Boss vs Vox Amps: Which are the Best?


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.

Clean Tone

  • 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

Distorted Tone

  • 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

Music Styles

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.

SpecificationBoss KatanaVox Valvetronix (VT)
EffectsOver 60 (if using Boss Tone Studio)13
Combo Sizes50W, 100W20W, 40W, 100W
Number of Models1011 (20 when using editing software)
ControlsGain, 3 band EQ, presenceGain, 3 band EQ
Price Range$240-$480$180-$380
Head Unit Option?Yes (30W and 100W)No
Boss Katana vs Vox Valvetronix VT

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.

Boss Katana (image links to Amazon)

Vox Valvetronix (image links to Amazon)

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.

Contents:

  • 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

AmplifierWattagePriceSettings
VOX Pathfinder10W$902 channels, gain, bass, treble
Vox Valvetronix VT20X20W$18011 models, gain, treb, mids, bass, compression, chorus, OD, distortion, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb
Vox VX50 GTV50W$23011 models, gain, treb, bass, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, reverb, delay
Boss Katana 5050W$24010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Vox Valvetronix VT40X40W$25011 models, gain, treb, mids, bass, compression, chorus, OD, distortion, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb
Vox Cambridge5050W$30011 models, gain chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo, delay, reverb
Boss Cube Street II10W$3507 guitar models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, chorus, delay
Boss Katana 100 1×12100W$37010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Vox Valvetronix VT100X100W$38011 models, gain, treb, mids, bass, compression, chorus, OD, distortion, flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, reverb
Boss Katana 100 2×12100W$48010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Boss Nextone Stage40W$5154 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence
Boss Katana-Artist100W$60010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Boss Nextone Artist80W$7204 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence
Boss Nextone Special80W$9002 channels (and 4 models), 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, boost, custom tune, presence
Vox vs Boss Solid State Combo Amps Compared

Key Points:

  • The entry-level price for Vox amps is the cheapest
  • Boss and Vox offer similarly priced 50W and 100W solid state combo amp options

Head Units

AmplifierWattageTypePriceSettings
Boss Katana100WSolid State$35010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Boss Katana-Air Wireless30WSolid State$41210 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Vox AC15CH Custom15WTube$700Normal and top boost channels, treb, bass, reverb, tremolo
Vox MVX150H150WSolid State$8002 channels, gain, tone, bass, mids, treb, reverb, presence, resonance
Vox AC30CH Custom30WTube$1100Normal and top boost channels, treb, bass, reverb, tremolo
Vox Hand-Wired AC3030WTube$1300Normal and top boost channels, treb, bass
Boss Waza150WSolid State$27802 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, presence, reverb, FX
Vox vs Boss Head Unit Amps Compared.

Key Points:

  • 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)

AmplifierWattagePriceSettings
Vox AC4C1-124W$400Gain, bass, treble
Vox AC10C110W$480Gain, bass, treble, reverb
Vox AC1515W$700Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb
Vox AC4HW Hand-Wired4W$840Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble
Vox Custom AC15C215W$900Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb
Vox AC151X15W$900Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb
Vox AC30S130W$900Gain, bass, treble, reverb
Vox AC30C230W$1400Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb
Vox AC15HW1 Hand-Wired15W$1400Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble
Vox Custom AC30CX230W$1550Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble, tremolo, reverb
Vox AC30HW2 Hand-Wired30W$1900Normal and top-boost channels, bass, treble
Vox valve combo amplifiers.

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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Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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