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View Full Version : VHT CL 100 Has Arrived!



Grendel
03-09-2005, 02:53 AM
Damn, I've had some time to tweak this baby and I think I'm in love! I'd have to say at this point it's a keeper! It doesn't have any of the qualities I disliked about the UL (lack of saturation, and I like the richness of EL34's over the clarity/sterility of KT88's (JMO)), and the treble on this needs to be turned high like the Uber, but unlike the Uber it is silky! I've got it as tight as my Mark (with the bass on the CL turned lower than I usually set it on different amps, it's not quite as tight at higher levels). And @#%$, I thought it was singing, and then I found a neat little trick with the graphic EQ and that graphic took an already great channel over the top! I have yet to find any use for the deep and presence knobs on the back, they're pretty useless to me.

So the way I have it now it is hifi, yet the treble is not fuzzy/buzzy like so many other amps (Diezel, Uber,), but silky, it's tight as a virgin (with the right settings), clear, and just sounds @#%$ great. I should note however, I haven't been able to play it with my band, but judging from the recordings on top of drums and bass, I'm guessing it will cut through very well indeed. Finally!, an amp that can compete with the IIC+ for the top spot! I don't think this is new amp glow, it took me a while to dial it in and really start loving it, but I think it may be my main amp now.

Does anyone know if Steve F recommends a specific power tube brand for this amp, or does anyone else have preferences? It has Svetlana's in it now (not the Red C SED's), and I haven't heard much about these tubes but they sound pretty good, but I want to maximize the sound! My fave tube so far has been the Ruby EL34BSTR's, but they may not be the best for this amp.

Scott Peterson
03-09-2005, 09:54 AM
No help here on the tubes; but man nice review!

J.B.
03-09-2005, 04:30 PM
Congrats on the CLX man. It sounds like I might like the CLX over my UL from what you discribed. Here is a link to a thread with the specs for all the VHT amps. Just go to the CLX

http://vhtusers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51

Grendel
03-09-2005, 07:54 PM
Congrats on the CLX man. It sounds like I might like the CLX over my UL from what you discribed. Here is a link to a thread with the specs for all the VHT amps. Just go to the CLX

http://vhtusers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51

I have the CL, and my review is based on the green channel. I would say the UL is a tad more aggressive sounding, but I think the tradeoff for the CL's saturation and color is worth it. EL34's sound pretty aggressive to me anyway, maybe I just like those tubes better than KT88's.

Giga
03-10-2005, 04:36 AM
From what I understand the only set tuberequirement is the PI positions in some amps; I think a 12AT7 and a 12AX7 but I'm not sure which amps and which type and tubeposition (V6 and V7 ?)

Steve F seems to like Sovtek Powertubes and V1 position tubes and Chinese for the rest. One of the reasons for this is their reliability.

I did experiment a bit with changing types and brands and found a combo that worked better for me tonewise. I'm not too worried about them tubes holding up, I suspect them to be fine and if not I simply change them.


Giga.

rbone100
03-10-2005, 08:25 AM
Depending on the amp... Be careful of what tube you are changing:

[Taken from the user manual section]

Here are some docs and charts that will answer all of the basic questions, including the increasingly frequent: "Which tube does what?" Note: Later Classic/2100 power amps and 2150 power amps have 12AU7 drivers instead of 12AT7. Early 2150's have 3 12AX7's only.

BE CAREFUL WITH REVERB DRIVER TUBE! MIXING UP EL84's AND EF86's WILL CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE TO YOUR AMPLIFIER!

http://www.vhtusers.com/documents/

Grendel
03-11-2005, 01:09 AM
The amp came loaded with a Sovtek 12AX7WB in the first slot, and three Sovtek 12AX7LPS for the last three slots. I saw Sovtek and though meh, chinese are better, threw the chinese in and today I put the SovtekLPS back in just to make sure, and they sound better to me! Even more punchier and clear. This amp seems to love those tubes. Id'a never known about those tubes if it hadn't come with them!

