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Rating and Reviews: Vox VT20+ Valvetronix Amp

This Vox modeling amp warms up your sound with a real 12AX7 tube circuit. Tap into 99 gig-ready presets, 33 amp models, and an arsenal of 25 onboard effects.

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"Superb amp, Superb customer service" submitted April 28, 2012

By Frank C. in Toronto, ON
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Music Style: Blues, Classic Rock, Indie, Jazz
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Sound: The moment you hear it you know it's a Vox amp. Great mids and hi's with a smooth bass. The amp models sound very realistic and it sure screams like a tube amp when pushed! Feature: Simply amazing. Ease of Use: For most parts the controls are very straight forward. The amp presets, effects and pedals, reverb, and all the basic controls are very clearly laid out and easy to access. The song presets however requires a manual to be reach its full potential. Overall, compared to several other modelling amps I've used, the VT20+ is one of the most intuitive. Quality: The Amp looks very sturdy and there was only one issue - the grille cloth tend to buzz loudly on certain amp settings, which was annoying. I may try to tighten the cloth sometime later, but for now turning down the bass does help a bit. Other than that great, great quality. Value: You'd be hard pressed to find a better value modelling amp at this price point. Or even amps in general. Manufacturer Support: The first unit I received was defective and I had to return it. I bought the amp in US but lives in Canada. But superb customer service! The guys at zzounds showed me step by step on how to do an international return. Best customer service I've had in years. Overall: Best thing you can find at this price. If you're on a budget this is the perfect amp for you, great for small gigs or just jamming at home.
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"Great practice amp, but has a bit of a learning curve" submitted March 20, 2013

By Justin Franks in Woodbridge, NJ
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Musical Background: Advanced piano player, beginner/intermediate guitar player
Music Style: Classic rock, modern rock, blues
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Overall: Out of all of the popular low-cost, low-power modeling amps (Fender Mustang I, Line 6 Spider IV 15, Peavey Vypyr 15, Roland Cube 20XL, and the Vox VT20+), the Vox was the clear winner for me. I almost passed it over after a quick test, however. But I am glad that I decided to give it a second chance, fiddling around with the knobs quite a bit. I found that the presets are mostly junk. Only maybe 20% of the "green" presets (dry / limited effects) are usable. Most of the "yellow" presets (wet / heavy effects) are horrible. The "red" (song) presets are decent, with most sounding pretty close to the songs they attempt to recreate. Where this amp really shines is in manual mode. But it does take some time to really figure out how to get the best sounds out of it. The EQ on most of the models has a rather shrill high end, so you need to dial back the treble. In fact, my usual starting point for all 3 EQ knobs is at 10 o'clock, not 12 o'clock as would be typical. The small 8" speaker puts out a surprising amount of bass, but out of the box it is pretty muddy. Dialing down the bass knob helps a bit, but what really fixed things was to stuff the speaker cabinet with a small pillow (I found this recommendation on the Vox official forums). Don't laugh or discount this! It really helped to tighten up the bass and low midrange. The 3 separate volume controls (volume, master volume, and power level) can get confusing and take some getting used to. You need to experiment with them to find what works best. Here are my recommendations: * Keep the power level as high as possible, but no higher than 20 watts. There is a lot of hiss once you get past around 10 o'clock. Raise it until the hiss becomes unbearable, then back it down a bit. But even if you can live with the hiss past the 20-watt setting, I don't recommend going any higher unless you absolutely need the extra volume (which most likely will not be often, this amp is quite loud at 20 watts for in-home use, and it is not intended as a gigging amp). Around 11 o'clock is where I typically have this knob set. * The master volume regulates how hard the (real, but little) tube in the power section is driven. Raising this does give a nice, warm breakup, but once you go over 2 o'clock, it starts to sound a bit harsh. I usually keep the master volume set somewhere between 10 o'clock and 12 o'clock. * I then use the volume knob to regulate the overall loudness. Often this is set quite low because I have the master volume and power level set fairly high. Don't go below 9 o'clock, however, because things start to sound bad below this. If you need less volume, then dial back the master volume and/or power level rather than going lower than 9 o'clock on the volume knob. * The actual volume level for different amp models can vary greatly. This can sometimes get annoying. So my starting point is as follows: Gain: 12 o'clock Volume: 10 o'clock Treble: 10 o'clock Middle: 10 o'clock Bass: 10 o'clock Master Volume: 11 o'clock Power Level: 11 o'clock Pedal Value: Off Effects Depth: Off Reverb: Just below 12 o'clock (spring reverb, level around 1/3 of maximum) From there, it usually only takes slight adjustment of each knob to nail the sound I am looking for. The "effectiveness" of the 3-band EQ varies greatly between different amp models. For some models, the EQ knobs have little effect, while for others, the tone is vastly changed with relatively small movements of the knobs. And on a few of the amp models, the EQ is "interactive" -- for instance, adjusting the treble can have some effect on the middle and/or bass frequencies. These EQ "quirks" are based on how the amp being modeled actually behaves. The pedal (stompbox) and rack effects work pretty well, and the reverb is quite nice. There are 3 types of reverb -- room, spring, and hall. I mostly prefer the spring reverb, and sometimes the room reverb. The hall reverb is rarely used. There is an onboard tuner, but it unfortunately is rather limited. Only standard tuning is supported; you can't even tune drop D with it. The tuner works reasonably well, but an actual chromatic tuner should have been included. In conclusion, the Vox VT20+ is an excellent modeling amp that is great for in-home use. It can get quite loud, but does start to sound bad when really pushed to its maximum volume, most likely because of the small 8" speaker. You need to spend a good deal of time with this amp to really take advantage of its potential. If you want an amp that you can get good, useable sounds right out of the box with no fiddling, you might want to look elsewhere. Once you learn its quirks and shortcomings, though, your patience will be rewarded, as the Vox Valvetronix system is the most natural-sounding, entry-level modeling amp on the market.
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"Vox VT20+ Valvetronix Guitar Combo Amp" submitted November 20, 2012

