YeeHaW!!! Scored New Vox Night Train on Store Liquidation Sale

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by Relic61, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    I gotta admit I've had my eye on these since they came out!

    Vox Night Train NT15H close up low rez2.jpg

    Price per wattage had kept me from buying, especially given my penchant for wanting to acquire all the Marshall 1 Watt Anniversary models first if I'm gonna buy any low watt heads that I cant really use in a band situation without micing.

    So imagine my surprise when I walked in the local (still an hour away!) and seen a bunch of guitar gear greatly reduced & this head sitting there with a $399 price tag on it.

    After making nicey nice with the girl working the counter I found out that the store was looking to get rid of any gear that wasn't going to be related to servicing the local schools & their music programs! ding ding ding!!!o_O

    After showing interest & expressing the possibility of a deal on a new Vox 1X12 cab with a 25watt Greenback inside. She brought out the new owner (inherited after Dads passing) & he says basically 'yeah, I just want to get rid of this stuff & concentrate on the things that make the money'. We ended up having a lot in common (I know his brother , he's a neighbor) I he did me a real solid reducing the amp to $2 above store cost & throwing in the 1X12 cab at cost. Here's a picture of it residing in the man cave.

    Vox Night Train on 2 1x12 cabs 4 lo rez.jpg

    OK, so you may have noticed 2 1x12 cabs. At that price I had to go back in & get the second cab at that price. I think it was another $179 with tax.

    Just my lucky fvk'n day fellas. Sometimes we just step in it.

    Diggin the amp, even at late night low volumes. Rock On!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
    Gahr, oldrockfan, lcw and 7 others like this.
  2. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

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    Congrats there Relic.plus theres nothin cooler than Chicken head knobs.
     
  3. Metal89

    Metal89 Well-Known Member

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    Very cool!!! Always did like Vox amps! :)
     
  4. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Way Kool! :cool:

    I tried one at Sweetwater and it was an awesome little driver!
     
  5. cpower

    cpower Member

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    :)Great job on that nice rig!! Its always good when the little guy wins !!!
     
  6. thatbastarddon

    thatbastarddon Well-Known Member

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    I could see how one could happily log a few quality hours with that little set up!
    Enjoy!
    That SG looks mighty nice!
     
  7. Crazy_8

    Crazy_8 Well-Known Member

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    Nice find!
     
  8. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    DAMN MAN SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!

    ANd that SEXY blue beastie beside the Night train........oh thats just awesome
     
  9. Voxman

    Voxman Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice score! And being the Voxman, [​IMG] well, you know ...... [​IMG]
     
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  10. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

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    Nice score, Relic!
     
  11. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing the excitement everybody.

    Got a chance to play her ballz out this afternoon for the first time & I was impressed by how well it holds together & doesn't really fart out like most amps when everything is pinned!

    Besides the 2 power levels (pentode / full power & triode / cut power) there is also the ''THICK" switch which bypasses the tone stack altogether for a nice full hot vintage amp tone. Interesting to note that when the amp is out of 'thick' mode (by default it must then be in "Bright" mode) that even with every tone pot maxed to the hilt, the amp is not anywhere near as loud or as fat sounding. That leads me to think that sending the signal through the 3 way tone stack takes a little bit out of the equation.

    If the thick switch is indeed a real, true & simple tone bypass, it would serve as a good example of why simple amps with very little eq sound so fvk'n awesome!;)

    One last note, it sounds better with one Vox 1x12 cab than it does with both plugged in, which I found very strange. This could be an impedance issue as one output on the amp is 16 Ohms & the other is 8. The Green Backs in the Vox cabs are 16 ohms.o_O I thought it might have been due to the one cab being off the ground but when I unplugged the bottom speaker the sound immediately tightened up. In fact, either top r bottom cab by themselves sounded great but both used together created a tonal shift the sounded emptier & well ... wrong. My guess is changing the 8 ohm output jack to 16 would fix things up nice as long as I stay using those 16 cabs.

    Seeing the pics I took of the amp (which I majorly cropped & decreased the rez on before posting) has caused me to ponder .. 'should I clean up the man cave er what?'

    Crazy Man Cave Clutter w Vox Night Train Stack. crop lo rez.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  12. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    Whats to clean looks like all is in its proper spot :)
     
  13. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! I like the Night Trains, I have the Lil one which is a bit squeaky but wonderful, bright, honky tone.
     
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  14. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Gee what the Hek??? "squeaky but wonderful, bright, honky tone"??? sounds like a gem. Have you tossed the modern valves that came in it yet for some older bottles?? Some times, well most times in my experience, the sqeaky $#!t is the first to go when ya do this but on some of these tiny high gain amps it can seem to

    I've also read that people have tamed this high end 'squeaky' / fizzy issue by taking the bottom off and snipping one of the legs on the cap located at C19. While some aren't exactly comfortable doing that, quick & easy improvements & results can be had putting better tubes in her. Even these new version Mullards hold big improvement in V1 in a whole lot of applications.

    My amp came with stock Sovtek tubes. While they sound just fine in my amp, I know I can tune it even more to my additional liking just by getting out the vintage valves & getting busy with it. I guess it all comes down to how content you are leaving things as is versus how much you enjoy tinkering about with your tone in the hopes of possibly finding something even better!!

