Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Audiophile, Philippines
Sound — 9
I used to have a Strat copy that had very weak single coil pickups but was able to sound decent because of this amp. I now have an Ibanez S420 which really benefits from the different amp settings. I mostly play classic rock and shred and this baby fits those styles. Now, with my old guitar you can hear lots of hum so I used to turn up the noise gate at around 2-3 and voila, the hum disappears without really affecting my sustain. With my Ibanez, the noise gate is at 1 but I barely hear any hum. Don't be fooled by its small size, it's a loud amp by itself and I never usually had to turn it to the full 30 watt (you can tweak this with a knob on the back). I mostly play this on 10-15 watts and crank the master volume up to 4-5. It's loud enough for it to rattle my photo frames. My favorite settings are: the clean channel (GLASS) which sounds very clean, TRASHED which somehow sounds like a Marshall and is suited for 80's style rock, FLUID which is very good for shredding as well as nice heavy riffing and BLACK for a metal "chugfest" and very juicy lead lines. The distortion is very brutal but not brutal enough that you'll lose clarity of the notes and definition of the chords. If you love aggressive music like me, this amp will please you unless of course you want to tour with it then you'll probably need a bigger beast.
Overall Impression — 9
Usually, you get what you pay for but with a budget amp like this, you get what you pay for AND MORE. I tried several similar priced amps (Laney, Marshall, Behringer, Peavey) but nothing compared to the AD30VT-XL. I'm very happy with it. If it gets stolen or lost, I'd probably buy it again but that depends on if there's a higher level amp that costs a few hundred dollars more that's available from the shop. I'd probably save up to get a higher level amp.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The amp is very sturdy and built to last. The panels are easily scratched though but with proper care (I use a cloth to cover the panel and another one for the entire amp) it'll last you years. I bought this in 2008 and so far, I had no issues with it at all. I think there was this one incident (just this October) when I turned it up to 25 watts and cranked master volume to like 8 and there was this very loud feedback from the amp. I've unplugged the guitar and the cord but the feedback was still there, I thought it'll explode on me but when I did a power cycle, it went back to normal operation.
Features — 9
The Vox AD30VT-XL amp boasts some of the dirtiest yet crispiest and most rocking sounds that I've ever heard. The amp is suited for a lot of styles - hard rock, classic rock, metal etc. The amp has 2 channels which you can program and control using a separate footswitch. The amp has 1 clean channel (GLASS) which is very clean and another one (FUNKED) that has a snarly cleanliness. Then there are 9 more amp models that gives me a lot of different tones to choose from.