Night Train Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 03/20/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Vox: Night Train
Hot off the assembly line in 09 the Vox Night Train also know as the brave little toaster.
 Sound: 9.7
 Overall Impression: 9.4
 Reliability & Durability: 9.6
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (3) 90 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
Night Train Reviewed by: guitargeant, on september 18, 2009
8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: guitar center

Features: Hot off the assembly line in 09 the Vox Night Train also know as the brave little toaster. I play all rock, blues, heavy metal, and anything in between and it delivers. This amp is technically a standard 1 channel amp with two wattage settings (7.5 & 15) bass, mid, treble, gain and volume knobs, and a bright/ thick switch (aka. steroid Switch). It is minus an effects loop, I play with raw tone so that doesn't matter to me. No headphone jack (this is not a practice amp boys and girls). It has no reverb however once you get a slice of that jangly Vox tone you will wonder if you need it. Power wise it has 2 EL-84's that break up nicely when juiced and will kick the air at your Shins when you get past 12 o'clock on the volume knob no matter the gain setting. // 10

Sound: My guitarsenal includes a Fender Strat American Deluxe HSS, BC Rich Bich N.J. Classic, Kramer Striker Custom ala Guitargeant, Fender DuoSonic also I play through a Marshall DSL100? 412 cab. I have it pushing a Traynor 212 cab with Celestion 70/80's. I bought this because I am a Slash fan and I can get his tone out of this amp, can you say feeling lika spacebrain? I can also get everything from the Beatles to Soundgarden from my brave little toaster. The blues tone is luscious and very responsive to various pick attacks. Now let's talk awitches, in bright mode it is virtually identical to the AC-15 with it's jangly chime and nice breakup in higher gain/ volume situations. Flip to thick it bypasses the tone controls and you get from growl to a modern Vox distortion. I say Vox because that is what the tone is think Spoonman fron Soundgarden. The pentode/ triode switch changes power level from 15 watts to 7.5 watts and the tonal voice changes a bit with this Switch knocking off some of the highend @ the 7.5 watt setting. If you are looking for Vox tone that come through from bedroom levels to club gig this amp will do it. I hooked up to a 112, 212, and a 412 cab the 212 is best suited however it will push the 412 hard enough to be heard over the average drummer. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Just got it a month ago, it still works and I can't submit unless there are so many characters. // 9

Overall Impression: The debate of Tiny Terror vs. Night Train is reolved! Night Train's Voice is way more versatile and toneful especially at clean levels.It is also so simple to dial in whatever tone you are seeking. From clean classic Vox tone to funk to blues(lead tones are soooo luscious) to alternative, (think from U2 to Soundgarden) to rock (from AC/DC to Van Halen) this is your amp. If you are a seeking Mesa metal mid scoop tone this is not the amphead for you, however you could put your favorite metal pedal to it for it takes pedals well even minus the effect loop. I bought it because I wanted to add a Vox vibe to my guitarsenal and was and still impressed to how this head responds to pick attack. I love the portability, if you Jam on the go or want to kick it on the back porch on a fine spring evening this is you ticket. Hey it also just looks coolv Tiny Terror owners time to go to the pawnshop and get some real tone. I would replace it if it got stolen, after shoooting the thief. // 10

