chinese speakers for Eminence, celestion or no telling who, maybe even more than one other brand. The factories in China turn out some good quality stuff now so it really doesn't matter.
     
  8. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    385
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Having modded a number of VHT’s for people, in my experience it matters a great deal.

    The question is not about quality or longevity- it’s about suitability to purpose. The stock speaker in the special 6 is grossly over-rated power-wise, and has the strange ability to sound stiff, bloated, and harsh. All at the same time.

    Swapping out the stock speaker in the combo, is a fast and easy way to wake these little guys up. I’ve had good results with Weber Sigs (ceramic and alnico) and various Eminence drivers. Even the stock Chinese Celestion from the Vox AC4TV was a small improvement...
     
    TequilaCaster and robrob like this.
  9. tombob

    tombob Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sonora, TX
    It doesn't matter who/where it's made but how it sounds is what I'm saying. I've had US and UK made speakers I didn't like the sound of. I feel sure the VHT speakers aren't going to die due to poor build quality. I've played through a few of the Chrome 12s and they didn't seem that bad but they were very stiff but they were all newer and needed break in time. They are high rated for a 5 watt amp and probably take a long time to break in in one. I'd be interested in hearing what happens if one was hooked up to a 40 watt amp and cranked up hard for about 20 hours. I would be it would make it a better sounding speaker.
     
  10. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,250
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Indiana
    As a somewhat similar subject.
    I just ordered a used Special 6 2X12 open back cabinet from GC
    Taxes and a very small shipping charge and the whole thing cost me 165 bucks.

    I'm looking forward to checking these speakers out in person.
    I actually bought it for my new (1970's) Traynor YBA-1 head.
    My Special 6 head will get some time there too !
    My first thought was to order another Weber Silver Bell 16 ohm and make it a 2x12 weber powered cab, as I'm crazy about that Silver Bell tone !
    I will give those Chrome backs a good try first.

    Did I just say Chrome ??? reminds me of Robo Cop LOL
     
    joe_cpwe and robrob like this.
  11. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    601
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Between Time and Space, in Temperance
    Great deal. VHT speaker cabs are very nice. A twin Weber Silver Bell setup would be awesome.
     
  12. Revnelli

    Revnelli TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    89
    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Location:
    Trail, BC, Canada
    Update on my mods (in case anyone cares)... I put 10uF caps in parallel with the Cathode caps (c8, c13) on the pre-amp. This gives about 15uF - almost the fender spec of 22uF. There was a definite boost in bass response - which was the desired effect. I have some 25uFs, but I think I'll leave it there. I tried putting my bass guitar through the amp and got a really nice sound :) No probs with farting or speakers issues.
     
    stratohiker and robrob like this.
  13. Revnelli

    Revnelli TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    89
    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Location:
    Trail, BC, Canada
    I now have 3 band eq - thanks the Robrob's suggestion and hugely helpful information. My unique take on this is using the three ext speaker outputs to hold the three eq pots. This works really well. I used some terminal strip (white screw type in the photo) to make the speaker connections - and thus to easily swap speaker impedance should I want to. It all looks pretty neat. I have changed all the knobs for my preferred type. Photos below.
    I disconnected the tone pot - that space will be used for my reverb pot when I am ready to install it. While I was soldering in the tone-stack area I put in some leads for the reverb unit.
    So I can now get the sound balance the way I want it. The amp sounds louder - I can hapily go down to 1/4 volume for home use - and not loose the tone I want. When I turn it up to 3/4 volume. I have to drop the bass substantially. The mid doesn't quite sound as I expected - I put in a 25K Log pot - But I am happy enough not to want to go back in there. Pulling the boost out makes it roar and all tone control goes (Predictable from the tonestack emulator referenced by Robrob - I used this a lot to decide on my pot values). But that's not my sound anyway.
    Gonna sit with this now for a while - then we go to reverb.
    I'll prob report back again on the sound with the new EQ and a bass guitar.


    IMG_20180416_154207886.jpg

    Eq Knobs - bass is on the left - No labels yet - but 4Ohms = Bass, 8 Ohms = mid, 16 Ohms = Treble - simple ;-)

    IMG_20180416_153740616.jpg

    Terminal strip and back of pots. I took lots of time over the job - labeled pots and colour coded wires and it worked with no dramas.
     
    TequilaCaster, robrob and stratohiker like this.
  14. tombob

    tombob Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sonora, TX
    I put my TMB tone stack knobs on the back of mine too. I drilled new holes though. I also added a even milder/stripped down Deluxe type tone knob that only affects the boosted/tone stack bypassed "channel" where you can cut a little treble if wanted. I used the original tone pot for a volume for the boost channel (it's not really a channel though, it just bypasses the tone stack but it's easier to just call it a channel). With the TMB and a switched NFB loop it makes a versatile recording/bedroom amp.
     
    TequilaCaster likes this.
  15. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,250
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Indiana
    FYI
    Here is part of an E-mail interaction I just had with the guys at VHT

    "Check out our new Double 8, it’s a lot like a Special 6, with two 6L6 tubes and few extra things you might find useful, like a low-volt switch for running two 6V6 tubes."

    It's not on their web site yet

    Very interesting !!!
     
    stratohiker likes this.
  16. tombob

    tombob Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    717
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sonora, TX
    I heard about the 8/8 from NAMM. It has the output tubes in parallel with a master volume for each tube. The idea is that you mix for example a 5881 and a kt88 to get any amount of either in your sound. From what I got from the description it must have the same OT as the sp6.
     
  17. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    1,250
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can't wait to check it out.
    Eyelet board I hope ?

    Still i wonder what they could build a 5E3 head for $ wise.
     
    RobertUI likes this.
  18. sirbergersworth

    sirbergersworth Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    550
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO


    Who do they think they are Bruce Egnater!
     
    blues bondsman likes this.
  19. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    601
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Between Time and Space, in Temperance
    The VHT Special 12/20 head is essentially a tricked out 5E3. About $500.
     
    blues bondsman likes this.
  20. Revnelli

    Revnelli TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    89
    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Location:
    Trail, BC, Canada
    Update on VHT with 3 EQ....

    1) I notice that this makes the amp more flexible - particularly because at different volume levels - and in different locations - I can adjust the Eq to get the sound I want. The need for this seems to be more than with my ss amps. I am also able to get a good tone at much lower volume levels (1/4!) - with a little crunch (presumably from the first pre-amp section). All this is very good.

    2) Putting my bass through the amp was also pleasing. Knowing that the speaker is rated for 50W and can cope with the bass frequencies gives the confidence to wind it up - and it does get loud when you do. The bass volume is a little lower than the guitar volume - but the 10" speaker still moves a lot of air. Again the 3 band EQ is great for shaping the sound

    3) It is really interesting to play with the EQ. The mid doesn't seem to do a lot untill you wind down the bass and treble to 0. Then you can really hear it's effect. The treble and bass pots (250 k Log) have a good range. And I am currently setting the EQ about where I would expect (B=2/3, Mid = 1/2, Tre = 2/3)

    And finally... I have started a separate thread on tdri for the installation of the reverb unit here.
     
    TequilaCaster likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.