Price paid: £ 169
Purchased from: PMT Birmingham
Sound — 10
At the moment I'm using this amp in my London flat so I have my Epiphone Casino (P90 single-coils) and Fender Telecaster (also single-coils). I play mostly blues/rock/indie/minimalistic/atmospheric music. This amp is able to handle exactly what I want to do, but is not necessarily an 'all-rounder' of a guitar amp. Firstly, in relation to minimalistic stuff I play the Vox is great for it's warm 'Voxy' sound and fantastic cleans even at relatively high volumes. Arpeggios and stripped down melodies sound wonderful. The 10" speaker sounds great and packs a much larger punch than the 8" version or the Fender Champion 600 which has a smaller speaker and provides more clarity and depth. When the volume is increased past about 5/6 o'clock the sound does break up, but this is perfect for the other types of music I play. For blues and so on the Vox is tonally rich enough to give me the kind of texture I'm seeking when playing blues. As for playing Indie the crispness of the sound produce sounds great, especially when using the telecaster. All in all a great sounding amp which is able to cover the range of styles that I want to play.
Overall Impression — 10
In terms of the styles of music I play this Vox is a perfect addition to my arsenal. I bought this amp for use when I'm away at university (and can't bring my Marshall DSL401) and I must say that the sound of this thing is fantastic. Warm cleans that seem to swim over you, and also the capability of it being able to provide crunch and bite at higher volumes and with the tone control rolled up make it a perfect bedroom/practice amp and I would definitely recommend it to anyone or rebuy if stolen/lost. The attenuator is a great feature and I since I play good guitars through this thing, and have the relevant pedals that I want I was not concerned with features or too much EQ, the tone control is all I really need to get the sounds I want. Further this amp can handle using my TS9 Tubescreamer, Delay and Compression pedals no problem. It was between this or a Blackstar HT5 and I bought this because it was notably cheaper (on the HT5, which was also great, I felt that I would be paying for features I might not necessarily use), and the sound was so much nicer. The warmth, richness and organic sound is unrivalled when looking at the competition. This amp reminds me of listening to vinyls. They sound great in an imperfect way and are full or richness and tone that you don't really get with CD's or MP3s. This really is a superb amp and I couldn't speak more highly of it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have only had the thing for a month so I couldn't comment BUT in terms of style of design and the general solidness of it, I would say that the build quality seems good and rugged. It also seems to have relatively thick walls, and there are no fiddly bits.
Features — 8
(2009) A very simple amp; no frills and great essentials make up for its lack of variety. On/Off Switch. Input jack. Tone control. Volume control. Attenuator knob which can change the output from the full 4W, 1W or 1/4W. 10" Celestion speaker. 1 x 12AX7 (pre) / 1 x EL84 (power) valves Admittedly there isn't much in the way of settings and variety, BUT it gets the 8 score for the attenuator which makes it perfect for bedroom/apartment playing, the valves which give it a good punch, and the 10" Celestion speaker which sounds great. Since for the money it is tough to find amps with high quality components like these, this has to get an 8.