With the current glut of amplification options for playing around the house - smartphone and tablet apps, desktop amp sims, headphone outs on processors - a practice amp needs to do something pretty special to stand out. VOX has a long history of innovation, and their Valvetronix range is very highly regarded. The VX I is designed to blend simple amp functionality with next-level modeling technology.
Making its debut in the VX Series, VOX’s new VET (Virtual Element Technology) modeling technology is designed to give you the most accurate amplifier models yet. VOX carefully analyzes the circuit design components used in classic American and British tube amplifiers, so they’re not just emulating the ultimate sound: they’re going right down to the electron level. The VOX VX I is the smaller of the two amps in the current VX series, offering 15 watts of power and a functional but not-over-the-top feature set. There are 11 amp models and eight effect models, with 11 preset programs and two user programs (expandable to 8 with the VFS5 foot switch). The models are Deluxe CL, Tweed 4x10, Boutique CL, Boutique OD, VOX AC30, VOX AC30TB, Brit 1959, Brit 800, Brit VM, SL-OD and Double Rec. Controls are Gain, Treble, Bass and Volume, plus a Power Level control and a tap tempo which doubles as a bypass/tuner button.
NO MID CONTROL FOR YOU
VOX has voiced this amp and its effects very carefully to hit all sorts of amp styles in an
authentic way. Naturally the VOX amp models are the most faithful, but the higher-gain models sound exceptional for an amp in the ‘practice’ genre. Some of the clean tones are a little indistinct, but the effects help to lift them up a level, especially the smooth analog delay and shimmery tremolo effects. I used this amp for some aggressive metal tones, as well as some The Clientele’ fingerpicking with tremolo and spring reverb. It sounded equally at home with
both extremes. The crunchier tones are lots of fun too, with just the right amount of bark and bite. It is hard to deny that it’s a bummer to have to go without a midrange control, since that’s where so much of the guitar’s voicing lives, also because some of us like to boost the mids while others like to cut
them. The amp models seem to be voiced to give you mids that are just right for a wide variety of styles and sounds, but it feels odd to not have the option to change them all.
MAKE SOME NOISE IN THE BEDROOM
This is a very flexible little amp for bedroom use or in the teaching room. It’ll probably hang in there for the odd jam if your drummer mate isn’t too hard
a hitter, but it’s most ideally suited to using when it’s just you, your guitar and maybe some backing tracks. It’s a really fun amp with a lot of useful tones and player-friendly features.
Hits and Misses
Well-voiced amp models and effects
No midrange control
• Amp models: 11
• Effects: 8
• Preset Programs: 11
• User Programs: 2 (Using the VFS5 foot switch increases the number of user programs to 8)
• Input / Output
• VX I: INPUT jack, Headphones jack, AUX IN jack, FOOT SW jack
• Power Amplifier Output
• VX I: Maximum approx. 15W RMS @4 ohms
• VX I: 6.5” 4 ohms