VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

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syntaxerror
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VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby syntaxerror » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:23 pm

Hi,

I bought a second hand VH100r a month ago and, stupidly, I didn't try it at high volume so didn't notice this strange behaviour. Basically the issue is that when I switch on the drive on channel A the volume goes down. If the volume on channel A/Clean is, say, 5 when I switch on the drive even if I crank all the way up its volume the output it's lower than the clean channel.

Has anyone ever had this problem? What can it be?

I've already changed the power amp's valves (just to rule them out) and, as expected, the issue is still there. Could it be the preamp's valves?

Thanks,
Davide

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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby Cradlefish » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:01 pm

if there are drastic drop off of volume issues. Chances are it's the preamp tubes. I'm pretty sure your VH100R is fine, you just need to replace all the tubes including the preamp. It's a rule of thumb for me if I encounter noises when I buy/trade for a used amp and there are some static noises, lack of definition and punch or lower volume from one channel to another I replace all tubes to make sure the amp is running at it's best.
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby mrr3000gt » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:38 am

Cradle is right: replace all the tubes on any secondhand amp you get.

Bear in mind that whoever owned the amp may have burned up tubes in it and any power tubes put into a used amp might be burned up later if the amp was not serviced after a tube burnout. It is not uncommon for an amp that had powertubes burned up in it be a 'tube burner' where tubes slowly (or sometime quickly!) go from good to bad to burn out because there are components that need replacement.
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby mrr3000gt » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:39 am

Oh yea: you are expereincing like preamp tubes for the clean channel might be bad (one or more of the two critical tubes).
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syntaxerror
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby syntaxerror » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:18 am

Hey, thanks a lot for your help!

How do I change the preamp tubes? I mean, I know that tubes 1 & 2 are for the clean channel and the others for the Drive channel. Does that mean that I should buy a matched pair for the clean channel and a separate matched quartet for the Drive channel?

Would you be able to suggest some brands? I know that it's all about the music I play but, given that I play many different styles, I'm actually after the most versatile sound possible (which his also why I bought the VH100r in the first place).

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Davide

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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby paraclete » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:20 pm

They dont need to be matched in the preamp tubes. That's more for power tubes. You can mix and match pre's until you find what sounds best to you.
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby Cradlefish » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:53 pm

paraclete wrote:They dont need to be matched in the preamp tubes. That's more for power tubes. You can mix and match pre's until you find what sounds best to you.
paraclete wrote:They dont need to be matched in the preamp tubes. That's more for power tubes. You can mix and match pre's until you find what sounds best to you.


+1

as for the brand it will depend on if you're willing to shell out some cash? If you don't mind spending some dough. I would suggest Mullard, Amperex, GE sylvania, Brimar, Telefunken, RFT, RCA and etc.

for current production???? Well maybe the Sovtek lps, Tungsol, Mullard. .....I would certainly suggest Ei Elite but they are too expensive now.
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby scooter79 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:18 am

I'm finding exactly the same problem with my VH100R. When playing live I have the channel A clean on maybe 3, channel A drive on about 7, volume on channel B on about 3.

On the other hand I also have a Fender Super 210 (60w valve) and the clean needs to be on 8 while the distortion channel is on about 2. I've had the Fender re valved and serviced and made nodifference. I just accept it.

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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby mrr3000gt » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:30 am

I have similar 'issue' with my VH100. I use both channel A and B and click in the drives at times for songs. My super lead boost is the drive channel and the gain clicked in. Playing out, its hard to dial it in for the '4 channels' it has.

I also notice that the clean channel with no gain has LOTS of crunch and projection and the gain switched in does not keep it at that loudness with more gain. Its like it is a different amp and I have to dial in the switched in gain with the clean tone so they match. I do the same with the drive channel and switched in gain.

Once dialed in, the 4 channel mode works reasonably well with me rolling back the guitar volume to match the band.

I have found that all four possibilites (A+B with gains) cuts through the band mix pretty well. It does not seem to operate the way I would think it should, but it is not an ultra-conditioned amp like an ENGL (which is more computer board that tube amp on the inside).

My own experience with the VH100 leads me to believe most of the people using them professionally do not use all four channel possibilities: they use a simple combo (like A or B with gains preset or not used, or just one channel). I use a TS-9 rolled back to give me a 10+ dB gain when needed and try not to use the switching too 'fancy'.

