Vox is one of the most recognizable brands in guitar amps. Their amps have been used by some 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 unique sound, which combines chimy 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 are one of the most well-known amp brands in the world. Aside from their signature sound, Vox has built up a reputation for quality and reliability over the decades.
Vox continues to innovate today with new amp models that have unique and exciting features. The Valvetronix line is an excellent example of this, offering digital modeling technology that gives you access to any number of different tones without switching your rig around every time you want to try something new.
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 an amplifier that could offer the volume and sustain guitarists wanted in the late 1950s.
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, including Vic Flick, who used one on his iconic recording of the James Bond Theme.
In the spring of 1960, when rock and roll were on the rise, Dick Denney recognized that London’s up-and-coming bands were craving more power from their amplifiers. Rather than designing an entirely new amplifier from scratch, Denney stuck with what he knew was a winning design and doubled the power of his beloved AC15.
To accommodate the increased power of this amplifier, Denney added another speaker and made the cabinet larger. The resulting amplifier was dubbed the AC30. With 30 watts, two 12″ Celestion speakers, four inputs, and two channels, 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 nearly 60 years later. Many of the same amplifiers they produced back then, like the AC15 and AC30, are still the most popular Vox models among guitarists seeking that classic chime.
Where Are Vox Amps Made?
Vox models are made in China. This is a common practice for guitar amplifier manufacturers, as 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.
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 and have great distortion options. Vox amps produce crunchy distortion that sounds great on rock music.
Vox amps are also known for its 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, and it provides just enough volume to play with a band while also being great for small gigs, rehearsals, and recording.
What Do Vox Amps Sound Like?
Vox amps have a unique sound described as chimy, 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, giving them their signature sound. Negative feedback circuits help reduce distortion in an amplifier 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 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
Best Vox Amp for Home Use
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
This amp features a 50-watt speaker that delivers both clean and higher-gain tones at bedroom volume levels and loud stage settings. Vox Cambridge 50 dishes out impressive volume levels for a relatively lightweight amp, making it perfect for gigging.
Best Vox Amp Under $500
This hybrid modeling combo features Vox’s VE Technology for the most realistic tone. It includes 13 incredible effects and 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.
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, and Radiohead.
Vox amps are also used by modern artists and bands like Panic At The Disco, Echosmith, Lady A, Jack Antonoff, Hozier, Hunter Hayes, Imagine Dragons, and many more.
Are Vox Amps Better Than Fender?
Vox amps are known for their jangly, chimy sound due to the absence of negative feedback in their design, while 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.
Are Vox Amps Better Than Marshall?
While 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.
Vox amplifiers are definitely an excellent option for many styles of music. Some may be better for specific genres than others, but if you want to try out an amplifier that’s been used by many legendary guitarists in rock history, you shouldn’t go wrong with any of Vox’s models.