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Thread: Amazing what's out there on CL!

  1. #1
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Amazing what's out there on CL!

    So ... I glanced at CL after the holidays and this guy had a container pile of complete new 18 watt style chassis with EVERYTHING. Three 12AX7s, two EL84s, 5Y3, board, jacks, controls, transformers, even knobs, etc. Fully assembled. FOR $69! He had been running the ad for weeks. I got the last one and also picked up an AC 30 type one new for $100. The catch is the 18 watter doesn't seem to have a USA PT. The 30 watt appears to be fine. Blows my mind what's out there for so cheap. Must cost nothing to make them in China. I tried to attach a picture but it keeps saying "improper file extension".
    Last edited by olddawg; 01-04-2017 at 03:32 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Think about that next time you see a "do not repair" list from a manufacturer. That is why Fender would prefer to send a new amp to a customer rather than pay me $50 to fix one.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

  3. #3
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    He wouldn't tell me where he got them from and what they cost him of course. But a complete new 18 watt amp with a boost channel with all the tubes to me (and others) for $69? Part of it is because he didn't know they had the wrong PTs when he bought them and just unloaded them. I fear he is stuffing other ones into custom cabs and calling them boutique amps, lol! Interestingly the chassis badges say "VHT ELECTRONICS" and "Product of USA"! I'll post some pictures if I can figure out how. This site doesn't seem to like pictures off of my iPad even though it's a PNG.
    It's these people: http://davidsonelectronics.com/project/vht/#
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  4. #4
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Turns out that the PT on these 18 Watt chassis are Australian! 230vac @ 50Hz. Guess this guy got a pallet of them somehow. I'm going to try to pull the bells off and see if there are any unused internal primary taps. Probably not, but it's worth a shot. Still a great deal for $60. Would be an even greater deal in Australia! I'm going to power it up off. My variac and see how it sounds. This is what it is, without the cab of course. http://www.vhtamp.com/products/the-s...he-standard-18. I'm posting this because so many people are looking for an inexpensive 18 watt platform to mess with. Evidently they are out there if you look around.

  5. #5
    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to figure out what CL is?
    T
    Technicians Run the World, but Bankers, Lawyers, and Accountants, Take All The Credit!
    Keep Rockin! B_T
    Terry

  6. #6
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Turns out that the PT on these 18 Watt chassis are Australian! 230vac @ 50Hz. Guess this guy got a pallet of them somehow.
    Somebody made a beeeg mcsteak on the shipping dock, a whole pallet of amps went to the wrong continent. What a headache for VHT! The "new" chinese VHT that is. No rice for you! For a hunnert years!

    CraigsList Terry.
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  7. #7
    Old Timer
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    Craig'sList.

    Justin
    "Are you practicing in the lobby of the municipal library? It's still a guitar amp and it SHOULD make some noise (!!!)" - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  8. #8
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    No disrespect intended, and I suppose somebody had to get them, but I just threw up a little in my mouth.
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    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  9. #9
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Somebody made a beeeg mcsteak on the shipping dock, a whole pallet of amps went to the wrong continent. What a headache for VHT! The "new" chinese VHT that is. No rice for you! For a hunnert years!

    CraigsList Terry.
    What's interesting is they say, "Designed and Assembled in the USA" right on the chassis. So I guess the whole amp is made in China, the cabinet and speaker is made in China, then the two are shipped to the USA on separate pallets to be shoved together by minimum wage unskilled labor in some industrial park. Lol.
    Hard to compete with that!
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  10. #10
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    That's EXACTLY how that works. Sometimes you can get away with calling the "chassis" a "part" and that chassis may be fully assembled. Maybe you have to know the right guy because sometimes you can't get away with that. At the very least you can get the board fully assembled (board mount pots, sockets, etc.) and call it a "part" though. I was almost part of something like that and I didn't like it (ergo my post above). You might be surprised how many things "made in the USA" arrived here as parts A - F, then with a few plugs and screws TA DAAAA!!! Made in the USA. The difference between "made" and "assembled" can be blurred for the right people.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  11. #11
    Old Timer
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    On many other products I have seen "Designed and Assembled in USA of Chinese/Maltese/Redneckese/Whateverese Components."
    I guess the amp world isn't quite so regulated yet...
    Yet.

    Justin
    "Are you practicing in the lobby of the municipal library? It's still a guitar amp and it SHOULD make some noise (!!!)" - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  12. #12
    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    That's EXACTLY how that works. Sometimes you can get away with calling the "chassis" a "part" and that chassis may be fully assembled.
    After Kramer left off late 70's making their aluminum neck guitars & basses, their new style instruments had necks & bodies made in Korea, assembled in US. Which country the electronics were mounted in I dunno. In any case, finished off with a very nice neck plate, deeply printed Made in USA. Kelsey consoles' cards, metal parts & boxes made in UK, assembled in USA late 70's to mid 80'. I guess there's some sort of savings at customs when it's parts vs finished product. There must be thousands of things made like this.

