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.

20 comments

  • Lothar ThirtyFour

    Is that a grey sweatshirt material for the grill cloth?

  • I liked! Sounds good, has many configurations, is analog, not my favorite finish but looks solid. It's kind of a Vox Bruno 2.0, strategically talking, at least.

    But what is "analog-voiced digital effects"?

  • It looks like luggage, a difference in colour and grill material might change that opinion though. That said, I would still choose one these over the Marshall Code combos. 😉

  • Well that was disappointing, they sound like crap

  • Well so far after the first few vids these sound way better than the new Marshall Code series. So far. Really need this in a head or rack mount for studio use though. For that matter a new easy to use Tone Lab with this in it. Easy to use is the key & so far this looks dumb simple to use so maybe it is for me.

  • Ugh this looks like a really good compromise, I just wish they would kick out the modeling and digital effects and focus on voicing the two channels themselves. I feel like they could spend the time and money they save on making a unique no nonsense, affordable amp. If I want/need to move down in price level it doesn't mean I want a dozen amp models and digital nonsense.

  • An friend who was active in the music scene back in the 70's told me Yamaha/Roland and all the organs/keyboard manufacturers claimed that they have the 'Hammond Sound' – these were the high-end models of the those brands. Thing is if someone wanted the 'Hammond' sound they would buy a Hammond organ yea?

    This range is most probably targeted for the budget market but how would it sound if Marshall/Fender/Peavey came up with a video telling people that they can dial in the sound of 'the classic 1960s British amp prefered by Cliff Richards' backing band's guitarist' with their amp?

    This is a new low- you're the legendary VOX for god sake (or at least carry the legendary name) not some new China company.

    Bah! Just my rant- sales (and profit) will probably prove me wrong.

  • hmm interesting. I wonder if you can use the headphone out to go direct to the board?

  • Nicholas Flamel

    I like some of the tones. I love my older Vox modeling amps. Would have been nice to hear a few seconds of each of the amp models you were naming off. Hopefully more demos to come?

  • Did he mention an extension speaker jack?

  • Just tried out one of these in store today and it's thick, loud, sweet and it just sounds big! Didnt care for the gain channels though. This takes pedals super well!

  • Wow!Please send me one now!they sound great!

  • Looked at these today at a local store and there is no attention to making these road worthy…such as corner protectors. Also the speaker (in the 30 watt version) was thin and tinny. The 15 watt version does not use a proper power cord but a wall wart.

  • Played the 60 watt single 12" version of this amp today, "off the break" the overdrive tone is smooth and sweet! Definitely voiced for the more diverse guitarist (Alex Hutchins,Wayne Krantz,Guthrie Govan,Allan Holdsworth..etc) ! I liked big time.. my only initial knock is the effects (guess you can't have everything at this price point), I'll compare it to similarly priced guitar amps aimed at the same market… The new "Boss Katana", Line 6 Spider V, "Blackstar ID series, Fender Mustang, Peavey Classic 30, Roland ….etc all have nice effects especially the reverbs ! The Reverb/effects in person sounded cheap which surprised me given how good the amp sounds. Vox should have not gone the multi-fx route and just put a decent reverb chip in there and it would be "all good" ! Didn't try a pedal in the effects loop to see if a nice reverb pedal could compensate for the mediocre on board effects – but the puppy only cost $429(US) so it's still a bargain at that price point ! Cheers !

  • AV30 or Orange Micro Terror?

  • wich is better? vox ac30 vr or
    vox av30????

  • i like how he avoided intellectual property issues and described the non-vox models. 😀

  • Are the effects footswitchable? It appears VOX has two 2 selector footswitches and one 5 selector switch. Not familiar with these but very interested!

  • I thougth he was the amp.

  • thinking of getting the AV30, getting sick of updating and flitting through software amps. How can the likes of positive grid justify their prices compared to this kit!

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