VHT/Fryette

I recently got a new faceplate for my Sig:X to reflect the name change of the company that makes my amp.

Before:
VHT Sig:X

After:
Fryette Sig:X

I’m not 100% sure about the accuracy of this story, but I read about it on the internets, so it has to be pretty much true. Anyway, in 1989 a guy named Steve Fryette started an amplifier company and called it VHT. Before long, VHT gained a reputation for manufacturing cutting edge guitar amps. Apparently, they borrowed some money fairly recently and used the VHT name as collateral. I’m not exactly sure about what happened next, but they lost the name.

Steve Fryette regrouped and started a new company and named it after himself – Fryette Amplification. He retained the rights to all of his designs and products – he just lost the VHT name. The company that now calls itself VHT bears little resemblance to Fryette.

I really, really like my Sig:X. It may not have the vintage look or boutique vibe of something like a Bad Cat or รท13, but these amps were built for players, not collectors. The control panel of the Sig:X may look intimidating, but it’s not quite as complicated as it looks. My next major purchase is going to be a Fryette 2×12 speaker cab. Their cabs are supposed to be awesome, and they were designed specifically to mate with Fryette amps.

3 thoughts on “VHT/Fryette”

  1. Huh that’s crazy stuff. A buddy of mine bought a VHT a couple years back and fell in love with it.
    I’m curious Philip, did you put yourself to the test and make it yourself or were you able to order the new plate? And I’m kind of confused…do you have a VHT or a Fryette? From the gist of what you’re saying, older VHTs are solid but the new ones are crap and the new Fryettes are actually what the older VHTs are?

  2. No, I didn’t make the nameplate. I ordered a new one from Fryette (along with a “free” t-shirt and a couple of stickers) for $20.

    To answer your question, my amp is technically a VHT since it was manufactured before the whole name change debacle. It has the VHT name, but it was designed by Steven Fryette. I wouldn’t say that the new VHTs are crap since I haven’t played one, but they are obviously a completely different design philosophy. While Steven Fryette’s designs are very modern and forward thinking with their own unique sound, the new VHT amps are basically clones of classic amps. Does the world really need another 18 watt Marshall clone?

    Basically, the last thing that you said is true – the new Fryettes are like the old VHT amps.

    By the way – I was able to turn the amp up at practice tonight, and it sounds pretty freaking awesome. I got the volume up to around 11:00 and it’s REALLY loud. Oh, and the clean channel is just amazing. I am extremely happy with this amp. It does absolutely everything that I need it to do and more.

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