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 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 multi-channel Vox amp has never been easier.
Vox Cutting Edge Features
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
- Build Quality
- Cab Sim output
- Good Metal Tone
- Active 3 band EQ
- Small And Light
- Vox Link Technology
- Cab Sim Sound
- Battery Life 2 Hours
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. Its 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 that shows you the guitar signal and how the EQ changes affect your sound. The knobs are a standard plastic knob 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 available. There is also a link jack that allows you to connect more Vox pedals together.
The jacks for your guitar signal are side mount but are smooth when used.
Vox Cutting Edge Controls
The control scheme is similar to most metal pedals but are pretty responsive. The EQ is active and so your ability to sculpt tone is pretty wide. The device features a tight control that works good 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.
Im not too 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 tone and not an oscilloscope. The cutting edge could probably have done without it.
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.
The Cutting Edge can be powered with either a battery or a 9 volt adapter. However 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 a maximum of 2 hours of use before the battery is exhausted.
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 anyway when turned off.
The oscilloscope continues to show a reading even when the device is turned off and so this must be why they chose to buffer the signal output.
Cutting Edge Sound
The Cutting Edge is the Vox metal sound and does pretty darn good. The saturation is pretty smooth when dialed in right, and 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 its hard to tell if Nutube clipping is similar to a conventional vacuum tube.
Never the less, the sound of the unit is great and the ability to tighten it up with the 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 that was fun to play and leads were pretty fluid like and clear.
The metal sounds are pretty good and the controls do a great job of dialing in some different tones that work for both lead and rhythm. Its a pedal that can cover many bases for sure.
I really like the link ability offered by the Vox line of Valvenergy pedals, this works nice when you run many stomp boxes for dirty sounds. Pressing one button and having all your devices respond is awesome and makes performing easy.
I am not sure how i feel about the OLED screen with oscilloscope, i feel 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. I also feel that if they could have made this pedal a true bypass and ditch the screen that also may have been better served.
But that’s assuming its buffered bypass for that reason which could be wrong in my assumption. All in all, it is a good distortion and 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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