A "real" Vox amp - Made for the Stage
I'm not going to compare the amp to other amps manufactures products like Marshall, Fender, or some boutique amp because that is simply a players taste in the voicing of the amp. Every amp is different and some will work better than others amps in certain types of music or even recording parts of song. So I will go into detail for someone looking for a Vox and the sound that only a Vox can produce.
I will start of saying that this Vox amp is the best Vox amp product they have put out since JMI owned them in (1957 - 1968). It really is close in capturing the voicing of those amps built by JMI in the hay day of Vox amplification. The blue alnico speakers are a large part of the sound and I would highly recommend these speakers because they are very similar to the original bulldog speakers. Sure the vintage amps are the real deal in the sound, but this amp is much more versatile than the vintage amps. It is also is way more stage friendly than the vintage amps because of the master volume that does not kill it's tone. This is why this amp is a great stage amp and will keep the Vox tone.
The amp is a 2 channel amp. I will explain how to set it up so keep reading. The way Vox set it up to be a 2 channel amp with it's foot switch really doesn't work. The foot switch only works on the gain channel and will switch the gain channel from "Hot" to "Cool." In the picture of the panel you will see a toggle switch with "Hot and "Cool." The problem is that there is a jump in volume when going from "Hot" and "Cool." It's quite a bit of volume spike between the 2 so it's hard to work with playing live. So what you need to do with this amp, (and what makes it great for the stage) is you will need to get an A/B channel switch. Run one channel to the Normal channel of the amp. Then run the other channel to Top Boost. You will switch between the amp channels. I use the Normal Channel to run more of my effects. I pretty much leave the Top Boost as a high gain for that Vox distortion. Also, if you are wondering what happens if you press BOTH A/B on the A/B channel switch. The amp does not blow up which was my main concern. I'm not sure if it is causing any damage or stress on anything internally amp, that I don't know. I really just did it because I knew eventually playing live I would hit BOTH rather than OR on the foot switch. I didn't get any cool blending of the 2 channels. The Top Boost channels over powers the tone. So I try to step on OR rather than BOTH.
The amp really does a nice job capturing the vintage JMI Vox sound. I have recorded a lot of tracks with vintage Vox's in the studio. The problem is that the vintage amps were made before master volumes were common on guitar amps. You really have to turn them up around half way to get that killer distortion. So using these amps live on stage has always a volume problem. Specially in smaller stages and rooms. You loose tone turning the vintage amps down. So the master volume on this amp actually works well like a modern boutique amp. You don't loose tone at a good stage volume. This is another reason it's a great stage amp. There is a switch to lower the wattage. At 15 watts, from what I heard, it really doesn't do it. At 30 watts to me the amp just sounds better.
I see some complaints about lack of EQ (Treble, Bass, Mid) for the amp. I find this kind of funny, because it's the whole reasoning behind the "Top Boost" feature in the 60's. There was never an EQ on the vintage amps. There was a Trem jack (tremolo), a Normal jack (had more bass), and then a Top Boost jack that gave more "brilliance." The Tone knob or the Tone Cut is really the key to any Vox amp ever made. This dials in how dark and how bright you need the amp. It just works perfect on these amps.
To me, finally a Vox that can be used on a stage. The CC2 models before it never really dialed in right for me. They were to "touchy" when trying to dial them, the distortion to me wasn't the Vox distortion from the past. The Marshall era 6TB were made well, but the voicing was off because of the speakers, and were loud as heck on stage. This amp is a great rendition of the vintage Vox sound and can be used while performing live.