Vox Cutting Edge Pedal Review Valvenergy 2023

Vox Cutting Edge Review

Vox has been working with a new type of tube technology called Nutube. This has been introduced in some of their most recent amplifiers. And now in their new line of Valvenergy pedals. The Cutting Edge is their metal monster and is loaded with features not seen before. Now, the ability to put together a multichannel Vox amp has never been easier.

Specifications

Lets have a look at some key features!

  • Active 3 Band EQ
  • Tight Control
  • Nutube Technology
  • OLED Display
  • 3 Output Modes
  • Analog Cab Sim
  • Buffered Bypass
  • Powered on 9V
  • Analog Circuitry

PROS

  • Build Quality
  • Cab Sim output
  • Good Metal Tone
  • Active 3 band EQ
  • Small And Light
  • Vox Link Technology

CONS

  • Cab Sim Sound
  • Battery Life 2 Hours
Vox Cutting Edge Review

External Hardware

The cutting edge by Vox is a well-made distortion with a metal chassis size of 4.72″ Deep, 2.83″ Wide, and 2.17″ High. It’s a pretty standard-looking pedal with a screen-printed text scheme and layout. Until you look closer and notice the OLED screen in the middle!

The screen is a built-in oscilloscope. It shows you the guitar signal and how the EQ changes affect your sound. The knobs are standard plastic that you normally find on pedals of this type. But they feel good when turned.

The foot switch when pressed feels rigid and of good quality. On the front of the stomp, you will find a switch to allow you to select between the different output types. There is also a link jack that allows you to connect more Vox pedals together.

The jacks for your guitar signal are side-mounted. But are smooth when used.

Vox Cutting Edge side

Controls

The control scheme is similar to most metal pedals, but is pretty responsive. The EQ is active and so your ability to sculpt tone is pretty wide. The device features a tight control that works well to tighten your tone as you turn it up.

The ability to connect Vox pedals together is a nice feature and the control is slick! When you engage one, another turns off. The unit also features a switch that allows you to set your output. It can be used as a regular stomp, a preamp, or an amp in a box when using the cab sim.

I’m not sure about the oscilloscope or the screen though, to be honest, I did not find it helpful when tone chasing. I prefer to use my ear to dial in the tone and not an oscilloscope. The cutting edge could probably have been done without it.

Vox Cutting Edge jacks

Cab Simulation

The Vox Cutting Edge is equipped with the ability to run a cab simulation to use the device as a direct amp in a box. You can select this option from the mode switch on the front of the pedal.

It is a completely analog cab sim and doesn’t sound too bad.

The 4 Valvenergy Vox pedals each accept a 1/8″ connector to allow them to be connected together. This ability will allow you to control them like amplifier channels. When one is turned on, another may be turned off. This is a pretty neat feature, especially if you run more than one Valvenergy for different tones.

Input Voltage

The Cutting Edge can be powered with either a battery or a 9-volt adapter. Yet, the adapter must be purchased separately and must be capable of 95 mA. When powering the unit from a battery, keep in mind that you will only get 2 hours of use. At least before the battery is exhausted.

Buffered Bypass

The device is not a true bypass, but buffers the output signal when the pedal is turned off. I did not feel that the unit colored the sound in any way when turned off.

The oscilloscope continues to show a reading even when the device is turned off. So this must be why they chose to buffer the signal output.

Vox Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge Sound

The Cutting Edge is the Vox metal sound and does pretty darn well. The saturation is pretty smooth when dialed in right. The controls are pretty wide and responsive. I would say Mesa Rectifier tone was the aim here.

The gain content in the pedal is structured pretty well. I am very familiar with tube saturation. But I have to admit it’s hard to tell if Nutube clipping is similar to a conventional vacuum tube.

Nevertheless, the sound of the unit is great. The ability to tighten it up with tight control is a nice feature. The active EQ is good for boosting or cutting out the frequencies you need to dial in your tone. It can get pretty hairy, but there are sweet spots to be had for sure.

The distortion sound has a pretty good mid-gain saturation. It was fun to play and the leads were pretty fluid like and clear.

Final Thoughts

The metal sounds are pretty good. The controls do a great job of dialing in some different tones that work for both lead and rhythm. It’s a pedal that can cover many bases.

I really like the link-ability offered by the Vox line of Valvenergy pedals. This works nicely when you run many stomp boxes for dirty sounds. Pressing one button and having all your devices respond makes performing easy.

I am not sure how I feel about the OLED screen with the oscilloscope. It’s as though this is an addition to the cutting-edge that doesn’t really need to be there. I did not utilize it at all for tone shaping. They could have made this pedal a true bypass. And not use the screen that also may have been better served.

But that’s assuming it’s buffered bypass for that reason, which could be wrong in my assumption. It’s a good distortion when adding more to your string of Vox dirt boxes. This is a strong system to have on your pedal board!


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