Price paid: £ 250
Purchased from: Online
Sound — 5
I play a Washburn X-50 Pro FE, with two Seymour Duncans. I play all 'guitar' music, from metal to jazz and pop. Here the amp is lacking again. For metal, the whole XL part is no bullsh*t, but it is a one trick pony. The distortion really is intense, and extremely heavy; it can get nastily gritty and VERY muddy at higher volumes though. The cleans are very much so, and the amp has a lot of headroom which is nice. However, between face melting distortion and sparkling cleans this amp is a huge let down. The tones inbetween are just terrible. The crunchy channels lack any real 'umph' and sound pathetic. The more distorted but not quite metal settings, sound weak. So if slightly muddy ball busting distortion is thing... Go for it.
Overall Impression — 7
This was my first amp that I bought specifically with gigging in mind. It is way loud enough for 99% of venues (unless you have a pedal before the amp as I mentioned) and is extremely reliable. I have been playing for around 10 years now, and its time for me to get a smaller head to make gigging more portable. If it was stolen, I would claim on the insurance and maybe have a weekend away; I wouldn't buy another. I'm afraid it really didn't deliver the tone I am after. I love the volume and the sturdyness, I dislike the sound and I hate the noisegate and necessary Vox pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have been pretty harsh so far but here is where voxy-baby redeems herself. I have gigged this thing probably around 30 times since I have owned it, and it has never EVER let me down. Its been a magnificent coffee table, foot rests and all those other things you should never do with an amp. It weighs a mighty 64 pounds, and I have firm Faith that it will produce half decent distortion forever. Thanks to the wattage knob its also a decent practice amp too. This thing has never even had a knob fall off. Aside from occasionally putting things on it; as long as you take care of it, it should last a very long time. I'm not giving it 10 because it hasn't out lived me... Yet.
Features — 6
I have owned this amp for about 3 years now, and now upon its judgment day when it shalleth be replaced-eth, comes its epitah. This amp has several good features, and several bad. It comes with 11 different amp sims, and also offers the possibility of creating tones yourself. The presets are OK but eventually you will want to edit them, which Vox make easy with the write button. It has 2 channels, which is enough for me, depends what you like. Enough blabber, this amp has several terrible features. Firstly, the noisegate. You CANNOT turn this off. I find when recording distorted guitars with this mic'ed up, the signal is extremely loud and then is quickly pulled down by the noise gate. This gives very un-even takes and I personally do not like the sound it gives your guitar, I don't find its even any good at cutting feedback. Channel switching live is impossible live without the pedal, so there's another 20 for Vox they'll have off you. This amp does have an effects loop, I have tried it with a simple EQ pedal and it worked great. However, when I try linking my ME-70 in, the noise is terrible. The amp squeals and squeals no matter how much you reduce the level and gain on the pedal settings. I tried using guitar > ME70 > amp, but for some reason even with the master at 100% on the pedal, the volume of the amp was decreased dramatically. Thanks to the tremendous power of the amp though it is possible to play live like this, but not in larger rooms (without PA.) Talking of the amp power, this is a bonus it definitely has; tons of volume, a redeeming factor.