Rocktron Vendetta VH160R

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by AlexCorriveau, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. AlexCorriveau

    AlexCorriveau ESP obsessed

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    My first review. Any constructive criticism would be appreciated. Also, english is not my mother language, it may not be perfect.

    Price: I paid around 500 CAN$. I believe this amp is discontinued.

    Experience with this amp: It's a 160w (two 80W channel) solid state head I got in 2008. It has endured lots of stage performances and countless band practices. I sold it to a friend two years ago and actually bought it back

    Features:
    160 watts (stereo 80 per side)
    2 channels
    3-band EQs for each channel
    Tube Distortion Engine
    AGX™ Gate Threshold
    Stereo Effects loop
    Preamp output jacks
    Headphone jack
    Footswitchable Reverb
    Built-in Chromatic tuner

    Pros:
    This amp gives warm and organic tones, thanks to the Tube Distortion Engine. At the time, for the price, I couldn't go wrong. Both of the channel are very responsive to the active 3 band EQ's and have a wide range of tonal possibilities. To play blues/classic rock/80's stuff, it is very satisfying. I played mostly thrash metal at the time. It delivered.

    I can't speak much of the clean channel, as I don't use it that often, but I'll say it's very clean and I like most of the sounds I come up with. Never came up with a tone I don't like, even with active EMG's. Great for single coils.

    It is not an amp designed for modern metal, as it lacks the extra grain for high gain, but that doesn't mean it isn't capable of doing so. It's tricky and you NEED an overdrive pedal. But once I plugged in my Tubescreamer and tweaked for a while, I was very impressed with the crushing tone I got for death metal. I LOVE IT. I currently use it for bedroom recording, and it's not planning to leave the room anytime soon.

    Cons:
    While being impressive, it's still a 500$ solid state amp. Boosting it is very tricky. The line between a great crushing tone and an oversaturated sound choking in plastic is thin. It's not a problem you'll have if you play blues/80's rock and metal, as you don't need much gain, but as a death metal guitarist, I had a hard time first.

    The reverb nob on the far right isn't working so well. To get a noticable reverb, I have to turn it all the way up. Also, both of the built in noise gate and chromatic tuner suck. The AGX gate threshold, once turned past 2 'o clock will suck up the tone badly. It's better to get a real noise gate. The tuner, while not beign horrible, is more of an extra fun toy than an accurate tuner. It will work ok if you're in a fishy situation and ain't tuned lower than standard d, but then again, it's better to get the real thing.


    Overall, it's a cheap head full of potential. Great for all around tones, tricky but rewarding for metal. While I moved on to tube amplification for live performances, the Rocktron Vendetta VH160r still has a soft spot in my heart for bedroom practice and recording. Like I said earlier, I sold it to a friend and actually bought it back cause I love it so much. I believe this amp is discontinued. It also won't likely catch your attention right away if you find it in a music store, but if you do, give it a chance. Spend some time with it and it will surprise you.
     

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