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Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

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  • Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

    I've been planning for next year and I could be in for a bigger purchase. I've been thinking of updating my amp selection, I currently have a Boss GT-3, a Laney TF-300, a Line6 PodXT and a Marshall JCM800, I guess that it's the 2205 model. When at home, I either run straight into the Pod or through that to the Laney. When training, I either use the boss/laney setup or straight to the Marshall. I'm not really 100% keen on any of the tones I'm getting now.

    I've been looking at a new amp or a rack system that I'd start building. I've been mainly looking at VHT, although I don't really have that much real-life experience on them. In northern Finland, you do not have real-life experience. Real life experience is at least 500 miles away! So I'm in quite a tight spot.

    The MAP here on VHT Pittbull 50/cl head is 1600€, the 2/90/2 poweramp goes for 1300€ and the GP-3 preamp goes for the same. The VHT UL goes for 2800€.

    Should I go for the Pittbull or buy the poweramp now, then use the Pod as a preamp until I find the best possible preamp? Maybe by some other manufacturer? I suppose that the VHT rack would be closer to the UL than the Pittbull, but for cheaper and maybe even more versatile?

    I'd really like to make a great purchase now, and buy the best I can, I'm poor! The way I've read about it on the net, the VHT 2/90/2 sounds like the best money can buy new. So that should be good.

    I'm quite a simple fellow when it comes to sounds, I'll take a single sound for sounding heavy and one sound for playing clean. I have quite diverse musical tastes, so I'd like versatility, but I can't really say how much. I'm not sure if I'm looking that much to endless knob-spinning etc. I'd like to able to sound like SRV, Gary Moore, Joe Satriani, Slayer, Nile, Halford and all the good ones? You know?

    Naturally VHT isn't my only manufacturer to choose from, living in Europe I have stuff like Koch, Orange, ENGL and Framus for quite competitive prices. Should I look at them instead? The VHT is really cheap for an american brand here, though.


    What would be the best option in your opinion?


    Cheers if you actually made it this far by reading, and thanks for any replies!
    There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one

  • #2
    Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

    VHT makes some killer amps, the 50 C/L is awesome for rock and metal (some of the tightest amps out there). I don't think you'd be disappointed with it if that's what you're looking for, but a rack setup might yield more versatility.
    After Osmosis | My Music | Instagram

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    • #3
      Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

      I like my 2/50/2 & GP3, but we already discussed that in an earlier thread.

      I'd say play as many as possible.....do you have any speaker cabs?

      If you don't, get a good combo....if you do, grab a head or the power amp & run the POD or whatever as the pre till you can swing something different.

      Did I mention play as many as possible???

      That will save you in the long run....take it from someone that has been thru who knows how many amps this past 2 years!!!

      Guitars: Frankinstein TeleBird/Classic Vibe Esquire w/BG-1400/Martin 000-28EC
      Amps: 3rd Power Dream Solo 4 '68 Plexi/Port City Wave 2x12
      FX: Skinpimp Faceplant/Skinpimp 3OD/Flyin' Dragon


      https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fa...wn/id786464154
      http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/seanhanley

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      • #4
        Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

        Originally posted by FretFire
        VHT makes some killer amps, the 50 C/L is awesome for rock and metal (some of the tightest amps out there). I don't think you'd be disappointed with it if that's what you're looking for, but a rack setup might yield more versatility.
        Yes, I've been thinking about it for quite some time now. How versatile is it in the end? And how would it be compared to a 2/90/2 + GP-3 setup? It would save me a lot of money to just buy the 50 CL, but is it something I'll keep until the day that I die? Or is the rack either? Is anything?

        Thanks for your input!
        There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one

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        • #5
          Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

          Originally posted by PUCKBOY99
          I like my 2/50/2 & GP3, but we already discussed that in an earlier thread.

          I'd say play as many as possible.....do you have any speaker cabs?

          If you don't, get a good combo....if you do, grab a head or the power amp & run the POD or whatever as the pre till you can swing something different.

          Did I mention play as many as possible???

          That will save you in the long run....take it from someone that has been thru who knows how many amps this past 2 years!!!
          We have a ****ty Behringer cab at our rehearsal space, I've been using that one. I'm planning on building a cab or having one built for me some time soon.

          I'd love to play as many amps as possible, and I do that as much as the circumstances allow.

          I think that I'm pretty much after a rock solid tight/super hot rodded/british-american mix amp. I don't really care if it's a combo or a head or a rack setup. I don't really need all the versatility, I can add new stuff to my arsenal all the time, but I just want to buy the best, at least to my needs. Something I won't need to unload after a year of struggling with it, or when something new pops on the market.

          Thanks for your help!
          There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one

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          • #6
            Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

            Well...........

            You can run the 2/50/2 in mono & use your POD as a preamp with the Behringer cab.....or just grab a head & be done with it.

            I guess then the question is: Which head????

            As for preamps, I have experience with

            VHT GP-3
            Marshall JMP-1
            Groove Tubes Trio
            TECH21/SansAmp PSA-1

            All were cool in their own way, but I like the GP-3 the most. It just has a all tube "organic" tone to it that mixes well with the 2/50/2.