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overall: 8.5
Night Train Reviewed by: Led Hed Lefty, on september 23, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Made in 2009 this amp is a small package with huge tone. It can cover everything from jazz to rock to metal to country to anything really. It has only one channel which has 2 modes, bright and thick. The bright channel starts at clean with the gain rolled back and as you go up in gain it gets to a more AC/DC type of gain. Even with the gain cranked a roll of the guitar volume cleans it up quite well. On the thick channel all the EQ section is bypassed so you just cannot make it sound bad. Although this mode doesn't clean up well at all. With the gain at about noon it picks up where the bright mode left off and then from there you get to more modern gain levels and even get to like a Paul Gilbert/Racer X type fuzzed up overdrive distortion which is super powerfull at high volumes. It also has a switch for Pentode (15 watts) or Triode( 7 1/2 watts). The triode mode is fantastic for room levels and even a quiet band practice, but when the voume gets to high it starts to sound choked off and nasty. Pentode is just a balls to the wall let the animal loose type of sound! It will punch you in the chest on a clean setting! It sounds huge and powerfull and it puts the triode mode to shame! (at high volumes) The downside to pentode is that at low volume its super bright and sounds really awfull...its meant to sound great overdriven and so unless thats what your trying to do then you better just leave it in triode. Unfortunatly this amp has no foot switch for the Bright/Thick modes and there is no effects loop. There also isnt any reverb which really this amp doesn't need any, but it would be nice to have. IT has 2 EL84's and 2 12AX7's which sound better the louder you get. It sounds good in virtually any cabbinet but the more speakers the better of coarse! It also comes with a padded toat bag that makes it easy to keep the head its power cable and a speaker cable together and protected. So all in all it is rather lacking in features but it has just the right amount to satisfy...and I don't forsee any any problems putting in a foot Switch and effects loop myself. // 6

Sound: I'm playing through this baby with a Gibson Les Paul Studio and it sings and sings! It fits every music style I've tried to play through it. It has virtually no noise untill you turn the gain all the way up on the thick channel. And even then its not enough to be worth any bother. Really it does what you want... If you want high volume clean you got it, if you want an overdiven clean sound you can get it, if you want ripping tube overdrive no problem. Just dial it in, which is almost too easy to do. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Well so far nothing has happened in the month that I've owned this thing and you just can tell its built like a tank from its pure weight. I was astonished at how much that little thing weighed. And tubes seem like it will be pretty easy on the wallet when they need to be changed since there is only 4 total unlike some 100watt ultra high gain amps that have like 15. I see this being one of my better more reliable guitar related investments. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this amp is just crazy. It has me written all over it. Good tone... No... Great tone... No... Great toneS. I've been playing for 3 1/2 years now and I have played through every amp I could find. And this compares with some of the greats! Its well worth the buy and you will not be dissapointed...unless of coarse you want to play death metal but then I would understand why you chose this amp in the first place. My favorite feature has to be the thick setting with the gain all the way up. It roars and screams and just plows its way through any venue. It sounds a lot like an dirty amp overdriven with fuzz at this level of gain. I do hate how the EQ section is cut out of the thick channel because it could really mold into so many sublime tones, but I also love that the EQ is cut out of the thick mode because it is a dependably fantastic tone whenever I need it! On a final note, it takes many pedals well like overdrives and fuzzes and if you want to play metal with it get an eq pedal and then put on the thick mode and chug away. So all in all a great buy, although lacking in features and its a downer if you want to play metal as well as everything else because you have to spend a little more money but its ok. If your a tone junkie Who doesnt have the money for a Mesa Boogie. This is for you! // 8

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overall: 9.8
Night Train Reviewed by: dixon247, on december 08, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 369

Purchased from: Dolphin Music

Features: I got my Night Train in 2010 for my birthday after playing for almost 5 years. I decided to get a Vox as my first tube amp because my favourite bands like the beatles and arctic monkeys have used them and I'd outgrown my Line 6 spider. The amp is around the same size and weight as a toaster but don't let this put you of as this little monster comes loaded with 2 EL84s and 2 12AX7s and easily punches above it's own weight in all genres (except 80's thrash and modern metal). The nightrain is 15w but can be powered at 7.5w if need be. The amp has 2 channels: thick and bright. The Bright channel has gain, treble, mid, bass and a master volume control. The thick channel is essentially the same except the EQ is bypassed and features more gain. The lack of reverb doesn't seem too bad after weighing the features up. // 9

