The best Voxes produced in many, many years
A note on my perspective as a reviewer: I use this amp to play and record rock, ambient, indie and jazz.
Looks: 5/5 -- The amp looks as good in person as it does in the pictures. WOW.
Construction: 4.5/5 -- Big, solid cabinet. Quality hardware and chassis. A Celestion Greenback. Hand-wired! I think this thing will outlast me, with proper maintenance. Minus 0.5 stars because there actually *is* a PCB inside that, from what I can tell, controls the footswitch.
Features/versatility: 4/5 -- Every jack, knob and switch on this amp is quite usable IMO. It's not the most feature-packed amp, but every feature that was added seems like a great choice. Everything you need, nothing you don't. Use the normal channel for a big, full clean or overdriven sound. Switch to the top boost channel for a tad more mid-focus on the cleans, and a tighter, more focused overdrive. The half power switch lowers the volume a bit. The hot switch kicks the gain up a few notches and still sounds balanced. I love that the master is bypassable! Two speaker out jacks: one to defeat the internal and one to run in stereo. Nice touch! Minus 1 point because I do miss having an effects loop for reverb and delay.
Sound: 4/5 -- To me the amp sounds great, but honestly, I kind of wish I had sprung for the ac15hw1x version with an AlNiCo Blue; if I had, I might give it a 5/5 here. The cleans aren't quite as chimey as I was hoping. But the Greenback shines for rocking, overdriven sounds, so there's that. If I'm playing clean I prefer the normal channel, with the bright switch on, and the master bypassed. It has a very sweet, round and full sound. No tone controls needed. For overdrive I switch to the top boost channel and kick the master back into the circuit. Adjust gain and volume to taste. It's easy to get a great sound out of this thing.
Value 4/5 -- There aren't many handwired 15 watt combo amps around this price point. It's not cheap, but it's built to last a lifetime.
Overall 4/5 -- I think the post-2010 handwired Voxes are the best thing the company has put out in at least a decade. The amps have a classic soul and classic sound. They also have enough features to be useful and versatile, without anything gimmicky. They struck a great balance with these amps and I think it shows in their popularity.