Night Train review by Vox

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (33 votes)
Vox: Night Train

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Singapore

Sound — 10
I'm using this amplifier with a '62 Jaguar (that's always in the neck position with the 1meg tone pot) and it sounds great for the music I play, which are mainly rock, blues and a little funk. It was initially quite noisy, but after I switched the power cord for one that was 3-pronged (grounded), the noise disappeared and it has been a dream to play. Basically, this amp sounds really good clean, but when you turn up the volume (or gain, whichever setting you prefer), it becomes a rock machine, that can produce surprisingly high gain sounds. Think AC15 on steroids. I can't really comment about the thick mode, 'cause I don't really use it, but it has a much more saturated tone, and is better for hard rock. I'm using it in bright mode at a volume level of 2-3, so it can get VERY LOUD, if you require it to. This amp is more versatile than your standard Vox AC15 or AC30s, and can take pedals much better than them, though you won't require many distortion/overdrive pedals with the gain this baby can produce. Right now I require only one overdrive/boost pedal to boost the volume when I need to. And did I mention it sounds amazing with the Celestion Blue speaker?

Overall Impression — 10
I play a variety of music ranging from jazz/blues to hard rock to your more mainstream music, but mainly rock and alt rock, ie. RHCP, Incubus, Radiohead and the like. This amp exceeds my expectations, and I have not regretted purchasing this amp. This amp, together with my Jaguar, are a brilliant combination and I don't forsee myself getting any new gear in a while, except for perhaps a Gretsch in a few years time. I love how this amp can produce sounds ranging from a chimey vox-y clean to amazing cruch tones with just a tweak of the volume knob. I had other 15-watter heads in mind, mainly the Orange Tiny Terror, the Blackheart Handsome Devil and other similar 15w heads. This amp is very available where I come from (though it was the very last piece when I got it), at a great price, and together with a Killer sound, I didn't need to think further. I purchased it instantly. And boy, I don't regret getting this little beast of an amp head.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've been using this amp for more than half a year, so I can't really comment on the reliability. However, so far it hasn't betrayed me yet. I would definitely gig with it, that's the main draw with the amp in the first place. It's small, light and portable! If it sounds too rough for you when you first get it, I would recommend a tube swap.

Features — 9
Bought in late 2009. This amp has 2 channels, bright and thick. Bright mode leaning towards the classic vox-y tone and thick leaning to a more hard rock tone. The standard gain, volume and the 3-band eq, and a pentode/triode selector Switch that changes the wattage between 15 and 7.5. Personally, I prefer the bright mode with the selector Switch at pentode mode. It does not have an effects loop, headphone jack, nor reverb. Guitarists who are relient on such functions need not apply. I use a '62 Jaguar and I run this head through a V112HTV cabinet, which has a single Celestion Blue speaker. This combination sounds like heaven to my ears.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Played a 59 vintage Telecaster through this amp going into a 1x12 nice little vox cab, with what i believe was a celestion greenback for about 2 hours at Best Buy. Absolute tone monster. Cleans are very nice, but I ended up blasting the pentode/thick settings with the gain nearly maxed out. Seriously guys, sounds amazing at high volumes, some of the best lead tones i've gotten out of any amp at any store. Definitely not for scooped metal sounds though, that would shame this amp. If I had money I would but it instantly.
    I bought the first one I played thru. Serial number 0000050. It was the area sales reps demo. I don't even listen to "Metal" Heavy, Light, Death, Molten, or Luke Warm. So I can't comment on how that sounds thru it. I couldn't possibly care less. The amp ain't perfect, but it is damn good and it works for me. It has renewed my faith in Vox.
    TisPyon wrote: 1 channel, no fx loop.....more like a 2 or 3 at best....
    Compared to what? A different CLASS of amp? compare this to other similar "lunchbox" style low wattage tube amps please. I would say comparatively, the features are easily 8/10 Pro's: -BRIGHT/THICK mode switch provides EQ and Gain variations - switchable from 7.5 watts to 15 watts - standard EQ (bass, mid, treble, gain, volume) - compatible with both 8Ω and 16Ω speaker jacks Cons: - No FX loops (who cares?) - No Reverb (again, who cares?)
    It's a very good amp, compared to other 15W Class A amps of about the same price. Its only downsize is the price: why would anyone pay so much for a rehearsal head, unusable in gigs? A Pathfinder 15 delivers about 95% of its features, plus the loudspeaker, for only a fraction of the cost. I suppose we aren't all of us Satriani, so we can actually practice on solid-states. Otherwise, Vox has some fine amps in its line and this is one of them. Of course, it doesn't race against HiWatt, Engl, Koch, Brunetti or BlackStar, but it's still good, reliable and original in terms of sound.
    Adam Birtwistle
    Tried out the night train against the tiny terror in my local shop through a les paul and a 335 copy both through an orange cab. Tried the tiny terror first which was good but a bit meh. Then went for the night train which blew it away. It just made you want to play. The NT has oodles of tone and, for something that doesn't have 20 different channels and knobs, is one of the most versitile amps I've played. This thing sings!
    I'm definitely a fan of it, I like how it's fairly back to basics, and while it's not feature packed, I'm in love with the clean tone, and have an overdrive pedal for solos. Also, being able to carry your whole gig setup in one armload is pretty sweet.
    aporc wrote: Guys the night train isn't voiced like a Ac30 to me. Its more crunch sounding IMO. Its a cool little amp. It actually has quite a few features! I haven't played the fender but the NT can get a good slash "dirty" tone on the thick mode. The Haze is overpriced.
    Your high as a kite dude, the Haze is not overpriced. Taxes in I got my Haze 15 and one cab for just under $800 you cant even look at the Night Train head for less then about $1000 and thats with NO cab!