Vox AD50VT Valvetronix Review
A good-sounding, affordable modeling amp - somebody finally got it right!
The Vox AD50VT is a modeling amp. It¬ is very affordable, considering how good¬ it sounds. I guess the main competition¬ here would be Line 6¬ amps,¬ and from what¬ I've tried, the Vox AD¬ amps kicks Line 6 butt (although I haven't tried all amps Line 6 make).
I don't really understand how these amps work, but they sound very, very good. It is light, and has a closed back cabinet. It houses a custom Celestion 70/80 12 inch 8 ohm speaker. You can read more about them on http://www.voxamps.co.uk/¬ ¬
Vox AD50VT features
11 fantastic amp models - how's that for features?!
The Vox AD15VT, AD30VT, AD50VT and AD100VT are all based on the same concept. The differences are that the 50w has a 12" speaker, the 30w as a 10" and the 15w has an 8" speaker. The 30 and 50 also has a power level knob on the back - a very useful feature for regulating overall output level. There are 11 different amp models, and they all sound good. There are great¬ Fender, Vox and Marshall tones in there, and even some Dumble -like (Boutique) sounds in this amp.
The Vox comes with some decent presets, but you would normally go for the manual mode. In this mode, it works like any amp. You pick an amp model, tweak the EQ and choose some effects if so desired. At any point in manual mode, you can save the setting into user setting 1 or 2. There is a Manual setting too, and the amp remembers your settings. This means you can have 3 sounds stored - user setting 1 and 2 and Manual. This can be handy, especially if you use the foot switch, which by the way is not included with the amp.
One drawback with this amp is that you can only keep 3 of your favourite settings stored, but that is probably one reason¬ the amp is so¬ reasonably priced. For more flexibility, you would have to pay up a bit and get the 60w or 120w.
The 50 watt version also has a power level knob at the back for controlling total output volume, something that is really useful when practicing at home. For this price, it's hard to beat the features.
How does the Vox AD50VT sound? Sound
It sounds great! Thumbs up! I really like¬ the Vox AD50VT¬ for country clean or funky tones, as well as clean or growling blues. It has a sparkly, "tuby" tone that is unusual for a modeling amp. With a good guitar, you can make this baby sing. If you want high gain lead sounds, this baby's got plenty of it. The UK Modern setting can get that 80s lead tone with great sustain.
It also has a fantastic Vox AC 30 sound, very close to the real thing! Same goes for the AC 15 - great tones. Another amp model that I love is the 70s Marshall sound. It also gets very close to the real thing, maybe with less gain. All of these amp models sound really great at low volumes, a blessing for practicing at home. There's also a headphone jack, and when you use this, the speaker is muted so you can play all night without disturbing anyone. I miss one thing, the effects could have been in stereo when you use the headphones.
The effects are okay, I like the reverb and delay. The main limitation is that you can't combine the effects in any way you want - you are restricted to presets. Still, the amp's main tone is what counts; the effects are secondary for me.
The Vox AD50VT takes pedals pretty good; my BOSS BD-2 and my Bad Monkey sounds great through the VOX. I also use a compressor pedal (DOD FX80B) with great results.
I played at a place where the lights were blinking, and the amp didn't like this so it behaved weird for a while. I have heard comments about these amps, saying that they are unreliable and prone to problems. I can not confirm that at all. I have played my Vox a lot for many months, in different environments. It has never caused me any problems, except for that incident I mentioned earlier. It uses plastic input jacks, which I'm always weary about. I give it 4 stars for quality.
For another good amp, look at the Peavey Windsor 120 - a 120 watt monster of tube tone.
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