Re: [Harp-L] Re: Nic Clark playing the VHT Special 6 amp

Hi Mike-

I would agree that the VHT Special 6 sounds great right out of the box, but
I do know the amp circuit can be inexpensively improved for harp tone.  All
guitar amps have design elements that compromise their harp tone.  We are
lucky that the Special 6 amp makes it so easy to modify the circuits.  As
you know, it is a wonderful little amp.

The stock tubes are fine.  I have a JJ Tesla 6V6S tube in mine, but I can
tell no difference between it and the stock 6V6 tube.  I tried several
different power tubes -- including 6L6 tubes -- but found no significant
improvement.  Same with the preamp tube:  I could find no significant
improvement with other tubes, including 5751, 5965, and 12AY7.  I still have
the stock 12AX7 preamp tube in it and it sounds good.

The 10-inch stock speaker is slightly stiff when you first play it but it
limbers up after a few days of hard playing.  It is a remarkable amp for
less than $200.

Where the amp can be improved is in shifting the voice downward, and
removing the reedy highs that are present in nearly all guitar amps (two
different things).  The speaker, though good, is a tad bright for my taste.
I like the darker, smoother sound of the hemp-coned Eminence speakers.
Speaker preference is highly subjective, as you know.  And the amp need a
line out for PA support.

I would disagree that the improvements I've mentioned are a case of
diminishing returns.  For under $300 you can have a what amounts to a
boutique vintage style harp amp with very impressive tone.

-Rick Davis
The Blues Harp Amps Blog

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