Price paid: £ 135
Purchased from: amazon.co.uk
Sound — 9
I'm currently playing a Yamaha Pacifica 012 - not the greatest guitar in the world but acknoledged to be a very good budget axe - and my varying musical styles include electro/synth, classical, pop, classic/blues/alternative/hard rock, and metal. The VT30 covers pretty much all of this, and allows me to switch between styles with ease. The clean amp models are tonally beautiful and rich, and the rock tones are crunchy and edgey. There is a slight issue with some of the heavy tones - for me the metal amp models are fine and the amount of gain is decent, but for anyone wanting to go heavier than Metallica, a dist/OD pedal will probably be required. The effects are fantastic, the amp models are all useful and cover a good veriety of styles, and thanks to that valve reactor circuit, theres no danger of overly-digital sounds. I haven't cranked it yet, but the power level control feature means that great tone can be attained at whatever volume - though there will probably be quite a bit of expected hum at high volumes. Finally a special mention must go to the Noise Reduction, which cleans up the backround noise, but at the same time doesn't saturate the tone.
Overall Impression — 9
Id recommend the VT30 to any beginner, or anyone looking for a good modelling amp. Tonally, it stands out above the rest of the amps in its class (Marshall MG30FX, Line 6 Spider IV, Peavey Vypyr etc), and it pretty much matches them all as far as features and ease-of-use go. Everything about it is designed to make you think and feel like you're playing a tube amp, and considering its low price I think it comes pretty damn close. If you play thrash/death metal then steer clear, other than that I can't sing its praises enough - if I had to make the same decision again, I would definitely go for the Vox.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Its barely moved since I bought it a few weeks ago, but everything looks solid. The metal grate on the front seems to collect fingerprints (nothing a dry clth can't sort out), but apart from that there haven't been any issues with reliability or durability, and there probably wont be for the foreseeable future. As for gigging, I'm not quite at that stage yet, but I think the VT30 could stand up to some very small venues, depending on how loud the drummer is. The 30w model is designed for bedroom use, and thats what it should be used for, but physically I think it could be trusted at a gig without back-up.
Features — 9
My VT30 was built in Vietnam in 2009. People have stated the feautures of this amp a million times, but what the hell, here they are again: - standard Vox 30 watt 1x10" 4-ohm speaker - Vox Valve Reactor circuit, which employs a 12AX7 designed to emulate a real tube amp - 22 amp models, these are: BOUTIQUE CL, DELUXE TWEED, SUPER 4X10, AC15TB, AC30HH, EXPRESS TRAIN, AC50CP2, UK 25TH, US '90S, UK MODERN, BOUTIQUE METAL, MODDED CL, TWEED 2X12, TWEED 4X10, AC15, AC30TB, BOUTIQUE OD, AC30BM, UK '80S, CALI METAL, UK '90S, METAL BULL - 11 editable effects models (only one of these single or combined effects can be used at once, along with the independant reverb): DELAY, TAPE ECHO, CHORUS, DELAY+CHORUS, COMPRESSOR+CHORUS, OCTAVE+CHORUS, FLANGER, PHASER, ROTARY, TREMOLO, PITCH, NR (Noise Reduction) and INDEPENDANT REVERB - 66 preset programs (this basically means that each of the 22 amp models have three different settings: green [the effects are toned down], Orange [the effects are more prominant], and red [the tones of specific songs are recreated through each amp model]) - power level control (this allows you to adjust the power output of the amp to anywhere between 0.2 watts to the maximum 30 watts) - input jacks: 1 x input, 1 x foot switch input (for the optional Vox VSF5 foot switch), and 1 x phone input All in all you're pretty well catered for with this amp, especially considering the price. The VT30 contains all the feautures (variety of amp models, effects etc) that you'd expect to find on a modelling amp, but perhaps its greatest boast is the handy power level control, which basically allows you to adjust the volume of the amp without losing any tone whatsoever - very handy if you dont want your neighbours to hate you.