If you are a guitar player, the first thing you should think when hearing the name Vox is AC30. This array of guitar sounds came to give you more in terms of flexibility. So this is a Vox amPlug 2 review of the different models.
This legendary british amp manufacturer made probably the most recognizable amplifier in sound with the AC30, which was introduced back in 1958, on a time when amp builders were trying to increase the power output due to the increased demand in loud amplifiers.
Today the story is very different. Since the 21 century started, a lot of technologies wanted to change how the game worked. Usually it was very simple, you have a guitar, a guitar cable and an amp and you’re good to go.
But mom will not be very happy with you blasting riffs from Queen at 11pm, trying to sound like Brian May, who is probably the best known user of the AC30.
amPlug 2 Makes Great Tones On A Budget
The Vox amPlug 2 came to solve all of these problems by allowing you to have the sounds that you enjoy in 7 different guitar models. You can connect your headphones to the amPlug and thus, mom will be very happy that you are not blasting that devil sounding instrument.
You won’t need extra pedals or fancy and expensive equipment to have a great sound, with the amPlug occupying almost no space at all. There are three settings to alter your sound.
amPlug 2 also comes included with the option of an FX for your sound with:
The Different amPlugs
The AC30 guitar model is without a doubt the most popular one on this range, but the others definitely won’t be behind.
I was actually blown away by the quality of these gadgets since I am usually skeptical about too much technology when talking about guitar tone.
The Clean model is for me the best of them all because you can rarely get a quality clean tone like the amp without the actual amp, which is something that I actually started noticing with recordings. It’s fairly easier to get a good crunch or lead tone on a recording than a high fidelity clean one.
The different VOX amPlug 2 models are:
- Classic Rock
This model is an emulation of the AC30 and the only one copyrighted by Vox. It replicates the classic british top boost mode from the combo amp with great difference between the green and orange/red channels.
What I thought about this model:
- Great range from clean to crunch to distortion.
- Very thin sound compared to the original AC30
- The effects do not match very well with this model
This model tries to emulate the crunch tones of classic rock outfits like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, seen in amps like the Marshall JTM series that Angus Young is known to use.
- Very cool range of tones when changing from a Les Paul style pickups to Strat style singe-coils
- The effects go along very well with this model
- It can go from little crunch to high lead tones maintaining good sound quality
This model will offer you great tone to play classic thrash metal style riffs but also working for more heavy and powerful nu metal riffs when changing the tone option.
- Big sound even when using headphones
- Not too overblown that you can’t hear the notes
- Works well with rhythm and lead playing
- Since it’s very high gain, the effects can add too much confusion in the tone
The Blues model is probably the harder one to replicate, when we think of this tone we think of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.
We all know it’s extremely hard to replicate those sounds and mostly it comes from the hands and the picking rather than the amp.
This model tries to replicate the tweed amps from Fender, which is a difficult task due to the fact that Fender combos amps work really well in that range were the sound is almost “breaking” and entering into overdrive. A hard feat to accomplish in a sound emulator.
So, here are my thoughts in this hard to nail sound model:
- Reverb and Delay work very well
- Clean channel does not offer a value tone
- More high gain channel delivers good blues tones
- Probably the best blues tone for the price
This one, for a lot of people, they would think it’s the easiest to get right.
Actually, a great clean tone can be very hard to achieve when connecting a guitar without an amplifier because it will lack the space that the tone needs. Even if you have effects on the tone, the natural reverb that comes from your room or the environment you are in is very hard to nail. Although, Vox seems to love making me speechless, because this model delivers a great clean tone.
- Great bottom-end
- Full sound with green and orange channel
- Awesome slightly overdriven tone if you push it
- Even better sounding than some other overdriven models
A great lead tone is probably the easiest to emulate in these settings, since it’s so full of gain that it’s less likely to notice the small problems in the tone.
- Works for both lead and high gain rhythm parts
- Metal enthusiasts will love this model
- The effects are not very noticeable with the lead style
- Can’t clean the tone very much even when lowering the volume on the guitar
The last one in this list is obviously different and that is why I left it at the end.
Bass players, you can come it now, this model is for you.
- Great way to improve your bass tone with a cheap product
- From very clean to a valve amp emulated sound
- Compressed sound for funky tones
- Overall great addition to your rig
Vox Continues to Impress
Whether you’re a gear geek or not and love to spend thousands of dollars in expensive equipment, you should check the Vox amPlug 2 and actually realize that they are making products thinking about the improvements in the industry and how we can have many ways of playing our instruments. Definitely worth checking and referring to your friends.
Feel free to check more posts on my website about guitar accessories.