Are Vox Amps Good?

Vox is one of the most legendary artists and bands in history. And even though that is the case, the question still remains, are Vox amps good? The answer is yes!

Vox has produced some of the most famous amplifiers in rock history, such as the AC30 and the smaller AC15. These amps are prized for their sound! They combine chimey cleans with gritty overdrive.

Vox amplifiers have also made a lasting impact on popular music. Artists worldwide still use Vox amplifiers! In some of the finest studios and on the biggest stages.

Does Vox Make Good Amps?

Vox amps are great. Vox is a company that has been around since the ’50s and is one of the most well-known amp brands in the world.

Aside from its signature sound, Vox has built up a reputation for quality and reliability. They have done so over many decades!

Vox continues to innovate today with new amp models. Each has unique and exciting features. The Valvetronix line is an excellent example of this.

It offers digital modeling technology that gives you access to any number of tones. All without switching your rig around every time you want to try something new.

Pros and Cons of Vox Amps

Pros

  1. Iconic Sound: Vox amps are known for their chimey and jangly tones, making them a staple in classic rock and other genres.
  2. Historical Legacy: With a history dating back to the late 1950s, Vox amps have been used by legendary artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Queen, adding to their allure.
  3. Quality and Reliability: Vox has built a reputation for producing durable and reliable amps, making them a long-term investment for many musicians.
  4. Versatility: Vox amps are suitable for a wide range of genres, from rock and pop to jazz, offering a versatile toolkit for musicians.
  5. Innovation: The brand continues to innovate with models featuring digital modeling technology, like the Valvetronix line, providing a variety of tonal options.

Cons

  1. Not Ideal for High Gain: Vox amps generally lack the high-gain stages required for metal and some hard rock genres.
  2. Price Point: Some of the iconic models like the AC30 can be on the expensive side, potentially making them less accessible for beginners or budget-conscious musicians.
  3. Manufacturing Location: While not a drawback for everyone, some purists may prefer amps made in the brand’s country of origin (UK) rather than China, where Vox amps are currently manufactured.
  4. Weight and Portability: Some of the tube models can be quite heavy, making them less ideal for musicians who require a portable setup.
  5. Limited Modern Features: While they excel in classic tones, some models may lack modern features like built-in digital effects or USB connectivity for easy recording.

History of Vox Amps

The history of Vox amplifiers and their signature sound starts with Dick Denney. A young designer who began working for JMI Corporation in 1957.

Dick Denney worked tirelessly with JMI to design a specific type of amplifier. One that could offer the volume and sustain guitarists wanted in the late 1950s.

Introduction of the Vox AC15

In 1958, Vox unveiled its AC15 amplifier. The first guitar amp with the Vox name! This product quickly became one of the most popular models in history and the start of a long tradition.

The AC15 amplifier quickly became the choice of London’s top guitarists. This was including Vic Flick, who used one on his iconic recording of the James Bond Theme.

In the spring of 1960 rock and roll were on the rise! Dick Denney recognized that London’s bands were craving more power from their amplifiers.

Designing an entirely new amplifier from scratch was not an option. So Denney stuck with what he knew was a winning design and doubled the power of his beloved AC15.

Vox AC30

To accommodate the increased power of this amplifier, Denney added another speaker. This also meant making the cabinet larger.

The resulting amplifier was dubbed the AC30. With 30 watts, two 12″ Celestion speakers, four inputs, and two channels.

Plus a normal and Vibrato, it quickly became popular among British rock ‘n’ rollers. It established Vox as the most wanted amplifier in Britain.

Vox’s success in the 1960s was instrumental in building a legacy that continues to thrive. And nearly 60 years later!

Many of the same amplifiers they produced back then are still the most popular Vox models. Especially among guitarists seeking that classic chime. They are found in models like the AC15 and AC30!

What Are Vox Amps Known For?

Vox amps are known for their British sound, which you can hear in many classic rock songs. Their amplifiers are popular with guitarists because they give a clear tone.

