I love my ’65 Fender Princeton Reverb Amp — but there are times in a beginner Bluesman’s life when you need quiet and discretion while rehearsing or recording.  Enter the Vox series of amPlug “speaker replacements” that allow you to practice and perform in private with some of the greatest sounds you will ever hear.

The idea of the Vox amPlug is to replicate the sound of famous speakers and lead guitars in a tiny form factor you can take with you anywhere you please. If you have neighbors, or family, or other beloveds who don’t quite appreciate the ballsy bass lines punching through your speaker and amp setup, the amPlug is the instant remedy that allows you to keep playing while those around you are rendered mute.

There is no speaker in the amPlug.  You plug the amPlug into your guitar’s jack and the battery-powered device comes to life as an excellent amp modeler.  Plug in some headphones, or even a line-out jack into your computer, and you can hear some great crunch and bite from your guitar.

Vox amPlugs come in a variety of voices.  My favorite amPlug is “Lead” — as in “lead guitar” not “lead paint” …and remember, the only “lead” in Rock ‘N Roll is “Led Zeppelin!” — for getting a good default grind that cuts through all the other mishmash of production to feature your playing.  You can equalize the sound and also control the volume directly on the amPlug.

My second favorite amPlug is the “AC30” because it so rightly replicates the rousing sound of the massive Vox AC30 speaker system.  You get that brittle British Blues sound in a tiny device.

You can also buy a “Metal” amPlug for that big, throaty, heaving whoosh of strings in search of an eardrum to puncture.

I don’t hear much difference between the “Lead” amPlug and the “Classic Rock” amPlug — but since they are both available, Vox must hear something I do not.

The Classic Rock amPlug does have a dirtier vibe straight out of the box, but I can get the same grungy filth with my “Lead” by playing with the sound controls.

Finally, the Bass amPlug is for your bass guitar!  Plug it in and you have a modeled Vox AC100 right at your fingertips!

I love everything about the Vox amPlug system.  The price is right:  Expect to pay around $50.00USD for one amPlug versus, perhaps, $1,000.00USD to buy the proper amp the amPlug is imitating.

I enjoy being able to “crank my speakers” for an overwhelming sound experience in my headphones alone.

Sometimes, you just want to block out the world and play some crushing songs to drown out the day, and the Vox amPlug is the perfect remedy for helping you get away while keeping all your sound dimension in tune and on track and in the sanctuary of your own head.

11 Comments

  1. Funny – I misread ‘lead’ as the metal instead of the position the first couple of times I looked over the article — now it makes more sense. 🙂 Looks like a great little thing to use when you don’t want to be too loud!

  2. Hi,

    Bit late to the party, but, do you have anything to say about using the AC30 amplug with a Bass guitar? I have heard it works just as well as the Bass version. If not, what are the differences in sound?

    Thanks, and best regards,

    Lee

    1. Hi Lee!

      You’re never too late to the party here! We’re always on and ready to go!

      I haven’t heard anything bad about using the amplug with a Bass — but if you decide to buy it to try it, make sure you have the opportunity to return the product if it doesn’t work out.

  3. I own a Vox Bass and I love it. I have a question for you, David: I’m thinking of buying a 10 string chapman stick – which one of these amps would you recommend for that instrument? I mean, it needs to cover both bass and high pitch sounds, best it can…