Sound: The reason that most players will buy this amp is for the mythical 'cranked up brit crunch' at 'bedroom levels'. This amp is definately not a 'bedroom level' amp, but thanks to the master volume a high level of gain is easily achieved at a much more friendly volume. I play mainly a MIM Fender strat or an Epiphone sheraton through this amp and the sound is top notch. The gain, treb, mid and bass at 1 o'clock paired with a strat bridge pickup give a meaty tone reminiscent of David Gilmour on DSOTM. Cut the mids and boost the treble slightly to give a garage rock tone that sounds like Arctic Monkeys or The Strokes. Or drop the gain, push the treb and mids and cut the bass to have an accurate early beatle's tone. The only problem is that a single-coil PU on the Thick channel will generate noise but this is worth it for a thick Sabbath tone. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This amp is as dependable as tube amps go. So baring this in mind, using it at a gig without a backup may be unwise but a year later I have still not encountered any problems. The metal casing ensures that the thing is built like a tank but just don't drop it. With all tube amps, the tubes are only made from glass and are fragile. // 10

Overall Impression: If classic rock, blues, garage or anything really, this amp should be tried. Jazz players may not appreciate the lack of headroom at high volumes and metallers might want more gain. But for the price paid, this amp is a must have. This is my youtube channel, check out my videos for an idea of what the amp sounds like. :) // 10

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overall: 9.8
Night Train Reviewed by: eyebanez333, on december 04, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 449

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: The amp was made in 2009. I bought this amp for a little country, blues, southern rock side project I was invited to join and it fits perfectly. Its an all tube, single channel amp with no headphone jack. It does have a bright/thick Switch that will bypass the EQ on thick mode and gives a nice overdrive tone...but thats as close as it gets to having two channels. Also has a pentode/triode mode to Switch between 15 and 7.5 watts. I use this amp at practice un-mic'd and it gets over the drummer fine. Anytime that I've gigged with it, I mic it...going through either a 1x12 or 2x12 cabinet. // 9

Sound: I use this amp with my strat, tele, and Acoustic guitars. Suits my needs for my current project just fine. With the gain dimed, it gain get pretty noisy, especially if your guitar has single coils. The amp can get those classic Vox chimey cleans, and some decent overdrive...enough for rock. Even some metal tones with the right boost...but its definitely not a metal amp. On the 15 watt setting, the amp stays clean over a drummer with no problem. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The amp is very durable. Weighing in at 17 pounds...this little toaster can definitely take the heat. I would definitely gig without a backup. Never had any problems with the amp. The factory tubes are still going strong and sounding great. The amp also comes with a padded carrying case from the factory. // 10

Overall Impression: Perfect for any style of music that needs a great clean a nice warm overdrive. I've been playing guitar for about 5 years now, bass for over 10. I was in the market for a small tube amp, and tried/owned many amps before the Night Train (including the Valve Junior, Blackheart, Tiny Terror, etc.) I fell in love with this amp as soon as I played it. A few things I wish it had: a second channel, an effects loop, and reverb...but with an amp this small, its tough to get all those features while keeping the micro tube amp style intact. // 10

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overall: 9.5
Night Train Reviewed by: lithium26, on june 01, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Singapore

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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? // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8.5
Night Train Reviewed by: rv_phoenix, on october 12, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 365

Purchased from: M&C Music, Bucharest, Romania

Features: My Vox Night Train was made in 2011, in Vietnam. It's basicly a 15W, single channel valve head, with a Thick switch that operates as an almost second channel. It has no effects loop (there's no need for that, since it's a single channel), but its 5 control knobs (volume, trebble, middle, bass and gain) make it a versatile amp. It also works in a dual mode: another switch allows you to use all of its 15W (through a pentode valve) or to cut it to 7,5W (through its triode), without loosing the all-tube vibe. This switch also acts like a tone one, because the triode mode relaxes the power stage, thus offering a smoother distortion and more warmth. It's not only versatile, but it can also be used in different types of locations. I use it at home, usually cutting its power to 7,5W, I use it to rehearse in the rehearsal room too, and also on stage, since its 15W let you be heard with enough authority. It has plenty of power and headroom and it can compete against amps with higher outputs because of its true Class A operation (I've tested it against a Peavey ValveKing112, switched to Class A operation: it blew it away, despite Peavey's advertised 50W, which can be reached only in Class A/B mode). Truth is I play in small venues, more often without a drummer: if you need to use it for larger venues, I'm pretty sure you must mic it. Vox Night Train is also aknowledged as a comfortable amp. It's light (only about 8 kg, cables included) and it has a smart bag you can carry it in. Its sturdy case makes me think it can withstand playing in a touring band as well. Its perforated case allows for a quick cooling, another feature a contemporary player may appreciate. Two things would have made it THE perfect tool: a headphone jack and, respectively, a possibility to footswitch the Thick function. They are missing, hence the Night Train is just a great small valve amp. I must also add I got it with a generous discount, its initial price being 510 euros. It helped me make my mind about buying it, but not in a decissive way. I would have bought it anyway, only a little later. // 7

