Vox Amps remain as popular today as they were over 50 years ago when, during the Beatles touring years, the Fab Four where the most famous Vox AC30 users in the world.
The Shadows and The Beatles were the first famous bands who helped to popularize Vox amps, but today these excellent valve (and solid state) amps are as much associated with new indie bands as they are with Sixties music.
Famous Vox Users: Then & Now
Some of the biggest names in music have used Vox amps. The first famous act to be associated with the brand were The Shadows. In fact, the Vox AC30 model was created after the band requested something louder than their AC15 amps. A few years later, The Beatles would become Vox users, taking AC30s and custom-made models on the road up and in the studio. After that, Vox amps became the firm favourites of many artists. Other famous users include The Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Queen, Deep Purple, U2, Radiohead, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Wolf Alice and many more.
Make sure to read our Vox Days blog fro more info on the history of Vox amps and its famous users.
What are the best Vox amps?
Today, Vox amps are an essential fixture in rock'n'roll, and here's our guide to the models for sale today. Whether you're a seasoned pro, and up-and-coming indie artist on a budget or a beginner, Vox has a guitar amp that's just perfect for you! And while the AC30 (as used by The Beatles, The Edge and Brian May, besides many others) is easily "the" ultimate Vox amp to own, there are plenty of other fantastic models on offer, so make sure to check them out!
Vox AC Series: The Pros' Choice
The AC series represents the best of Vox. Classic all-valve amps that hark back to the early days of the company. Here's our AC-series comparison chart:
| VOX AC30
|| VOX AC15
|| VOX AC10
|| VOX AC4
|HOW LOUD?||Super-loud 30-watts. Perfect for gigging.||Loud 15-watts. Perfect for gigging and recording.||10-watts. Great all-rounder for gigging, recording and jamming.||4-watts. Great for jamming at home and recording, but can be used for small gigs or even bigger ones - if mic'ed.|
|MAIN FEATURES||4x inputs, spring reverb, tremolo. Available in different configurations: with different sets of speakers and also hand-wired. View more||2x inputs, spring reverb and tremolo. Available in different configurations: with different sets of speakers and also hand-wired. View more||1x input, digital reverb. Output for external speaker. Also available in different finishes. View more||1x input, no effects. Gain & volume controls mean it's perfect for getting crunchy valve tones at lower volumes. Also available in different colours. View more|
Vox AC30VR vs. AC30: A Solid Alternative
Vox has a great tradition of making excellent solid-state amps. Several of their Seventies solid-state models (including the AC30ss) are pretty good, and this tradition carried on all the way to the 90's, with the popular Vox Cambridge in particular, which is still highly-regarded on the second-hand market. But the new Vox Valve Reactor amps are the best so far. Upfront, the Vox AC30VR and Vox AC15VR look virtually indistinguishable from the original, all-valve versions - but what's more important, they also sound very, very close:
Thanks to the acclaimed VOX Valve Reactor circuit, both models feature genuine tube tone reminiscent of vintage VOX amplifiers. With the additional high gain channel and the on-board digital reverb, the AC30VR and AC15VR are well-equipped for any stage or studio.
The VR amps are are so good, that you could be forgiven for thinking Vox were undermining themselves by releasing cheaper versions of their most popular models! But the fact is - guitarists simply love Vox, and those who can afford an all-valve AC30 or AC15 will always choose the "real deal". The VR series, however, is the perfect option for guitarists on a more limited-budget, and the AC30VR and AC15VR are two of the best solid state amps you're likely to find - and worthy their names!
Best Vox amps for Home Practice & Recording: AV Series and VT Series
The Vox AV and VT series are quite different, but both suited for the bedroom musician who wants a great amp to jam at home and to use on recordings. The AV series is an affordable and innovative analogue valve range with digital flexibility buts it's not a "modeling amp", whereas the VT range is a solid-state range that blends modeling technology with a multi-stage tube pre-amp circuit reproduce the unique distortion, touch sensitivity, and the response that is characteristic of classic tube amps.
- AV amps: eight, distinct analog pre-amp circuits for different tones; plus three classic effects (Chorus, Delay, Reverb). Great for recording, jamming and even gigging.
- VT amps: 11 realistic amp models; 13 authentic effects; 33 preset programs. Ideal for recording or beginners who want to experiment with lots of sounds. Also great for semi-pros in cover bands who need to match many popular guitar tones.
Best Vox amps for beginners: Vox Pathfinder, Mini 3 & Mini 5
The Vox range of mini amps is perfect for beginners - affordable, compact and light. Having said that - more experienced players also enjoy playing those amps, especially the Pathfinder, a great little amp to just jam on your own.
The Mini 3 and the Mini 5 Rhythm series are versatile mini amps which, however, pack some great features: both models have 11 amp models and 8 effects, and can be battery operated. The Mini 5 Rhythm also includes 99 rhythm patterns, which makes it ideal for beginners practicing.
Best Vox amp for Busking / Portable PA
Though also part of the mini family, the Vox Soundbox amps deserve a mention as something totally apart, because they look completely different than the other Vox amps, and the fact that the range is also aimed at different instruments - the Soundbox amps feature 11 modes to suit different instruments (bass, guitar, acoustic or keyboard).
These amps can be used as mini, 5-watts portable PAs that can be battery-operated, and, besides the instrument input they also feature mic input and AUX IN. If you're looking for an affordable busking amp, the Vox Soundbox can be a very good choice!