Plus, they have great distortion options. Vox amps produce crunchy distortion that sounds great on rock music.

Vox amps are also known for their iconic model, the AC30. This model was used as the main amp in the Beatles’ touring rig.

The AC 30 is famous for its jangly tone. It provides just enough volume to play with a band! All while being great for small gigs, rehearsals, and recording. They are very good amps, even with a Stratocaster guitar!

What Do Vox Amps Sound Like?

Vox amps have a unique sound described as chimey, jangly, and sparkly. Their tone is clean and treble-intensive. You’ll get more distortion from the amp when playing at a high volume or a high-gain setting.

Most Vox amps are not designed with a negative feedback circuit. This is what gives them their signature sound.

Negative feedback circuits help reduce distortion in an amplifier. It’s done by lowering the gain of certain frequencies in the power section. The AC30 does not use negative feedback because it gives the listener a more natural tone and feel.

What Genres Are Vox Amps Good For?

Vox amps are great for rock, pop, jazz, and virtually any other type of music. Pretty much anything you can imagine playing on an electric guitar. If you’re looking to get into the vintage tone game, Vox is a brand you should consider.

Best Vox Amplifiers

There are many Vox amplifiers that are available. They can fit the different needs of many musicians. From roadworthy and portable, to big and loud! You are sure to find one to best fit your style and busy schedule.

Best Vox Amp for Home Use

Vox Adio Air GT

Vox Adio Air GT Amplifier

If you’re looking for a modeling amp for home use, this is probably one of the best options. It pumps out a wide range of high-quality amp tones and effects! Plus, it has all the features you need to make everyday life as a guitarist that much easier.

Best Vox Amp for Gigging

Vox Cambridge 50

Vox Cambridge 50 Amplifier

This amp features a 50-watt speaker. It delivers both clean and higher-gain tones at bedroom volume levels. Plus, some loud stage settings. Vox Cambridge 50 dishes out impressive volume levels for a relatively lightweight amp. This really makes it perfect for gigging.

Best Vox Amp Under $500

Vox VT40X

Vox VT40X Amplifier

This hybrid modeling combo features Vox’s VE Technology for the most realistic tone. It includes 13 incredible effects. Plus the ability to customize with Vox Tone Lounge software for one killer rig. The best thing about this powerful amp is that it’s affordable.

Read our top picks for 12 Best Guitar Amps Under $500.

Who Uses Vox Amps? 

Vox has been involved with many iconic musicians and bands. Such as:

  • The Beatles
  • The Yardbirds
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Kinks
  • Queen
  • Dire Straits
  • U2
  • Radiohead

Vox amps are also used by modern artists. Bands like Panic At The Disco, Echosmith, and Lady A, Jack Antonoff. Even Hozier, Hunter Hayes, Imagine Dragons, and many more.

Are Vox Amps Better Than Fender?

Vox amps are known for their jangly, chimey sound! This is due to the absence of negative feedback in their design.

Fenders tend to produce a bright and clear tone with lots of bass and treble.

You should get Vox amps if you want a British sound that you can hear in many classic rock songs. If you want a cleaner and more versatile American sound, you should choose Fender amps.

Read the full comparison of Fender vs Vox Amps here.

Are Vox Amps Better Than Marshall?

They both have unique sounds! Vox amps are generally cleaner and have a more vintage tone than Marshalls. However, Vox models are not as good as Marshall or Orange amps for high gain.

Read the full comparison of Marshall vs Vox Amps here.

Where Are Vox Amps Made?

Vox models are made in China. This is a common practice for guitar amplifier manufacturers. It helps reduce costs and increase the volume of production.

Some brands remain faithful to their country of origin. But others have moved their manufacturing plants overseas for cost reasons.

Conclusion

Vox amplifiers are definitely an excellent option for many styles of music. Some may be better for specific genres than others.

Do you want to try out an amplifier that’s been used by many legendary guitarists in rock history? Then you can’t go wrong with any of Vox’s models.

Photo of author

Author: Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!