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Has anyone heard of the VHT D-50?


PunkKitty
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I heard about this a few years back.  I haven't seen or heard one in person.   There was a lot of talk about it on TGP when it first came out.   Of course like anything on TGP,  some people really liked it,  others just said it was a mediocre imitation.   The price has jumped.  When it was first introduced, it was $799.   Now I see its up to $999.   

For a while, I was really curious about Dumble clones,  especially the Ceriatones.    While it might be really cool,  I'm just not playing anywhere that I need more amp.   I've got 5 different ones now, and can cover the bases from Fender clean to Marshall OD.   The missing pieces are more in the fingers than the gear.  

 

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On 10/16/2021 at 2:21 PM, TalismanRich said:

I heard about this a few years back.  I haven't seen or heard one in person.   There was a lot of talk about it on TGP when it first came out.   Of course like anything on TGP,  some people really liked it,  others just said it was a mediocre imitation.   The price has jumped.  When it was first introduced, it was $799.   Now I see its up to $999.   

For a while, I was really curious about Dumble clones,  especially the Ceriatones.    While it might be really cool,  I'm just not playing anywhere that I need more amp.   I've got 5 different ones now, and can cover the bases from Fender clean to Marshall OD.   The missing pieces are more in the fingers than the gear.  

 

I agree. I have my share of amps and have no desire to buy more. I was just curious about these. Someone on Mark Wein's forum, which I frequent, just bought one of these and loved it. I thought some here might be interested in it. 

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This post is not intended to but is going to offend some folks... but not the ones who have painstakingly done due diligence on this OP amp's parent's circuit...the high labor, high quality and high parts count Dumble Overdrive Supreme.   This one appears to be denigrating an American genius's original, hand crafted art to a lowly price point presentation to the buyer...  I believe that this particular so called D-clone insults Howard Alexander Dumble's work.  There are those who have closely followed the story since Overdrive Supreme #124 got bought for around 50 grand somewhere around a decade ago and then uncovered the encapsulation around the formerly secret circuit, then first duplicated by a small handful of dedicated, skilled guitar amp mavens.   Those guys, some now deceased, the first handful of Dumble Overdrive Supreme cloners would definitely agree...     

Come time for a potential repair those hand wired as close to exact original Ceriatones and even the slightly more deviant, next generation Dumble derived eyelet and turret board builds from RedPlate of mine can be repaired at home in my experiences.  I've had a few small glitches and have done an output tranny swap on one of the Ceriatone #124-ish circuit board U. S. assembled Marsh Overlords with more than satisfying success...not original, not sacred, just easier to work on and actually dial in a real, semi unchaseable signature tone set on.   

I would run from the OP's D-clone amp even if it were offered to me for free.  YMMV

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On 10/21/2021 at 5:47 PM, 212Mavguy said:

This post is not intended to but is going to offend some folks... but not the ones who have painstakingly done due diligence on this OP amp's parent's circuit...the high labor, high quality and high parts count Dumble Overdrive Supreme.   This one appears to be denigrating an American genius's original, hand crafted art to a lowly price point presentation to the buyer...  I believe that this particular so called D-clone insults Howard Alexander Dumble's work.  There are those who have closely followed the story since Overdrive Supreme #124 got bought for around 50 grand somewhere around a decade ago and then uncovered the encapsulation around the formerly secret circuit, then first duplicated by a small handful of dedicated, skilled guitar amp mavens.   Those guys, some now deceased, the first handful of Dumble Overdrive Supreme cloners would definitely agree...     

Come time for a potential repair those hand wired as close to exact original Ceriatones and even the slightly more deviant, next generation Dumble derived eyelet and turret board builds from RedPlate of mine can be repaired at home in my experiences.  I've had a few small glitches and have done an output tranny swap on one of the Ceriatone #124-ish circuit board U. S. assembled Marsh Overlords with more than satisfying success...not original, not sacred, just easier to work on and actually dial in a real, semi unchaseable signature tone set on.   

I would run from the OP's D-clone amp even if it were offered to me for free.  YMMV

Part of the issue is Dumble makes very, very few amps and has clauses to the owners about never selling them.  Because there is such limited availability, the Dumble clones will be out there in the same way there are dozens of Klon manufactures.  People want the sound but between availability and cost, they go for cheaper alternatives.  Just like why would anyone want an Epiphone Les Paul when you can buy a Gibson Les Paul?  Costs.  Then factor how easy it is to obtain, in some cases, even import guitars like a Squier Baritone guitar now sells for nearly double what they were when they first came out... They are hard to find.  Too expensive.