  13. #13
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    I'd seen so much of it when I was working on a particular project that I didn't believe anyone could compete without doing it that way. I made a glib statement about a particular brand product being made overseas. And I believed it was because it was a good product at a reasonable price . Anyway, it got back to the manufacturer and they were so butt hurt they posted up here just to rip me a new one. I felt pretty bad about it.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  14. #14
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    It sounds WRONG on so many counts I canīt believe ot.
    VHT is a current, well known and respected brand so no matter what the cost (which is irrelevant), THEY should be the ones selling those VHT labelled chassis, no matter what the price is.

    That "Davidson Electronics" (Who??????? ) is unloading them STINKS, and doubly so if they refer you to the real VHT site "to check what an incredible deal you are getting".

    I have repaired falsely labelled "Mackie" powered mixers and similar stuff, so I suspect either somebody ordered a truckload (or containerload) by some generic maker (remember that chinese guy who always asked about everything and made the Uranus amps) who will silkscreen *anything* on their chassis *or* the Chinese OEM supplier either got a custom VHT ordered batch rejected or cancelled or he simply made 500 after getting an order for 200 "to save time expecting further orders" and later unloaded them at cost ... say U$50 each.

    Are these "VHT"?
    Yes and no.
    These *might* be surplus production really "designed/ordered by VHT" or any generic product with VHT silkscreened on it.
    In any case they have NO right to use the brand VHT unless authorized in writing by VHT themselves ... which I doubt.
    Murky waters to be sure.
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    Juan Manuel Fahey

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    But isn't it "murky" that this sort of thing should come up as an issue? Assuming this isn't a copyright/design pirate issue, if VHT were ACTUALLY making amps in the USA this sort of thing wouldn't happen and no eyebrows go up. Comeuppins?
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  16. #16
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Honestly guys... I'm pretty sure this is exactly what VHT is selling as their Standard 18. I looked at some google pictures and it matches their owner's manual exactly. I'll see if I can convert my iPad pictures into some jpegs I can post. I got to the game late. At $60 apiece I would have bought ten of them and shipped them to people on this board for cost if it wasn't the last one. I'll be on it if he gets more. If anyone has access to VHT schematics, a copy would be appreciated, but it's pretty much a bare bones two channel TMB 18 watt variant. Now I'm looking for a dead SS amp cabinet locally to mount it in. Quick, cheap, and functional!

  17. #17
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    I bought two of those 18 watt VHT's off of Ebay over this past summer, dirt cheap. Mine included chassis, pots & tube sockets pre-wired, PT, OT and the VHT cabinets. Actually for Chinese stuff it is rather good quality. The seller was out of San Diego area and since Olddawg is in Carlsbad I knew right away after reading his first post these are similar. I had posted a thread a while back trying to figure out how to wire the primary section for the PT's. Difference here is that it was obvious that it had universal power transformers installed. One cab head had the VHT name plate and the other one it was missing. There was another listing on Ebay around the same time to buy circuit board, but I wanted to do that part myself. I also bought about 6 EL84 tubes from them too for about $2-3 a tube. A while back I had built a one channel 18 watter amp called the Scurvy Shyster Bastard with help from the forum here. My idea now is to put that channel into this thing for the lead channel and then design a nice simple clean channel. I am starting that project very soon and will finally get into relay's or optos for channel switching.

    BTW it sounded like someone was building these (or assembling them) as their own business. At some point that idea failed and now there were multiple people selling these things off in the San Diego area.
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  18. #18
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonz78 View Post
    I bought two of those 18 watt VHT's off of Ebay over this past summer, dirt cheap. Mine included chassis, pots & tube sockets pre-wired, PT, OT and the VHT cabinets. Actually for Chinese stuff it is rather good quality. The seller was out of San Diego area and since Olddawg is in Carlsbad I knew right away after reading his first post these are similar. I had posted a thread a while back trying to figure out how to wire the primary section for the PT's. Difference here is that it was obvious that it had universal power transformers installed. One cab head had the VHT name plate and the other one it was missing. There was another listing on Ebay around the same time to buy circuit board, but I wanted to do that part myself. I also bought about 6 EL84 tubes from them too for about $2-3 a tube. A while back I had built a one channel 18 watter amp called the Scurvy Shyster Bastard with help from the forum here. My idea now is to put that channel into this thing for the lead channel and then design a nice simple clean channel. I am starting that project very soon and will finally get into relay's or optos for channel switching.

    BTW it sounded like someone was building these (or assembling them) as their own business. At some point that idea failed and now there were multiple people selling these things off in the San Diego area.

