DA15 Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 01/09/2008 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Vox: DA15
Introducing the affordable, portable DA15 Digital Amp from Vox. Don't let the small size fool you. This rugged little beast boasts some killer bells and whistles, such as 11 distinctive sound styles ranging from clean to high gain, 11 great sounding, digital effects, a "knob-based" control panel that's really easy to use plus a whole lot more.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Features: 8.7
 Overall rating:
 7.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.4 
 Users rating:
 6.7 
 Votes:
 46 
reviews (6) 7 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
DA15 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 12, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 142.192

Purchased from: steve's

Features: I think that the DA series is fairly new. It's a digital amp. At first I was going to go for an Vox AD30VT but decided against it because it was about $150 more.It has two channels which you can program. It kinda sucks that you can't have more. I have a footswitch which I bought separately. I've been playing for about a year now. I play some Zeppelin, Beatles, Green Day and Jack Johnson-esque kind of blues if that makes sense. The amp has 11 amp styles and 11 effects. // 8

Sound: I have a Vantage guitar from the '80s which my dad bought stolen from some guy for $25. I think it's a VA800 Phantom but it's hard to find out stuff about this guitar. Two humbuckers which I can't switch between because the previous owner took off the switch. Currently both pickups are selected. The amp has 11 style settings which range from clean, blues, crunch, higain and Drive. I pretty much only use the first three. The last two sound good to me but I don't really need that much distortion. he two channels I use right now are a Guns N' Roses Don't Cry sound and an AC/DC Back In Black sound. I haven't played it too loud yet since I'm just in my bedroom. I think that people would say that it probably sounds digital but I think it sounds ok. The effects range from chorus/reverb, comp, flanger/reverb to auto-wah. The amp basically does the wah for you when you play which probably sounds stupid. It's a good effect to just mess around with though.On each of the effects you can edit them in up to 3 different ways. For example you can reverb level, trem speed and trem depth on the tremolo/reverb setting. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've had it for almost a month and it hasn't exploded yet so that's good. I don't do shows, but I think it would probably be too small since it's only 15 watts. // 8

Overall Impression: You can customize all of the effects on this amp and mix it with different styles to find your sound. I think it's good for a beginner like myself. I wish there were more channels for your settings. There's a site where people describe the settings they have come up with. There are some audio tracks so you can give them a listen. // 8

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overall: 10
DA15 Reviewed by: Sendrith, on june 28, 2006
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Features: This amp was made in 2005, and great band for it's buck. In my opinion, it can be suited to just about everything under the sun. There are 3 channels, manual and ch. 1/2. The two channels are presetable, so it's good for the show. There is the ability to switch all the channels and bypass effects with the footswitch (sold seperately). There is no effects loop, which would have been nice. The headphones jack doubles as a line out, so you can use this through a power amp. I am very satisfied with the features, tons of effects and selections available. // 10

Sound: I'm using a Kramer Striker, with H/S/H configuration and this thing screams with high gain settings. In my personal opinion, this amp could suit anyone's needs, no matter their styles or genres. This amp goes from smooth cleans to soaring high gain with tons of sustain. In my opinion, the distortion settings are what did it for me. It is a great addition to any musicien Who needs a good practice amp. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I cannot say how reliable it is, because I have only had it for a couple days, although so far I haven't had any problems whatsoever. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this amp. It's amazing with my setup, and it just screams to be used. I chose this amp over a Line 6 Spider II it's that amazing. You don't get quite as much distortion as the Spider but its still enough to kill some eardrums. The only thing I would prefer would be if the footswitch came with the amp as a package ($50 for the Switch) but companies gotta make their money. If lost or stolen, I would definately buy another one, as it is a relatively inexpensive amp compared to others of the same stature. // 10