Sound: I use it with three guitars, a Yamaha Custom Tele-style (provided with two Seymour Duncans, SH-2n/ neck & JB/ bridge), a Yamaha Strat-style (provided with 2 Wilkinson WVS single-coils/ neck & middle and a Wilkinson WVH humbucker/ bridge) and a Vintage V 100, LP-Style (with 2 stock Wilkinson WVH humbuckers). Since I play mostly Classic Rock, Prog and Blues, it's obvious that I chose the Night Train because it suits my music and my guitars properly. It is, first of all, a very quiet amp. I must add: in the right environment. It's sensitive to electro-magnetic fields, so make sure, if you play at home, the TV set or the computer are shut down or at a resonable distance. Also make sure, if playing at home, your domestic plug is reliable: if it's not, as in most cases, you can either buy a power conditioner or a new alimentation cable from Evidence Audio (but the latter would cost you some bitter 245 euros). After you overcame all these little ennoying problems - which, I must stress, never showed up in the reharsall room or on stage -, the NT is very very quiet, which is a blessing to me. Although the application for Sound rating doesn't ask this specificly, I must also add I use the NT head with a Vox 112 NT cabinet, designed to match it. Together, they can deliver a huge area of sounds. If your style is Jazzy, for instance, you will appreciate its sparkling cleans (although switching the Middle beyond 12 o'clock will mellow them in an almost Country manner). Blues players will be delighted by its warm distortion, which can appear either you play clean and crank up the Gain switch, either you play "thick" on lower gain. As for Classic Rock and Prog players, NT is their paradise. Despite David Gilmour's commitment for Hiwatt amps, it's very easy to get an incredibly correct PF sound out of the NT. Just turn the Gain knob at 12 o'clock, cut the Bass volume at 9 o'clock, turn Middle and Trebble knobs at 3-4 o'clock, and... here you are, comfortably numb. It can be used for Heavy Metal too, but obviously an amp able to satisfy everybody hasn't been built yet, so I advice younger players, attracted by extreme Metal, to give a try to NT's more powerful brother, the NT 50, whose hi-gain stage was specificly designed for them. The NT reportedly relies on AC 15's design. However, it isn't an AC 15 sliced in two. It "sparkles" more and its cleans are a little crispier. It's a great amp for those in love with clean tones. In the end, I must add it works fine with effects too. If you still need more gain, a distortion pedal can boost amp's gain and make it operate as a full Heavy Metal amp. I own several effects and it does work great with them. Perhaps the NT is the best small amp for Prog. // 9

Reliability & Durability: One month is not enough to judge the reliability of a music tool. I've already said it looks sturdy and, despite being assembled in Vietnam, it is well put together. I definitely depend on it, it provides me with the sound I was looking for ever since I decided to come back on stage again, after 20 years of glorious bedroom hero status. No problems whatsoever have emerged until now, but, anyway, I know how to take care of my gear. And service at my music shop is high quality, if need be. As I've just said, switching from my previous Vox Pathfinder (I was using only for practice) to the NT is a major step forward toward the Pro sound I was looking for. During these last months I gigged with many borrowed amps, from a Kustom Coupe 72 to an Ibanez Thermion Half-Stack. Most of them were good, but none of these amps have offered 100% of the sound I was desperately looking for. The NT did, that's why I bought it, instead of a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue (more expensive, heavier, slightly too bluesy to be good for Prog), a Kustom Defender 35W (bad clean tones) and a Peavey Classic 30 (terrible speaker). The combination Vox Night Train head + Vox NT 112 cabinet is just fine for me. // 9

