Behringer VT250FX Review
The Behringer VT250FX is a stereo guitar amplifier from Behringer. It is a solid state amp combo, that features Behringer’s “virtube” tube modelling technology. This means it’s a little bit different to your average amp.
The main difference between this amp and others, is that it comes in stereo. As well as having one clean and two distortion channels, this amp features two 50watt stereo channels (left and right). These channels then go to two 12″ speakers in the attached cab.
The amp in the video is the one that I own myself. I have gigged with it in a very loud heavy metal band, and it holds it’s own. Two 50watt channels- when played together- are near enough as loud as one 100watt channel would be.
There is also a one channel, 100watt version of this amp.
Since owning this amp myself, many people have asked me if it is loud enough to gig with.
The confusion lies in the way amps work- or at least, how the specs work! You see, amps are rated on their power (in watts), which actually says very little about their volume (decibels). In fact, if you multiply the power by 10 (10watt to 100watt) you may only be doubling the volume (in decibels).
I’ve played gigs where a 6watt amp has stood up next to a 100watt Marshall half-stack!
The Marshall may have not been on full power…but the difference is smaller than you think! It has much more to do with other factors (speaker impedence, amp efficiency etc.).
It’s not always how much power you have; it’s what you do with it!
Ok, so this amp doesn’t have tubes- which may be a disadvantage to some people. It does, however, have a tube emulation button.
I’ve played through a few different amps with this kind of emulation technology. One of my other amps is a Marshall MG15, which I use for teaching. Every company says that their advanced circuitry accurately produces the sound of a tube amp.
Does it work?
Honestly, there is no way to tell (unless Behringer also built an amp with exactly the same specs, but with tubes). The difference is always going to be subjective, the real question to ask is how the ‘virtube’ circuitry effects the quality of sound produced.
So, does it make the amp sound better? Yes, I think it does. It gives the amp a richer, fuller tone (in my opinion), as these qualities can be lacking more in non-tube amps. Either way, the option is there if you want to use it.
Aside from being in stereo, this amp features sixteen 24-bit digital effects. If you know your effects, you’ll appreciate what that means. Essentially, higher bit-rates tend to mean better effect quality.
To put this into perspective, my digital mixer has 24-bit effects- that is, something designed for recording!
What I am saying is: these effects are not simply an afterthought. I mean, a lot of amps have built in reverb, but not many have 16 full 24-bit stereo effects. These are divided up into four groups:
- Four Chorus and Delay effects
- Four Delays
- Four Choruses
- Four Flangers
Of course, there is also a reverb control that is separate to these effects. So, you can use reverb on top of these 16 effects, if you want.
- Behringer VT250FX Virtube
- guitar combo amp
- 2×50 watts
- 2 channels
- 2 x 12″ Bugera vintage guitar speakers
- VTC tube modelling
- dual digital FX processor with chorus/delay,
chorus, flanger, delay plus separate reverb
- independent bass, mid
and treble tone controls on each channel
- contour control for radical midrange sweep from traditional to scooped
- headphone and line out with integrated speaker
- Aux input
- effect loop, incl. dual footswitch
- FS112VT for channel selection and fx bypass
- width: 670mm
- height: 520mm
- depth: 275mm
- weight: 22 kg
What We liked…
Well, when I bought this amp, it was because I needed something smaller to transport to and from gigs. My other amp is a 300watt Randall, which is great…but it’s not so portable, and a bit loud for smaller venues.
That said, my favourite thing about this amp was the price. For what you get with this amp and cab combo, the price seems very low indeed! The quality of sound is very high- no buzzing or hiss at all. Although the fan does make quite a bit of noise (which isn’t noticeable when you’re playing anyway…).
The VTC tube emulation button also adds some character and warmth to the tone. I keep it on all the time, because it adds so much to the tone. I’ve especially found this feature useful to get a beefier, heavier sound- but I’ ve also used it for bluesier songs, with no problem.
As I said, whether or not the virtube circuitry makes the Behringer VT250FX sound like a real tube amp is a matter of opinion. However, it does create a smoother, richer and warmer tone when engaged.
What We didn’t like…
I’ve used this amp myself for years, and it hasn’t let me down. There is not much I would complain about.
However, as I said, the fan at the back gets pretty noisy. When you’re playing through it, this isn’t even noticeable; it’s when you’re not that it becomes an issue. So, be prepared for that gap between songs in that hot, sweaty club to be partly filled with a ‘mmmmmmmmmmmm’ as the fan does it’s work.
Also, you can plug this amp into two speakers for a real stereo effect. This is a great feature- especially for recording when you have the effects engaged. However, it’s not something that I’ve ever been able to take full advantage of on stage.
If you feel that your sound will benefit from having stereo effects, feel free to hook up two 4×12 cabs to the amp head and place one each side of the stage. If you get to do this, please comment below or send me an email and let me know how it went!
This amp is plenty loud enough on it’s own. However, I have been in situations where it’s been turned up full and I’ve still wanted more volume (I like to rock LOUD sometimes…). The best thing to do in this situation would be to hook it up to a bigger cab (4×12 or 4×10), as the head is plenty powerful enough for that.
Finding a cab that can accomodate both a left and a right channel, is a different story altogether…
Conclusions on the Behringer VT250FX
This amp is just what you’d expect from a German company. I don’t mean to stereotype, but the Behringer VT250FX is compact, well made, efficient and amazing value for money. I’ve used one for years and can hardly find fault with it.
True, some people hate the sound of Behringer amps. It that is you, then you probably wont like this amp. If you’re looking for a well priced, loud and well built amp for smaller gigs, then this is what you probably need to get.