VR30 Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 03/27/2007 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Vox: VR30
The 30-Watt VR30 Reverb features three selectable modes (clean, OD1, OD2) and delivers sound that goes all the way from classic to extreme. These amps are equipped with custom Vox 10" speakers, and includes genuine spring reverb.
 Sound: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.8
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
VR30 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 07, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I think my amp was made in 2005. It is a very versatile amp and fits my style very well. It has a beautiful distortion channel and the overdrive channel is good too even though I don't use it much. I play a wide range of stuff. I mainly play the Chili Peppers, RATM, Pearl Jam, Blink 182, Weezer, GN'R, and the Black Crowes. There are 3 channels, clean, distorted, and overdrive. It is a tube hybrid amp, so it does require a tube change, but not very often and tubes are cheap. 30 watts is exactly the right amount of power I need. // 9

Sound: I use an Ibanez hollowbody with H/H setup. It needs more sustain on the clean channel but I love the nice warm tone. I love the sound it makes with a low distortion, even though the distortion can be dangerously heavy. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would probably have a backup even though I'd never use it on stage. Since its a hybrid amp, the tube can overheat, easily taken care of by a fan. It's an extremely reliable amp. // 8

Overall Impression: This is the match for my style. The other amps I looked at were the Fender FM65R and a Marshall. I'm glad I chose this one though. I've been playing for about a year. Since it is discontinued in most places, I would probably replace it with a Fender FM65R, just for the extra power. // 9

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overall: 10
VR30 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 26, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Steve's Music Toronto

Features: This is a hybrid amp, solid state pre-amp/tubed power amp, made in 2005. It has exceptional vesitiltiy for rock, blues, pop and my personal favourite music style of progressive rock with 2 channels (clean and O/D. The O/D channel has 2 settings and enough gain to satisfy all but the hard core grungers. The reverb is rich and very beautiful with a huge amount of head room while the master volume allows for playing your tone at lower volumes, just Krank up the channel volume to push the 12ax7 power tube, with out splitting your ear drums or rattling the nieghbours windows. // 10

Sound: I use a Godin Freeway Classic (hum/single/hum) 3 pick-up system guitar with a Boss GE-7 equalzer, Boss CE-3 sustainer and a Roland Micro Cube for chorus/flanger/phaser/tremolo/delay effects along with the Vox V002 footswitch to change between the 2 channels. With out the front loaded set-up I'm using, the VR30 is essentially a poor man's AC30 with the classic Vox Britsh crean/crunch sounds with plenty of room adjustability to get the right mix for most sound tastes. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built very sturdily and is plenty loud enough for small (i.e. bars, churches etc) to perform with. Obviously it is perfect for band practices and is very adaptable for recording, either digital thru the line out/headphone jack or mic'd. I have not had any trouble hwat so ever with this amp. // 10

Overall Impression: With my aformentioned musical tastes and styles I like to play, this little Vox VR30 is perfect for me and my limited budget. I have been playing acoustic guitar for 30 years and just last year I decided to go electric and have aquired this modest little set-up. When I bought the Vox, I compared it with the Marshall MG30, Line 6 Spider II 30 and the Crate GT30. No contatest. The Vox won me over in every catagory, sound, looks, versatility, price etc. In fact, when I take the plunge and get a more up scale amp, I intend to keep this VR30 and will likely get a top line Vox (AC30 or AD120VTX) because of my happiness with this product! // 10

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overall: 3.8
VR30 Reviewed by: Anchoret, on december 18, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Strictly speaking, this is a hybrid amp, but not in the same sense that any other amp I have ever encountered is. The VR30 has the Vox "valve reactor" circuit (not to be confused with the "Valvetronix" circuit), an innovation so bizarre that two electrical engineers I have asked can make neither heads nor tails of the explanation & diagram Vox supplied on a technical page for this discontinued amp. I will not try to explain what it is that Vox claims it does, as it makes no technical sense as described. The amp has two channels and four (4) volume/gain controls, the integrated functioning of which is not made clear either by documentation nor experimentation. // 5

