Price paid: C$ 330
Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Sound — 9
I'm playing through a Statocaster. The Vox is quiet in spite of the single coils. The 10 inch speaker really gives it that extra oomph and sets it apart from other low-wattage tube amps. I noticed almost no difference in sound quality when switching from 4 to 1 watt, however 1/4 watts felt a little flat. The amp is quite bright; it is extremely responsive to pick attack. It's a joy to be able to go from a chiming clean to a gritty crunch just by hitting the strings a little harder. You can't achieve anything truly brutal with the Vox, however it does classic rock a la AC/DC very well. The cleans are extremely bright and shimmery; the overdrive can be sleek and smooth or dirty as hell depending how you play.
Overall Impression — 8
For rock, blues, funk, and anything in between the AC4 is affordable bliss. It won't give you uber gain, unless you're running a pedal through it. In this price range you'd be hard pressed to find another option that would give you such a warm sound. There are certainly features some guitar players might wish it had, but the Vox AC4 is deceiving in it's simplicity, and with a little creativity it's possible to coax anything from ACDC to Chili Peppers out of it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't experienced any problems with it. Vox is a respected manufacturer of quality products; furthermore, I have a 1 year warranty. At 4 watts, I couldn't see gigging with the AC4, however it's great for jamming with other guitarists, and playing by myself.
Features — 6
On/Off Switch. 4, 1 and 1/4 watt attunator. Volume and Tone knob. Has one extrenal speaker plug. 1 channel. 10 inch 16-Ohm Celestion VX10 custom speaker. One 12AX7 Pre amp tube, one EL84 Power tube. 20 lbs. It's simple and it's sleek. A lot of people are looking for more features in an amp, but I think at the price you get a lot of versatility, and excellent sound quality to boot. By adjusting the tone and volume knobs on the amp and your guitar it's possible to achieve a myriad of sounds. I'd like bass and treble knobs; furthermore, the lack of a standby Switch may confuse some people.