Vox VT40X is killing me... must not spend money...

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Vox VT40X is killing me... must not spend money...

Postby pfarber » Sun May 15, 2016 10:06 am

So I have my Peavey Vypyr VIP II for about a year. Its a great amp, suites my play style (Rock/Metal) and when I got it it retailed for about $200.. I got it for around $175 due to trading in an old Peavey amp. I really like the amp. It sounds great and as a modeling amp it had tons of effects/stompboxes (aka foot pedal features) a 12in speaker and 40W of power. I have since upgraded it with a Sampera foot pedal (for looping and foot control of many options) and a BOSS 7 channel eq pedal. There are some other mostly useless gimmicks like making a guitar 'sound' (heavy, heavy use of the air quotes on that) like a bass, or some other stringed instrument... its really not something that I've known anyone to seriously use... maybe to just noodle around with/waste time. Well actually the VIP CAN be used as a bass or acoustic guitar amp, if you have a proper bass or acoustic with a pickup to plug in. The gimmick is that an electric guitar can 'sound' like them, too.

The drawbacks are that the VIP line is over 5 years old, the software requires windows (or more correctly, cannot be run on a phone/andriod/IOS) and there can be noticeable delays when switching from one amp sim to another. Like in Nirvana's 'Come as you are' you have to go from a clean/delay for the harmony to a heavy distorted solo... using the foot controller to switch the from one preset to another causes a .5 second or so delay... so you gotta time it right or you miss a note or two. Minor issue, but still, some amp sims switch immediately. Also the 'clean' amps sound good, but not great.. the Peavey is a rock/metal amp.. and it does it well.

So VOX comes out with a new amp, the VTX series. Its a moderate upgrade to the 5 year old VT+ series. The benefits are the cleans and the well known blues/jazz/'UK' rock sounds that VOX is famous for (The Who, Beatles for example). The VT40X is a 10in speaker, 40watts, lots of amp sims, but is pretty light on effects and stompboxes. Also you MUST use the app 'Tone Room' to activate all the amp sims. But Tone Room runs on Windows AND IOS! So an old iPhone can be used to program the amp settings or load presets after you fill up the on-board preset slots on the amp. Every time I hear the VOX I drool... but it also has some limits that stop me cold.

The VOX lacks looping, and effects controls/number of effects is much less, both the VOX and VIP have the standard delay/reverb/chorus/overdrive/distortion. In total the VOX has 7 effects, the VIP 11. Stompbox wise, the VOX has 8, the VIP 12. Amp sim wise, the VOX has 11, 20 with the software, the VIP has 12, but that includes 2 bass amps and 2 acoustic amp sims.. not really useful for electric guitar. But the VIP starts to kick the VOX's ass the second you hook up the Sampera foot controller. Immediately you get a wah pedal and a looper (30 seconds) plus the ability to select presets and turn off stompboxes/delay. At best the VOX can be paired with a VOX footpedal that simply allows bank select and turn off effects. No looper/volume/wah. That's about $300 worth of add ons for a VOX to replicate what a VIP/Sanpera combo will do.

So whats the delimma? The Vox sounds so damn good for the clean/blues/UK sounds. Sure the VIP has the XXX, Classic and British amp sims, and they sound good, but the VOX is better. I also don't want to have to fire up and plug in my PC to load presets/change amp settings. The VOX is limited to IOS (so that would mean buying an iPad or other IOS device just for that one reason (well, I'm sure Andi would love an iPad in the house).

So I'm still on the fence... at $250 a VT40X is not a huge hit to the wallet, and the smaller VT20X is only $180 (same features, just smaller size and half the watts). I'm sure Andi would kill me if she saw another amp in the living room (although aesthetically the VOX looks much nicer that my Peavey and Marshall MS15II stack). The VOX would fill in where the Peavey is weakest, but the Peavey has so many additional options (the Sanpera foot pedal really does double the usability of the Vypyr) it would cost an additional $200-300 to get the VOX to the same level of usability (not sound, just extra features) as the Peavey.
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