Vox Valvetronix VT20X Combo Guitar Amp 20W
Vox helped define the British clean and overdriven tone back in '50, used by iconic artists the include the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and many more. They have since been acquired by the Japanese company Korg which helped steer Vox to incorporate amp modeling into their amplifier designs. The Valvetronix VT20X is an excellent example of how they meld old school tube tones with modern digital sound processing.
- 20 Watts
- 1x8" Speaker
- Preamp Tube: 1 x 12AX7
- Amp Class and Bias Shift
- 20 Amp Models and 13 Effects
- Onboard Chromatic Tuner
- Headphones Output
- Aux Input
- USB connectivity
- Weight: 16.09 lbs.
Being a hybrid amp with an actual 12AX7 tube in the preamp section gives the VT20X a clear advantage in terms of tone, and reviews reflect this with constant mentions of the amp sounding nice and exceeding their expectations. The versatility and musicality of the amp and effects modeling got a lot of praise, they described the sound as very musical and inspiring.
There are a few who complained about hiss noise with their VT20X, and an experienced user noted that this could be fixed by replacing the 12AX7 tube. Note that you can prolong the tube's lifespan by letting the amp warm up before actually playing. Since this amp has a tube preamp section, you should expect to replace the 12AX7 tubes at some point.
If you're into the organic sound of tube, but don't want the sound limitation of basic tube amps, then the Vox VT20X is perfect for you. Just remember that you need to put in extra effort into maintaining/replacing the tube component.
NB: We were recommending this in our guide to budget amps until October 26, 2017 but there are now slightly higher rated options which we are now recommending at: The Best Cheap Guitar Amps Under $200.