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MF MD HG Live Sound Sale 4-24-15
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H79054 000000000

VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp  

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Building on the success of the popular VHT Special 6 and Special 6 Ultra, the VHT Special 12/20 features increased power (with two power ranges), a u...Read More

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  • MSRP:
    $799.99
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  • Your Price:
    $59999

Order Now! Expected to ship 05-07-2015

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OVERVIEW

A great-sounding, pedal-friendly combo with selectable power ranges.

Building on the success of the popular VHT Special 6 and Special 6 Ultra, the VHT Special 12/20 features increased power (with two power ranges), a unique preamp specifically designed to excel with pedals and multi-effects units, a convenient built-in 9-volt DC pedal power supply, an all-tube buffered effects loop with send and return level controls, VHT's unique Depth and Texture controls, and variable Watts control.

To optimize the amp for a wide range of output tubes, the VHT Special 12/20 offers two output-power ranges; safely located behind the rear panel, a special voltage range switch provides the proper voltages for 6V6 or EL84 output tubes (in 12-watt low-voltage/low-power mode). The high voltage 20-watt setting provides the ideal voltages for higher-power 6L6 or EL34 output tubes. The Special 12/20 ships from the factory with a pair of 6V6 output tubes (VHT 6V6-to-EL84 socket adapters are required for operation with EL84 tubes). In addition, the Special 12/20's variable Watts control can reduce the maximum output power to less than one watt for whisper-quiet volume levels.

The Special 12/20 preamp was designed to bring the most out of every effects pedal and multi-effects unit with enhanced clarity, detail, and controlled tube compression. Its low-impedance buffered effects loop send - with variable send level - can effortlessly drive the most difficult pedals without tone or signal loss. Thanks to its variable send and return level controls, the 12/20's effects loop can accommodate a wide range of pedal or rack effects. Those seeking the shortest signal path to the output stage can plug their pedals or multi-effects units directly into to effects return jack - the 12/20's unique output stage Depth and Texture controls are post-effects loop, so the output stage characteristics can always be fine-tuned to accommodate a wide range of instruments, speakers, playing styles and environments.

As an added convenience for pedal users, the VHT Special 12/20 also features a built-in, regulated 9-volt DC pedal power supply.

FEATURES
  • Switchable 12/20 Watts Max Output
  • Variable Watts Control
  • 9-Volt DC Pedal Power Supply
  • Tube Driven Effects Loop
  • Effects Send and Return Level Controls
  • Depth Control and Texture Switch
  • Push/Pull Boost - Footswitch Included
  • Two 6V6 & Three 12AX7 Tubes
  • One 12" 60-Watt ChromeBack Speaker
  • International Voltage Switch

Hear your pedals like never before. Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
VHTSpecial 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
4.1

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (4)
  • Excellent sound (4)
  • Portable (4)
  • Warm / comfy (4)
  • Good power output (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home studio (5)
    • Performances (4)
    • Professional recording (4)
    • Outdoor events / games (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (5)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-8

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    2.0

    Disappointed

    By wball30

    from Fargo, ND

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          This is the first time I've ever wrote an online review and it's provoked out of disappointment. I spent hours looking for a smaller watt tube amp to replace my Hot Rod Deville at smaller shows. A local music shop owner had one and loved it so I turned to MF to read reviews and find out more about the VHT brand. I bit the bullet and bought the special 12/20 knowing it would handle my pedal board well and give me plenty of tonal options.
          The first thing I noticed was an unusually loud hiss when the volume and watt knobs were cranked. I know this is common for tube amp but the more I messed around with settings like watts and tone the hissing would change frequencies.
          The second problem was a crackling sound coming from amp. I figured it was a bad instrument cable. After trying 4 different cables I knew it was the amp. I presume it was a faulty speaker. Playing certain notes often made the crackling noise worse.
          I just got off the phone with MF and will be sending it back today. This amp probably would have been okay if I got a good one. The tone was good and it handled my pedalboard well. However it never left my house and onto the stage bc of the problems. It's plenty loud. Almost louder than anything I would need since we mic everything when my band plays. I might think about taking a shot at the Special 6 otherwise go back to gut and grab the Blues Jr.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Incredible Value, Incredible Tone

          By Shooter Janes

          from Oklahoma City

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth
          • Portable
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

            This is one of the best sounding, most impressive amps I've ever played. There are SO many choices out there when you're looking for a combo amp, but this may be the best overall value in an amp I've ever encountered. First, all of the nice options that VHT included in this are SO well thought out. There are plenty of combo amps that offer a lot of extra features, but most of them come at the expense of quality components and tone. The features on this amp just make SENSE. They make it easier to use, and easier to dial in that TONE.