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overall: 9.3
DA15 Reviewed by: petrucci_owns86, on november 26, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: This is a fun little practice amp. Not sure when it was made, but it's fairly new. It can handle all kinds of stuff, but the high-gain settings are geared more for metal players. I pretty much stick with the "High-gain 2" setting, because it offers the right tone for the kind of metal I play. I also like to stick with the compressor effect turned all the way to the max, because palm-mutes sound better and the notes have more meat to them. The amp has two programmable channels, and one preset channel. It also has this one channel called "Manual". I never use it, so I can't even remember what it does. You can buy a footswitch to change the channels, or you can press the channel button on the amp and it will change channels. It has many cool effects, such as delay, chorus, phaser, flanger, reverb and others. All these effects can be customized to your preferences. This amplifier includes a headphone jack, but there's one problem on mine: whenever I plug in the headphones, I have to turn the amp volumes way up to hear it. Maybe it's just a defect on the one I own. I use this amp in my house. I hooked it up to my recently aquired Kustom Quad 100DFX, so the sound comes out of the Kustom but the Vox provides the distortion and effects. Basically, I turned the Vox into a giant effects pedal. I did this because the Kustom doesn't have the distortion I want, and the Vox does. One more thing I should tell you: this little amp gets loud! For a 15 watt practice amp, this thing screams! I brought it to my friend's house, and it was as loud or louder than his Crate 65 watt combo! For the amount of money you're paying, you're getting a lot! // 9

Sound: I use my two guitars, an Epiphone Les Paul and an Ibanez SA260FM through this amp. The Les Paul is fitted with two humbuckers, while the Ibanez has a coil-tap humbucker and two single-coils. They both sound great through the Vox/Kustom makeshift half-stack I've got going. The distortion settings range from a little dirt to a full-on metal mosh-fest! The "High-gain 2" setting is my choice for the style I play, which is mainly progressive metal. I also love having the compressor effect turned to the max, so the notes I play sustain almost infinitely. It's actually a surprisingly quiet amplifier. That being said, if you get too close and the distortion is on, it will feedback, just like any other amp. The effects are incredible, and the modulation is almost endless. There are some especially fun things you can do with the delay effect. You have to experiment with the settings to find out for yourself. The clean settings don't get distorted at high volumes, for the most part. Like I said earlier, the distortion can get really intense with the right combo of "high-gain" settings and different effects. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I depend on this amp, definitely, but I wouldn't use it at a show by itself, no. It's too small. Now that I have it hooked into my 100 watt Kustom amp, I would use it at a show, of course. But by itself, it's just too small. Mine has never broken down, I'm pretty sure Vox makes their amps with great quality. I'm giving this amp a 10 for this section because it's a great, versatile practice amp, but it doesn't really qualify as something you would use for shows. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp has many settings, and can suit all types of players, from blues to funk to metal. The high-gain settings are fun to play with when I'm playing heavy metal, but the clean settings are good for playing stuff like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. I've been playing for two years and a few months, and I own a Kustom Quad 100DFX amp also. This amp is better than the Kustom in distortion and effects, but the Kustom is better in sheer size and power. If it managed to get stolen or lost, I would probably get a multi-effects processor instead. All I really use the Vox for now is for the effects. And, now that I've said that, my favorite feature of this amp would have to be the effects. The possibilities with them are practically endless. I compared this Vox to other Vox products, like a 15 watt Valvetronix version of this same amp. The DA15 was more in my price range, so I got it instead. The only thing I wish it had was an included footswitch. I hated having to press the button to Switch to the clean setting in the middle of a song; it totally ruined the momentum of it. Oh well, now I use the footswitch that came with the Kustom amp to change the channel. Overall, this is a great practice amp, and is great to take places such as a friend's house. It just wasn't made for doing shows, at least not by itself. You can probably do shows with the help of a cabinet, or, in my case, a much bigger amp. But if you're in need of a good practice amp, but you don't want to spend a whole bunch of money, this is a good choice. It doesn't matter what kind of music you play, this amp can handle it all! // 9

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overall: 6.5
DA15 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 09, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 160

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: Its a digital amp with lots of presets; two cleans, three blues, two crunch, three high gain, and an overdrive. Had basic controls, bass, mid, treble, a gain, master volume, and effects. This amp was only for bedroom and dormroom practice. It had a line-in jack, and two channels to save your settings on. // 8

