Vox are a British amplifier brand with rich history. Their amplifiers have been used by several famous guitarists over the years such as George Harrison and Brian May.
They have an extensive range of amps to cater for professionals, and beginners, so it can be hard to figure out which is the best choice. In this article, I’ll take you through the complete range of currently available Vox amplifiers, so you can really narrow down your options.
Vox primarily specialise in tube (valve) amplifiers, and are best known for their flagship AC range which includes the AC30 that was famously used by Brian May and The Beatles. They also produce a range of hybrid and solid-state amplifiers to suit lower budgets, including the entry-level Vox Pathfinder.
Make sure you check my in-depth guide comparing solid state and tube amplifiers so you can decide which is the best option for you.
The best Vox amp for an iconic tube amp ton is the AC30. For guitarists looking to have a very versatile amp with many different tones then the Vox Valvetronix (VT) is the best choice. For beginners, the Vox Pathfinder is the best choice as it is inexpensive, easy to use and produces a good tone.
Best Vox Amps
- Vox AC30
- Vox AC15
- Vox Valvetronix (VT)
These are my personal top picks, but there are loads of great amps in the Vox line-up. The range is quite large making it difficult to navigate, so in this guide I’ll take you through all the models and the differences between them so you can choose the best option for you.
Overview of the Vox Range
There are 7 main series in the Vox amplifier range:
- Mini Go
- VX Series
- Valvetronix (VT)
- AV Series
- AC Series
Here is a table comparing the technology, power rating (wattage) and Guitar Center (or equivalent) prices at the time of writing.
|Vox Amp Series||Technology||Power Ratings||Price|
|Mini Go||Solid-State||3W, 10W, 50W||$150-$300|
|VX Series||Solid-State (modelling)||15W, 50W||$130-$230|
|Valvetronix||Solid-State (modelling)||20W, 40W, 100W||$180-$380|
|AV Series||Hybrid||15W, 30W, 60W||$135-$250|
|AC Series e.g. AC15 and AC30||Tube (valve)||4W, 10W, 15W, 30W||$400-$2180|
In the rest of the article, I’ll take you through each series in a bit more detail and then provide some conclusions about who I think these amps are best for.
Most Iconic: Vox AC Series (AC10, AC15 and AC30)
The Vox AC Series is the most iconic in the range. Vox AC amps have tube (valve) technology so produce a gritty and crunchy tone when pushed, producing a very popular tone chosen by many artists. They come in various sizes and are available in combo and head unit options.
Here are the different Vox AC amps:
Headphones/ Mini Amps
- AC30 Guitar Headphone Amp
- AC30 Guitar Headphones
- AC30C2X Custom
- AC30HW2 Hand-Wired
- AC30HW2X Hand-Wired
- AC15CH Custom
- AC30CH Custom
- AC30HWHD Hand-Wired
As you can see, the range is pretty large, and the names can be a bit confusing so I’ll break things down:
- Each name starts with AC followed by a number. The number refers to the power rating (wattage) of the amplifier e.g. a Vox AC15 amp is a 15W amplifier.
- Some names are also followed by either C, S or HW. The “S” version has a single speaker and single channel, the “C” versions stand for “Custom” and the HW versions stand for “Hand-Wired”.
- “HW” or “Hand-Wired” amps are the top-of-the-range models. They use higher quality components and are designed for purists who want the most traditional Vox tone.
Here is a table comparing all the main features and Guitar Center price at the time of writing, of the Vox AC Combo range. The table is ordered by power rating, and then price within each power rating.
