New Amp- Vox Av15

Darkness

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I didn't need another amp. I didn't want another amp. I certainly wasn't looking for another amp. I blame Sweetwater.

About 10 days ago I got an email and I tried to avoid it. A day later I opened it. I was thumbing around in their sales, some stuff on clearance was catching my eye. I fumbled into the Vox stuff looking for a footswitch, it was $10 and I wanted it so I got that. Then I noticed this unusual looking (by Vox standards) amp. Basically a 15w practice amp with an 8" speaker, the controls looked simple, a few preset models and three effects. Marked down from $250 to $149.... no I don't need it. Get your foot switch and walk away. I did.

Next morning I read some reviews and went right back to the page. 6 left... Into my cart it went. I may be giving my Pathfinder to my niece so I could use another small cheap amp, right? Stupid Sweetwater.

The cabinet is made on the cheap. Wood feels too light to be true, betting it's a porous particle board rather than a dense fiber board. I wouldn't expect it to survive any sort of dropping, but it has a very nice suitcase style handle. It does have internal bracing so that might not matter much. It also has a little bass port on the front and the rear is enclosed, thats different.

After playing it a bit, it seems much more sensitive to pickup height than my other amps. I actually thought it was deffective while using my Riviera on neck, then on bridge it came to life. I tested a few other guitars with similar result. The bass response is impressive. In my experience with car stereo I never liked ported sub boxes because they limit the frequency range so much in exchange for output, but that doesn't seem to apply to this. Hmm.

I played around with the fat switch and the bright switch. At lower volume I leave both on, at higher volume I don't need it. I haven't really messed with the bias or reactor switches. The "Clean 2", "Crunch 2" and "OD1" are very good to play with. Crunch and OD are especially lively with my P90 Special, it's like new tones were unlocked. The reverb and delay are what you'd expect. The "Mod" effect I had seen documented as a chorus, but sounds more like modulation or a flanger or phaser to me. I may try it later turned way down, but I've never been into that effect.

The power chord is a little odd to me. Vox seems to do this often where you have a full sized section of chord, then a little box, and from the box to the amp is as thin as a phone charger. It makes me wonder if they're that efficient to not need a meaty cable. I wonder if the same applies to the big brothers, AV30 and AV60, which have more than one tube.

Overall I like it a lot. It's a small amp, and compared to my Pathfinder and VT40x, I think it sounds a bit better. It doesn't muddy up as quickly as the Pathfinder and doesn't have to be loud to get the full experience like the VT40X. I just checked, Sweetwater is out of stock. You can find these well under $100 used.

You're still here? Why? This was too much senseless reading. Go play guitar! Okay okay here are a couple of pics.
 

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BGood

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Nice little amp. To get that 12AX7 tube cooking, try it with volume dimed and adjust loudness with the gain knob. You might discover a new amp in there. That is mostly how I play my 15W tube amps.

As for P90s, the better the amp the better they sound.
 

soulman969

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Nice little amp. To get that 12AX7 tube cooking, try it with volume dimed and adjust loudness with the gain knob. You might discover a new amp in there. That is mostly how I play my 15W tube amps.

As for P90s, the better the amp the better they sound.

Good suggestion for how to bring the power tubes into play for better sounding overdrive and distortion.
 

Darkness

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Nice little amp. To get that 12AX7 tube cooking, try it with volume dimed and adjust loudness with the gain knob. You might discover a new amp in there. That is mostly how I play my 15W tube amps.

As for P90s, the better the amp the better they sound.
I will give that a shot tonight, thanks. O was playing with volume up, power down, and power up, volume down. Didn't try it that way yet.

Edit-
Tried it on clean with the Special. Wow that's a different world! I smacked the Day Tripper riff on the neck pickup and it had so much bass, right on the edge of breaking up. Way more punch than I expected.
 
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Noodling Guitars

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I will give that a shot tonight, thanks. O was playing with volume up, power down, and power up, volume down. Didn't try it that way yet.

Edit-
Tried it on clean with the Special. Wow that's a different world! I smacked the Day Tripper riff on the neck pickup and it had so much bass, right on the edge of breaking up. Way more punch than I expected.
These are nice amps and the " power level" knob is super useful. Cause half of the 12AX7 is used for controlling poweramp distortion (thw other half goes to the preamp circuit) you can have a bit of poweramp distortion all the time at low volume if you dime "volume" and control the actual volume with "power level". Neat stuff.
 

BlueSquirrel

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Something that I find cool as well on this amp is the "middle" knob. Vox doesn't put it on all its amps (sometimes there is only "bass" and "treble") although it is a very useful feature imho.

Turn it on a little and you get Led Zeppelin, Gary Moore or Carlos Santana, back it off and you get Guns n' Roses.

I suppose that sometimes the "mids" knob is left out because of tradition.

In the guitar world, whenever something is impractical, most of the time that's because it is "historical". ;) :D
 
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Darkness

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I suppose that sometimes the "mids" knob is left out because of tradition.

In the guitar world, whenever something is impractical, most of the time that's because it is "historical". ;) :D
Yes, this! The middle knob is nice too.
 


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