Overall Impression: Playing old Rock and my own songs, I needed an amp to match my style. NT is a good match: it allows me to do what I want and it also stimulates me to experience new areas. I play the guitar for about 30 years now, I own quality gear, two of my guitars are modified by me, so it is obvious I'm chasing for THAT sound. No other sound can do. This combination of NT head + NT cabinet is very good because it offers a great sound, no-compromise tonal versatility, amazing clean tones etc., in a very comfortably package. Actually, you can carry the head in its funny bag, on your shoulder, and the cabinet in one hand, since it weighs only 11 kg. And still having the back free for a guitar case! It isn't very easy, but it can be done. Compare it with AC 30's 36 kilos or to Fender's 45! There was nothing to ask before buying it, I was already fed up with information, but anyway the guys at the music shop are professional and very supportive, they've told me everything I had to know about the amp. If stolen??? I don't dare to think about such a disaster, because I'm not sure my budget would allow me buying a second one... but I'd definitely buy it again. There are many things I love about it and many more that other people might love too. On top of everything, I'd put the cleans: some of the greatest cleans I've ever heard, even compared to Fender's. I also love its versatility, its effective controls and the overall built and finish quality. But my favorite feature is the Pentode/ Triode switch: it allows me to use the Night Train at home without disturbing my neighbours or my family. I live in a block of flats, it's an important feature. As I've already underlined, it can be compared to its sibling, Vox AC 15, to Fender Blues and Blues Junior and, of course, to Orange's Tiny Terror (whose cleans didn't impress me at all). The price range is about the same if you consider the NT head + NT cab combination, the overall quality is the same, only the sound is different. Tiny Terror has more roughness in its hi-gain range, Fender is great for Southern Rock and Blues, the AC 15 for Beatles and Rolling Stones stuff, but I chose the NT for its versatility. The only real miss is a headphone jack. Otherwise, it's a superb amp, packed with contemporary features and classic vibe. // 9

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overall: 9
Night Train Reviewed by: Bluesblitz, on march 20, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Bizarre Guitars

Features: First of all, this thing is incredibly versatile. It's got controls for gain, bass, treble, mids, and master volume, and two channels. The first being the bright channel, which you can use the EQ controls on, and the second channel being the thick channel, which is more driven, but can't be effected by the EQ. Another aspect to the amp is that the volume is excellent, and lets you crank the gain up, roll the volume back, and still get really rich clear tone. The only thing it lacks is a reverb setting, but otherwise, the Night Train can do just about anything with it's features. // 8

Sound: I play lots of straight blues, and some classic rock, funk and reggae on the side, and the Night Train fits really well for all those styles. The bright channel has really defined, clear clean tones that respond really well to EQ adjustment, and pedals. The Thick channel is really best used at a cranked gain setting, because the lack of EQ can make it sound a bit harsh and thumpy, but you can use it for a nice driven rhythm tone. Overall, the Night Train really covers all the possible tones you could want, so I have no problems with it there. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've left this thing on accidentally, traveled with it, and had it shipped across the southwest, and it hasn't failed me. It's got a really durable chrome grill top that, despite getting hot, keeps the amp ventilated. And even though it's heavy, it definitely feels solid, and I would gig with it using no other amp for backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for close to two years, using an American Tele, a TS9, an MXR Phase 90, and a Dunlop wah and they all respond beautifully to this amp. I really don't have any regrets about buying this amp, and I would buy another one in a heartbeat, since it's just so versatile, responsive, simple, and reliable. But I really, really wish it had a reverb, then it would be flawless, but then again, a reverb pedal can easily cure this. // 9

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