By steve s
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Musical Background: Play guitar at home.
Music Style: rock & blues.
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Overall: Bought this amp to use at home. Very satisfied with it. Looks good, sounds good. I've had no problems with it at all. Definitely worth the price. Like most products, the manual could be better written, that would make it more user friendly; but it's not that difficult as is.
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"good practice amp" submitted October 20, 2013

By Bill Waelchli in Allentown, PA
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Musical Background: Former Drummer. Six years of guitar.
Music Style: Rock, Oldies, Classic Country
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Overall: Good amp for practicing. Nice effects. Plenty of amp choices. Headphone capabil-ity is a great touch. MP-3 imput jack is great for practicing with recorded sound.V.T.-20 has same capabilities as its bigger sibling amps so if you have mikingcapabilities buy the VT-20 and mike it. Same amp, just less wattage! Best Price.
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"Great little combo amp" submitted August 15, 2013

By Louis Oronoz in Chicago, IL
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Musical Background: Main instrument Bass, secondary guitar
Music Style: Hard rock
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Overall: Thing kicks ass for a 20 watt combo. My guitar player (my main instrument is bass, guitar is a 'hobby') needed a practice amp for rehearsal and this thing kept up with my bass and the drummer. All the preset effects are great.
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"Great little amp!~" submitted November 21, 2013

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Overall: I bought this one for use at home with my electric guitar, and it never gets to go over 3 in volume. Took to practice three times for my guitar player who blew out his tubes and this thing kept up with a full band.. Great practice amp!
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"Good Beginners’ Amp" submitted December 28, 2014

By Dan S in Chandler, AZ
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Musical Background: Amateur guitarist, song-writer of 25+ yrs
Music Style: Classic rock, acid rock, 80's metal, 90's alternative, blues
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Overall: I have always used a solid-state amp (Marshall) and digital-modeler (Behringer) and decided to make a foray into tube, but didn't want to spend a fortune on something I wasn't familiar with. A tube-hybrid with digital modeling seemed the perfect compromise. However, I was very wrong. Read on my friend... When I received this amp, it didn't power on and I had to contact ZZounds customer support for a return ticket (they were helpful as always). I decided to try one last time before I packed it up to send it back, and it mysteriously powered on after that. SOUND: Yes, I voided the warranty by installing a speaker-out jack, but running the amp into a 2x10" Vox Berkeley cab vastly improved the muddy sound (and volume) of the built-in speaker. The Clean through Blues amp modelers all sounded decent overall, and the AC30 and AC15 models sounded probably the best (not like a true Vox, but somewhat chimey and bell-like). The overdrive models sounded terrible, though. So noisy, un-precise and flubby as to be almost unusable. The biggest problem with this amp, through, was the electronic interference. It picked up stray electronic signals like a boss. It had to be a flaw in the pre-amp tube or something, because I've never heard that kind of noise from any other amp before or since (solid-state or tube). For that alone, I would never recommend this amp to anyone but a beginner trying to find his/her sound-style. EFFECTS: I had lots of fun trying out all the different amp and effect combinations. I especially liked the swirly/chopper effect of the dual vibrato. I also liked being able to dial in different degrees of pre-amp distortion. What I didn't like with any of the effects was that at the lowest setting, it would abruptly turn on or off with no transition. If you want a VERY subtle chorus, you just can't get it because it was like going from 0 to 3 on the dial. I settled on the lowest Tape Echo setting with a bit of Reverb and ignored the rest because I found most of the effects to be unusable (almost cartoony) for real-world music. SUMMARY: While I found that you could dial in a playable sound with this amp, you could only do so with about half of the amp models. The rest (mostly the high-gain amps) were unusable for a variety of reasons, mainly too much noise and simply generic tone. Overall, though, I did get better tone than my V-Amp II and solid-state Marshall, and the volume (when plugged in to an external cab) was probably just enough for a live jam. However, I'm convinced the "hybrid" aspect of the amp is a marketing scam - it doesn't add anything to the tone of the amp and may actually invite more electronic interference. It also probably adds to the cost of the amp which in reality, should be about $70-80 less than what it retails. RECOMMENDATION: If you are looking for a serious modeling amp, then steer clear of Vox and stick with Line-6 who have been doing it for a long time. If you want a tube amp, then don't be suckered by the cheaper "hybrid" technology, it just isn't the same. I eventually sold this amp on Craigslist and bought a couple old Danelectro/Silvertone tube combos from the 60's, and I can tell you this, the difference is a million miles apart. My advice, when you are ready, don't skimp on the equipment, you'll never regret spending the extra money for something that you'll want to keep for many years to come.
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"guitar combo amp" submitted January 1, 2014

