Vox Valvetronix+ VT20+ 30 Watt 1x8" Combo Reviews4.5/5.0 based on 7 customer reviews
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from Los Angeles,CA
February 9, 2013Music Background:
Super buyI bought this as my practice amp......and I have started playing shows with it. Clubs, bars and even a big music fest. Absolute the best money I've spent on a small Vox.
August 22, 2011Music Background:
22 yrs Playing Guitar
Great Amp!Loads of Options! Very Versatile! Great Value!
from Portland Oregon
January 18, 2011Music Background:
Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer, Production, Animator
Tough to beat!!Out of the box, this puppy really sounds great! Many of the presets are on the "metally" side for me, but that's east enough to tweak, and good to have it when you want it.
The sound is, to me, warmer than the Line 6 Spider IV, which I found to be a bit brittle and digital, whereas the VOX is really more vintage, organic sounding.
This little amp is really quite LOUD (Gig-worthy in a medium-sized club). The 4 ohm 8" speaker has some VERY nice bottom, and excellent midrange presence and clarity. I am quite pleased.
There's a little learning you have to do getting around in the presets:
Pick an amp model-
Pick one of three variations on that amp-
Pick one of three effect variations on that-
-so it is less than linear, or intuitive, at least at first.
For whatever features I may WISH it had, I just remember that for $170 I got 33 great sounding amp(s) and effects, and a tuner, (AND, thanks too Sweetwater, I got the FS5 footpedal- slightly used- for only $40!!
Justin L. Franks
from Woodbridge, NJ
March 20, 2013Music Background:
Advanced piano player, beginner/intermediate guitar player
Great practice amp, but has a bit of a learning curveOut of all of the popular low-cost, low-power modeling amps (Fender Mustang I, Line 6 Spider IV 15, Peavey Vypyr 15, Roland Cube 20XL, and the Vox VT20+), the Vox was the clear winner for me.
I almost passed it over after a quick test, however. But I am glad that I decided to give it a second chance, fiddling around with the knobs quite a bit.
I found that the presets are mostly junk. Only maybe 20% of the "green" presets (dry / limited effects) are usable. Most of the "yellow" presets (wet / heavy effects) are horrible. The "red" (song) presets are decent, with most sounding pretty close to the songs they attempt to recreate.
Where this amp really shines is in manual mode. But it does take some time to really figure out how to get the best sounds out of it.
The EQ on most of the models has a rather shrill high end, so you need to dial back the treble. In fact, my usual starting point for all 3 EQ knobs is at 10 o'clock, not 12 o'clock as would be typical.
The small 8" speaker puts out a surprising amount of bass, but out of the box it is pretty muddy. Dialing down the bass knob helps a bit, but what really fixed things was to stuff the speaker cabinet with a small pillow (I found this recommendation on the Vox official forums). Don't laugh or discount this! It really helped to tighten up the bass and low midrange.
The 3 separate volume controls (volume, master volume, and power level) can get confusing and take some getting used to. You need to experiment with them to find what works best. Here are my recommendations:
* Keep the power level as high as possible, but no higher than 20 watts. There is a lot of hiss once you get past around 10 o'clock. Raise it until the hiss becomes unbearable, then back it down a bit. But even if you can live with the hiss past the 20-watt setting, I don't recommend going any higher unless you absolutely need the extra volume (which most likely will not be often, this amp is quite loud at 20 watts for in-home use, and it is not intended as a gigging amp). Around 11 o'clock is where I typically have this knob set.
* The master volume regulates how hard the (real, but little) tube in the power section is driven. Raising this does give a nice, warm breakup, but once you go over 2 o'clock, it starts to sound a bit harsh. I usually keep the master volume set somewhere between 10 o'clock and 12 o'clock.
* I then use the volume knob to regulate the overall loudness. Often this is set quite low because I have the master volume and power level set fairly high. Don't go below 9 o'clock, however, because things start to sound bad below this. If you need less volume, then dial back the master volume and/or power level rather than going lower than 9 o'clock on the volume knob.
* The actual volume level for different amp models can vary greatly. This can sometimes get annoying.
So my starting point is as follows:
Gain: 12 o'clock
Volume: 10 o'clock
Treble: 10 o'clock
Middle: 10 o'clock
Bass: 10 o'clock
Master Volume: 11 o'clock
Power Level: 11 o'clock
Pedal Value: Off
Effects Depth: Off
Reverb: Just below 12 o'clock (spring reverb, level around 1/3 of maximum)
From there, it usually only takes slight adjustment of each knob to nail the sound I am looking for.
The "effectiveness" of the 3-band EQ varies greatly between different amp models. For some models, the EQ knobs have little effect, while for others, the tone is vastly changed with relatively small movements of the knobs. And on a few of the amp models, the EQ is "interactive" -- for instance, adjusting the treble can have some effect on the middle and/or bass frequencies. These EQ "quirks" are based on how the amp being modeled actually behaves.
The pedal (stompbox) and rack effects work pretty well, and the reverb is quite nice. There are 3 types of reverb -- room, spring, and hall. I mostly prefer the spring reverb, and sometimes the room reverb. The hall reverb is rarely used.
There is an onboard tuner, but it unfortunately is rather limited. Only standard tuning is supported; you can't even tune drop D with it. The tuner works reasonably well, but an actual chromatic tuner should have been included.
In conclusion, the Vox VT20+ is an excellent modeling amp that is great for in-home use. It can get quite loud, but does start to sound bad when really pushed to its maximum volume, most likely because of the small 8" speaker. You need to spend a good deal of time with this amp to really take advantage of its potential. If you want an amp that you can get good, useable sounds right out of the box with no fiddling, you might want to look elsewhere. Once you learn its quirks and shortcomings, though, your patience will be rewarded, as the Vox Valvetronix system is the most natural-sounding, entry-level modeling amp on the market.
November 28, 2012
Sweetwater sounds is the best in the businessSweetwater sounds is a great company. Y'all sale engineers are very respectful and easy to work with and so to the rest of your staff. All the products ive purchased have been great just like I expected
from West Michigan
December 1, 2010Music Background:
Professional guitarist and vocalist.
Own it and love it!I purchased one of these just a little over a week ago. For a practice amp, you can't get much better! The sounds are really good, it's lightweight and pretty intuative to use. I thought the eight preset patches would be insufficient since I own a Boss GT-5 footpedal. But for practice, my GT-5 will get left in the bag along with my Mesa Boogie performance amp.
This little guy is quite loud and works great as a regular amp in manual mode. It works well with my footpedal, but I really don't miss it with all of the amp models and effects this VOX amp has to offer.
The effects are easy to select and save into one of the eight preset patches. And, the built-in tuner is another little plus this amp has to offer. I highly recommend it ... and recommend the optional footpedal too...even though the pedal is a little bulky for what it does.
from Southeast, MO
October 23, 2010Music Background:
Worth the money!I just received my vt20+ and VFS5 footswitch today. I ran thru all the presets really quick and then started turning knobs. Some of the song presets are really close to the original sound. I have used multieffects processors before, but this is my first modeling amp. I am used to real tube combos and head/cabinets. The VOX settings sound awesome. I have tried two different guitars thru it so far, a mim stock tele and a humbucker equipped 7 string. Both guitars sound really good on certain patches. Some are less than desirable, but that is just my opinion. Overall, I think it will make for a FINE bedroom/practice amp!!! FYI, my manual button is spelled "maunal" :)