            The JMP-1 is very easy to program...

            The GT Trio, if you get a newer silver faced one, has a switch up front that combines the 1 & 3 channel which really rocked...

            The PSA-1 has very useable patches that are fairly easy to alter & build you own. I liked a good amount of the Marshall, Fender & Mesa patches.

            Robert S. runs a Mesa Triaxis & he could probably fill you in on that & some of the other rack processors/gear.

            I'm keeping mine simple:

            Power conditioner
            Ground Control Switcher
            VHT GP-3
            VHT 2/50/2

            and I'm racking my pedals(Mesa Boogie Bottle Rocket/T-Rex Mudhoney/Hughes&kettner Replex)....I'll have my wah & the Ground Control at my feet.

            Should work out nicely...........but we'll see
            PUCKBOY99
            Irish Flagologist
            Last edited by PUCKBOY99; 10-30-2005, 08:14 AM.

            Guitars: Frankinstein TeleBird/Classic Vibe Esquire w/BG-1400/Martin 000-28EC
            Amps: 3rd Power Dream Solo 4 '68 Plexi/Port City Wave 2x12
            FX: Skinpimp Faceplant/Skinpimp 3OD/Flyin' Dragon


            https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fa...wn/id786464154
            http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/seanhanley

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            • #7
              Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

              Originally posted by PUCKBOY99
              Well...........

              You can run the 2/50/2 in mono & use your POD as a preamp with the Behringer cab.....or just grab a head & be done with it.

              I guess then the question is: Which head????
              Yep, you're more in for the 2/50/2 than 2/90/2? I'm not talking about power, but tone. What's the difference between KT88 and EL34 in your experiences? EL34 is more sweet and midrangey while KT88 is more clean and balanced?

              I've been thinking about the Pittbull 50CL head... But I naturally don't know for 100%, and never can. There are so many options, I guess that I'll just have to take something and try it and move on. I'd just like to make a good choice!

              How could one compare using just the power section of the Pittbull 50/CL to the 2/50/2 unit, expect the obvious stereo?

              I'm not going to be using that Behringer for long now, I'll have the new cab in a few months now, I hope. It's all about how good a job I'll get.
              There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one

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              • #8
                Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                Originally posted by PUCKBOY99
                As for preamps, I have experience with

                VHT GP-3
                Marshall JMP-1
                Groove Tubes Trio
                TECH21/SansAmp PSA-1

                All were cool in their own way, but I like the GP-3 the most. It just has a all tube "organic" tone to it that mixes well with the 2/50/2.

                The JMP-1 is very easy to program...

                The GT Trio, if you get a newer silver faced one, has a switch up front that combines the 1 & 3 channel which really rocked...

                The PSA-1 has very useable patches that are fairly easy to alter & build you own. I liked a good amount of the Marshall, Fender & Mesa patches.

                Robert S. runs a Mesa Triaxis & he could probably fill you in on that & some of the other rack processors/gear.

                I'm keeping mine simple:

                Power conditioner
                Ground Control Switcher
                VHT GP-3
                VHT 2/50/2

                and I'm racking my pedals(Mesa Boogie Bottle Rocket/T-Rex Mudhoney/Hughes&kettner Replex)....I'll have my wah & the Ground Control at my feet.

                Should work out nicely...........but we'll see
                It's funny what preamps you've tried, the ones I've been thinking most about have been the VHT GP-3, Marshall JMP-1 and the Sansamp PSA-1, although I've had a look at the ENGL 570 occasionally too. What kind of music do you play with your own setup?
                There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless—boys and women, and I am neither one

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                • #9
                  Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                  No experience with the 2/90/2...I have a 2/50/2 & 50watts stereo is plenty for me.

                  The only experience I have with KT88s is when I put them in my Hiwatt. HUGE HEADROOM.....that thing wouldn't break up at all.

                  If you're kind of set on getting a VHT, try going to

                  http://www.vhtusers.com/forums/index.php?

                  My experience over there is it's not as busy as over here...if you ask a question, be patient.

                  There's a guy named SteveVHT that knows everything you'd want to know about them.....he'll pipe up & help you out

                  Guitars: Frankinstein TeleBird/Classic Vibe Esquire w/BG-1400/Martin 000-28EC
                  Amps: 3rd Power Dream Solo 4 '68 Plexi/Port City Wave 2x12
                  FX: Skinpimp Faceplant/Skinpimp 3OD/Flyin' Dragon


                  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fa...wn/id786464154
                  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/seanhanley

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                    Originally posted by Johtosotku
                    It's funny what preamps you've tried, the ones I've been thinking most about have been the VHT GP-3, Marshall JMP-1 and the Sansamp PSA-1, although I've had a look at the ENGL 570 occasionally too. What kind of music do you play with your own setup?
                    I play a good mix of music, but mainly classic rock....nothing too over the top...

                    I've heard that ENGL is super too.

                    The PSA-1 offers a lot of useable amp "emulations"....if you play a wide variety of music, trying one of them would not be a waste of time.