|Vox AC Model||Power||Channels||Speakers||Tremolo||Reverb||Price|
|AC4C1-12||4W||1||12″ Celestion VX12||No||No||$400|
|AC4HW||4W||1||12″ Celestion GM12 Greenback||No||No||$840|
|AC10||10W||1||10″ Celestion VX10 Custom||No||Yes||$500|
|AC10C1||10W||1||10″ VX10 Celestion Creamback||No||Yes||$600|
|AC15||15W||2||12” Celestion G12M-65 Creamback||Yes||Yes||$700|
|AC15C1||15W||2||12″ Celestion G12M Greenback||Yes||Yes||$700|
|AC15C1X||15W||2||12″ Celestion Alnico Blue||Yes||Yes||$900|
|AC15C2||15W||2||12″ Celestion G12M Greenback||Yes||Yes||$900|
|AC15HW1||15W||2||12″ Celestion G12M Greenback||No||No||$1400|
|AC15HW1X||15W||2||12″ Celestion Alnico Blue||No||No||$1600|
|AC30S1||30W||1||12″ Celestion custom||No||Yes||$900|
|AC30C2||30W||2||2 x 12″ Celestion G12M Greenback||Yes||Yes||$1400|
|AC30C2X||30W||2||2 x 12″ Celestion Alnico Blue||Yes||Yes||$1550|
|AC30HW2||30W||2||2 x 12″ Celestion G12M Greenback||No||No||$1900|
|AC30HW2X||30W||2||2 x 12″ Celestion Alnico Blue||No||No||$2180|
The main differences between each model are the channel number, power (wattage), speaker size and type, and whether they have reverb and tremolo built-in.
Greenback vs Alnico Blue Speakers
Alnico Blue speakers produce the tone that you would most commonly associate with Vox, which is often described as “chimey” and vintage. Greenback speakers have more mid-range frequency compared to Alnico Blue speakers.
Vox AC15 vs AC30
The Vox AC15 range has a single 12″ speaker, whilst the AC30 has two 12″ speakers. The AC30 allows you to achieve louder clean tones before the amp begins to distort, due to the extra 15W power. The AC30 is around 20 pounds heavier and approximately $400-$500 more expensive than the AC15.
If you want to hear a Vox AC15 in action, hit play on the video below.
Check out my in-depth comparison of the Vox AC15 and AC30 to learn about all the differences.
Entry-Level: Vox Pathfinder
Vox make an entry-level amplifier called the Pathfinder 10. It is a solid-state amp with two channels and a two-band EQ (bass and treble). It is compatible with headphones and weighs only 10 pounds, making it a great practice amplifier with a 10W power rating, perfect for using at-home.
It is one of the cheaper practice/ entry-level amps, which is impressive considering how reputable and iconic Vox is. You can check out the Vox Pathfinder here on Amazon to see the current price.
Vox Modelling Amps: VX, Cambridge and Valvetronix
Modelling amps have become very popular in recent years due to their versatility and affordability. There are two main types of amp technology: solid state and tube (valve). Solid state amps are cheaper, but tube amps tend to have a better tone, but much larger price tag.
Modelling amps aim to offer a happy medium. They are solid-state amps, but have different “modes” to emulate the sounds of different amplifiers, such as tube amps. This way, you get the low price of a solid-state amp, and can achieve a tone that is very close to a tube amp, all in one package.
Vox are mostly known for their tube amps, but also make a great selection of modelling amplifiers: the VX-series, Cambridge and Valvetronix. Each of these ranges offers something a little different, so here is a table to compare them.
|Specification||Vox Valvetronix (VT)||Vox Cambridge||Vox VX-Series|
|Combo Sizes||20W, 40W, 100W||50W||15W, 50W|
|Number of Models||11||11||11|
|Controls||Gain, 3 band EQ||Gain, 2 band EQ||Gain, 2 band EQ|
All three amps have 11 models, which allow you to simulate the tone of classic amps such as the Vox AC30. The Valvetronix has 5 more built-in effects than the Cambridge and VX-Series, making it a better option if you do not want to use effects pedals. The Valvetronix also has a 3-band EQ (bass, middle, treble) compared to the Cambridge and VX-Series 2-band EQ (bass and treble). This means the Valvetronix has the edge if you’re looking for more mid-range shaping options.
The Vox Cambridge is available in a 50W option, making it suitable for small gigs, but perhaps to large for bedroom practice. The Valvetronix and VX-Series are available in smaller sizes, and also 40W and 50W versions respectively. The Valvetronix is also available in a 100W version which is great for gigging in larger venues. The prices are all fairly similar when you compare the power ratings, but the VX50 is cheaper than the 50W Vox Cambridge.
Here is an image of each amp, all the images link to Amazon so you can check current prices.