            Let's talk about tone. I LOVE the sound of a good 6V6 tube cooking along like it's supposed to. This amp has that tone in spades. I replaced the stock 12ax7s with Tung Sol, and replaced the stock 6V6s with some NOS GE tubes. SO NICE. I play it in triode mode with the built-in attenuator and the volume knob both set at 5, and that puts is JUST at the break-up threshold. I use a JHS modded Dynacomp to goose it a little from there, and a few dirt pedals through the effects loop if I need heavier distortion. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. It puts out this warm but crisp, three-dimensional sounding distortion that is so unique, but sounds like you WANT it to.

            Also, GIVE THE STOCK SPEAKER A CHANCE. It takes a while to break it in. LET IT. There are some GREAT speaker options out there that you can experiment with, that you MAY prefer over the stock speaker, but you're going to have to spend a lot of money to do better, and you owe it to yourself to check this thing out. It has a very round but crisp sound. It's well balanced and is mated very well to this amp.

            Overall, the tone leans towards the dark end, but you can brighten it up a little once the speaker breaks in and doesn't sound so harsh, allowing you to crank up the treble with impunity. The JHS Dynacomp I use also does a good job of helping the highs in my tone ring through.

            Overall, I just love this amp. I haven't even gotten into talking about how useful having pentode and triode modes is, about the ability to use ANY tube in it, to switch from 12 to 20 watts, the active effect loop with its own 12ax7 tube, the 9v power output on the back of the amp, PLUS it's handwired, so it's easy to mod or repair. Hands down my favorite amp on the market.

            I've owned (in no particular order) a Vox AC30cc2, a VHT Special 6 (another GEM of an amp), an Egnater Tweaker 15 combo, a Fender Super Champ XD, and a Traynor YCV40, and the only two still around are the Special 12/20 and the Super Champ XD to back it up. Just buy it. You'll love it.

            Comment on this review

            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fantastic tone and quality

            By The Steadys

            from FTC, CO

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Great tone
            • Reliable
            • Well built

            Cons

            • Scratchy Volume Pot

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio
            • Small to Medium Gigs

            Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

            I've had this amp for about a year now and still love it. I bought a Special 6 a couple years back and was so impressed with it that when I needed a bigger amp for gigs, I chose the Special 12/20.

            I mainly play funk, soul, Motown, and blues. My main guitars are a Tele and Strat (or Strat equivalent) I also play clean most of the time. This amp just kills it for that punchy clean funk sound and with a boost pedal or overdrive pedal pushing the preamp into overdrive, the sound is that classic, rich, musical tube amp overdrive sound. This has a good punch that really cuts through the mix live and I've received numerous compliments on my tone (especially with the Telecaster) when playing live.

            This amp is very loud and has plenty of clean headroom if that's what you're looking for. In fact, whether practicing or playing live, I use the low power setting and it keeps up fine. I use the 'Watts' setting as my 'headroom' threshold and then adjust the volume for the loudness. In this manner, you can basically use the Watts setting like a master volume.

            The effects loop is great and allows me to run reverb, delay, and tremolo through it and not overdrive them on the main input. The 9v power supply is an absolute stroke of genius and I don't know why it doesn't come on every amp. The tone control offers a very wide sweep so you should be able to find something that works for you. The effect of the Depth and Texture controls are more subtle but they do work. Quality and construction is excellent.

            I've been using mine bone stock with the stock tubes for over a year and had no issues. bought another set of tubes to put in it but haven't yet because the stock ones sound good to my ears.

            My only gripes are that mine had a scratchy volume pot out of the box which required some pot cleaner to fix and the volume change when switching to the 'boost' setting is way too loud to be useful for what I'm doing. The tone on the boost setting is also quite a bit different...not bad, just different. The only way it's usable for me is to click it with the footswitch and then back the guitar volume down until the level is reasonable. I tend to just use a line booster at the end of my input chain to get the same effect. There is a mod that can be done to tame the volume change on the boost setting but I haven't tried it yet.

            By the way, VHT support is awesome. I emailed them a couple of times with various questions about the amp and they answered right away with really detailed answers. They seem like a great company to me. I liked this amp and my Special 6 so much that I bought another Special 6 to have at my band's practice space. I can't say enough good things about these amps or this company.

            Comment on this review

            (1 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Burned twice by MF

            By deciphryr

            from San Juan, PR

            About Me Experienced

            Pros

            • Features In Paper

            Cons

            • Poor quality

            Best Uses

              Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

              Poor quality. Strong humming even in standby. MF sent first the wrong AMP then a faulty 12/20. Not happy about carrying two big boxes back to USPS.

              Comment on this review

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Most versatile Best Value

              By Eddie George

              from Tampa FL

              About Me Experienced

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Good Warmth
              • Portable
              • Powerful

              Cons

              • I Want Another One Or Two

              Best Uses

              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

              Best amp versatility and value for the price.
              One amp to find your sound(s). Tube swap, mod components, speaker. It sounds good right out of the box - let the speaker break in for 20 hours !
              One week I used it stock - the next week I swapped power tubes - the third week I swapped pream tubes. NOW power tubes again. Fun for me, when people ask is that the same amp you had last week ?
              Yes, yes it is !
              Brialliant design for many different applications
              Takes pedals great
              It sounds great clean or overdriven

              Comment on this review

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Amp, Great Deal!

