Purchased from: Guitar Showcase
Sound — 9
I use my two guitars, an Epiphone Les Paul and an Ibanez SA260FM through this amp. The Les Paul is fitted with two humbuckers, while the Ibanez has a coil-tap humbucker and two single-coils. They both sound great through the Vox/Kustom makeshift half-stack I've got going. The distortion settings range from a little dirt to a full-on metal mosh-fest! The "High-gain 2" setting is my choice for the style I play, which is mainly progressive metal. I also love having the compressor effect turned to the max, so the notes I play sustain almost infinitely. It's actually a surprisingly quiet amplifier. That being said, if you get too close and the distortion is on, it will feedback, just like any other amp. The effects are incredible, and the modulation is almost endless. There are some especially fun things you can do with the delay effect. You have to experiment with the settings to find out for yourself. The clean settings don't get distorted at high volumes, for the most part. Like I said earlier, the distortion can get really intense with the right combo of "high-gain" settings and different effects.
Overall Impression — 9
This amp has many settings, and can suit all types of players, from blues to funk to metal. The high-gain settings are fun to play with when I'm playing heavy metal, but the clean settings are good for playing stuff like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. I've been playing for two years and a few months, and I own a Kustom Quad 100DFX amp also. This amp is better than the Kustom in distortion and effects, but the Kustom is better in sheer size and power. If it managed to get stolen or lost, I would probably get a multi-effects processor instead. All I really use the Vox for now is for the effects. And, now that I've said that, my favorite feature of this amp would have to be the effects. The possibilities with them are practically endless. I compared this Vox to other Vox products, like a 15 watt Valvetronix version of this same amp. The DA15 was more in my price range, so I got it instead. The only thing I wish it had was an included footswitch. I hated having to press the button to Switch to the clean setting in the middle of a song; it totally ruined the momentum of it. Oh well, now I use the footswitch that came with the Kustom amp to change the channel. Overall, this is a great practice amp, and is great to take places such as a friend's house. It just wasn't made for doing shows, at least not by itself. You can probably do shows with the help of a cabinet, or, in my case, a much bigger amp. But if you're in need of a good practice amp, but you don't want to spend a whole bunch of money, this is a good choice. It doesn't matter what kind of music you play, this amp can handle it all!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I depend on this amp, definitely, but I wouldn't use it at a show by itself, no. It's too small. Now that I have it hooked into my 100 watt Kustom amp, I would use it at a show, of course. But by itself, it's just too small. Mine has never broken down, I'm pretty sure Vox makes their amps with great quality. I'm giving this amp a 10 for this section because it's a great, versatile practice amp, but it doesn't really qualify as something you would use for shows.
Features — 9
This is a fun little practice amp. Not sure when it was made, but it's fairly new. It can handle all kinds of stuff, but the high-gain settings are geared more for metal players. I pretty much stick with the "High-gain 2" setting, because it offers the right tone for the kind of metal I play. I also like to stick with the compressor effect turned all the way to the max, because palm-mutes sound better and the notes have more meat to them. The amp has two programmable channels, and one preset channel. It also has this one channel called "Manual". I never use it, so I can't even remember what it does. You can buy a footswitch to change the channels, or you can press the channel button on the amp and it will change channels. It has many cool effects, such as delay, chorus, phaser, flanger, reverb and others. All these effects can be customized to your preferences. This amplifier includes a headphone jack, but there's one problem on mine: whenever I plug in the headphones, I have to turn the amp volumes way up to hear it. Maybe it's just a defect on the one I own. I use this amp in my house. I hooked it up to my recently aquired Kustom Quad 100DFX, so the sound comes out of the Kustom but the Vox provides the distortion and effects. Basically, I turned the Vox into a giant effects pedal. I did this because the Kustom doesn't have the distortion I want, and the Vox does. One more thing I should tell you: this little amp gets loud! For a 15 watt practice amp, this thing screams! I brought it to my friend's house, and it was as loud or louder than his Crate 65 watt combo! For the amount of money you're paying, you're getting a lot!