Sound: My first guitar on it was an Ibanez DT200 with stock powersounds. As a beginner and my ear wasn't as finely tuned the amp seemed amazing. The powersounds are terrible with harmonics, so I cannot pin that on the amp. The amp itself is superloud. I rarely brought the master volume knob past 9 o'clock. I usually kept it on higain2 with my volume cut down and the Gain no where past 2 o'clock. Even when I started out, I hated the Overdrive channel. It seems to have provided the worst sound of all the presets on the amp, no matter how much I tried to tweak it. I later switched to a Carvin Bolt-T S/S/S, and tweaked around with the amp around my AP11's. To the amp's credit, it's Auto Wah feature was a good touch, as long as gain is very low. The amp seems to suite only good clean sounds, whereas the distortion was muddy and dry. You can taste the inorganic of it. // 4

Reliability & Durability: The amp is strong as steel, so far as I can tell. The only things I modified on it were the rubber nubs, I changed them to casters so I can push it along a floor rather than picking it up. The cabinet seems sturdy enough. I'm not willing to drop it down a staircase for experiments sake. // 8

Overall Impression: The amp is only good for beginners, in my opinion. It boasts good cleans, but I feel that it's distortion is sub-par, as is it's speaker that crumbles under deep lows. Buying this amp taught me to go for solid-state amps (and tube amps, funds willing) and not digital ones. The sound just isnt organic, and the Overdrive preset is rubbish. I just recently sold this amp to fund a Hughes And Kettner Edition Blue 30DFX. // 6

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overall: 7.5
DA15 Reviewed by: evill22, on january 24, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 159.99

Purchased from: musicians friend

Features: I bought this amplifier in 2004, so I'm assuming it was made that year as well. The amp is definitely an amp for guitarists Who play all styles of music because of the multiple sound styles, and then the effect styles. The multiple tremelo styles have preset repetitions, but there is also a button for manual repetition for the tremelo, phaser, and delay effects. There is also an Autowah effect, but I prefer not to use it if I don't have to. // 8

Sound: I use an Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 on the bridge pickup setting. The classic and modern rock sound is not exactly created with this amp, but the effect pedals I use with it are what create that sound. It never creates the unwanted hum that some amps make and on the clean settings, the sound is never distorted no matter how high you turn up the volume. The distortion effect on this amp is relatively low grade. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I don't think I would ever use this amplifier in a gig. I never have in the past either, because in the first month that I bought this effect the speaker blew when the amp wasn't even on half volume. I used it in a gig for my school a couple years ago, and it worked fine, but sicne the speaker blew, I've always used a Marshall half stack. // 6

Overall Impression: I play classic and modern rock styles, and sometimes this amp can help with it, but I would say it is more of a novelty amp, kind of to experiment with more than to use in a gig or anything. It's fun to play around with the different effects and settings, but I wouldn't use it in a live preformance. // 7

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overall: 8.8
DA15 Reviewed by: Steve BP, on september 01, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I bought the Vox DA15 amplifier as my first guitar amp one year ago. 15 Watts of digital modelling power. I was looking for something apartment-friendly, inexpensive and versatile, that would allow me to experiment with a variety of styles and effects, since I wasn't sure where my interest in guitar would take me (my tastes are broad). I was new to guitar when I purchased it, but I have been involved in playing music on an amateur level (organ, tuba, baritone, choirs) on and off for thirty years. This is a two-channel amplifier. Each channel may be programmed, so the user may select between two different sounds and effects combinations. There are also a variety of 11 pre-set amp models and 11 effects and effect combinations to choose from. The pre-sets offer a useful start prior to doing your own tweaking. The effects may be bypassed completely. The amp has a headphone jack and an 8" speaker. The speaker is okay, but I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the quality of the amp through a pair of higher-end headphones. There is some ability to tweak the parameters on the effects. The controls are intuitive to use, offering a pot and "tap in" controls. The amp has gain, volume, treble, mids, bass and a master volume control. The power of these controls vary with the amp that is being modelled. They are not as powerful as on my new tube amp (Mesa Express 5\:25). // 9

