Price paid: € 685
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Features: This is a Twin Channel valve amp by Vox with 15W of power. It features 2x12" Celestion G12M Greenback speakers and regarding the valves it uses 3x 12AX7 (ECC83) on the Preamp and 2x EL84 on the Poweramp. The amp control panel has the following functions: Master Volume, Tone Cut, Tremolo (depth and speed), Reverb, Top Boost channel EQ (bass, treble and volume), Normal channel volume, and standby switch. This is a twin channel amp so the channels are individual and not footswitchable (unless you get a A-B channel footswitch as I believe it is called). There is a Vox footswitch for this amp but, if I am correct, it's only for reverb. I give 9 to this section because even if it doesn't seem to have a lot of options you can get a quite big range of tones with only the tone cut and top boost EQ. // 9
Sound: I mostly play blues and rock n roll and it suits just perfect. On the clean channel witch low volume you can hear every note and the sound is so rich and creamy. But once you start increasing the channel volume you start to get that majestic rich drive Vox is known for. To get and idea, hear Rolling Stones or Beatles and that's the sound I'm talking about. I also play a lot of The White Stripes and with reverb on, it sounds really nice too. It also fits very well in some nowadays music. Brit-rock and pop-rock in general.
Now on the top boost channel. Well, I don't use quite a lot. I used it for some Led Zeppelin, The Drills, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, QOTSA, Radiohead, etc. This channel allows to get into more distorted sounds. The thing I have found more lately is that with the normal channel you can get pretty much of it's potential with master volume at about 60% but with the top boost you really have to push the master volume to get more heavy distortion.
About the reverb there is not much more to say than it is perfect. This amp is 15W but uses the AC30 box and what the Vox people did was not to mess with the reverb tank. Which means this amp as the same reverb tank and the AC30 and it sounds just great. I was my biggest surprise with this amp. It doesn't matter if you crank it up (old school White Stripes) or push just a bit to smoothen things up... It will sound great. And it is not a "all or nothing."
On the Tremolo, I barely used it. It sounds quite good but just doesn't fit in my needs so I never use it seriously. Mostly is just to have a bit of fun outside the regular set. On the speakers, the 2x12" Celestion Greenback give much more headroom than the AC15CC1. And it as power for small/medium gigs. It is 15W but roars like a beast. And loves to be cranked up.
To finish this section, there is one thing that you must consider about this amp. It is not a really versatile amp. Even thought Vox is known for their clean rich sound, it is not a Fender like clean. And for metal and hardcore fans, this is not your amp too. Even with Top Boost cranked up this can't take you there. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Well, I have this amp for about a month and it has never left home so far. I have already played in it for over 2 hours with high volume and it was always perfect so I guess it is quite reliable. Even though valve amps are more fragile than ss, it should be rock solid if you are careful enough.
On the durability, I have read that new Vox are not made to last centuries like the Jennings original ones but they still last a lot and are not likely to let you down on stage. I'll give it 8 for a future perspective. // 8
Overall Impression: Well, I play guitar for several years and had a Roland 15XL for home practise. In studio and practise I used a Tech21 Trademark 60. They are good amps in their category but this Vox is just on a whole other level. It is the difference between day and night. If I was stolen, I'd definitely but another one because it suits perfectly for my needs both in sound and power. Before I bought it I tryed a Fender Blues Junior and a Vox AC15CC1. Those are quite good amps but I think the extra 90€ or whatever for the second Celestion are worth every cent. There is nothing I wish it had. Even the fact that is not footswitchable has not been problem at all.
To finish things up, this amp will not do a ton of different things. But what it does, it does perfectly. If you are considering buy a tube amp you try this. Even if you end buying some other thing. But one thing is for sure: there is no other 2x12" amp with this quality. Not even close. I give it a final 10 because it's worth every cent. And I think that's the most important part: value for money. // 10