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New Amp Day - VOX VX50BA

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Been playing out on the back porch since I got this little gem home & loving it!

    It uses a power brick, 19 Volts, almost 3.5 Amps.
    Odd thing is the power cord connector, which I haven't used one like that since I sold my IBM ThinkPad that I purchased a dozen years ago:

    When I tried it on it's own I thought it was loud, but then I compared to my Fender Rumble 40.
    If you really jam the volume & gain on the VOX it starts to fall apart. I'm not sure if it's the ABS cabinet that can be heard stressing or the driver.

    By default it has less low-end than the Fender Rumble, but you can get that bottom end if you crank the gain & bass knobs.
    However, then you can't get really loud w/o it falling apart, of course.

    EQ is obviously connected to the Gain, because the farther you turn the Gain knob clockwise the more it affects the EQ.
  2. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    Been trying to make some quality time to spend with this little jewel so I can learn to work it better. But I already LOVE the low weight, low gain, low volume, rich clean tones.

    View attachment 3199065

    Not surprised by the power brick, since being a laptop pc fan the past couple decades.


    But was surprised by the thoughtful cable hook right next to the power plug on back! No accidental disconnects! Wish my laptops had that.


    At first play, with low gain and low volume and "flat" EQ it sounds very good! The EQ can go from rich deep to quite bright, and everything in between. As heard in an online video demo, the compressor switch is actually a boost at low gain & low volume, which is new to me! Anyone seen this before?

    Cranking the gain and/or volume gets dirty and loud, but too much of either, and especially both, is not good, IMHO. I'd like to blame the new, stiff, little 8" speaker needing some break-in time. But, it could be the plastic cab, though hopefully not. The ports really pump a lot air at high gain and/or volume!

    Sadly, the 50 watt Vox doesn't, yet, get as loud and clear as my 10-year-old(+/-) 30 watt, 10" Fender B-DEC modeling amp, which is over 20 lb.s heavier in a wood cab. I'm hoping for a lot of improvement by the Vox as it breaks in!

    I neglected to d/l the manual before buying, so I was disappointed to read that the Direct Out is totally unaffected by EQ, compressor, overdrive, volume, and cab sim. (Cab sim is in headphones only, I believe.) Not thrilled, but I can live with it.

    My main goal here is as an ultralight stage monitor for church. The soundman will have to deal with the dry direct out. When fully recovered from recent back surgery I may go back to the B-DEC, if the Vox doesn't break in to cleaner louder tones.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    The DI is straight from the input jack as far as I can tell.
    I connected it to my PC on Amplitube & it sounded exactly the same as plugging straight into my PC.
    hieronymous, GonePlaid and G-Dog like this.
  4. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I sincerely hope that you gentlemen get years of pleasure from your new toys. :D
    AstroSonic, iagtrplyr and G-Dog like this.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I've been playing mine a lot today & I think the speaker is broken in already. The bottom end is there now & it's not falling apart when really loud like yesterday.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    janesaid, AstroSonic, Bass V and 2 others like this.
  6. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I've had an opportunity to use one of these at a rehearsal a month or so ago. A guitar player friend of mine is in the music/guitar publishing biz and he brought the bass and guitar versions for us to try out and give our opinions on.

    I try to not rain on anyone's new gear parade, but I have to say while they did turn on and produced some kind of sound, I did not find anything much to love about these little NU-Tube driven amps.

    I felt like it barely qualified as a practice amp as far as tone and volume goes. I also feel that the NU-Tube thing is kind of gimmick-y. I guess I am not too surprised, seeing as how the Nu-Tube is just a re-purposed fluorescent display device (like those found in old alarm clocks and microwaves). I know it's supposed to work pretty much just like a triode tube (although I think that Nu-Tubes are single triodes .. like 1/2 of a 12AX7), but I just did not hear it in the sound of these little amps that way at all. Then there is the plastic/composite enclosure ... I know they are low cost amps and all but sheesh.

    in any event, I'm happy to see the OP likes his new mini-amp.
    iagtrplyr likes this.
  7. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016

    Wow! That was quick. I was thinking it would take quite several playing hours, but I'm glad to hear you got there. I'm open to suggestion as to settings and length of time to get there.
    janesaid likes this.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    If you don't crank the gain it doesn't do much. I rarely play with the gain below noon, so it does the job for me.
    pfschim likes this.
  9. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Neat toy!

    Hey, if it gets you bending the strings more often, it's a win!
    G-Dog and Killed_by_Death like this.
  10. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Hmm, twice now with toy. I guess it's not meant to be an insult, LOL!

    I hadn't played Anesthesia in a while, so pulled that one out with the Gain cranked & Drive switch on. It's so high-gain that it's fuzzy.
    The only thing that bugs me about it is the hiss with Drive on, but I guess it's to be expected with that much Gain.
    comatosedragon and G-Dog like this.
  11. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    LOL No insult intended bro. KbD! I think it's a pretty cool amp.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  12. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Kind of ironic that I got it this late in the year, because it would have been absolutely perfect for jamming out on the back porch all Summer.

    Even the power brick format works better for that!
  13. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    Admit it, unless you make your living with them, even the big rigs are just toys! And many of those that do only carry little amps themselves and rely on supplied backlines for the main show. So . . . men & boys . . . price, and size, of the toys. It's good to be a kid again!