Myself, I really could care less about the Dumble sound.  I prefer the Marshall sound.  Fender if I want something a little clean and lots of reverb....

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12 hours ago, DetroitBlues said:

Myself, I really could care less about the Dumble sound.  I prefer the Marshall sound.  Fender if I want something a little clean and lots of reverb....

Hey DB, have you ever been in the same room as a real Dumble? Or are you basing your opinion on internet clips? I stood in front of David Lindley's Dumble twice, for a few hours each time, and I can tell you that I've never heard an internet clip that was even close to that sound. It was glorious, whether was playing guitar or lap steel! I also stood in front of Stevie Ray Vaughn's and his was killer too!

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On 12/2/2021 at 8:22 PM, rockabilly69 said:

Hey DB, have you ever been in the same room as a real Dumble? Or are you basing your opinion on internet clips? I stood in front of David Lindley's Dumble twice, for a few hours each time, and I can tell you that I've never heard an internet clip that was even close to that sound. It was glorious, whether was playing guitar or lap steel! I also stood in front of Stevie Ray Vaughn's and his was killer too!

I was in a little theater to see Robben Ford, but he didn't have his Dumble!!!   He was using a Fender Super Reverb IIRC.  ☹️     Then I went to see Eric Johnson, but he had quit bringing his Dumble!!!  He had switched to a Two Rock with his Marshall.  ☹️

I guess I'll never get to hear one live, since it seems everyone is ditching theirs.

 

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5 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

I was in a little theater to see Robben Ford, but he didn't have his Dumble!!!   He was using a Fender Super Reverb IIRC.  ☹️     Then I went to see Eric Johnson, but he had quit bringing his Dumble!!!  He had switched to a Two Rock with his Marshall.  ☹️

I guess I'll never get to hear one live, since it seems everyone is ditching theirs.

 

Well for what they are selling for. I wouldn't doubt that many people are ditching them for the cash grab!

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10 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

I was in a little theater to see Robben Ford, but he didn't have his Dumble!!!   He was using a Fender Super Reverb IIRC.  ☹️     Then I went to see Eric Johnson, but he had quit bringing his Dumble!!!  He had switched to a Two Rock with his Marshall.  ☹️

I guess I'll never get to hear one live, since it seems everyone is ditching theirs.

 

I've seen Robben Ford a few times, both with and without the Dumble. I think when he's touring in the UK/Europe without the Dumble these days his amp of choice is a Super Reverb, with the Zendrive or similar for the lead tones. Given how valuable his Dumble is, it makes sense to keep it at home. Having said that, in 2013 he played the Holmfirth Picturedrome (a converted cinema in a little Yorkshire town in Mark555's part of the world) and after the gig a few of us gear nerds were hanging round the front of the stage taking photos of hs pedalboard, and his guitar tech was kind enough to bring the amp over for us to photograph. We were not worthy... 😁 His guitar for most of the time was the Epiphone Riviera.

A few years ago I saw Larry Carlton at the Birmingham Glee Club, and he was using a Bludotone setup. I was able to speak to him afterwards and he said has one kept over here for when he's touring in Europe/UK. A very nice guy.

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18 hours ago, rockabilly69 said:

Well for what they are selling for. I wouldn't doubt that many people are ditching them for the cash grab!

True, but aren't most owners bound by a contract to only sell it back to Dumble himself? Though I'm not sure if he can make those kinds of demands on the super famous and rich people.

That said, IF I had a Dumble, I'd probably only use it in the studio, not take it on tour.

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3 minutes ago, tbonesullivan said:

True, but aren't most owners bound by a contract to only sell it back to Dumble himself? Though I'm not sure if he can make those kinds of demands on the super famous and rich people.

That said, IF I had a Dumble, I'd probably only use it in the studio, not take it on tour.

Actually I think that's what most people are doing

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Hearing how notoriously picky Eric Johnson is about his tone,  I would think that says something about the Two Rock version of the ODS.  Certainly it's not an "off the shelf" amp, but still,  it must be pretty darn close to start with. 

I almost went for a Ceriatone clone that was on Craigslist locally about a year ago.   I think he was selling it for $1300 which is a really good price, but in the end, I decided that another amp wasn't something that I needed.   Besides,  I would have needed another cabinet, which would set me back another chunk of change.

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[Reposted from elsewhere on the subject of Dumble tone and the current PRS effort to recreate a Dumble tone circuit into one of their upcoming amps which is still under development.]