Sound: I have rated the sound an "8," excellent for a digital modeller, but far short of a tube amplifier. I A/B'd the amp with a Roland Microcube and thought the Vox had better tones all around. I thought the cleans sounded better than a Spider II. The two clean models are very nice: one is a little more bassy than the other. They mimic the clean Vox AC30 sound fairly well. I particularly enjoyed cranking the gain on the clean channel and adding a touch of reverb for a gently overdriven tone. The blues amp models are warm and fun. The highest-gain blues amp model at high gain settings are good for Black Sabbathy and heavy blues tones. The distortion gets a little harsh in comparison to a tube amp, but I liked it better than the Microcube. The crunch models mimic an overdriven AC30 and (I think) an overdriven Marshall. Some fun rhthym sounds may be found there, but it quickly becomes muddy, especially on a lower-end LP-style guitar. The high-gain channels are fun, but I only really used one of them. The others didn't sound quite right to me -- less organic, more harsh. It was possible for me to get some 80s metal sounds (sort of) through the humbucker bridge pickup on my Yamaha Pacifica 112 (fat strat clone starter guitar). More often than not, I was disatisfied with the tone, and often opted for lower-gain substitutes on the clean channel with the gain dimed. The tones on the high-gain models often got muddy, even with a bright guitar like the Pacifica. I did not use the "Drive" (overdriven) model very much, as I preferred the tone of the High-Gain-1 model. I used this for bedroom practice while first learning guitar. It sounded fine at lower volumes, but did not sound very good when the amplifier was pushed at all. The amp is quiet when running but not played, even on high-gain settings. The effects are hit and miss. The reverb is okay, and does a lot to spice up the clean channel. The compressor, chorus, and compressor/chorus combination worked well with the higher-gain blues amp model for heavy blues sounds. The auto-wah didn't do much for me and seemed more gimmicky than useful. The phaser and flanger are a lot of fun and tweakable, but I didn't use them much for actual songs. I didn't use the rotary effect much. In general, I didn't like them as much as the stomp-boxes I've tried, but I thought they compared favourably to the Microcube. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I used this amp a lot over the past year. I have had no problems with it whatsoever, but I have babied it (it has never been used as a beer coaster, etc). This is not a gigging amp. I suppose in theory it could be hooked up to a PA, but if playing over drums you would need more volume for a stage monitor. I don't think the sounds (aside the clean channel) really cut it for gigging in comparison to a tube amp. Although it responds well to picking dynamics relative to the Microcube, it is still far from a tube amp in this regard. // 10

Overall Impression: As a beginner guitarist, I tried many different styles of playing within my limits: fingerpicked classical by Carulli, Chet Atkins-style country fingerpicking, heavy blues (Sabbath), and attempts at '80s metal. I would unreservedly recommend this amp to a beginner Who wants an inexpensive introduction to a variety of amp models and effects. When I first bought the amp, I compared it to the Valvetronix amps, which were ~25% more expensive at the time. To my admittedly noobish ears, I didn't hear enough of a difference in tone to justify the higher price of the Valvetronix. For overall impression, I rate this an "8", because it is an excellent beginner modelling amp, but more experienced players may find it to be insufficient for regular practice. In retrospect, this amp is a funny size: bigger than required for a practice amp (although the 8" speaker is nice compared to the smaller ones on the Vox DA5 and Microcube), but not big enough to play with a drummer. Those who are looking for a starter or practice amp prior to upgrading to a tube amp would be better off purchasing the Vox DA5: it is more portable, it is smaller, and it has all the same sounds on it. When the tube amp upgrade is purchased, the DA5 could be retained as a portable or headphone amp. Since I Live in an apartment, I am likely to sell my DA15 (now that I have a new tube amp) because it takes up too much space, and then consider replacing it with a DA5 for headphone practice (i.e. when the wife has had enough of me plinking away). Although the footswitch would have been nice, it really isn't necessary with this amp: this amp is aimed at beginners Who may not need to quickly change tones part-way through a song; and it doesn't sound as good at volumes at which you would want to be further away from the speaker. // 8

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