    Yep... the plot thickens! Probably the same guy. The place is a hole in the wall called "James Hood Guitar". http://www.jameshoodguitar.com/ Used to be the old "Buffalo Bros". Just a hole in the wall now. He told me to get back in touch with me if I needed more parts. Lol. I picked up an incomplete 36 watt Chassis too as I said before. Still odd that the 18 watters had an Australian PT and power cord.

  19. #19
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Yup that's the guy I bought mine from too.
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  20. #20
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    So... I pulled the bells off of the Australian PT. There were no internal 120 vac primary taps although it is well made. It's a bit of a paperweight in the USA, lol... No worries. I'll just swap the PT out of the 36 watt chassis for the moment. It looked like they used the same PT on both amps anyway. It looks exactly the same except for the primary. The only major difference between the 2 amps is one chassis has 2 more EL84s. The front panel is exactly the same too.

  21. #21
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Date codes and writing on the chassis make them appear to be from 2009.

  22. #22
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    230v covers most of Europe, too. Even the UK. Rather annoying as we're on 240v and the tolerance of the specification is supposed to include us. Means most amps run over-voltage and motor-driven stuff suffers additional heat losses.

  23. #23
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Even here on the other side of the pond we deal with it. I happen to like some of the shelf offerings from Hammond. New trannies have a 125V primary (we actually have 120V most of the time, sometimes the wall VAC goes up to 127 though) but older Hammond stuff (which is mostly what I've used) has a 115V primary. So we have sort of the same thing. Run a 115V primary on 127V for a 4.7:1 step up transformer and a 270-0-270 PT is now a 300-0-300 PT!!! NBD for some applications, but with tubes like el84's where you need to be vigilant about Vp... I do have a stock of small value, high wattage resistors for taming filament circuits too.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  24. #24
    Stray Cap DrGonz78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    I do have a stock of small value, high wattage resistors for taming filament circuits too.
    In those cases you might pop in a pair of 8BQ5's if the filament voltage is a bit high. I got some NOS one's that I am waiting to try out but waiting for the right opportunity.
    Justin Thomas, Chuck H and g1 like this.
    When the going gets weird... The weird turn pro!

  25. #25
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrGonz78 View Post
    In those cases you might pop in a pair of 8BQ5's if the filament voltage is a bit high. I got some NOS one's that I am waiting to try out but waiting for the right opportunity.
    Those could end up real handy if you bag an old amp or tranny with a 110V primary and you're in an area that's typically at 125V (and often 127V) from the wall. If the filament wind was under loaded just a little you could get something like 7.6V on the heaters. That's within 5%
    Justin Thomas likes this.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  26. #26
    Old Timer Tom Phillips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ...If the filament wind was under loaded just a little you could get something like 7.6V on the heaters. That's within 5%
    Chuck,
    Did you mean to write 6.6V ?

  27. #27
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Nope. That quote is isolated from it's context. If you put 127VAC into a 110V primary AND the filament wind is under it's designed operating current...

    110/17.5=6.28
    127/17.5=7.25

    Now add a little for under current and Bob's your uncle

    I don't think it's uncommon for filaments to be .3 high from lower than expected operating current.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  28. #28
    g1
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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    The context being with reference to using tubes with 8V heaters? (8BQ5's)
    Certified Dotard

  29. #29
    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    That too? I didn't think that got lost. I thought the potential for 7.6V was in doubt. The quote, taken by itself, could seem to imply that I indicated 7.6V was possible with only an under current condition. That's not the case.
    Justin Thomas likes this.
    "I've heard magic defined as "a technology you don't understand". By that aphorism, the folks in this forum are practicing wizards, able to summon AND control the lightning demon, and make charms to allow others to use the demon in certain ways." R.G.

    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

  30. #30
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Finally got some pictures to upload. Funny works from my iPad but not my iPhone. Anyway I completed this amp with the parts off of CL I described earlier. I ended up replacing the Australian PT in the 20 watt amp with the American PT off of the 30 watt chassis. The amp doesn't seem to mind and the PT is just slightly taller. When I build the 30 watt version I'll probably find a 20 watt PT and swap it back out. Now to build a cab. I've been looking for a dead doner combo but no luck so far. I I have some clean 1x12 planks which will probably be fine. Anyway here's the pictures for those who were wondering if it was really a VHT product. Sure seems to be to me. Sounds pretty good. Plenty loud to club with.

    img_1640.jpgimg_1641.jpgClick image for larger version. 

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  31. #31
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    I'm sitting here in Australia wishing I watched Craig's list more

  32. #32
    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
    I'm sitting here in Australia wishing I watched Craig's list more
    I wish I could simply throw the brand new PT to you! It's useless to me.

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