This whole Dumble thing.... I don't know what a Dumble tone sounds like but I can't help wonder if for me it would be like a tone chasing experience I had a while back, which goes like this... I've liked the band Dream Theater for a very long time, eventually got to listening to John Petrucci ramble on and on about tone which led me to buying one of his ridiculously expensive Mesa signature model amplifiers right after they were first released and then I because the first kid on my block who had one. Sure enough, the first time I plugged it in and explored the tone, my reaction was "WOW! This amp sounds AMAZING! Delivers the goods exactly as promised! It sounds JUST LIKE THAT DREAM THEATER TONE!" and then I instantly realized that I don't want Dream Theater tone for MY playing; I want MY own tone for MY playing! So, now I no longer own that amp (because of covid) but I also have no intention of ever trying to repurchase one of those amps. Sure they sound great and each channel has its own bank of EQ sliders, but I'm not trying to sound like Dream Theater. SO I can't help but wonder if this MT100 will be the same experience. Maybe Mark Tremonti will like the tone but will.... I.... like the tone for ME? We'll see.

 

MEGADETH - METALLICA - JUDAS PRIEST - IRON MAIDEN - SLAYER - TED NUGENT - AC/DC - LED ZEPPELIN - TWISTED SISTER - KISS - ZZ TOP

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12 hours ago, TalismanRich said:

Hearing how notoriously picky Eric Johnson is about his tone,  I would think that says something about the Two Rock version of the ODS.  Certainly it's not an "off the shelf" amp, but still,  it must be pretty darn close to start with.

Two rock amps are built amazingly well, and also are definitely easier to obtain than a Dumble amp. Also, Alex Dumble isn't getting any younger, and having to send back the amps to him for servicing in a lot of cases isn't exactly great for touring. He's still a one man shop, as far as I know, so the wait times can be long. Having an amp like a Two Rock that you can have a regular tech work on is definitely a plus.

2 hours ago, HANGAR18 said:

This whole Dumble thing.... I don't know what a Dumble tone sounds like but I can't help wonder if for me it would be like a tone chasing experience I had a while back, which goes like this...

I always have really been in the dark about "the dumble tone" thing. It definitely is a somewhat unique amp design, where the overdrive channel is layered OVER the clean channel, and you have a "Ratio" control to help get the sound you want. I do remember that the early Mesa Boogie mark series amps were like that, so the clean gain was always in the circuit. Even the mark IV has TWO gain controls on the lead channel.

The Dumble design is definitely a bit different in how it is implemented, and gets a different type of smooth lead sound.

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The guys not touring with their original Dumbles presently is more of a risk of catastrophic loss than anything else.  There are some dedicated builders doing the D-circuits very, very, well, with repairability in the build design, right here in the USA.  Overseas builders for US market, best bang for buck by far with authenticity in circuit, layout and parts choice is the Ceriatone lineup.  There are more than a dozen D-circuits available.  For US builders, RedPlate has taken the original work to next logical evolutions, they sound great and are built to gig full time.  $$$ wallet bite is huge and worth every penny in my experience, have two of 'em.

Some talk about the smoothness in Dumble lead tones...not necessarily smooth at all.  The internet is flooded with clips with their "Dumble" tones sounding like someone threw a wool blanket over the speaker, well meaning but naaaaah....ignants spewing.

Originals were tailored by HAD to that player's tone set by adjusting a small trimmer pot on the eyelet board itself, then the preamp part of that board was encapsulated in hardened, cured plastic similar to Permatex auto gasket sealant.  That trimmer controlled the gain of the first triode of the overdrives tube's two additional, cascading gain stages.  Now that part is often found as a full sized pot with it's own full size knob on the back panel of a modern D-clone from Ceriatone and many others to adjust how the basic texture of the overdrive addition to the clean's output sounds.  Four out of my five D-derived amps will deliver anything from the fattest lady at the opera to ripping HANGAR 18's face off in an unusually tasteful sounding fashion  when the second tube is activated with the foot switch.   Any player's lead tone texture is easily controlled as the result of having that formerly hidden part available as a regular knob on the outside of the amp to twiddle.  Low setting is opera singer, high is the face ripper, starts right there.  The second triode of that second, overdrive tube is controlled by the traditionally placed gain knob on the front panel.  On the 80's Overdrive Supreme circuits the Ratio control controls how much of the signal gets dumped to ground before going to and through the fx loop area to the phase inverter...on the 90's style HRM Hot Rubber Monkey/Hot Rodded Marshall builds the lead channel has an actual separate master volume in place of the 80's builds' ratio control knob.  I have only seen two separate gain controls for controlling the two sections of a twin triode preamp tube on Dumble designs.  That is a huge difference for a player's control of their tone set compared to what comes from other amp circuit topologies.

