The VT20X uses VET (Virtual Element Technology), which is based on an analysis of the components and amp circuits themselves. In other words, Vox can replicate specific capacitor values, signal chains and other fun stuff like that. It all adds up to making the amp feel more like whatever amp it’s replicating. The new line also features a multi-stage Valvetronix tube preamp which incorporates authentic analog circuitry to give you the nuances of tube amps. And to cap it all off they’ve used a tightly sealed cabinet and a proprietary bass-reflex designed to deliver deep, powerful resonance.
This is a 20 watt combo with 11 built-in amp models but 20 when using the Tone Room editor/librarian sofware. The models hit all the expected types, with names like Deluxe Cl, Tweed 4X10, Vox Ac30, Boutique Od, Vox Ac30Tb, Brit 800, Brit Or Mkii, Double Rec, Boutique Cl, Brit 1959 and Boutique Metal; if you know your amp history you can pretty much figure out what’s being replicated here. There are two ‘pedal type’ effects sections (compressor, chorus, overdrive and distortion, then flanger, phaser tremolo and delay) and one ‘reverb type’ section (room, spring, hall, plate), plus noise reduction, eight user programs, 33 inbuilt programs or 60 with the editor, 24-bit A/D and D/A conversion, and plenty of connections. There’s an Aux In jack, headphone jack, footswitch and USB Type B mini port.
20 WATTS OF ROCK
The tones are indeed very responsive. It’s funny because the control panel looks kinda space-age, but the tones feel surprisingly traditional. A big part of this is how the valve works with the circuit to warm everything up and give you more of that natural response. The cleans are very sweet and delicate but there are also some really nice ‘edge of overdrive’ tones that seem to speak particularly well when you turn up loud. The chorus sounds great on the clean sound too, which doesn’t always happen with amps like this: often the chorus sounds kinda synthetic and sucky. The dirty tones are appropriately grungy and complex, and again they really sound great in those crucial mid-gain regions. The high gains are downright brutal, in all the best possible ways, with satisfyingly natural saturation and articulation. Sure, the delay sound could use a bit more character, but the reverb is really nice.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN
This is a great choice for a practice amp or for small jams and gigs, teaching and recording. It feels very authentic and full of character, and although it looks kinda space-age, it sounds like the best of the last five or six decades of guitar history.