Hybrid Amps: AV Series (AV15, AV30, AV60)
The Vox AV series is designed to fill a gap between modelling and valve amplifiers. They are designed for practicing at home, or for recording in a studio. It has a tube-based circuit, as well as 8 different channels so you can easily shape your tone. Essentially, it gives you plenty of versatility, but also produces a truly iconic tube amp tone.
Here are the key features:
- Available in 15W, 30W and 60W combo sizes.
- 6 channels (pre-amp circuits): clean 1, clean 2, crunch 1, crunch 2, overdrive 1, overdrive 2, high gain 1 and high gain 2.
- Gain and 3-band EQ controls (bass, middle and treble)
- Bright and fat switches to change the EQ
- Reverb, delay and modulation effects built-in
Portable Amps: Mini Go Series
The Vox Mino Go series is available in 3 combo amp sizes: 3W, 10W and 50W. It is designed to be used by singer-songwriters and buskers who are looking for a powerful and portable amp. Here are some of the the key features:
- Built-in looper with 40 seconds of recording time
- Can be powered by a portable USB battery
- Power level control to reduce the power to making it a playable volume for different settings
- 11 models based on iconic amps such as the Vox AC30
- Gain and tone control
- 8 built-in effects
- Lightweight and compact design
The extra functionality to make these amps portable, means they are slightly more expensive than similar power Vox amps in the rest of the series.
Which Vox Amp Should You Get?
The Vox amp range is pretty vast, so it can be a bit tough to figure out which is the best one for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
For the Best Tone
If you are looking for an iconic vintage tone, then the Vox AC series is your best option. They keep things simple with the controls, and provide a rich signature tone that is hard to imitate using any other amp. They are also available in several sizes to suit different budgets and venues.
For Tube Tones on a Budget
If you are looking for the Vox AC tone, but don’t have the budget for it, then the AV series is the best option. They sound great, and are available in 15W, 30W and 60W options. This makes them great for playing at home, or on stage, and the built-in effects are a big added bonus for a lot of players.
For Complete Beginners
For complete beginners, you’ll struggle to find an electric guitar amp much better than a Vox Pathfinder. They are priced very competitively compared to other brands and the 10W combo size is perfect for practicing at home. They have just enough features to give you some great options to play with, but not so many to avoid making it confusing for new players.
Check out the Vox Pathfinder on Amazon for the current price.
If you are looking for the most versatile Vox amplifier, then the Valvetronix series is the perfect option. With 11 models to simulate iconic tones from amps such as the AC30, and 13 built-in effects, there isn’t much you can’t do with this amp. It also comes in 20W, 40W and 100W sizes, so there’s an option for every situation.
Check out the Vox Valvetronix VT40X on Amazon.
Guitar Center are always the first place I look at when I’m interested in a new amp because have a huge range of amplifiers for sale and always have some excellent deals on. Here’s a link to take you directly to Guitar Center’s amp range so you can see all the offers available at the moment.
What Power Rating (Wattage) Do I Need?
Vox amps are available in different power ratings to suit different situations. Here are some general rules:
- For home practicing, a 10-30W solid-state, or 5-10W tube amp will be more than enough.
- For gigging and performing live in small venues, aim for a 50-100W solid-state amp, or a 15-30W tube amp.
- For large venues, an 80-150W solid-state, or 30-50W tube amp will be suitable in most cases.
I’ve written a full guide to choosing the right size amplifier, if you want to get some more detail. It’s important to consider the amplifier type and other factors such as the speaker size, and this guide will explain it all clearly.
In the market for a new amplifier? Check out my complete amplifier buyer’s guide to help narrow down your selection and find the perfect amp for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some more quick questions you might still have about Vox amplifiers.
Which guitarists use Vox amplifiers?
Famous guitarists who have used Vox amplifiers include Brian May, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Rory Gallagher, Matthew Bellamy, Joe Walsh, Joff Oddie, Nick Wheeler, Wayne Sermon and Chris Shiflett.
What are Vox amps known for?
Vox amps are best known for classic rock in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They sound great for a wide range of music styles such as jazz, blues, pop and indie, but are not generally associated with heavier music styles such as metal.
What do Vox amps sound like?
The tone of a Vox amp is often described as “chimey”. They produce bright clean tones with excellent clarity, and when pushed, they produce a crunchy but articulate tone.
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