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However, as tube amps require a significant number of expensive components, they also carry a premium price.
Most guitarists prefer the tone and response of a tube amplifier.
Solid state guitar amps provide a lower priced alternative to a tube amp. Solid state circuitry is less costly to produce as it does not require a complement of expensive tubes or an output transformer. Solid state amps operate at lower circuit voltages, allowing a less complex power supply. Solid state amps often incorporate integrated circuits to reduce manufacturing costs and to simplify circuit design. The downside to solid state design is that most musicians prefer the tone of a tube amp.
The ultimate goal for a solid state amp is for it to sound as if it was equipped with tubes. Designers of solid state amps have followed several different approaches in the pursuit of tube tone.
Some manufacturers developed purely solid state circuits that were designed to emulate the response of a tube amp. Some examples include the Peavey "TransTube" and the Crate "FlexWave" series.
With their Valvestate and AVT Series amps, Marshall used a "hybrid" approach to obtaining tube tone in a solid state amp. These amps added a 12AX7 tube to the preamp stage. Vox followed a similar approach with their Cambridge 15
and Cambridge 30R
In 2002, Vox introduced the Valvetronix "Blue" series
amp line. It incorporated the innovative Vox "Valve Reactor" hybrid circuit. The Valve Reactor design moved the 12AX7 tube out of the preamp and into the power amp. When coupled to a small output transformer, the 12AX7 became a one watt tube powered power amp. The output from this Valve Reactor tube output stage was directed to a 60 watt solid state power amp section, simulating the tone and response of an all-tube power amp.
Subsequent Vox Valvetronix models made from 2004 through 2015 (AD Series
, VT Series
and VT+ Series
) also used a 12AX7 as a driver for the output stage.
The AV Series was introduced by Vox in early 2016. The AV Series amps simulated the tone and response of an all-tube amp using a unique "dual hybrid" circuit.
The Vox AV30 was a single input, foot switchable dual channel amplifier that included two 12AX7 tubes. One half of the first 12AX7 tube powered the preamp of the first channel, the second half powered the preamp of the second. The other 12AX7 served as the driver for a 30 watt solid state power amplifier.
A unique dual channel, multi-circuit preamp provided eight analog models for clean, crunch, overdrive, and high gain tones. These can further be tailored with the Bright, Fat, Bias and Reactor switches. Three analog voiced digital effects, chorus, delay and reverb were also included. A 10" Vox speaker was mounted in a closed back, sealed enclosure.
- Pre Amp Circuit: Dual multi-circuit analog preamp, each with presets for: Clean, Clean2, Crunch1, Crunch2, OD1, OD2, Hi Gain1 and Hi Gain2 tones
- Tube: two 12AX7
- Effects: Modulation, Delay, Reverb
- Input/output Jacks: Input, foot switch, aux in, phones, FX loop, external speaker, aux in, phones
- Power Amp Output: ~30W RMS @3 ohms
- Speaker: VOX 10" 4 ohms
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 20.20" x 9.72" x 18.66"
- Weight: 26.46 lbs.
- Optional Accessories : VFS2 or VFS5 foot switch