ToneLab SE review by Vox

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (104 votes)
Vox: ToneLab SE

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I am using this with my Epiphone Les Paul and plugging it into the front of of my B-52 AT-100. You can set it up to go into the front of an amp or into the power amp. I prefer the setting for power amps into the front of my amp. It is a lot louder and sounds like a real amp and not just a processor. The unit has a build in Noise Suppressor, so you don't have to worry about noise at all. I haven't tried this at super high volumes, but when I set it my amp to about 3 or 4(I set it at 5 for shows) I can eliminate all of the static sound with it. The effects sound great. There are multiple reverbs, delays and modulations effects and they all sound great to me. You can adjust just about every setting of each effect. Also there are pedals in the front of the amp modeling. You can choose wah's, overdrives, distortion pedals, etc. The second expression pedal can be used to control these effects. You can set it to control how much gain the Tubesreamer models has. I think that is great. All of the effects are switchable by foot. I haven't found any bad effects yet. So far, I have made my basic settings that I use often. These include clean, acoustic, Overdrive, high gain, high gain lead and then settings for Metallica's Fade to Black lead and acoustic settings. They all sound great. You can get close to them pretty quickly and then with a little time equaliziing, you are there. I gave this a 10 because compared to the other processors I have tried, including the POD 2.0, PODXT and Korg, the sound is amazing. I usually prefer amp distortion, but this thing can get brutal. Cleans are great too.

Overall Impression — 10
I play pretty much any rock. I like to play anything from Metallica to Oasis to Saves the Day to Hardcore. This covers every style I could possibly want. I have been playing about 2 years. If it were stolen or lost, I would buy another if I had the money. I would be pretty pissed because this is an expensive piece of gear. I love the fact that this includes all the models, effects and features I can use. I also like the 2 expression pedals. I cannot really say there there are any things that I hate. The only thing missing is easy connectivity through the computer. You can use midi, but that requires midi on your computer. I compared this to the PODXT Live and Boss GT-8. I chose this because the overall sound was better and it was probably the most user friendly out of the three. Overall, I am amazingly happy with this. I thought after I got rid of the PODXT that I was modeling and multi effects just weren't the way to go, but this has proven me wrong.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not owned it long enough to rate this yet. I would definetly gig with this unit though. Everything is solid metal. Footswitches are sturdy and the same can be said about the expression pedals. It even included a gig bad for the unit. This was a great surprise. I didn't know this was included at first. I must choose a rating, so based on the build of this, I will give it an 10. This is only by the build and not by actual use at gigs yet.

Ease of Use — 9
I have to say that this unit was pretty easy to get a good sound out of. I tend not to like the presets that come with effects or processors, so I just skipped playing with those and began making my own. Editing patches is simple. You simply get all the setting to your liking, then hit "write" and choose the bank and preset you want and then hit "write" again. The manual was pretty good. It is written by another guitarist, so they know what they are talking about. It pretty much explains everything in detail. You probably won't need the manual much though. I have only referred to it once or twice. I gave this category a rating of 9 because there is no USB connection like the PODXT. This is not that big of a deal, but it comes in handy.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Can someone please guide me to a site that will show me how to use my Vox Valvetronix SE? Im not very "technology" savey, but once I'm showed how to use it I'll understand it.. But trying to learn how to use via the "OWNERS MANUAL" is truly impossible..
    I just bought one so I'll see how it goes over the coming months/years! I thought the Zoom g9.2tt was pretty good too but I preferred the TLSE when I tried them at the shop. Compared to the Boss GT8 I thought both the Vox and Zoom fx were much better sounding (but the Boss had more weird effects).
    I just bought a ToneLab SE for 199! It's the cheapest I've ever seen it! What a piece of kit thought.. *whistles*
    Hallo everybody. I want to buy a guitar effect and i am torn between the Boss Gt8 and the Vox Tonelab SE. I would appreciate some help. The most important things for me are: easy to use, making some weird but clear sounds and reliability. I wouldn't like to spend 540 euros (for the vox, bag included) for something that is going to break in a concert. Thank you
    From what I've read and sound clips, if you want solid, tube, classic sounds go with the Tonelab. If you want tons of effects, lots of adjustability (including assigning any pedals any way, etc.) go with the GT-8 (but I think you lose some sound quality). I always think if you can go hear them at a shop, that's a good thing.
    for tone go the tonelab like i did, but for versatility the gt8 is my pick, the effects on the gt8 are alot better and the delays are amazing.. but the tonelab is still an amazing unit.. and built like a tank! mine dropped about 3feet off stage.. man i freaked out, but plugged it back in and it worked as per normal.... dont think i could say that same for the gt8 though, my mate has one and it seems quite flimsy in comparison.. but the gt8 is alot lighter... but will be getting rid of it for a tc electronics g-force and mesa triaxis
    Hmmm.... Tonelab SE or PODX3 Live. Functionality is my concern as im not gigging yet. I also want something that i can easily interface with my PC. Im thinking more towards the X3 coz its cheaper and has usb... Please help based on experience ond not on hear-say.