Boss and Vox are huge names in the guitar amp industry, but with quite different backgrounds. In this article, I’ll be comparing the tone of Boss and Vox amplifiers, the main settings and features and popular models including the Valvetronix vs the Katana.
The Quick Answer
Vox amps often sound more classic and vintage than Boss amps. Vox offers both valve and solid state modelling options, whereas Boss only focuses on solid state amps. Vox amps usually sound more bright and crunchy than Boss amps which sound darker and heavier.
Comparing the Sound
Boss primarily specialises in solid state modelling amps whereas Vox mainly makes valve amps. Modelling amps allow you to achieve a range of “voices”. Vox Valve amps on the other hand have a more classic and vintage tone but are arguably less versatile since most don’t have different models, except for the Valvetronix and Cambridge ranges.
Of course the best way to demonstrate the differences in tone, is to let you hear it, so is a video to compare the tone of a classic Vox AC valve amp and the very popular Boss Katana.
- Most Vox valve amps will have more “bite”, brightness and crunch when pushed to high volumes compared to Boss amplifiers.
- Boss amps usually have more low-end (bass) than Vox amps
- Vox amps usually sound more crunchy and chimey and have a more pronounced mid-range
- Boss amps have more low-end and a heavier and punchier overall sound
Both Boss and Vox amplifiers are capable of playing a wide variety of music styles. Vox amps are generally more associated with classic rock during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s whilst Boss amps have a more modern tone and suit heavier genres such as metal and heavy rock more.
Vox VT (Valvetronix) vs Boss Katana
If you’re looking for a good modelling amp, then the Vox Valvetronix and Boss Katana are great options. Here is table to show the features of these two amps compared.
|Specification||Boss Katana||Vox Valvetronix (VT)|
|Effects||Over 60 (if using Boss Tone Studio)||13|
|Combo Sizes||50W, 100W||20W, 40W, 100W|
|Number of Models||10||11 (20 when using editing software)|
|Controls||Gain, 3 band EQ, presence||Gain, 3 band EQ|
|Head Unit Option?||Yes (30W and 100W)||No|
The Boss Katana offers more effects than the Vox Valvetronix (VT), however they both offer a similar number of built-in models. The Vox VT combo comes in 3 sizes, 20W, 40W and 100W, whereas the combo Katana only offers 50W and 100W versions making the price of the entry-level model more expensive.
Comparing More Specific Models
The Boss Katana and the Vox VT aren’t the only amps in these brands’ line-ups. I also wanted to compare the features and specifications of other models in the range. I have compiled a list of pretty much every Boss and Vox amp currently available into the tables below and split them into 3 main categories so you can find the best options for you and compare the features. The prices are based on the Guitar Center price at the time of writing.
- Solid state and hybrid combo amps: $90-$900
- Head units: $350-$2780
- Valve combo amps (Vox Only): $400-$1900
Solid State and Hybrid Combo Amps
|VOX Pathfinder||10W||$90||2 channels, gain, bass, treble|
|Vox Valvetronix VT20X||20W||$180||11 models, gain, treb, mids, bass, compression, chorus, OD, distortion, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb|
|Vox VX50 GTV||50W||$230||11 models, gain, treb, bass, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, reverb, delay|
|Boss Katana 50||50W||$240||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Vox Valvetronix VT40X||40W||$250||11 models, gain, treb, mids, bass, compression, chorus, OD, distortion, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb|
|Vox Cambridge50||50W||$300||11 models, gain chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo, delay, reverb|
|Boss Cube Street II||10W||$350||7 guitar models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, chorus, delay|
|Boss Katana 100 1×12||100W||$370||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Vox Valvetronix VT100X||100W||$380||11 models, gain, treb, mids, bass, compression, chorus, OD, distortion, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb|
|Boss Katana 100 2×12||100W||$480||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Nextone Stage||40W||$515||4 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence|
|Boss Katana-Artist||100W||$600||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Nextone Artist||80W||$720||4 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence|
|Boss Nextone Special||80W||$900||2 channels (and 4 models), 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, boost, custom tune, presence|
- The entry-level price for Vox amps is the cheapest
- Boss and Vox offer similarly priced 50W and 100W solid state combo amp options
|Boss Katana||100W||Solid State||$350||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Katana-Air Wireless||30W||Solid State||$412||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Vox AC15CH Custom||15W||Tube||$700||Normal and top boost channels, treb, bass, reverb, tremolo|
|Vox MVX150H||150W||Solid State||$800||2 channels, gain, tone, bass, mids, treb, reverb, presence, resonance|
|Vox AC30CH Custom||30W||Tube||$1100||Normal and top boost channels, treb, bass, reverb, tremolo|
|Vox Hand-Wired AC30||30W||Tube||$1300||Normal and top boost channels, treb, bass|
|Boss Waza||150W||Solid State||$2780||2 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, presence, reverb, FX|
- Only Vox offer tube head unit amps currently
- Vox offers the highest wattage head unit for the lowest price
- Boss offer the cheapest head unit
Valve Combo Amps (Vox Only)
|Vox AC4C1-12||4W||$400||Gain, bass, treble|
|Vox AC10C1||10W||$480||Gain, bass, treble, reverb|
|Vox AC15||15W||$700||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb|
|Vox AC4HW Hand-Wired||4W||$840||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble|
|Vox Custom AC15C2||15W||$900||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb|
|Vox AC151X||15W||$900||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb|
|Vox AC30S1||30W||$900||Gain, bass, treble, reverb|
|Vox AC30C2||30W||$1400||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb|
|Vox AC15HW1 Hand-Wired||15W||$1400||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble|
|Vox Custom AC30CX2||30W||$1550||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb|
|Vox AC30HW2 Hand-Wired||30W||$1900||Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble|
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.
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