    As with many bass amps, I enjoy the sound of my Strat thru this little Vox, too. Puts that high gain fuzz to good use! :roflmao:
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  14. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Congrats and nice review.
    Beside this great sounding tiny combo, I been try the vxKB50 in stereo(2 units) while I purchase the Korg Pa700 and sound very nice.
    Killed_by_Death and G-Dog like this.
  15. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    sounds like KBD got it broken in and is happier so maybe it can compete with the 30 B-DEC which I'm really enjoying and I have yet to push a single button to dig into it deeper! so far it seems the B-DEC is far more versatile and maybe better overall, I'm in love with it, you may have just saved me $200+ and a world of frustration / regret. but I'll stay tuned on these just in case lol
  16. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    Ah! @Bass V, my B-DEC buddy! How's it going? Have you got the footswitch, yet?

    LOL! I dunno if it's physically possible for the Vox 8" plastic case to compete tonewise with the B-DEC 10" wood cab, certainly not with all the various modeling settings in the B-DEC!!

    But for my recovering back, the 9.9 lb. Vox is literally just what my doctor ordered, instead of the 33 lb. B-DEC. (I asked for a prescription, but no dice.) Plus, the more I play it, the more I like it, especially for rock lead guitar. So, it's a great little switch hitter! But, I'm also getting some very nice bass tones out of it now, too, even as I learn to push the right combination of gain and volume to get louder without too much breakup. Maybe the speaker is breaking in, too, as I put more playing time on it.

    Not sure I'd have gone for the VX50BA without my frail back. But I'm learning to enjoy it, as I hoped I would. Although the 19 lb. Fender Rumble Studio 40, with modeling, remains in my future, I'm quite happy with my Vox right now, and my B-DEC, and my Rumble 500 combo, and my Bassman 500 w/115 neo cab. I can recommend the Vox VX50BA if you're looking for ultralight weight, tube-ish tones and a very dry direct out.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
    chupacerveza and Bass V like this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    Killed_by_Death : glad you like your new amp...congrats on your purchase! :thumbsup:
    Killed_by_Death, BadExample and G-Dog like this.
  18. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I tell you, bud, I've still not tapped into it lol no fs or buttons pushed yet, just a few twists of the selector knob to find different voices + the eq / vol. knobs and I'm SO in love with this amp! no doubt I can be even happier but that's what funny farms are for, I simply haven't needed more from it so far. I'm currently experimenting with perma-muting my strings and the B-DEC is proving invaluable again, it gets 'into' my basses and let's their truer voices detail sounds that my other amps tend to hide. if you can be satisfied with your VOX next to the Fender then that's a helluva compliment for the VOX.
    G-Dog likes this.
  19. G-Dog

    G-Dog What a fun place! Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    I put the new Vox to a gig test at church today. And she passed with flying colors! I must admit, it was the lightest piece of gear I carried in today! I really gotta cull out my gig bag. I'll never need that many different cables! Of course, each of my basses, in HSC, tops the Vox's 9.9 lb.s, too.

    I truly believe that using the Vox at home for practice these couple of weeks has not only gotten me more familiar with the controls, but has also helped a great deal in loosening up, or breaking in, the speaker; and perhaps, to some degree, the circuitry, as well. My fears about this 50w 8" speaker in an ABS plastic cab not measuring up to my 30w 10" in a wooden cab proved unfounded. The Vox's smooth, warm clean tones were quite an equal match to my Fender B-DEC's!

    I even had to turn the Vox way down to help the substitute soundman troubleshoot the downstairs subwoofer. Seems he only thought it was working at first, but he was hearing the Vox even with his ear against the subwoofer! Turning the volume on my bass all the way up got the sub audible, then he had enough signal to work with and I could turn the Vox up to my desired level. Apparently it's Direct Out is a much lower level than my B-DEC's Line Out.

    Thanks to our band's Facilitator (a bass fan), I even turned the Vox up a bit higher than I would have on my own. He wanted to better hear a couple of accent parts that I thought should be more subtle, and the Music Director agreed with him! The soundman didn't change a thing, as I turned up the Vox's volume and mids a bit. That, along with a little heavier pick action, was plenty. I love an adoring audience. :D

    So, this little Vox ended up doing much more than just stage monitoring for me. It was really carrying the packed room of a pretty good sized sanctuary with a very high ceiling and balcony, with pretty minimal FOH support! But, I still didn't crank the gain or use the overdrive, and never drove the nutubes into any noticable distortion. Yep, she's definitely a keeper!!

    I can definitely recommend this ultralight combo as much more than just a practice amp. http://www.voxamps.com/VX50BA
  20. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    The line out is completely unpowered & essentially the same as plugging directly in.

    Ha, I'm sort of repeating myself:

    Rarely using my Rumble 40 now, but mostly because it's across the room & the VOX is right here by my chair.
    When I want in-your-face crispiness I just put the amp up on a stool beside me & literally aim it at my face, LOL!

    I guess I could do that with the Rumble, but I'd need a bigger chair to put it on, or I'd need to just sit on the floor in front of it.
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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