AmPlug AC30 review by Vox

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (18 votes)
Vox: AmPlug AC30

Price paid: £ 35

Purchased from: Professional Music Technology - Birmingham

Sound — 8
I play mostly metal, but also like to play stuff from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Travis and it suits all these styles. I have mainly played it with the gain pretty much up full and it gives a nice sounding distortion. Not too "metally" but a little more edgy than a rock sound, so it's almost there. I've not experimented much with the tone. I keep this just past half way at around 6. Note however it doesn't handle metal lead guitar too well. It needs more reverb and other effects to make it sound good. There is actually an amPlug model especially for lead playing with reverb built in.

Overall Impression — 10
I bought this amPlug over the metal one because I wanted to use it for other styles also and didn't want to be limited to just metal tones. Luckily I made the right choice as the AC30 model handles anything from metal to the cleanest of sounds. Overall I'm extremely happy with it so far!

Reliability & Durability — 8
Only had it a week or so and it hasn't broken down on me yet. It's all in 1 piece and made out of plastic so should be durable enough. The controls for the gain, tone and volume are just like your typical volume controls on the old Sony Walkman's so they shouldn't break too easily either.

Features — 9
The amPlug plugs straight in to your guitar and then has a headphone output for you to plug your headphones in to... nothing much to tell here. The auxiliary input is a great feature, however. I've recently been playing Memento Mori - Kamelot, and it sounds amazing with both the track and my guitar coming out of the same set of headphones.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Does this work on older electric guitars? Because it doesn't seem to work on my 1992 washburn mg20 electric guitar.
    i'd love one, it's just a shame that i have to fork out $210NZ for all 3! Does anyone know which the most versatile one is?
    I am looking for some small in ear ones with high quiality at the moment.
    My in-ear headphones are definitely worth it: they're Sennheisers, the newest model. They're around 45 euros, and they've never lost a inch of sound in the year that i have them.
    These have to be things since sliced bread. Practice anywhere with headphones, and privately too!
    I think that I'll give it a try. Could be handy to walk around with an amp in your pocket.
    This device is really useful if, for certain reasons, you aren't able to plug your guitar into your amp or sound processor. I guess the very idea of manufacturing such a product came from the sound processors, who have an incorporated pre-amp which allows you to use them for bedroom rehearsals without an amp. So it's not quite an amp, but a small solid-state pre-amp who sounds like an amp. Otherwise, it looks like a toy and it can actually be used as one: since it has an input jack for CDs, you can play some negatives and do your solos on top of them, pretending to be Slash... But it can also be a very useful device for a serious guitar player. Despite its basic controls and its solid-state circuitry, it emulates the AC30 sound and "behaviour" quite well! It is versatile, its sounds ranging from clean accoustic to harshly overdriven. If you crank it up, the Gain at 10 and the Tone at 5-7, it will sound almost like a high-end tube amp. Paired with good humbuckers, it grunts and growls like a real amp, while some nice single coils will "ring" at 3-4 Gain and 3-5 Tone. Overall, controls work nicely and reasonably: every little turn adds something to the sound. However, I have to stress the fact that, in order to fully appreciate it, the AC30 AmPlug has to be used with premium headphones, those above 75-80 euros. AudioTechnica makes some fine ones, at about 90 euros, and they match the AC30 Am Plug perfectly. Using cheap stock headphones spoils 90% of the pleasure of playing this amazing little thing, because of the hum. (If you hear it, it's not the amp: just change your headphones with better ones!)
    Ditto previous comments regarding quality earphones/headphones. The Amplug sounds really good through a decent set of cans. Nice clean sounds with warm tone. Amazing for such a small and cheap bit of kit. I got mine off Ebay for around 25 and there seem to be plenty listed.