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I'll say it upfront: I love hybrid amplifier technology. I'm no stickler for tubes/valves, but there's something about a purely solid state amp that turns me off a little. Incorporating even one 12AX7 at the preamp stage warms things up just enough that I'll consider using them. I sincerely hope that this hybrid concept takes off and is further developed to the point where the sounds carry more punch and presence.
I've used the AD50VT in several different contexts: practicing, recording, and live gigs. It excels in the role of solo rehearsing, mainly because the wattage knob on the back of the amp functions like an attenuator would on a full-tube amp. It allows you to dial things down to 1 watt, or all the way up to 50 and all points in between. When using this knob with the Master Volume and Gain controls, it's possible to achieve thick, harmonically rich tones at bedroom volumes. It doesn't feel exactly like playing through a cranked tube amp, but you'd be surprised how much sustain can be squeezed out of a 1x12" at very low volume!
Additionally, this Vox combo makes a decent recording amp. I'm not sure I'd use it on a professional session, as there can be a little solid state fizziness in the treble when using certain amp models at high gain settings, but for demoing, if you insist on micing up an amp and dialing up cool sounds in a hurry, the AD50VT makes it pretty easy to capture very usable tones that strongly resemble those heard on classic rock recordings. For instance, the "UK 70s" amp model doesn't provide the punch of an un-modded Marshall half-stack, but it definitely conjures the appropriate vibe and will get you in the general area.
In terms of live performance, don't be fooled by the AD50VT's small size: with its closed-back cabinet, it has a tight low end and focused mid-range sounds that allow its tones to cut through a mix with ease. As mentioned, the high end can get a little fizzy from time to time, but whenever that happens, dialing back the Treble knob seems to help. The amp also has a pretty decent amount of volume on tap. The drummer from one of my old bands was easily the loudest I've ever played with, and my AD50VT was able to keep up with him without an issue. (Granted, it was usually pretty close to dimed.)
The only real problems with this amplifier pertain to live scenarios, where... Read More