    The other way to bring variation & usuable change out of these little amps is to experiment & switch up the actual tube values. IE, putting a lower powered tube in V1 will result in a more usable gain range at the expense of loosing some of the extreme end of gain available stock, which some may like & others .. well, its fun finding out what we like eh?

    A couple folks swear they have found better results switching up the valves & running these tube combinations instead of the stock configuration:
    scenario 1; V1-12AY7, V2-12AX7, V3- 12AU7
    scenario 2; V1- 5751, V2- 12AX7, V3- 12AU7
    scenario 3; V1-12AY7, V2-12AT7, V3- 12AU7

    Here's one mans plight on the Lil Night Train in finding a more usable range of tone with less fizzy (squeak).
    -------------------------------------------------------
    "" Well after a few hours of tube swapping I have some results:

    1: Sovtek 5751 2: stock 3:JJ 12au7 -
    Good but a little fuzzy - bright - a little more clean and controlled gain

    1: Sovtek 5751 2: NOS phillips 12at7wc 3:JJ 12au7 -
    Good but now fuzz even in the crunch area. Less over all loudness.

    1: EH 12AY7 2: NOS phillips 12at7wc 3:JJ 12au7 -
    Better - smoother - lost most of the fuzz - a lot more clean gain!!!

    *** Note: when I took the NOS phillips 12at7wc out is was very hot and the pins are a little darker. I might have a bad tube or maybe the 12atwc is not so great in this amp.

    1: EH 12AY7 2: Tung-sol 12AX7 3:JJ 12au7 -
    Lost the fuzz (good!) very controlled and well behaved - Not as bright or really clean bright. Plus a little more bottom.

    1: Sovtek 5751 2: Tung-sol 12AX7 3:JJ 12au7 -

    Just a hair of fuzz back - louder but controlled - Less clean - but very musical.


    Conclusion: I will be going with the 1: EH 12AY7 2: Tung-sol 12AX7 3:JJ 12au7 setup because I want to use pedals in front of the amp and would like it to have as much head room as possible. If I were to play into the amp with no boost/overdrive/distortion pedal I would go with the Sovtek - has a really nice range of crunch, overdrive and a little bit of fuzz/breakup. ""

    Anyway the point is, these little heads are very responsive to valve changes and because we get to switch them up ourselves & listen to ever tube change for the differences, it ends up being educational & frankly ... fun!

    I realize tubes (especially NOS) can be pricey but if you would like a couple of 12at7 or 12au7 or 12ay7 tubes to play with, I acquired a $#!Tload a couple years back & would be happy to gift you some for your experiments. I know there is a mad scientist in there waiting to lay hands on those valves & crank that Lil amp.
     
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  15. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    Funny you should say it, but my Lil Night Train does have a vintage Sovtek tube in it, provided to me very kindly by one Tobacco Worm. It did make a big difference to the cheap tube that was already in there. I've read about the capacitor clip but have as yet been too afraid to do it. It would help if I had a better cabinet for it, as I only have the Night Train 1x10 cab, which is very compact. I lined it with felt and some polyester stuffing, which helped but I found that plugging it through the line out into a speaker set with subwoofers was the best thing. Thanks for looking that up for me!
     
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  16. dampsneaker

    dampsneaker Well-Known Member

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    That's some good stuff on the tube swap observations Relic. Thanks for posting it. And if that head sounds half as good as it looks then it's a winner.
     
  17. Heket

    Heket Well-Known Member

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    I had serious AAS for the 50W Night Train head, it's like the Night Train but with even more options and a heavier gain channel, but have absolutely no need for all that power. If I ever did gig with a guitar though, that would be the first one I'd look at. I wish I'd known at the beginning that 15W isn't too big for me, I would have gone for the medium Night Train too.
     
  18. LeadFinger

    LeadFinger Well-Known Member

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    Nice! I've got the tiny, plug in version of the Night Train and I've been wondering about the real thing.
     
  19. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Heket, weren't the original tubes Sovtek also?? Just asking because mine were in the NT15.

    The other thing some people had real success with was actually changing tube values to tame the fizz associated with the stock tubes gain.

    Here's a lil Tube Chart for power values on these 12-7's

    12AX7 (gain of 100)
    12AT7 (gain of 60)
    12AY7 (gain of 45)
    12AU7 (gain of 19)
    So what does this mean? – If your amp calls for a
    12ax7 (gain of 100) with a 12ay7 (gain of 45) your device will be about 55% quieter & have less gain which is essence is what is generating what some describe as fizz & what I think you are calling Squeak, the reverse is true if you replace a 12ay7 and you replace it with a 12at7 you will get more distortion or your device will be louder with lots more gain. A well made tube of lower value in V1 should tighten things up some and then if you need more gain / distortion, put a pedal infront of it & watch you Lil Beasty really come alive. Well, according to what I've read anyway. lol

    Basically what I'm hinting at here at what many rave about is the success they are having trying a lower value tube in V1. I'm guessing a nice NOS lower value valve in V1 will have the easiest achievable effect & that you will like what it does to the fizz & squeak factor you got going on.
     
    ScottMarlowe likes this.
  20. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget 5751s. They're gain is 70, they're much more musical sounding than 12AT7s and you can still get good NOS ones for not much if that's your thing.
     

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