It is at the phase inverter section of the circuit where the real difference in a real honest to goodness Dumble lies, a subtly small but mighty one part difference huge in sonics...Howard Alexander Dumble used a tunable, adjustable phase inverter.  Howard was the first put a small trim pot on one side of that circuit,  on the eyelet board itself to get the two sides of the PI tube's outputs driving the two sides' pair(s) of power tubes matched evenly.  That adjustment effects both sustain and harmonic content.  

Then the other thing that less than one percent of electric guitar players understand is how Howard Alexander Dumble could get his 100 to 300 tube watt amps to sound great at less than harmful sound pressure levels...a tube fx buffer of HAD"S original design is placed in the rudimentary Dumble circuit effects loop.  Effects get plugged into send and return of the DUMBULATOR, which is placed into the host amp's amp's effects loop, send and return jacks or it is run with no effects inserted as the new master volume control for the entire amp.  It was originally built as a one space fit in a rack mount.  The effect of the DUMBULATOR is to allow the operator to set that amp's master volume on stage for a more musical sounding result.  Ceriatone's C'lator is a refined version of the original, and offers wonderful flexibility in what it can do.  They also do up a solid state version that is much more compact.

Without the D-lator the amp's  master volume pot is near the bottom of it's available settings, with extreme sensitivity to small adjustments even with high quality pots.  With a DUMBULATOR, the amp operator adjusts that formerly cranky master volume pot waaaaaaaay higher, on up to that fabled sweet spot from 2/3 to flat out DIMED... for the most harmonic content in clean or dirty tones.  THERE IS THE HIDDEN MAGIC...The D-lator becomes the new master volume control for the rig, a simple pot controlling how much signal is fed to that also HAD designed, tunable, balanced phase inverter.   An original is worth around 15-35 grand, the 100-300 watt original Dumbles greatly benefited when paired with one, they were designed to be used with each other originally.  They are way rarer than the amps that they are to be paired with.  The C-lator units from Ceriatone are wonderful for the same reason when put in effects loops of 100-300 watt or larger Marshall, Mesa Boogie or other monster, difficult to control bossy badass behemoth tyranno-raptor pant flapping killers of small animals and your sense of hearing.  If they are equipped with a simple interrupt effects loop,  the D-lator circuit in the loop makes them become as tame as an old hound dog resting on your feet and the tones become as harmonically, jaw droppingly rich as the amp is capable.  

 

Edited by 212Mavguy
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I had a Two Rock Studio 22 about 7 years ago. My understanding was that it was supposed to be kind of a Dumble sound. I guess that was lost on me. I can make any amp sound like me (which isn’t saying anything good about my skill set). Just give me a loud single channel Marshall, and I’ll raunch the he’ll outta that thing. 😱

Edited by davesultra
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12 hours ago, 212Mavguy said:

The guys not touring with their original Dumbles presently is more of a risk of catastrophic loss than anything else.  There are some dedicated builders doing the D-circuits very, very, well, with repairability in the build design, right here in the USA.  Overseas builders for US market, best bang for buck by far with authenticity in circuit, layout and parts choice is the Ceriatone lineup.  There are more than a dozen D-circuits available.  For US builders, RedPlate has taken the original work to next logical evolutions, they sound great and are built to gig full time.  $$$ wallet bite is huge and worth every penny in my experience, have two of 'em.

Some talk about the smoothness in Dumble lead tones...not necessarily smooth at all.  The internet is flooded with clips with their "Dumble" tones sounding like someone threw a wool blanket over the speaker, well meaning but naaaaah....ignants spewing.

Originals were tailored by HAD to that player's tone set by adjusting a small trimmer pot on the eyelet board itself, then the preamp part of that board was encapsulated in hardened, cured plastic similar to Permatex auto gasket sealant.  That trimmer controlled the gain of the first triode of the overdrives tube's two additional, cascading gain stages.  Now that part is often found as a full sized pot with it's own full size knob on the back panel of a modern D-clone from Ceriatone and many others to adjust how the basic texture of the overdrive addition to the clean's output sounds.  Four out of my five D-derived amps will deliver anything from the fattest lady at the opera to ripping HANGAR 18's face off in an unusually tasteful sounding fashion  when the second tube is activated with the foot switch.   Any player's lead tone texture is easily controlled as the result of having that formerly hidden part available as a regular knob on the outside of the amp to twiddle.  Low setting is opera singer, high is the face ripper, starts right there.  The second triode of that second, overdrive tube is controlled by the traditionally placed gain knob on the front panel.  On the 80's Overdrive Supreme circuits the Ratio control controls how much of the signal gets dumped to ground before going to and through the fx loop area to the phase inverter...on the 90's style HRM Hot Rubber Monkey/Hot Rodded Marshall builds the lead channel has an actual separate master volume in place of the 80's builds' ratio control knob.  I have only seen two separate gain controls for controlling the two sections of a twin triode preamp tube on Dumble designs.  That is a huge difference for a player's control of their tone set compared to what comes from other amp circuit topologies.