Thats just my expereience.

Your low volume issue screams bad preamp tubes if you replaced the power tubes. Low power that can be switched on and off has to be the preamp tubes.
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby ryanr » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:21 pm

[quote="syntaxerror"]I bought a second hand VH100r a month ago and, stupidly, I didn't try it at high volume so didn't notice this strange behaviour. Basically the issue is that when I switch on the drive on channel A the volume goes down. If the volume on channel A/Clean is, say, 5 when I switch on the drive even if I crank all the way up its volume the output it's lower than the clean channel.[/quote]

This does seem strange.

The schematic shows that Channel A has 2 seperate circuit paths "DRIVE" and "CLEAN". The "DRIVE" circuit comprises 2 cascaded preamps (each 1/2 ecc83); the first half of the CLEAN circuit is exactly the same as the DRIVE.

The DRIVE and DRIVE VOLUME control the input/out level respectively. Kinda like pre/post gain controls - its a balance here - with one lower you'll need the other hgh to get similar output as CLEAN. However, if the DRIVE is dimed the volume as you turn up the DRIVE VOLUME should be at least equal to the CLEAN volume due to the extra gain stage. If you cant, then you've got problems. Probably preamp tubes as others have suggested.

Channel B is a better design which essentially is 4 gains stages with the option of a 5th.

[quote="mmr3000gt"]My own experience with the VH100 leads me to believe most of the people using them professionally do not use all four channel possibilities: they use a simple combo (like A or B with gains preset or not used, or just one channel).[/quote]

I agree with mmr3000gt - these amps are not 4 channel monsters, even though they the switching capability. I think they're probably best considered as 2 channel amps - but each channel has 2 "voices". Set up A and B (with or without the extra gains) and just switch between A and B.

I hope this helps...

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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby mrr3000gt » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:05 pm

I guess what I really meant was the '4 channel' thing in the VH100 is not consistant across all volumes and settings like you would think it should be. If I crafted my working tone around a VH100s '4 channel' switching fully, I might be one of those gig-site knob tweakers where I am always adjusting knobs. I dont have that luxury - I have to get setup and go with it. So I dont depend on the amp to do all its fancy switching.

My sound formula is pretty simple for all of the songs I play:
1-Clean tone (fender style) no gain
2- 70s classic rock (with or without that extra gain switched in depending on volume I am at)
3- Heavy chainsaw (gain switched in and adjusted once at sound check) for radical solos

I use a TS-9 with every knob set at 12:00 to hotten/dry things up as needed and roll back my guitar volume as needed. I use a G-Major to click in basic effects or special patches.

The VH100 is the best amp I have ever used - I can plug my tele into it and country pop out and switch to my hot strat and with a click of a couple buttons Dimebag Darryl out *and everything inbetween* - all in the same show. I dont actually go from "I walk the line" to "yesterday dont mean shit" in one show, but somewhere in the middle.
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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby ryanr » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:05 am

mrr3000gt - apologies is I mis-read your post. I very much share you're thinking. I dont spend much time tweaking.

My LC50 has 2 great channels - but these days I mainly seem to rely on the sparkly clean channel 1 with B/M/T at 7/5/7 ish. Most of my sounds come from very carefully chosen pedals. I admit a rack unit would probably be much simpler to operate but I cant affford it at the moment.

My amp originally had a parallel loop but getting the right mix when using delay always comprised the gain channel. As soon as you began to turn the dial the sound began to take on a "cardboard" sound. Lol. I ended up converting it so serial - much like to line out/in of the VH100R. Never looked back!!

The specs clearly show that the VH100R are VERY versatiles amps and IMHO far better value for money than a Marshall; you tube videos sound excellent. I recently started seriously considering buying an amp head. The LC50H and VH100R are VERY high on my list.

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Re: VH100 - Low volume on Channel A Drive

Postby mrr3000gt » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:47 am

Yea, I got to admit I like the vH100. I dont have much experience with the other amps in the Laney line (I also have a GH120, worked on GL100s, VC-50, and owned a AOR 50). The amp is so versitile! The cleantone blows me away - its so Fenderlike. And plugged straight in with no effects I can sound just like Toni Iommi. I have even given Matt Pike a serious listen to because of the VH100.
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