AmPlug AC30 Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 01/15/2009 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Vox: AmPlug AC30
The Vox amPlug AC30 is a headphone amp that can help you to create the perfect practice session. The tiny amPlug plugs directly into your guitar-then just plug in your headphones and relish some great Vox tone.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Features: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.6 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 17 
reviews (3) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
AmPlug AC30 Reviewed by: micstarz, on february 23, 2008
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Features: The Vox amPlug comes in three variations: AC30 (clean sound), Metal, Classic Rock. This nifty is a headphone amplifier that plugs straight into your guitar. It is palm-sized, cellphone-thick and runs on two AAA batteries. For every two lithium batteries, you get 7 hours of functioning time. For every two alkaline batteries, you get 15 hours functioning time. The device itself is quite useful. As well as plugging your headphones into the amPlug, you can also plug them into speakers. An extra feature is an Aux input on which you can plug in any line-in and play along to your favourite songs. There are three knobs on which you can change the volume, tone and gain. The on/off Switch is located on the side of the product and there is a kind of "hole" for a telephone string (or whatever you might call it). The amplug is housed in a black plastic shell. Although I have had no problems with it so far, it looks kind of brittle (although I wouldn't worry if I dropped it). Vox thinks it would be nice to put a sticker on the front surface to make it look like an amp. However, it only makes the product look a bit like a cheap kid's toy. For Fender Stratocaster owners: despite any rumours that you have heard, the Vox amPlug fits into the jack all the way. // 8

Sound: The sound produced is satisfactory for me. I do not venture to say this for everyone, though. I am a rhythm guitarist and I have not really tried out playing different sounds on it. It gives me all the sounds I want from it: the simplistic unfiltered sound straight from my pickups. Don't be expecting all tremolo, phaser and distortion from it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think that in terms of reliability & durability, I would describe it, like an iPod. It would'nt break down on it's own. if you drop it, you might be worried. If you wash it, it's finished. If you treat it with a bit of care it will last you a while. It has never failed me in the two months that I own it. As of yet, to give you an idea of how much it is used, I have never found dust on it. I bring it to church, school, practices, and it gets jolted around in my bag sometimes. I've sat on it and it was OK. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, I think this is a handy feature. It suits me well and has a satisfactory level of reliability & durability. Apart from a one-step-down appearance, the amPlug is great. I have been playing for five years now. This review has been based on my experiences using the amPlug on my Fender Stratocaster. It works with a bass guitar as well, but the quality of the sound isn't that great. If it were stolen of lost, I would get a new one fast. I bought the last amPlug in that store, the display product. I wish it had a playback function or a Bass amPlug, I ask a lot. // 9

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overall: 8.5
AmPlug AC30 Reviewed by: magic_tree, on march 04, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 60.4674

Purchased from: Music Maker

Features: This is a small, palm-sized practice device that has a stereo headphone socket and also a stereo line in socket. Although it is intended for headphone use, the stereo out could run to anything. Line in lets you connect any ipod or CD player etc and play along to tunes from it. It plugs directly into the guitar so no need for a lead. Gain, Tone and Volume controls are on board as well. // 9

Sound: I have been playing mine on both my Squire Tele whiole I have been away working, and my USA Tele at home. Sounds really good! I have never owned or played on a real AC30 but am familiar with its tones, and I reckon the amplug sounds pretty close. Firsly I would say that a good pair of headphones would bring out the best, I am looking for some small in ear ones with high quiality at the moment. For now I have been using the generic in ear ones from my MP3 player, just a little tinny. With the gain backed off to about 2-3 and the volume up you can get a nice clean sound and with the gain wacked up, hello distortion. Sounds good cranked up, no complaints here. The only thing I find a little tricky is the tone control, it goes from a bassy one to a toppy one in a short part of the knob rotation. However, a nice touch is that the tone and gain controls are stiffer to turn so that when you have found the setting you like, they should not move when you put the unit in and out of you pocket or bag. I personally have mine set to: Gain 5 and tone 4-5 and I find it reacts quite like a real tube amp here. Play nice, it sounds clean and nice, get angry and give it some beans and the edge to the sound is there. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Only had it a couple of weeks but in that time it has been put in and out of my gig bag while I have been working away and it is fine. It says in the manual to be carful when standing you guitar up, or putting it in a stand when the unit is plugged in. This is a bit of a no-brainer but is good advice. Where you would normally stand you guitar up against a wall, resting on the lead, with the amplug in you can see it is only a matter of time before it will break. Batteries have lasted about 4 ot 5 hours approx so far and still sounds good. // 8

Overall Impression: I think this is a great little unit. I tried plugging my pc speakers in and it sounds quite good through those as well. I am also going to try using it as a preamp and go directly from the head phone socket with a stereo jack to left and righ phono's into my terratec sound card. This will then give me sound through the pc and through to the big stereo amp, and allow to record in Cubase as well, I'm excited! Obviously it would be nice if it had a few more bells and whistles but I think this would detract from the idea. I used to take a tiny Orange Crush practice amp, head phones and a lead with me, but frankly, the amplug does the same with a nicer and more versatile sound and takes a fraction of the space. // 9

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overall: 8.8
AmPlug AC30 Reviewed by: grantjames, on january 15, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 35

Purchased from: Professional Music Technology - Birmingham

Features: The amPlug plugs straight in to your guitar and then has a headphone output for you to plug your headphones in to... nothing much to tell here. The auxiliary input is a great feature, however. I've recently been playing Memento Mori - Kamelot, and it sounds amazing with both the track and my guitar coming out of the same set of headphones. // 9

Sound: I play mostly metal, but also like to play stuff from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Travis and it suits all these styles. I have mainly played it with the gain pretty much up full and it gives a nice sounding distortion. Not too "metally" but a little more edgy than a rock sound, so it's almost there. I've not experimented much with the tone. I keep this just past half way at around 6. Note however it doesn't handle metal lead guitar too well. It needs more reverb and other effects to make it sound good. There is actually an amPlug model especially for lead playing with reverb built in. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Only had it a week or so and it hasn't broken down on me yet. It's all in 1 piece and made out of plastic so should be durable enough. The controls for the gain, tone and volume are just like your typical volume controls on the old Sony Walkman's so they shouldn't break too easily either. // 8

Overall Impression: I bought this amPlug over the metal one because I wanted to use it for other styles also and didn't want to be limited to just metal tones. Luckily I made the right choice as the AC30 model handles anything from metal to the cleanest of sounds. Overall I'm extremely happy with it so far! // 10

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