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The Vox Valvetronix range of combo amplifiers and heads is already well established; with a reputation both for sound quality and value for money. Indeed, I now use my AD30VT for pretty much all my live performances and for recording, but what happens if you take the same amplifier, rewrite the software and then put it in a slightly taller cabinet equipped with a 12-inch speaker rather than the 10-inch speaker used in the AD30VT? The answer is that you get the AD30VT-XL — unquestionably the dark side of the AD30VT both in looks and sound. The other models in the range have also taken on companions from the dark side, so from 15 Watts to 100 Watts, you can find an XL model to suit you. The secret to the sound of these amplifiers (other than the 15-Watt model, which doesn't benefit from the tube stage) is that they combine DSP digital modelling at the front end with a 'Valve Reactor' miniature valve power stage after that, and then a high-power, solid-state amplifier to drive the speakers. The Valve Reactor switches from Class A to Class AB according to the amp being modelled, and because there's a level control following it, you can drive it as little or as hard as you like. This is a large part of what enables these amps to sound like a hard-driven tube amp at just about any volume level. Inside the AD30VT-XL the amp and DSP hardware is the same as for its better mannered sibling, but the DSP code has been rewritten to provide eleven new amp sounds, ten of which are mainly for high-gain or overdriven tones and one of which is almost ruthlessly clean. The models are based on classic vintage amps of the past, boutique high-end amps and high-gain hybrids created by the Vox engineers. Glass is the ultra clean sound based on the clean channel of a boutique amp known as the Overdrive Special whereas Funked recreates the classic US 'blackface' combo sound that is ostensibly clean but with a bit of a raw edge to it at higher drive settings. After that things get progressively dirtier, though perhaps not as nasty as the names might suggest. Buzzsaw, for example, is modelled on a well-known British 50-Watt head popular with 70s rock, while Crunched is based on a modified VOX AC30/TBX Top Boost combo. At lower drive levels this delivers the distinctive jangly AC30 sound but gets quite raunchy as you turn up the drive. Thrashed is based on a popular 1983 tube 100-Watt head while Raged, which is actually a good setting for classic rock and the dirtier side of blues, is based on the high-gain channel of another well-known modern, all-tube 100-Watt amp. Modern provides a higher gain with a scooped mid-range EQ for more overtly metal tones, while Fluid is a take on another UK present-day high-gain amp where the mid-range EQ makes it ideal for legato-style playing. Molten is based on Vox's US Hi-Gain model but with extra gain and with just a hint of an octave effect evident in the preset. Black is a sort of hybrid high-gain Class A amp, but just play the opening riff to Paranoid when you call it up and you'll know right away why they called it Black. Damaged is the final and nastiest preset, once again based on Vox's US Hi-Gain model with yet more gain and a re-voiced EQ that produces a dark sound with a gritty edge. A rotary selector switch selects the amp type and in Preset mode, each one comes up with EQ settings and effects appropriate to their style, though you can of course change these. As with the earlier AD- series amps, there are only two memories for your own sounds, though if you buy the optional VFS2 footswitch, you can also switch to the manual setting where you can set up a third sound. Eleven effect settings are available, most comprising pairs of effects. Here you get a sub-octave effect, a compressor, delay, reverb, compressor plus chorus, compressor plus phaser, chorus plus delay, chorus plus reverb, flanger plus reverb, tremolo plus reverb, and rotary plus reverb, as well as global Noise Reduction, which is a type of expander/gate to keep down noise when you're not actually playing. The effect amount may be directly controlled using the Edit knob, and holding down Tap or Bypass at the same time gives access to two further effect parameters depending on what effect or combination is active. The Tap button sets the delay time or modulation speed. A single button toggles between Channel One and Channel Two where you can save your sounds using the Save button. Press once to get into save mode, select the channel you want to save into and then hit Save again — it's that easy. Manual puts you into a 'what you see is what you get' control mode' as opposed to Preset, which calls up specific effects and EQ settings for each amp model as you select them using the rotary Amp switch.
This is a great 30 watt amplifier from Vox. It has 2 channels to store settings for built in multi effects. And there's also I manual setting. Although the effects are decent I plan on using this little guy for clean and overdrive. The AD30vt has a 10 inch speaker and i cant wait to record it!