Grendel
03-16-2005, 10:59 PM
The amp came loaded with a Sovtek 12AX7WB in the first slot, and three Sovtek 12AX7LPS for the last three slots. I saw Sovtek and though meh, chinese are better, threw the chinese in and today I put the SovtekLPS back in just to make sure, and they sound better to me! Even more punchier and clear. This amp seems to love those tubes. Id'a never known about those tubes if it hadn't come with them!

I take that back! Now that I've got it dialed in even better, I tried the 12AX7C 9th gen in the last three slots, cranked it, and DAMN! Much clearer, and much fuller, more open, and more aggressive! I completely take back what I said about the LPS, I think it must have been the settings, the 9th gen are definitely my faves of the ones I've tried. Sorry. :roll:

Oh, and that red channel smokes too! Both channels are excellent, it's almost like having two killer high gain amps 8) Did I say I was happy with this amp! I wish I would have tried it a long time ago, for me it SMOKES the Diezel VH4, Bogner Uber, Engl Fireball, and I even like it better than the UL! I don't think current production Mesa's or Peaveys have near as good a tone as what's coming out of this baby. :twisted:

Metalaxe
01-17-2006, 01:57 PM
i love chinese 12ax7 in the preamp.

try EH6CA7 for the poweramp, theyre great!!
technically it's an EL34, but soundwise it's a blend between EL34 and 6L6, it still has got the el34 crunch but with the 6l6 bottom great tubes!!!


greetz'n'groove


axe/germany

Kelly
01-17-2006, 03:54 PM
The amp came loaded with a Sovtek 12AX7WB in the first slot, and three Sovtek 12AX7LPS for the last three slots. I saw Sovtek and though meh, chinese are better, threw the chinese in and today I put the SovtekLPS back in just to make sure, and they sound better to me! Even more punchier and clear. This amp seems to love those tubes. Id'a never known about those tubes if it hadn't come with them!
Sovtek LPS tubes are good for cleans, but not so good for high gain.

nitro
01-17-2006, 08:05 PM
I own the vht 100cl and the vht 50cl out of all the el34s were talking about the JJ E34L power tubes and the JJ ECC83S for preamp tubes are amazing sounding in both of those amps in my opinion they sound much better then the ruby el34 which are chinese power tubes they also sound better then the sovtek el34 and the sovtek preamp tubes. The amp sounds more dynamic and more powerful with the JJ TUBES. The JJ TUBES are very aggressive and very ballsy. I get more complements from my tone. I also think that the VHTS sound alot better then the diezel,bogner,soldano and the rest of the crap thats out there. VHTS are very high quality and in my opinion stevie fryette is the #1 amp designer. I've been playing VHT amps since the early 90s and no amp out there and i played them all can touch the vht....

Grendel
01-18-2006, 01:19 AM
Yeah man, I've had Deizels, an Uber, some Mesas (including the IIC+), Peavey's, an Engl, and some others I'm sure I'm forgetting, and VHT is definitely my favorite. Not only do they sound awesome live, they record really well.
I've settled on higain C9's for all slots, it just suits my style really well, I play metal and they add tightness and emphasize the palm mute chunks, and are pretty neutral. I've tried JJ's in other amps and hated them, they were too low gain and dark/muddy for me, I'm pretty sure I had the ECC83's. I think their power tubes are pretty good though.
I've since replaced my CL with a new CLX which came stock with Ruby EL34BSTR's (yep, more chinese tubes), and I am liking them alot, they are really tight and have really good low end, possibly not as rich (especially on the top end) as the Svetlana's that were in my CL, but they do suit my style well.

evilaci
01-18-2006, 09:05 AM
i love chinese 12ax7 in the preamp.

try EH6CA7 for the poweramp, theyre great!!
technically it's an EL34, but soundwise it's a blend between EL34 and 6L6, it still has got the el34 crunch but with the 6l6 bottom great tubes!!!


greetz'n'groove


axe/germany

Where are you from in germany?