By Juan Benavides in La Porte, TX
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Musical Background: Played Guitar off and on for years
Music Style: Rock, Metal.
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Overall: Great amp for the price. Excellent value. Terrific effects for this price range
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"great amp for the price" submitted October 11, 2012

By tom b in wallingford, CT
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Musical Background: casual player
Music Style: rock, metal, country
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Overall: for the price you cannot ask for more. great for the home and office. not to big and not to small and great sounds and adjustments. would highly recommend this to anyone.
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"Nice amp... future classic? Maybe! " submitted February 17, 2015

By Billy W in Carlsbad, CA
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Musical Background: I have a pro musical background but not as a guitarist.
Music Style: Blues/rock.
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Overall: I've been using this VOX hybrid combo for a few weeks as I get my guitar chops back after a few years (like thirty!) away doing other stuff. My recollection from the past with amps is that they needed to be driven hard to get any kind of crunch tone and sustain. This VT seems to put that worry to rest with today's bedroom-friendly equipment. Basically like several amps now it allows the user to dial in the power amp output, which is kind of like the volume control with a distinct difference: the smaller an amps wattage the better it overdrives (via the gain control) for a given volume. I know from bitter experience in the past that buying a 'powerful' traditional 50 or 100 watt amp just kills the experience for domestic use. OK I guess this might be obvious to many reading this but I stated it in the hope of educating one or two would-be Hendrixs or Van Halens out there that might fall into the big watt trap. In fairness the manufacturers are listening today and catering for the home user. In the bad old days of the 70s all the 'guitar heros' selling amps & kit in the stores told everyone they needed a 100w Marshall to sound like Jimi! Right.. OK the VOX: It has amp modelling. Good for some - not everybody. But.. no negatives to having it onboard. I found it fairly easy to dial in a good sound/tone. The fx are pretty good to be honest too. It's maybe a tad 'complicated' for some of the old axemen amongst us but I'm sure the younger folk dig the number of dials and switches. I don't care - it sings when you get the right setting - however you get to the end result. The single tube/valve in the power amp makes for a warm sound. It's kind of ass about face tech.. the trad amps have a valve pre-amp (& power amp) but this design just uses a tube in the second section for warmth. I think its a bargain at the $179 price. It has... erm, classiness! This is a lil combo that you can happily use without external kit.. pedals etc. It's for recording n home use as it stands imho.. for gigging you'd need to use pedals so you had the exact sounds you want at your finger ( or toe) tips..
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"Yeah! " submitted February 9, 2015

By Billy W in Carlsbad, CA
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Musical Background: Studio use only.
Music Style: Rock n blues..
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Overall: There's many roads to Rome - just like there's many ways to get a good guitar sound. I like the quality of this 'budget' priced studio sized combo. If you need a one-stop solution to getting almost any sound style you might need - this little set-up will do it. Personally, I use pedals and run this amp fairly clean. Just some overdrive. It sounds pretty warm.. hey it's a sub-$200 unit. I realise that if I spent $750 I'd get a tougher/heavier real tube job, but as I say, this is $179. Excellent sound for such a compact unit. Well made too. Nicely finished. I prefer the old school knobs like the VOX kit has. Almost has too many controls!! Tuner is useful. It's loud for 20 W..
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"very dissapainted" submitted July 1, 2014

By patrick e in copperas cove, TX
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Musical Background: guitar,bass for 20 plus years
Music Style: rock ,country , blues ,metal ,electronic
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Overall: it sounds like a cheap transistor radio i dont know if i got a lemon but i sent it back
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