Price paid: $ 180
Purchased from: Tom Lee Music
Sound — 7
For this amp, I am using a Jackson KE3 with Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz pickups going through a DigiTech Bad Monkey then into the amp. I play a variety of music that requires a lot of different sounds, so this amp does that job pretty well. The problem with this amp is that most of its high gain amp models sound terrible. In my opinion, the only decent sounding one is the nu metal amp, along with my overdrive pedal to deliver a modern metal tone. Without the overdrive pedal, it just sounds too weak and doesnt't give you enough gain. However, the clean sounds and the medium gain sounds sound quite good. My favorite sounds are from the Boutique OD model, which gives you a fat overdriven and very British sounding distortion that has clarity to it. It has a lot of bottom end if you dial more in and the high end really cuts through. It also really responds to your picking dynamics and your volume pot. The Boutique Clean model was also a pleasant surprise. Lush, warm and sparkly is what I would call this. Add in some of the great sounding reverb and you get a delightful, slightly dirty clean tone that stays there all the way, even when the amp's volume is all the way turned up. And you gotta love the AC30TB model, sounds very reminiscent of the famed AC30 Top Boost. It's impressive how you can get such a sound out of this cheap cheap amp.
Overall Impression — 8
Although this amp features plenty for high gain sounds, it just doesn't deliver. And I think the Valvetronix XL line of amps sound even worse. Vox, just stick with your clean sounds and overdrive sounds because that's what you're good at. Don't go into the high gain territory, that's where Mesa Boogie, Randall, Peavey, and lots of others belong, not Vox. I would not buy another one of these amps if it were lost/stolen, because I would need something with more power and that's higher end. But I would definitely recommend this amp to beginners and intermediate players a like Who want a versatile amp.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This amp is reliable. I had it fall off my cart a few times and yes, it has lots of dings and dents and scratches, but it sounds the same. I've played with this amp on numerous amounts of small gigs, the biggest one being 600 people. And this amp delivered the power without being mic'd. And I was using the clean sound. I've heard lots of others having problems with this amp, including the input jack, but mine hasn't failed me. Yet.
Features — 9
This amp is a hybrid amp consisting of one 12AX7 tube and a modeling interface. It features two programmable channels as well as a Preset channel and a Manual channel. 11 amp models and 11 programmable effects are on the amp, as well as a power attenuator on the back. It offers plenty for the beginning/intermediate guitarist, sounds decent, and has enough power for small gigs without being mic'd.