I have reviewed a lot of amps. Some of them cost a thousand dollars. Some of them were only a few hundred to own. When I saw the VOX Valvetronix VT15 on sale over the weekend for around $150.00USD, I had to leap into the fray and pay me my money down.
When the VOX box arrived, I was surprised to see the 22-pound amp is built like a tank. It’s heavy and well-christened with blinking lights and appointed with lots of heavy, metal, parts.
The trick of the VOX Valvetronix VT15, and its low price, is that is is a modeling amp that digitizes sound — BUT! — it also has a single 12AX7 tube that warms up that cold digital signal.
So you’re really getting two amps in one times a hundred: You get the warmth of tubes with the wide-ranging variables of 22 amp sounds along with a bunch of banked song presets.
You can quickly click through all the amp settings to find the exact sound you want. The best default setting for the Blues is “Tweed 4×10” in B-Red mode.
With this sort of modeling tube amp, you don’t really need any external
pedals at all because any effect you would ever need is bundled with the
VOX takes the demonstration of excellence another step ahead by
providing you with some quick-n-dirty song tones held in Preset Channel
P-3, Red. Dial the chicken head selector and start playing “Layla” or
“Still Got the Blues” or “Pride and Joy.”
The VOX Valvetronix VT15 is one excellent amp. The sound is fantastic, warm, and natural. The headphone jack makes it the perfect amp for practice at home while not losing that screaming tube sound.
You can go into “Manual Mode” and set up the tone you prefer without any presets. The Reverb is pretty good.
The real shocker in the VOX Valvetronix VT15 is found on the back of the amp. You can “dial down” the 15 watts to something “quieter” using the power attenuator knob — which will then let you crank your chicken head master up much more to give you that classic, crunchy, VOX sound.
I’ve been playing this amp for three days and I can’t stop. You can
“bank” and “save” your own setup into presets — but I’m not noodling
with that yet because the default setup is plenty good for covering a
variety of tone.
If you want a spectacular amp at a ridiculously
cheap price — buying pedals and an attenuator to match the sound and
talent of the VT15 could easily cost you over a thousand dollars — race
out right now to get your hands on the VOX Valvetronix series. You
don’t be sorry — you’ll be overjoyed and infatuated as you find just
the right sound over and over and over again.