VHT Special 6, Monoprice 15, Pro Jr.... No Champs!

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by schmee, May 1, 2019.

  1. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought I should just start a new thread on this rather confuse issues with my old one. Cheap amps.

    How far from typical Champ tone is the Special 6? After trying several Champs over the years I've decided they are not for me. Champs just seem nasty to me.
    I need nice clean tone, not super bright, with some punch in a small package and for low volume in a Duo. I dont need any effects really.
    Still considering the Special 6, or I may have to go to the Monoprice 15, Pro Junior or something like that. Monoprice $ have shot up a lot though, otherwise I'd just try one at last year's prices!. But demo's of the Mono seem to have some hum going on. Is that typical?
    Will be used in a duo, some jazzy stuff etc as well as blues etc, I cant have hum etc. Possibilities:

    -VHT Special 6
    -Monoprice 15
    -Pro Junior
    -Peavey Classic 20?
    -Super Champ XD (but really dont want all that digital crap)
    -Build a Weber Smokin Joe ll? (2 x EL84 dead simple circuit)
     
  2. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Tweed or BF/SF Champs? Different circuits. BF/SF are designed to sound a little 'cleaner'.

    EDIT: Special 6 is basically a Tweed Champ clone.
     
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You might add the TSA15..has a brilliant clean.
    You have a few there.
    All a tad diff.
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    That helps, and what I was wondering. The champs I have tried are SF. I usually like BF/SF amps. But haven't bonded with the Champs. I have never tried a tweed champ and assumed, if anything, they would be nastier than the BF...?
     
  5. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Depends on what you mean by nasty, I guess. Tweed Champs will have a bit more midrange, and likely break up a little sooner. I'm not a huge fan of cranked BF/SF Champ crunch. But it looks like you want primarily a clean sound in a small package? Princeton?
     
  6. allesz

    allesz Tele-Meister

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    If you don't like champs I doubt you will like the vht.
    You may look at something with el84, there's a lot of options on the new and used market.
    I don't want to open a can of worms, but they sound different from the 6v6 champs.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, I'm a big 6V6 fan, but I do like the tone of EL84's and having that is likely a good diversity in my lineup. I will likley try to go that direction.
    I actually have a BFD, BFDR and a PR clone. I'm really looking for something a bit smaller yet and 10-15 watts. Unfortunately my PR Clone is heavy as it has some "turbo" mods including a heavy speaker and big power transformer.
     
  8. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I find the VHT special 6 Ultra to have plenty of clean punch.
    I also use a route 66 comp for clean boost and if I really want to push just up to that edge I use a Boost killer from Donner.

    Jazz clean at gig levels ? probably not.
    my Tele loves the amp !
     
  9. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I run an EL84 in my Special 6 with their converter, sounds better than the stock 6V6 or other 6v6s I had on hand. Although the best of what I had around the house was an EL34. anyway...

    I also own the Monoprice 15. It sounds nothing like the VHT. Neither are bad or good, just different. The Monoprice is considerably louder, has a stock 12" speaker, master volume, more tone shaping and reverb. The MP is nice for quick, plug-in-and-play because of the built in dirt and verb. Not a particularly rich sounding amp.

    The VHT just has good tone with no frills, which is spectacular in it's own way. Nice big tone from that little box. I was fortunate to get my SP6 combo a 4 or 5 years ago when the prices were down a little bit. I was comparing it to an AC-4 in the store, and it was embarrassingly better.

    As said before if you need headroom for playing live, it may not get you there, although you'll be able to push the amp, and roll back to clean up nicely unlike some of the other louder amps you're looking at.
     
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  10. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Just my own opinion - VHT Special 6 is a long way from being a Fender Champ clone :).

    I've played through real Champs (black and silver) ever since I was a kid, and that was a pretty long time ago ;). They were very affordable (second-hand), and sounded great.

    A couple years ago, I built a 5F1 tweed Champ clone, so I'm very familiar with that Champ sound as well.

    I have a Special 6 Ultra (bought it second-hand about a year ago) not the regular Special 6, but I generally use the normal input. The Ultra channel has loads of gain, more than I need for my type of music, which is mainly electric blues with a little rock and roll blended in. I think I'd be just as happy with the regular Special 6 as I am with the Ultra.

    The VHT Special can do a very good Champ imitation, but it can also go way beyond that American Champ sound and give ya some British tones, too.

    The S6 tone-stack has a seriously wide range of adjustment and ya can actually tailor your tone with the amps tone-shaping controls (which work pretty darn good), whereas the Champ requires ya to use your fingers and guitar controls to tailor your tone. Just my opinion, nothing more :).



