Valvetronix VT20+ review by Vox

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.9 (48 votes)
Vox: Valvetronix VT20+
3

Price paid: C$ 170

Purchased from: Axe Music

Sound — 7
I play an Ibanez S570DXQM (all stock), and an Ibanez AS73 with Seymour Duncan pickups, through a DigiTech Whammy, a Vox Wah-Wah, and a Boss CS-3. I play whatever I feel like at the time (usually Queen, Dio-era Sabbath, or a small amount of the easier Satriani songs), and this amp is literally built for that. The sound quality isn't as good as playing through, say, a Triple Rectifier, or an AC30, but it's a good jack-of-all-trades amp.

It's not a terribly noisy amp, and it has a noise gate built in, so any hum can be cancelled out fairly easily.

I won't get into the specific sounds it can make, or the quality thereof, but there are a couple things worth mentioning. First, the reason I bought the amp is one of the presets is a model of the Brian May signature AC30, and it sounds great. Actually, the best sounds the amp has are the Vox amp models. They're also the only ones they can actually name without getting sued. The other thing that sold me on this amp was he quality of the distortion you can get, especially at this price. Seriously, this box has some savage distorted tone, even at low power levels.

I only really have 2 problems with the amp, one being that the cleans tend to break up, even with lower output pickups. Any time I need a totally clean tone, even on the clean models, I have to roll the volume back on the guitar to less than half.

Problem 2 is really not major, but on most settings, any wah-wah I put through it sounds... broken. The sweep seems almost divided into 3 or 4 parts, with no modulation between them. There's a chance it's my pedal though. Still something worth checking out before you buy it.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, if you're still learning or need a versatile practise amp, this is a great option for the price. I've been playing for a hobby for a few years, and this amp is everything I need and more. I whole heartedly suggest buying it.

Side note, I wanted to give it a 7.5, but I rounded up.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I've had it for a few months, and use it for an hour or 2 a night, usually, and no problems with it yet. I don't gig, but I assume it would be good for a smaller room, it seems reliable, and the footswitch seems pretty durable.

One small note, even with the power level turned totally down, if you leave the amp on and leave it alone, it makes the occasional pop and crackle sound. Nothing major though.

Features — 9
This is my first review, so it may be a bit wordy.

The Vox VT+ series is an update of the original Valvetronix series of modelling amps Vox released a few years ago (the exact date escapes me). Released in 2010, the plus series has 33 amp models, each model has the basic amp, the tone from a classic song, and the amp, plus effects, for 99 different preset sounds. Add to that 25 effect models, 3 different reverbs, 8 channels to save your favorite sounds a built in tuner, and the optional foot switch, and holy hell this thing gots it all.

There's a headphone jack, and an auxiliary input jack, so you can play along with the music on your mp3 player without waking anyone.

The amp has a 12AX7 tube built in to the power amp, and the power level control lets you lower the wattage of the amp without losing the sound of a cranked tube amp.

The foot switch(totally optional) is loaded with features, too. You can Switch between all 8 banks on the fly, and if you tap the button of the bank you're using, it acts as a tap tempo for the delay, phaser, flanger, and probably more that I've yet to find out.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    creedundead
    i bought my vt20+ half a year ago.,,the sound is great for a 20W amp....the cleans are smooth and i didn't experience the break up problems on my vox. all in all its really a nice amp for room setting or maybe a small gig...effects are awesome..you can also create your own sound by saving it in the bank channels..sometimes you just need to adjust it though to suit your preference....really a bang for your buck...had no problem with my vox...VOX rules!!!! \m/
    zegoose
    Hi i am looking for some degree of versatility in an amp (without using any pedals) - hoping to get a decent blues sound and a good sound for death metal. Please tell me which amp I should choose between Vox VT20+, Roland Cube 20XL and Fender Mustang 1. Thanks!
    JoePerry4life
    You must have never played a nice amp then have you?^ My peaevy triple X would like a word with you. As does, the 6505, dual recto, framus cobra, etc.
    n00barmy
    I just bought the VT40+ and the VT120+. The modelling is fantastic on these amps. The tone is great, they really managed to pull a tube tone out of these, the OD is very crisp. They are probably the best bang for your buck if you want a good practice amp or even a small to medium venue gig amp. These things get LOUD too. The only gripe I have about them is that they have no speaker extension output like my bandmate's MG102FX. By my VOX's tonal versatility and sound far surpasses his Marshall.
    Tollan23
    I think the headphone jack is meant to double up as the speaker extension output, according to the vox specs. I love my VT20+ but in an ideal world I'd be using an AC30R, Blackstar or Orange amp ;
    canadadave
    Downs: the AUX input is 'not good' being nice here....there is a serious ground loop problem = interferance and screaming !! noise beyond noise !! so u can't plug yer mp3 in and hope for it to work properly. Otherwise the amp is totally sound, great modelling and great versitality, OK so it's a practice amp, not one of my stage amps, but it's great for what it is, GREAT for songwriting
    canadadave
    Sorry,should have quantified the AUX problem...using batteries it's spot on, you only get a problem when you PLUG IN your MP3 or laptop to the mains. STILL it's the best practice amp I've ever tried
    canadadave
    and great for not making the wife scream at me, it got heedfones !! VOX = sort the AUX and include the footswitch and yer onto a winner, I won't get rid of it but u have a lot of competition out there, HERE'S A THOUGHT, why not MAKE them in the UK, I'd pay an extra 20 or so quid for that, think about it, I want a BRIT amp not a Turkish/Chinawhatever amp, I think many would pay the premium for just that. take a bit of pride in the heratidge
    canadadave
    AN if u think u can't find the factory staff, try the north of england, I bet I could find u more than enuf staff to man yer factory,willing to give up a lot to work for a brand like VOX just to get it going, the Americans would love it
    skater7512
    Almost ALL distortion built into ANY amps sounds like shit, since amps arent made for distortion, but the distortion on this is pretty decent. But as always, stick your pedals for distortion and fuzz, amps for overdrive people.