              By Max D

              from springfield Ill

              About Me Professional Musician

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Good Warmth
              • Portable
              • Powerful
              • Takes Pedals Well

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                this amp is amazing. this thing has many features that really help you shape whatever tone you want out of it. I've been trying different types of power tubes and there are soo many great tones to choose from. the sound is clear and true. my Strat sounds like a Strat, my SG sounds like a SG. if you play heavy rock you will need an overdrive pedal but, whatever pedal you run through it will sound like the pedal (good or bad). I wanted a good low wattage tube amp and this thing went way beyond what I thought it would be. with el34's in low power mode it's still amazingly loud, with complex harmonics and a wonderful bloom. the vids on you tube don't due this justice at all. I teach guitar and have been playing for over 35 years. best amp I've ever owned. my classic amps stay home now. great deal, great features, tone for days...

                Comment on this review

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                this amp is special

                By mr.Lude

                from grand rapids, michigan

                About Me Experienced

                Ask me a question

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Great Saturation
                • Love The Boost Feature
                • Nice Warm Tones
                • Portable

                Cons

                • A Lot Hissy Cranked

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Great Live Miked
                • Great Recording
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                a great all around amp!
                really cuts through the mix live.
                nice clean sound, nice saturated sound!
                just a little noisy (hiss) when cranked past half volume and a little dirty (preamp driven past half)

                Comment on this review

                (46 of 46 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Potent, feature laden Clean Machine

                By Jim Gilmore

                from Detroit Area

                Comments about VHT Special 12/20 12W/20W 1x12 Hand-Wired Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                In all VHT has hit it out of the park. As stage volumes come down with good FOH PA's the VHT Special 12/20 steps into that sweet spot for any small/med club and especially if you mic the amps and use monitors. Add to it the ablity to shape the OD style with any of the hot-stuff pedals of your choice, the loop, and aux speaker outs you've got a great grab-n-go combo amp that will be at home in a club or studio. A great value in a piece of gear that is well thought out and well executed for any level player.
                While I am admittedly still in the honeymoon phase with this amp, I have had it for a month now and it has earned a place in the toolbox. I use it primarilly in a rehearsal space with a 10 piece R&B, Blues Rock band. I will take it to gigs, as I have had no issues with gigging an 8 watt amp. The VHT Special 12/20 preforms as advertised by it's company - its a great, warm 6V6 powered (as shiped) clean amp that loves pedals. You'll be able to shape the OD with your fave pedals no prob. There is a little more mid-presence than a classic F stype black face, and not as much mids as what a trad tweed might have - it cuts in a band mix really well (proven with our "zip-code" size 4 horn band) and brings a lot of top-end chime to the party. Clean funk strumming and clean lead fills never get lost. While the speaker is not yet borken in, it sounds very good as it does break in - no low end pharty stuff when hit hard with humbuckers or P90's, Strat single coils are all there with classic chime, glassy shimmer solid percussive bottom; and you will always hear the difference when you change guitars - it's does a great job of amplifying which ever guitar your playing. I did plug it into a well broken-in open back 1X12 Mesa cab, one for the long-chassis Lonestar Classic, and it's a pairing made in heaven - even at 12 watts when driving 2X12's it will hang with a band with authority. It has no trouble staying clean up to a loud half vol. I have not yet gone in the back to install 6L6's, but from the way the 6V6's have done, I'd expect more of the same clean warm tone. All the accesories built-in work flawlessley - the loop is transparent and works well with stompboxs or a multi-fx unit and the 9v pwr source on the back is something you'll now miss when you play virtually any other amp - kind of like heated seats in a car if you live where you have a real winter. I had an orig. VHT Pitbull 45 when they first came out in the early 90's. Even though this is a new VHT, they seem to be continuing the legacy of fine tone producing amps. In all, this amp is a tremendous value that gives much higher priced amps, with less features, a real run for the tone money.
                Quality-wise, so far no issues - it was shipped to the house and came out of the box sounding fine. It's a stout little beast and while I would not call it heavy, for a 1X12 it has some healty heft to it. A look under the hood showed a nice clean chassis and I could find no sloppy cabinet issues. All the tolex seams are neat and clean. It has produced no rattles or other weird noises when the vol is pushed to 10. A solid beefy little 1X12.
                As I mentioned, with its as-advertised ample warm, loud clean the VHT Special 12/20 gives a lot of pricier booteek amps a real run for the money - it is hand wired, and the owners manual features a complete schematic should you want to get into modding it. Once you hear it, justifying paying up to three times more becomes hard to do.

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