Vox AD50VT XL Review
Original author: Marc_Maiden
Model: AD50VT XL
Hey guys...ive been working on the video for this amp as well...my camera ran out of battery so i gotta recharge and finish recording it, so i thought while im at work id make a written review first then post the video here!
My Set up:
Ibanez RG520QS (mahogany body)
Duncan JB in the bridge
Duncan 59 in the neck
Planet Waves Cable
Dunlop Yellow .73 mm Picks (the ones with the turtles)
No pedals, nothing but my guitar and amp
First things First -The specs
It has a 2x12 configuration which I absolutely love...ive never been much of a half stack guy, just because i dont think id ever really need one!
This bad boy has a 12AX pre amp tube in it, make it a hybrid, and this tube really shines. NO, it is not a tube amp, but YES you do hear the single tube in the sound.
Its got 50watts of power along with a power squeezer so that you can crank the master with out making your ears bleeeeed! (yay)
NO EFFECTS LOOP! yuck! I dont know why this doesnt have one, but it bothers me because i dont like plugging things through the front. (its messy and waters your tone down)
It has a speaker cab out which is cool because you can connect it to a 4x12 and make it a half stack...i guess that gives you a lot more sound options...but still..a cab extension but no effects loop?
It does have a line out/head phones plug in which i tried to plug in to my toneport to record the pre amp...it doesnt sound so great with out the speakers...the speakers on this amp are very nice, and color the tone the right way...which is why i need to invest in a recording mic now.
There is a footswitch input as well, however most (well all ive checked) online retailers are sold out of the footswitch till april....YUCK!
Thats about it for the back....it is a closed back by the way (like i said pictures and videos coming soon!)
Now for the top of the amp (the parameters)
The first knob is the amp model knob which lets you choose from 12 amp models...most of them are distortion with the exception of the 2 clean channels.
Then you have the "Gain" knob followed by the "channel volume" knob the "EQ parameters" the "effects knob" and the "effects level" knob
there are a few buttons aswell-> there is one to go in and out of preset mode...there is one that switches you to "What you see if what you get" mode meaning that it turns off the presets, and gos directly to what the parameters are set to (eq, gain, volume, effects) There are 2 channels you can save your presets to which i know is kinda limiting compared to a line 6 amp, but high end amps have 2 channels only, and some even have only 1 ( i know this isnt high end but i thought id throw it out there) then here is the tap and effects bypass (which when you press it, it turns off or on the effects which is cool because you dont need to turn the knobs down or anything like that) and if you hold the tap button, it gives you access to another parameter to edit your effect...most have three parameters (each are different for each effect) and you can do this by holding the tap or bypass button and turning the effects level knob.
Lets start with the clean: im not going to talk about all 12 presets, but the 3 or 4 i like the most.
Glass: This is their clean tone...i like it a lot...very punchy...very "golden" sounding...turn down your tone on your guitar, and you got a great responsive tone....the one thing im not the biggest fan of, is that if you play hard, you get a distorted bite..it does teach you to change your dynamics which is good, but still...i like my clean channels clean, but i guess the gain helps color its tone. the problem i did run in to with this though, is that when you plug in things to the front (like a multi pedal or in my case, a roland gr20) that little bite of distortion does go through, so in mycase, the strings or pianos (if i play hard enough) catch a bit of drive. As long as i watch my playing, ill be fine. There is another clean channel "funked" which i havent found a good use for...its too bright...too hot...too eh for my tastes but i think it would compliment a strat sound very nicely.
Thrasher: Great vintage sound...ive never been much a fan of the vintage tone, but this one is great...i like playing my iron maiden on this channel...its articulate, and its very responsive to the EQ. When i roll off the gain, i get a really cool bluesy sound which i could use for cleaner songs such as Emirs "boogie" collab
Fluid: This is my channel of choice for gain. It is very beautiful sounding...exactly the sound i was looking for..think petruccis sound with more bass (since he rolls off his bass on most of this tones) i play with the gqain a little down, and i get a really cool ballad type sound...add a little delay and let the panties rain on stage! great great channel...not too gainy, not too weak...very very fat and warm. The one problem is that because of the tube in the pre amp, you get buzzzzz if you are too close to the amp...its ok for me because i moved my entire set up to my garage (you will see what a mess it is when i upload the video) so i have a lot of room to move around
Those are the 3 main channels i use out of the 12, im sure you guys could find a good use for the other channels. They are really great and i couldnt be happier.
NOTE: I will not write an effects review because i havent had much time with them, plus i dont use too many effects any way...i will go over effects in my video which should be done latest by thursday.
Price/Value: 10/10 i cant deny that this was a great deal. $300 @ AmericanMusical and it took them less than 24 hours to get it to my house from the day it shipped. (thats with free shipping and you dont pay oversize charges with this one)
Features: 7/10 it gets a 7 because while it does have the effects, the models and all the stuff you could want....only 2 channels, no included footswitch and no effects loops brings it down.
Sound: 8/10 It has the exact sound I was looking for, however it isnt a high end amp, and im sure you can find some better sounding ( well to your ears at least). But this is what I (ME) wanted and i couldnt be happier
Effects: im not going to review this because i havent had much time with the effects. I can tell you that the delay sounds very nice but i think the line 6 delays are better. there is a cool octaver, and a compressor which work nicely but i dont think ill be using either ( maybe a bit of compression)
Parameters: 9/10 VERY VERY responsive...you can really hear the differences...just the way an EQ should be...i couldnt be happier with that.
I think this one gets an 8.5/10...although im in love with it, its something you gotta try out for yourself. I know Vox amps are not for everyone...and honestly, i think that this might not even count because of the "High gain" version since vox isnt known for their gain. But this is a great value, great sounding amp for gigs or recording... i know i cant wait to get my instrument mic so i can record this puupy. I hope this was helpful for you...
Video and pictures coming soon!
Any questions you have, please feel free to ask here or PM me!