VOX Valvetronix VTX Series Guitar Amp Review
The Vox Valvetronix VTX Series is a group of powerful guitar amps packed with useful amp models and effects. These amps have what it takes for practice or for the stage, and no matter what your goal there is a Vox Valvetronix amp to meet your needs.
The VT20X is an outstanding practice amp that comes in a small package. It's also a great choice for lugging around and jamming with your buddies.
The VT40X packs a little more punch and works great as a bedroom or basement amp for hobby players and intermediate guitarists.
The VT100X is a flexible 1x12 combo that's a solid choice for rehearsals or band situations that don't require a ton of firepower. It's an all-in-one package for gigging guitarists who need a bunch of different sounds in one portable unit.
Vox is a guitar amp company known for great combo amps and sweet British overdrive. Choosing a classic Vox tube combo amp is a no-brainer, but what about the Valvetronix Series? What happens when this legendary amp builder sets foot in digital territory?
Vox is among the top guitar amp builders in the world, so you know you ought to expect good things. In this article we'll look a little deeper into the Valvetronix guitar amp series.
Valvetronix VTX Features
The Valvetronix lineup is a direct competitor with amps like the Peavey Vypyr, Fender Mustang and Line 6 Spider. Each brand brings something unique to the table, and Vox has a few tricks up their sleeve that separate their amps from the others in the field.
One major feature is the multi-stage tube pre-amp circuit. Here Vox combines a 12AX7 vacuum tube with the solid-state preamp. This isn't a new idea, and going back a decade or more there were several guitar manufacturers combining tubes and transistor technology in "hybrid" amps.
However, Vox seems to have picked up on something the others have missed, and their amps manage to bring out some of that tube warmth and crunch without the worries and maintenance of a full-on tube amp.
The second part of the equation that makes the Valvetronix series so powerful has to do with the digital effects. Vox gives us 13 classic effects and 11 amp models to choose from, This includes some classic Vox amplifiers. Very cool! In addition there are 33 song presets for a whopping array of available sounds!
VOx VTX amps also have a USB port for connecting to the Vox Toneroom software, which enables deep editing of amp models, effects and presets.
With so many options and models to choose from the Valvetronix Series is among the most flexible amps out there today. But these amps are also very affordable when compared to their competition, and offer a great bang for the buck.
Here's a quick overview of the individual models in the Vox Valvetronix Series.
The New Vox VTX Valvetronix Series
The Vox VT20X is a solid little practice amp, and the Valvtronix model I'm most familiar with. In fact, its predecessor was my practice amp for several years.
One of my issues with this little amp, and the first-gen Valvetronix lineup, was that they seemed more complicated than they ought to be. This issue appears solved with the new layout of the top panel.
The VT20X is rated at 20 watts of max RMS power @ 4ohm and has an 8-inch speaker. It's not a bad choices for a practice amp, but the speaker is a bit on the small side. You may find it worth your while to move up to the VT40X.
This amp is perfect or serious beginners, or experienced guitarists looking for a very versatile amp for practice or jamming in the house.
An excellent practice amp with all the tones and effects you'll ever need.
The Valvetronix VT40X is rated at 40 watts max RMS @8ohms, but the bump in power isn't the only reason you might consider it over the smaller VT20X. The VT40X features a 10-inch speaker, which will be more responsive than the smaller 8-inch and better handle the full range of sounds this amp is capable of.
And that was my second issue with the first gen Valvetronix. Until you got into the bigger models the speaker didn't seem to quite handle all that this amp is capable of dishing out. That too appears to be remedied with an improved 10-inch speaker.
The VT40X is a great choice for hobby players and intermediate-level guitarists. You get all the great amp models and effects in single 1x10 combo, and for many players this amp is all they'll ever need.
But if you need an amp for a band situation you're going to want something with a little more power.
Hear the VT40X
Moving up to the VT100X gives you more power and a larger speaker. It's rated at 100 watts max RMS @4ohm and the 12-inch speaker will capture the full range of the guitar's tonal spectrum.
In my opinion, unless you are considering an amp purely for practice, you ought to be looking for a 12-inch speaker. It's the industry standard for a reason!
If you need a high-quality flexible amp for jamming at home, or if you find yourself in a band situation that doesn't require a great deal of volume, this amp is a great choice.
But what if you play in a loud rock band and really need some power and projection? The single 12-inch speaker is fine for moderate volumes, but you can also mic your amp.
Headroom means you don't have to crank your amp up so much to be heard. In all-tube amps we don't mind this as much, but with a (mostly) transistor amp like this the amp is going to sound better if not pushed to the max.
Combined with the option footswitch, this amp is all you'll need to drag to a gig if you may in a cover band or any situation where you need access to a huge array of sounds.
Power for the stage and rehearsals in a portable package.
Choose Your VOX
You have a bunch of choices if you are in the market for a modeling guitar amp, but Vox's entry is a solid option. They are also very affordable amps, so if you are on a budget you may want to give them a close look.
I liked the old Valvetronix Series, and the bigger amps sounded amazing. Even my little practice amp sounds pretty darned good! I still have it around for when company comes to the house.
What kind of host would I be if I didn't offer a guitar and practice amp to friends and family when they come to visit? My visitors have had nothing but good things to say about my little amp, but most of them have already come to expect great things from Vox.
The next generation of the Vox Valvetronix Series has built upon the legacy of those amps, and Vox's hybrid technology continues to evolve. These amps sound better than ever, and offer even more choices when it comes to models and effects.
Check them out and see if the VT20X, VT40X, VT100X is right for you!