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Vox Apm : Vox amPlug Review Headphone Guitar Amplifier with Analog Circuitry for Under 40 Bucks

Updated on June 1, 2011

Vox amPlug Classic Rock

Vox amPlug Classic Rock
Vox amPlug Classic Rock

Vox amPLug cabinet

Review of the Vox amPlug Series

Compact Headphone Guitar Amplifier with Analog Circuitry, High-gain Tone, 15-hour Battery Life, and Auxiliary In Jack for Guitar Players.

We guitar players love guitar gear. I know that I get obsessed with checking out new gadgets, guitars, pedals and amps online and then trying them out in the local guitar shop as a prospective buyer. The Vox amPlug series is definitely worth checking out for those who want a take anywhere, battery operated real amp sound for around 40 bucks.

The Vox amPlug series plus a decent set of headphones delivers totally decent guitar tone by plugging the little unit straight into your ax with no messing around. It’s great for lounge room practice when your girlfriend is watching something lame on TV. It seems I can get away with an unplugged electric when wailing through my Pro Junior has become too much for her to bear. It’s also great for weekends away – guitar, the Vox amPlug and a set of phones and you’re good to go. I use a set of Sennheiser HD 202’s and the sound is really surprisingly good. It would be ideal for musicians on the road going over songs in the van too.

The amPlug series can produce warm distortion or shimmering cleans using analog modeling technology. The good people at Vox have clocked up some well spent hours in the lab getting it right – even the circuit response of the AC30 is faithfully reproduced and with gain and tone controls you can tailor your sound to different styles depending on what you are playing.

Another cool feature is an auxiliary line in to connect an ipod or any input device to jam along to MP3 tunes. With 2 alkaline AAA batteries you can get 15 hours of battery life out of it. Sadly, I don’t own a real AC30 but I have heard plenty and the vintage sound of a topboost VOX AC30 is definitely recognizable.

Vox have even built a tiny cabinet to turn the amPlug into a mini-stack with a screaming 0.7 watt, 3 inch dedicated speaker. It sounds great on the Youtube videos I’ve watched, which I’ve attached below. It runs on a 9 volt battery which can provide up to 10 hours of power. I can see it being useful for roadtrips, weekends away and school/uni, maybe even busking. It retails for US$26.95 on Amazon.

The Vox amPlug Series

I‘ve only used the original AC30 unit but am tempted to get some other units in the series and here is a quick breakdown of what Vox currently have out there:

Vox amPlug AC30: reproduces the AC30 top boost sound of a vintage VOX AC30 uisng 2 natural-sounding gain stages to reproduce the unique AC30 tone.

Vox amPlug Joe Satriani signature model: since its recent release this version is apparently very popular and is said deliver the big sound of Joe Satriani’s rig which includes Boss distortion, chorus and delay into stock Marshall heads and incorportes settings created by Joe himself using the distortion circuitry of the VOX/Joe Satriani Satchurator pedal. Maintains clarity amongst distortion.

Vox amPlug Lead: replicates the sound of a Fender high-gain amp with digital delay

Vox amPlug Bass: based on the Vox AC100 bass amp including a compressor/boost effect providing thick overdrive sound. A quality FET buffer circuit has been used to obtain excellent dynamic range.

Vox amPlug Acoustic: rich acoustic guitar sounds which can be varied using the Fat/ Bright switch. This unit has ultra-long battery life claimed to provide up to 27 hours.

Vox amPlug Classic Rock: modeled on a UK-made amplifier head

Vox amPlug Metal: based on a California-made high-gain amplifier head

I have read a few reviews on the Vox amPlugs and it seems that other guitar players are as pleased as I am with this great little gadget. They are currently selling on Amazon for as little as US$39.95 making them a very affordable addition to your collection of guitar toys.

Here are some other music related articles you might want to check out:

Vox amPLug Cabinet

Vox amPlug Lead


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