Metalaxe
01-18-2006, 10:55 AM
Where are you from in germany?


luebeck , about 80km north of hamburg

Grendel
01-19-2006, 03:16 AM
Metalaxe, have you been able to compare the EH6CA7 to the Ruby EL34BSTR's?
Those also have really good low end. Also, are they tight?

Metalaxe
01-19-2006, 05:53 AM
Metalaxe, have you been able to compare the EH6CA7 to the Ruby EL34BSTR's?
Those also have really good low end. Also, are they tight?

ur right, cool tubes, but still a pure el34 (with lots of low-end), the 6ca7 ismore on the 6l6-side without lacking the advantages of el34, really sounds like a dfferent type of tube, like a bastard between 6l6 and el34.

but i agree, the EL34BSTR is the best el34 i testet (i've always played them in my pittbull until the 6ca7 crossed my way, and they won't leave:) )

rbone100
01-19-2006, 09:17 AM
I am going to have to try a quad of the 6ca7 in my CLX!

Grendel
01-20-2006, 12:40 AM
Let us know what you think!

Metalaxe
01-20-2006, 03:48 AM
Let us know what you think!

jepp, wanna know that, too. (although i'm pretty sure what you're gonna tell us:) )

evilaci
01-25-2006, 08:27 AM
luebeck , about 80km north of hamburg


Ah OK!
Do you have an idea why there is so less talk in german guitar boards about Pittbulls? It´s not the price, because in France they are much more expensive but on guitariste.fr they talk the hell about VHT!

Very strange! What do you think?

Metalaxe
01-25-2006, 04:40 PM
not many germans know vht (almost no ads, info, stores etc), who does thinks about it as being a very good plus overpriced boutique amp.
very important is for ex the biggest german guitar magazine (gitarre&bass) and the testing it does.
vht was present in the 90ies, but since then it's very rarley mentioned in that magazine. many germans (esp the younger ones) don't even know vht still exists i think.

but the biggest point is the price in combination with the hype that many germans follow (even worse than in the us).
vht are very versatile, but the guitarists that need an good versatile amp are few (studio, top40..) most elder ones that need a good clean have got their fender or so, than there are the marshall-heads and the one who needs bif distortion can buy 3 engl or 5150 for the same price.

you don't have to tell me that vht is better (i know), but dont undrestimate the hype (esp 5150')

most german musicians are very conservative about sound and equipment, it's either marshall, OR fender, OR engl or whatever.
common answer of someone who likes crunch could be:

--"hey dude, vht is great, it's got killer crunchsounds plus clean plus highain"

---"dont care, all i need is crunch, i'm happy with my marshall, why spend 3000 then?"

same for clean:"i've got my fender, dont care about highgain-sounds..."


so the only one who is interested is a guitrplayer who really wants an asskicking amp thats versatile, that are very few.
plus engl is very known in germany (good amps, though), vht is not, why then spend twice the amount for an amp that cant be tested before buying, because next store is 600km away, next store having engl is 10km away....

and so on.

me and my pitt will never part :)

Metalaxe
02-12-2006, 05:47 AM
I am going to have to try a quad of the 6ca7 in my CLX!


new tubes already installed?

Koreldyre
02-12-2006, 10:04 AM
most german musicians are very conservative about sound and equipment, it's either marshall, OR fender, OR engl or whatever.
common answer of someone who likes crunch could be:

--"hey dude, vht is great, it's got killer crunchsounds plus clean plus highain"

---"dont care, all i need is crunch, i'm happy with my marshall, why spend 3000 then?"

same for clean:"i've got my fender, dont care about highgain-sounds..."


so the only one who is interested is a guitrplayer who really wants an asskicking amp thats versatile, that are very few.