Sound: The clean channel is adequate, if thin, but the distortion channels are not very good. I have found no mature, experienced guitarist playing any style Who likes the distorted sound of this amp, and most downright hate it. The amp has substantial and annoying idle noise. The distortion settings vary from cheap-sounding to muddy. I know of no one Who's been able to get the "valve reactor" circuit to function as advertised. I have approximately two dozen electric guitars here at the moment and none sound especially good with the amp. // 3

Reliability & Durability: Of two sealed amps, both of them had horrendous reverb feedback with all controls nulled and no input if the reverb was turned up more than halfway. After taking the first one back and finding the same problem with the exchange amp, in disgust I put the amp on the bench to repair it myself. After disassembling the amp to get to the enclosed reverb pan, I discovered that the pan was grossly overtightened, crushing the vibration isolators and acoustically coupling the reverb unit to the chassis. The considerable self-noise of the amp provided enough signal to start a feedback loop in the reverb circuit. I kludged a partial fix by remounting the reverb pan, though this required complete disassembly of the amp, clear down to the printed circuit board. // 3

Overall Impression: Like most of these cheaper Vox imports, the looks are very nice and the circuit innovations are technically interesting. Unfortunately, these do not make for a good amp if the quality control is poor, and with these cheaper Vox amps it is absolutely dismal. At minimum, the "Valve Reactor" gimmick is too complex and far too poorly explained to be of ready value to the user. At worst, it's just bunk. This amp did not last. It failed in the market and was quickly discontinued. // 4

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overall: 8.8
VR30 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 27, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 94.8

Purchased from: L&M

Features: Not sure when the amp was actually made, but production was terminated in late 06 and it was on clearance. It's good for music, nice softer tones, Gain mode is good, although I suggest adding your own touch to clear up the sound with a good pedal or board. 2 channels, no footswitch, but that's alright. Headphone jack used once to make sure it works, and it did. This a good quality practice amp, or a mediocre small venue performance amp. It'll hold it's own, but won't stand out. I'm pretty sure it's a tube hybrid, but it might be all tube, not sure. // 8

Sound: I've got a Godin Freeway Classic /w Godin (Seymore Duncan) pickups. I'm pretty much rock only, but I play some blues and acoustic sort of stuff. Clean is very nice and clear. Distortion is crisp, and not a whole lot of extra noise with gain turned to ten. It's a Pretty basic amp and isnt really good for anything special, but that's wat effect pedals are for am I right? // 8

Reliability & Durability: I'd take this thing anywhere that it would have big enough sound, the amp itself is very reliable, just not very big, you have to know that it is right for the size of venue your playing. Never had a problem with it ever. The amp is built solid, and the speaker is good. It isn't gonna stop working all of a sudden I don't think, you'd have to mess with it for it to stop working. Only thing you'll ever need to change are the tubes, and maybe the speaker if your picky about sound. // 10

Overall Impression: Great little amp, and for what I payed absolutley a great deal. It plays everything good, nothing exceptionaly. In 5 years this is probabbly the best overall amp that I've bought, unless you need something big, this is an amp to look at. Vox is defintley reliable brand, and quite well known, obviously if you can find this amp at all anymore, grab it, it might be worth something down the road, and it's good to play while you wait for it to become rare. The amp is what it is, play it before you buy it, make sure it works for you, if it's a decision between this and something similar, pick this one. You won't be disapointed. If it were stolen, I'd try and find one on ebay, or go back to L&M and see if they had one in the back that didn't sell. Obviously I might end up buying something else if I couldn't find one, but I'd look for a Vox amp for sure, whethwer it was a VR or not. What do I love about it? Not much, tone is real nice and rich, but other than that not much. The part I really like about this amp is that there isn't anything I don't like, obviously for 120$ I'm not shelling out a whole lot of doe, so the fact that there's nothing wrong with it at all is awesome. I compared it to about everything you could imagine, I was looking at Gibson amps, Marshalls, Crates, Kranks, and a Fender. But then I thought about what I needed and thought a a little smaller wasn't gonna hurt anything but help my wallet. The price was right, the size worked, and it sounds good. maybe a footswitch would have been nice, and reverb, but other than that nothing missing from this amp really. // 9

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