Price paid: $ 450
Purchased from: Amazon
Features — 8
Fully analog hybrid amplifier. It stands out from all other hybrid amp by having a 12ax7 in the preamp as well as in the power amp section (2 tubes total). This is NOT a modeling amp. It doesn't rely on digital boards but rather 8 fully analog and very physical circuits. Each of these circuits emulate a different classic amp, from Fenders to 5150s.
- Clean 1 - Fender Blackface Champ
- Clean 2 - Fender Bassman
- Crunch 1 - Vox AC15
- Crunch 2 - Vox AC30
- Overdrive 1 - Marshall Plexi
- Overdrive 2 - Marshall JCM900
- High Gain 1 - Soldano SLO-100
- High Gain 2 - 5150
Controls: (each channel has its own):
Gain, bass, mids, treble, volume
Master volume for the whole amp lets you get a nice tube drive (from the channel volumes) at a low, practice friendly volume.
3 fx, one-knob-serves-all
Reverb, Delay, Chorus
The knob only adjusts the level of each FX, but you can't tweak the parameters of each FX as they are fixed, so that's one of the few downsides of this amp. Overall, the FX are high quality and sound great. 2 switches that modify the tube response, from Modern to Vintage and from Fat to bright. The amp features an AUX in and a headphone jack.
The cab is closed back and it's oddly design for a great tone. Google it for more info on the cab construction. It features one 12-inch Vox Custom Speaker. It does include an FX loop, as well as a 3 ohms output for a speaker cabinet. I will rate this category 8 just because you can't modify the FX parameters and the output is 3 ohms (what the fuck, Vox?)
Sound — 9
Clean 1 and 2 are very authentic Fender recreations. While there is a tiny difference with the original fender models, you definitely can't tell this isn't a full tube amp. It does sound like it though. Very large headroom. Crunch 1 and 2 is where the amp really stands out, as Vox is perfect voicing its own products. The sound is very warm, full, and you do get that chime Vox is famous for. The gain stage sounds just like a tube amp and it has a very large headroom. I've tested this with friends and I blindfold them with an AC30 (Clean 2) and the Vox AV60 in the room and they really can't tell them apart if not for the volume the AC30 naturally possess.
OD 1 and 2, as well as hi-gain 1 and 2 are good but not great recreations, as it is not a full tube amp and it does compress the sound, giving you less headroom in these categories. Still, sounds great. Just not as great as the clean and crunch categories, where the amp really shows its strength. As far as genre goes, you can use these amp for anything from jazz to metal and get a really good tone. Just keep in mind the amp sounds best in the cleans and crunch, therefore it´s better suited for rock (and most subgenres), in my opinion. Rating it 9 because I mainly use it in the first 4 categories and it KICKS ASS, but the other ones do compress the sound and are overall less authentic.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp throws out a healthy 60 watt. It's VERY LOUD, as it does have a valve in the power amp, so it's louder than your average digital, transistor, or hybrid amp. It's not only giggable but specifically made for gigs (within the AV series). The hardware is very sturdy and high-quality. You don't have to be too careful to keep this amp in shape, plus it doesn't have any fragile valves. I do use this as my main gigging amp. I've owned many tube amps, but I decided the tone in this one is quite good for my sound, powerful enough for any situation, AND it's lightweight. Very reliable on stage.
Overall Impression — 10
Great amp for either people that are looking to get a quality, giggable and affordable amp that sounds better than a digital one as well as for pros that are done hurling heavy equipment around. This amp is straight-forward: you take it out of the box, plug and play. No digital modeling or sitting with a giant manual to figure it out. It sure beats every other hybrid, digital and transistor amp out there, and I would say it's on par with many tube amps, with the obvious exceptions. The amp does takes FX very well through the FX loop. I play mostly rock, punk, and indie music, and I can say you will be very please upon buying this product.