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User Review

V8 - The Behemoth - Reviews Trace Elliot V-Type V8

Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Advanced Users
I played Trace Elliot amps since the early 90's and I own a few amps like the RAH600SMX, AH-300, Hexa Valve and now the V-Type V8.

Next to the Trace Elliot amps I own Ampeg SVT-CL, Hiwatt DR103, DR201, Weber MyWatt 400 and Marshall 3530, so I have something to compare. With all amps I use the Ampeg SVT-810.

But there is no comparison. The V8 is a class on itself. It looks good, it feels good and it sounds monstrous. Bright highs, great mids and very solid and beefy lows. Even when it is switched to half power (200W) it has plenty power to fill any stage completely.

The amp is quite rare, only aprox. 50-60 pieces were made and it is a rare occasion when a V8 is for sale. If you want one, be patient, keep looking and prepare for the worst... You might never find one.

I always struggle to get the right sound from my amps. I use different versions Fender Precision. But with all amps mentioned above, it always takes a few minutes to find the right sound and balance. Not with the V8. All pots at 12:00 and turn up the gain and volume. After that: no need to touch it.

I found the V8 two years ago and traveled 700km to pick it up the next day. It was in mint condition and after a short clean-up it looks brand new.

But there's also bad news about the V8. It has a design flaw in the fuse holders on the PCB. The soldering and fuse holder are not capable of handling the large filament current without heating up strongly and leaving a burned PCB and molten plastic behind.
After some investigation, I noticed that TE changed production and placed the fuse holders off the PCB, somewhere else in the chassis. I did the same with my V8 and rewired the fuse holders.

Apart from this design flaw, the V8 is built with great quality. Powder coated chassis, neatly built interior (but not as great as a vintage Hiwatt) and good quality components.

Nice gadget is the EM84 tube. This snake-eye indicator works as a power-output indicator and is visible on the right side through front plate. In dark conditions, this is a nice feature next to the wide glow of the 15 (!) valves.

I transport the V8 in a custom made flight case. Because of its sheer depth and misalignment between the holes in the cab and feet on the V8, I made a ply-wood adapter covered with foam to fit on top of the SVT-810 cab to prevent it from falling off/leaning back. The adapter has rubber feet which fit in the SVT-810 holes. The adapter has holes in which the rubber feet of the V8 fit.

Best amp ever. Buy one if you can find it and if you can afford it. However, it's not cheap and there are only a few V8's around.

Estimated price? Hard to tell. Be prepared for a EUR 2.000,- to EUR 3.000,- price tag.

Check my V-Type V8 Facebook page for more details:
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