That ruins the image in my head of every german playing Diezel or Bogner amps and driving around in BMWs and Mercedes. 8)

Metalaxe
02-12-2006, 12:26 PM
That ruins the image in my head of every german playing Diezel or Bogner amps and driving around in BMWs and Mercedes. 8)

sorry for that :)
there are VERY few germans that own a bogner:) diezel is getting big here, but it's still 800€ cheaper than a clx for example, so is an engl (range: 0-2000€ less), so it's either bmw or vht......
i sold my car :)

Koreldyre
02-12-2006, 01:55 PM
diezel is getting big here, but it's still 800€ cheaper than a clx for example


ah it's good to be german heheh

it's the exact opposite here in the US - if they were 117V instead of 220 I'd go buy a bunch in Germany and bring them back. And buy Peter lunch while I'm there :)

I love VHTs but I think I'd rather have a BMW. You can always sell the BMW for another BMW on eBay and pick up a VHT with the change. :p

Bob Savage
02-23-2006, 03:56 PM
Damn, I've had some time to tweak this baby and I think I'm in love! I'd have to say at this point it's a keeper! It doesn't have any of the qualities I disliked about the UL (lack of saturation, and I like the richness of EL34's over the clarity/sterility of KT88's (JMO)), and the treble on this needs to be turned high like the Uber, but unlike the Uber it is silky!



I have the CL, and my review is based on the green channel. I would say the UL is a tad more aggressive sounding, but I think the tradeoff for the CL's saturation and color is worth it. EL34's sound pretty aggressive to me anyway, maybe I just like those tubes better than KT88's.

I'm curious how you would describe the saturation differences of the CL and UL. Also, when you say "lack of saturation" regarding the UL, what exactly do you mean by that? Is it a lack of breakup?

And finally, would 6L6's in the UL assist with additional breakup over the 88's?

tcrash
02-24-2006, 02:03 PM
I'm curious how you would describe the saturation differences of the CL and UL. Also, when you say "lack of saturation" regarding the UL, what exactly do you mean by that? Is it a lack of breakup?

And finally, would 6L6's in the UL assist with additional breakup over the 88's?

I have noticed the difference in saturation level from my Boogies, and my Bogner compared to my CLX. My CLX is less saturated than either, and the ultralead I would assume would be even less than that. I spent a few weeks here with several different cabinets and speaker combinations, to realize that excactly how much the speakers and cabs make a difference. In my mind saturation is not the amount of breakup, but the "hair" on the notes, not the big crunchy breakup. Only my opinion though

Bob Savage
02-24-2006, 03:26 PM
I have noticed the difference in saturation level from my Boogies, and my Bogner compared to my CLX. My CLX is less saturated than either, and the ultralead I would assume would be even less than that. I spent a few weeks here with several different cabinets and speaker combinations, to realize that excactly how much the speakers and cabs make a difference. In my mind saturation is not the amount of breakup, but the "hair" on the notes, not the big crunchy breakup. Only my opinion though

Thanks for the info. I've been listening to some clips from "J.B." (I think he used to post here), and I'm almost certain the UL has enough "hair," for my taste, assuming that's what these guys are referring to by the term saturation.

By the way, I would be playing the UL, at least initially, through a Bogner Uberkab (V30's and G12T-75's).

tcrash
02-24-2006, 10:04 PM
That is one combination of spkrs I have yet to try. With my CLX, I did not like vintage 30 loaded cabs, nor did I like the 75 watt loaded cabs. I had one cab with 2-g12h & 2 g12t-75 which was ok. I ended up reallyliking the greenbacks even though they lack some bottom end (something about the way the smoothed and sweetened the upper end that I really dug). All that testing and I end up gigging with a Germino straight cab with 2 g12h & 2 vint.30, and a Germino slant cab with 4 greenbacks. It does leave me with a bunch of speakers collecting dust though.