    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    As far as volume needs go, I'm lately using a 40w SS Fender Acoutasonic amp and still have plenty of volume sweep left on the pot! I just need rich throaty tone not middy crunch....
    Every time I AB any of the SS I have had recently with any of my Tube amps it's like night and day. I dont need wattage for volume, I need it for tone.
     
  12. TequilaCaster

    TequilaCaster Tele-Holic

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    The VHT Special 6 has the ability to do Tweed Champ tones, when you pull up the tone knob to bypass its tone stack to get mo' gain. With the the knob pushed in, it stays in blackface tone zone. So clean or dirty... your choice. It covers a lot of ground with the sweet sounding 6V6 installed. Even at the $350 new price, they are worth it.
     
  13. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    So I just bought a pair of trail running shoes. Dug deep online, read several top review sites, punched some 'compare' buttons, took an excellent 'find-a-shoe' questionnaire. Had 3 or 4 all picked out.

    Then I went to the running shoe store. Two things happened.

    1. There were so, so many shoes on the wall.
    2. I tried on 5 pairs. The ones I liked online didn't feel good at all, but I totally fell in love with a pair I hadn't even remotely considered.

    Descriptions, and the opinions of others no matter how expert, can only do so much. Not much, in fact, when it comes to picky, personal parts: Feet. Ears.

    (Schmee, old buddy, if you find BF Champs nasty, you definitely aren't a guy who can just crowdsource the mass of amp users to find an amp.)

    I realize there may not be stores near everybody, or stores that carry Monoprice or Weber.... But for VHT, Fender, Peavey, there's nothing like taking your guitar and your ears and trying some out.
     
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  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Another VHT Special 6 Ultra fan here. @old wrench pretty well nails the description IMO. Does the tweed Champ well, nice 6V6 cleans too, along with some great sounding gains. The 12" combo speaker is a bit dark for me, so I went with a head to combine with different cabs. Bonus is the tube changing potential and the pseudo attenuator for low volume practice.
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    No doubt about it, well put. Still, we have to try to ferret it out somehow. I've bought about 6 small amps in the last 1.5 years! It's a pain buying and reselling. Still trying! I think I'm looking for the impossible and being too cheap about it. I should just buy a Z Ghia or something a bit smaller. But reluctant to spend $1000.
    I may just build a small box non reverb Princeton with a good big sounding speaker. That's really what I need and I hate modern amps with all the digi modeling and related issues of those. Otherwise I'd buy another Super Champ XD type. That sound works for me for $300 or so. But, there are a ton of them out there with Digi board issues. The board actually controls the tone stack, the amp doesn't really even have a typical tone stack. I could maybe find one with problems and gut it and spend less than a typical build (which ends up being ~$500 in parts alone!)
     
  16. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Afflicted

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    Wise words.
     
  17. blues bondsman

    blues bondsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I put a Cannabis rex 16 ohm in an extension cab and so I can run the stock speaker and the C-rex at the same time with the amp set at 8 ohms.
    What surprised me was how often I prefer to run the C-rex alone and not use the VHT Chrome Back at all.
    I sure don't hear any darkness or muddiness with the C-rex alone and the highs are purty as a pup !

    back to the OP, do yourself a favor and try one !
    I use the Ultra channel 100% of the time and use the volume for my overall loudness, The ultra Pot for gain and it works like a charm !!
    The ultra is usually (almost always) set at about 25 to 30 % so 9:00 to 9:15 ish.
    I don't use the "boost" ever, however playing around with it took me to ZZ Top land pretty fast !
     
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  18. Hoodster

    Hoodster Friend of Leo's

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    I've had blackface and Tweed champs, PJ, etc., and you're right, they are not ideal for clean tones. From what you described, you definitely want the super champ. It is by far the best clean tone of any of the amplifiers you mention, and super affordable and versatile.

    I would also throw in the quilter 101 reverb with a nice small light cab.
     
  19. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Laney Cub 10?
    2 12AX7 feeding 2 6V6. It's physically small and sounds great. No frills, just gain, volume and a tone control ( of sorts ). It'll do wonderful clean tones through to classic rock and mine doesn't hum. I guess it knows the words. ( sorry )
     
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  20. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    A modded, first issue PJ is my main amp. It has the circuit where dialing up volume also produces overdrive, and can sound harsh. I did a large number of easy mods, and also changed the OT and added a choke. Also, and perhaps most significantly, I swapped in a 12AU7 in the preamp stage. The sum total of these mods is a truly beautiful-sounding amp with a great clean voice, great responsiveness, and no excess OD. Mine is made in USA and never lets me down. Can definitely hang with a band in a smaller venue. Later models vary, so I can't give a blanket recommendation.
     
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