It is at the phase inverter section of the circuit where the real difference in a real honest to goodness Dumble lies, a subtly small but mighty one part difference huge in sonics...Howard Alexander Dumble used a tunable, adjustable phase inverter.  Howard was the first put a small trim pot on one side of that circuit,  on the eyelet board itself to get the two sides of the PI tube's outputs driving the two sides' pair(s) of power tubes matched evenly.  That adjustment effects both sustain and harmonic content.  

Then the other thing that less than one percent of electric guitar players understand is how Howard Alexander Dumble could get his 100 to 300 tube watt amps to sound great at less than harmful sound pressure levels...a tube fx buffer of HAD"S original design is placed in the rudimentary Dumble circuit effects loop.  Effects get plugged into send and return of the DUMBULATOR, which is placed into the host amp's amp's effects loop, send and return jacks or it is run with no effects inserted as the new master volume control for the entire amp.  It was originally built as a one space fit in a rack mount.  The effect of the DUMBULATOR is to allow the operator to set that amp's master volume on stage for a more musical sounding result.  Ceriatone's C'lator is a refined version of the original, and offers wonderful flexibility in what it can do.  They also do up a solid state version that is much more compact.

Without the D-lator the amp's  master volume pot is near the bottom of it's available settings, with extreme sensitivity to small adjustments even with high quality pots.  With a DUMBULATOR, the amp operator adjusts that formerly cranky master volume pot waaaaaaaay higher, on up to that fabled sweet spot from 2/3 to flat out DIMED... for the most harmonic content in clean or dirty tones.  THERE IS THE HIDDEN MAGIC...The D-lator becomes the new master volume control for the rig, a simple pot controlling how much signal is fed to that also HAD designed, tunable, balanced phase inverter.   An original is worth around 15-35 grand, the 100-300 watt original Dumbles greatly benefited when paired with one, they were designed to be used with each other originally.  They are way rarer than the amps that they are to be paired with.  The C-lator units from Ceriatone are wonderful for the same reason when put in effects loops of 100-300 watt or larger Marshall, Mesa Boogie or other monster, difficult to control bossy badass behemoth tyranno-raptor pant flapping killers of small animals and your sense of hearing.  If they are equipped with a simple interrupt effects loop,  the D-lator circuit in the loop makes them become as tame as an old hound dog resting on your feet and the tones become as harmonically, jaw droppingly rich as the amp is capable.  

 

best easy to follow explanation I've heard about Dumbles, although I've never heard any amp that I thought sounded like the Dumbles I've heard in the room. Especially the few Ceriatones that I've heard. Although that could come down to the builder. And on the that Dumbles I've heard live it could have been the players.

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17 hours ago, rockabilly69 said:

best easy to follow explanation I've heard about Dumbles, although I've never heard any amp that I thought sounded like the Dumbles I've heard in the room. Especially the few Ceriatones that I've heard. Although that could come down to the builder. And on the that Dumbles I've heard live it could have been the players.

Dan, you got to hear the real thing.  You have pretty much everyone here at a distinct disadvantage.  One thing to keep in mind is that quite a few of existing Dumble originals have not been disturbed inside, and likely glass wise as well.  So their today tones might not be exactly the same as when the original players first got theirs, could be a fair bit darker sounding overall.    Bias can also have drift if not maintained on a regular basis on a regularly played amp over time, so that can drift the tones to another place as well.  The cabs and rigs at my home won't be exact but they will be right in the neighborhood for sure.  Bring your pedals and a few axes for until you're tired or done.  I know what glass the great fat one used in his 80's builds.  For that time it was nothing special, but for today a bit of searching and $$$ is in order to duplicate.  Especially 100-300 watt heads.  The 50 watt clones are so much easier to glass to greatness in their own right, not necessarily for chasing any past or existing player's tone set, but personal signature tone set.

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