VOX AV Series Overview
VOX has taken what it knows about decades of building analog amplifier circuits and put it into a new category of analog amplifiers. What we have here next to me is the AV series. I have an AV15, an AV30 and an AV60, and they share some similar features that I would like to walk you through. What you need to know about the AV series is that there are two base amplifiers. So in the case of the AV15, what they’ve done is taken the first half of a twin triode 12AX7 and used that for the preamp section, So that we get all of the dynamics and characteristics of a tube preamp. They have taken the other half or the other triode of that 12AX7 and dedicated it to the power section. So now, we get all of the characteristics that come from a tube power section as well. What’s really cool about the tube preamp and power amp section though is that there are four switches that allow us the dial-in even more customized, personalized characteristics of those sections. I have a bright switch that allows me to add a little bit more top-end treble. I have a fat switch that allows me to kind of thicken up the tone by adding in a little bit more base frequencies. I have a bias switch, and the bias switch controls kind of the waveform of the tube section. And to the left, it’s more of a modern bias. And to the right, it’s more of a vintage bias. It just slightly changes how the amp responds when you play through it. The last switch is called the Reactor switch. If you really, really drive them hard or if you turn the amp up really loud, it has kind of some squish and sag to it. Other power sections are really tighter and more responsive. So that reactor lets you choose if you want the switch to the left and have the amp be a little bit tighter and more responsive or to the right and have it be more vintagey and saggy. Each of the amps in the AV series also gives you three effects on board. One is an analog chorus. One is an analog delay. And another one is a spring reverb. And you have a knob that controls the level and you can also control the time of those as well. There is a CLEAN1, CLEAN2, CRUNCH1 and 2, OD1 and 2, and then a couple of H.GAIN versions as well. The CLEAN models are essentially these California famous clean amps. The first one is probably one of the most recorded combos in history. The second one was initially supposed to be a base amplifier. The guitar players love how wooly and dynamic that amp is. As we get over to the crunch amplifier, so what we’re getting for CRUNCH1 is an AC15 with an EF86 preamp channel. For CRUNCH2, we’re getting the AC30. In the AV series, we’re getting all of the dynamics and chime and crunch that we’ve gotten from the AC15 and AC30 since the mid ’60s. As we get over to OD1 and OD2, OD1 is a 100-watt vintage crunchy amp from the ’70s, definitely a 70s’ classic rock sound. As we get over to OD2, what we’re getting is kind of an early ’80s snarl and bite to an aggressive 100-watt amplifier head. H.GAIN1 would normally be seen as an early 90s’ snakeskin covered head with a tight low-end and a compressed mid-range. H.GAIN2 is an amplifier that has a four-number designation and was created for the godfather of shred guitar. That amp would be well-suited to guitar players who like seven-string guitars or drop tunes. All of the AV series gives me an auxiliary-in, so that lets me plug in any kind of mp3 player or personal stereo and let me play along with my own music. Next to that is a headphone jack. It allows me to play the amp silently, but it has cabinet simulation in there as well. And that’s the AV series from VOX amplifiers. This is a company that’s been around for decades and now they’ve taken everything they’ve learned about building iconic, classic heritage amplifiers and put those into the AV series for you. Check these out at a store near you.