VHT 2150 vs Strategy 400

peterc52

Well-known member
Looking for a power amp to boost my IIC+ and have a chance to pick one of the above up. Have read nothing but good things about both.

I obviously like Metallica 😅😅 What would you go with?
 
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Jdub

Active member
Looking for a power amp to boost my IIC+ and have a chance to pick one of the above up. Have read nothing but good things about both.

I obviously like Metallica 😅😅 What would you go with?
Soldano 2150?? No such thing. Soldano made the SM100 and VHT the 2150. I would take the 2150 over the SM100 and either one over the Mesa. I had a Mesa Simul Class 290 and it was constantly breaking down. Maybe the Strategy 400 is better, but my confidence is low as far reliability goes with Mesa Boogie. Granted, they do have awesome customer service, but you simply can't beat the VHT 2150 power amp.
 

peterc52

Well-known member
Soldano 2150?? No such thing. Soldano made the SM100 and VHT the 2150. I would take the 2150 over the SM100 and either one over the Mesa. I had a Mesa Simul Class 290 and it was constantly breaking down. Maybe the Strategy 400 is better, but my confidence is low as far reliability goes with Mesa Boogie. Granted, they do have awesome customer service, but you simply can't beat the VHT 2150 power amp.
Brain fart… 😅
 

braintheory

Well-known member
I had a Strategy 400 and got recently a VHT 2150. One thing I gotta admit is that like a moron I didn't know when I had it that there was an input to combine both side for supposedly 400 watts. I only used each side separately and the same with my 2150 since it can only be done that way. With that all being said, I definitely prefer my 2150 to at least using just one side at a time on the Strategy 400. Maybe I'd feel differently if I used the 400 watt mode, but just using one side I honestly thought the Strategy 400 was pretty overrated. I AB'ed it vs using just the power amp of my mark III++ coliseum no stripe (with the GEQ engaged to make it fair lol) and the Coliseum sounded very much like the Strategy 400, but punchier, more alive and just better, and then turn on the GEQ and it's game over lol, so I sold the Strategy (didn't stay long). You wanna hear a Metallica on steroids tone slave your iic+ into the the power amp of a coliseum and you'll get a cartoonish sound

Long answer short (in case TL;DR) I liked the 2150 more, but it's possible I would have thought differently if I tried the 400 watt mode of the Strategy 400
 

paulyc

Well-known member
What is it about the Strategy 400 that makes it “better” that the Strategy 500 ? I would think the 500 would be the ultimate evolution of the series and thus the best.
 

NineShallDie

Active member
I’ve had both S400 and S500. They are pretty similar, but I felt that the 400 is a bit more transparent and “3D” sounding, if that makes sense. Maybe due to the simpler design, idk. I ended up selling the 500 and keeping the 400.

But I also think it depends on what you are using it for. I use it for slaving my old Mesa Mark amps and want as little colorization of the sound as possible. When using the slave output on the Marks it slaves the whole amp, so you’ll have the graphic EQ on the amp as well.
I imagine the S500 is better for preamps since you’ll have the deep switches.
That being said, they are both awesome!

I haven’t tried the VHT, but regarding Coliseum VS S400 I think they are pretty similar, even when running only one side. Each side is 200W, so it’s actually a bigger power section than a Coliseum. The feel is better on the Coli though. But the punch is very similar.
 

JMP2203

Active member
i have 2 strat500, you must change the power tubes in order to get the best of it, i much prefer sovtek 6l6wxt+ and sovtek 6550we over the stock str420 and str418, also the deep switch is a bit to much and without it it sound weak, you can mod it to find an in between that would be best
 

NineShallDie

Active member
Half true, realize you are cancelling one of the most brutal poweramps of all time without question and that may not necessarily be the correct choice.
Using slave out won’t cancel the IIC+ power amp. You’ll still have the characteristics of the IIC+ power amp, but supercharged! That’s why I like the transparency of the Strategy 400.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
Who has had both, I only have the VHT...I do happen to own a Mesa M180 monoblock but that is a very flat poweramp compared to the 2150 and 2100 that color the tone.
I had both. Not at the same time though. I sold the strategy 400, but I again was dumb in not knowing I could combine both sides for 400 watts. Using just one side it was like the Poweramp of my mark iii++ Colisuem, but not as good
 

braintheory

Well-known member
I’ve had both S400 and S500. They are pretty similar, but I felt that the 400 is a bit more transparent and “3D” sounding, if that makes sense. Maybe due to the simpler design, idk. I ended up selling the 500 and keeping the 400.

But I also think it depends on what you are using it for. I use it for slaving my old Mesa Mark amps and want as little colorization of the sound as possible. When using the slave output on the Marks it slaves the whole amp, so you’ll have the graphic EQ on the amp as well.
I imagine the S500 is better for preamps since you’ll have the deep switches.
That being said, they are both awesome!

I haven’t tried the VHT, but regarding Coliseum VS S400 I think they are pretty similar, even when running only one side. Each side is 200W, so it’s actually a bigger power section than a Coliseum. The feel is better on the Coli though. But the punch is very similar.
They were similar IME too, but I had 3 different coli’s at the time (2 blue stripe ++ simul-class and a no stripe ++ not Simul (still have)). Also have a c+ coli now. Despite the S400 being higher wattage it didn’t really sound that way to me. It was just like my no stripe coli ++ power amp with worse feel, less lively and I definitely felt less punchy. If I didn’t have any coli’s or maybe knew about the 400 watts lol it’s possible I could’ve thought it was awesome, but I didn’t in my situation. The 2150 is better imo, at least if using just one side on the s400 (still kicking myself for that lol). The 2150 doesn’t really have a Metallica vibe, but it sounds metal, so maybe the OP would still enjoy it. I’d say overall the 2150 to me sounds clear, precise, modern, tight, somewhat neutral
 

phil b

Active member
Half true, realize you are cancelling one of the most brutal poweramps of all time without question and that may not necessarily be the correct choice.
According to Mark Snyder who I worked with at Boogie AR back in the early 90's the 400 was the choice for guys who wanted to slave with the Mark II. I never owned the VHT but have tried it with a IIC+ and the Boogie just sounded better with it. Now, flip that with a CAE 3+ preamp and the VHT sounded A LOT better than the 400.
 

Exo-metal

Well-known member
My answer would be related to owning a Coliseum, the cascaded power section gives a more hifi 3D depth to the sound. The Mesa M180 does the same thing but for me its not for the volume Sean.
 
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