Grendel
02-25-2006, 12:56 AM
I don't really mean "hair" by saturation, I mean the gain penetrates the notes more (if that makes sense), basically adds more depth to the sound.
But both amps are not dry sounding if you set the master volume up properly, the master's sweet spot is 2:00, but anything from 12:00-2:00 sounds good, but don't set it higher.
Also, I have a cab with 75's and they really don't complement VHT's well, I don't like 'em, but I think they sound great w/V30's.
Also, no offense to JB, but I think his clips don't really do the amp justice.
Also Bob, you should know the newer UL's don't have the 6L6 switch anymore, the transformers in VHT's are designed for either KT88's or EL34's, and I guess Steve F thought it caused more problems than good, and that the 6L6's in the amp didn't improve the tone.

Bob Savage
02-26-2006, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the input, tcrash.


I don't really mean "hair" by saturation, I mean the gain penetrates the notes more (if that makes sense), basically adds more depth to the sound.
But both amps are not dry sounding if you set the master volume up properly, the master's sweet spot is 2:00, but anything from 12:00-2:00 sounds good, but don't set it higher.
Also, I have a cab with 75's and they really don't complement VHT's well, I don't like 'em, but I think they sound great w/V30's.
Also, no offense to JB, but I think his clips don't really do the amp justice.
Also Bob, you should know the newer UL's don't have the 6L6 switch anymore, the transformers in VHT's are designed for either KT88's or EL34's, and I guess Steve F thought it caused more problems than good, and that the 6L6's in the amp didn't improve the tone.

Thanks again for your input. I did get to try an UL yesterday, and can see what you mean about the saturation. I didn't get to spend as much time with the amp as I had hoped, because I went to Tone Merchants and they were pretty busy yesterday, so I walked away unsure of my real thoughts, except that I think I'd like to try the CLX, CL and Deliverance. I'm going to hit up my local GC to see about checking out a CL and D120.

Can you point me to some clips that you think are representative of the UL (or CL, CLX for that matter)? A lot of the clips posted in the clips forum here are dead links.

Grendel
02-26-2006, 08:57 PM
haha, I don't know of any good metal clips of the CL/X.
Just make sure you get the master up, don't worry too much about cranking the channel volume, VHT's sound good at low volumes if you get the master up.
If you're going for metal, turn the gain on the CL to 3:00, the UL to 2:00, and engage the boost and edge button, set it on higain, and keep the shift out.
They do take awhile to figure out if you're unfamiliar with them.

Bob Savage
02-26-2006, 09:30 PM
haha, I don't know of any good metal clips of the CL/X.
Just make sure you get the master up, don't worry too much about cranking the channel volume, VHT's sound good at low volumes if you get the master up.
If you're going for metal, turn the gain on the CL to 3:00, the UL to 2:00, and engage the boost and edge button, set it on higain, and keep the shift out.
They do take awhile to figure out if you're unfamiliar with them.

Thanks dude, and yeah, I did get the distinct feeling that the amp was very tweakable, and would take a while to get the hang of, despite what seemed to be a fairly simple layout. But, with "complexity" comes versatility, so I see that as a good thing.

Grendel
02-26-2006, 09:39 PM
Just make sure you don't take the Master above 2:00, that will lead to clipping and harshness.

Bob Savage
02-26-2006, 09:47 PM
Just make sure you don't take the Master above 2:00, that will lead to clipping and harshness.

I did remember something about the master, and had it between 12:00-2:00. Is there a "sweet spot" at any specific master setting, or just don't bring it above 2:00?

Grendel
02-26-2006, 09:59 PM
The sweet spot is about 2:00. Just listen to your ears to find it.

drjenkins
02-27-2006, 09:00 AM
Also, playing around with the depth and presence controls can tweak the fine tuned parts of the tone quite a bit, depending on how it's set.

Bob Savage
02-27-2006, 01:31 PM
Also, playing around with the depth and presence controls can tweak the fine tuned parts of the tone quite a bit, depending on how it's set.

O.K., so who here is in Orange County, CA, and will demo the amp for me? I'll bring the beer.