                    Guitars: Frankinstein TeleBird/Classic Vibe Esquire w/BG-1400/Martin 000-28EC
                    Amps: 3rd Power Dream Solo 4 '68 Plexi/Port City Wave 2x12
                    FX: Skinpimp Faceplant/Skinpimp 3OD/Flyin' Dragon


                    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fa...wn/id786464154
                    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/seanhanley

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                      Originally posted by Johtosotku
                      I think that I'm pretty much after a rock solid tight/super hot rodded/british-american mix amp. I don't really care if it's a combo or a head or a rack setup. I don't really need all the versatility, I can add new stuff to my arsenal all the time, but I just want to buy the best, at least to my needs. Something I won't need to unload after a year of struggling with it, or when something new pops on the market.

                      Thanks for your help!
                      IMO you just described an Engl Powerball(or Fireball if 60W is enough) or a Savage(120 or 60). Quality-wise Engls are top-notch handbuilt amps so no problems to expect from this side. Tonewise they sound somewhere between mesa and marshall(maybe a bit more on the mesa-side of things),have plenty of gain if needed and are tight enough for about anything(at least my powerball is but after trying the savage i think it should be the same). Four channels make them versetaille enough for a lot of musical styles allthough metal clearly is what they were designed for. And once you get one there's no need to update anything since those Engls just sound killer on their own.
                      Engl rocks! :Headbang:

                      no idea about prices in finnland but since Engl is a german bhrand it shouldn't be too bad.
                      - 03 B.C. Rich Custom Shop Stealth EMG 81(n)/89(m)/60(n)
                      - 04 Malmsteen Sig. Strat DMZ HS-3(b)/YJM(m)/YJM(n)
                      - 05 Line 6 Variax 700
                      - 08 Schecter C-7 Hellraiser Blackout N/B
                      - 04 B.C. Rich NJ beast(Speedloader) SD Dimebucker(b)/Full Shred(n)
                      - 99 B.C. Rich NJ Warlock SD Dimebucker(b)/Full Shred(n)
                      - Clarity(by Johnson) Ovation Copy
                      - Takamine acoustic(not sure abut year and model)
                      -Engl Sovereign 100 Vintage 1x12 Combo + Engl Pro 4x12 (V30s)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                        If I were to buy a VHT tomorrow, it would be a 50/CL. I don't like having those extra options to mess with like separate preamp and power amps. I like just purchasing something the amp manufacturer knows will work well together. It's a tried and true amp that sounds great and won't break the bank.

                        A rack setup will allow you to tweak your setup more than a regular head, but racks can be very expensive and can be a pain to carry around. The option of changing the power amp to suit different power tubes and voicings may be something that will make it worth it for you, I've just never found a need for it myself
                        Originally posted by kevlar3000
                        I learned a long time ago that the only thing that mattered regarding tone was what my ears thought.
                        Originally posted by Zerberus
                        Better is often the enemy of good
                        Originally posted by ginormous
                        Covers feed the body, originals feed the soul.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                          What about that Randall thingie where you can change some tube patches etc.?

                          BC Rich Mockingbird (Gibson Iommi/stock PUP)
                          Custom guitar (JB/Jazz)
                          Marshall JCM900 50W Hi Gain Master Volume MKlll
                          Laney GH100TI Tony Iommi signature amp
                          Framus FR212 CB cabinet
                          Marshall MG10CD (pretty crappy :laugh2: )
                          Line6 Toneport UX2
                          Rocktron Heart Attack

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                          • #14
                            Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                            I hear they're good, but out of the box, it doesn't come with any modules....you have to buy all the modules separately.

                            I'm not spending $800.00 for something I can't use unless I spend $200.00 more per module.

                            ****EDIT***
                            I exaggerated....$560.00 + $200.00 per module
                            PUCKBOY99
                            Irish Flagologist
                            Last edited by PUCKBOY99; 10-30-2005, 02:38 PM.

                            Guitars: Frankinstein TeleBird/Classic Vibe Esquire w/BG-1400/Martin 000-28EC
                            Amps: 3rd Power Dream Solo 4 '68 Plexi/Port City Wave 2x12
                            FX: Skinpimp Faceplant/Skinpimp 3OD/Flyin' Dragon


                            https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fa...wn/id786464154
                            http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/seanhanley

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Head vs. Rack for me (?VHT?)

                              Originally posted by Johtosotku
                              The MAP here on VHT Pittbull 50/cl head is 1600, the 2/90/2 poweramp goes for 1300 and the GP-3 preamp goes for the same. The VHT UL goes for 2800.
                              er....so, if you're going to buy a preamp and a pa for that price why dont you try a triaxis and a 2:90 or a 2:50...if you were finding for versatility, thats your amp...8 modes, 127 memory banks (well you will really use 10, if you need to use 10 presets some day...) all the mark series sound there...for 200 bucks more...and its easy (really) to program

                              i tried the marshall preamp and a couple more (the recto preamp also) and this one is the best ive found...if you can, try it, its the best one (of course, imo)

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