Modeling amps are an excellent piece of gear for any guitarist. They allow you to switch between different amp sounds on the fly and in a more compact and affordable package.
Vox’s VT20X is the current version of the very popular Valvetronix that promises to be a huge leap forward for modeling amps.
On the outside, the Vox VT20X still has that distinct Vox style, but with a slightly more modern feel. I really like the black look of the amp with its vertical front panel.
The controls seem a bit complex at first, but I quickly noticed that they are all laid out in a very convenient way - with the amp controls at the top and the effects controls at the bottom. It took me no more than a few minutes to get accustomed to the VT20X’s controls.
The biggest feature of any modeling amp is, of course, the amp models. The VT20X is no different.
While the VT20X doesn’t boast hundreds of amp models and effects like other modeling amps, I still think it has more than enough. The lower number might even make it a bit more focused than a lot of other amps I have played.
The amp features 11 amp models, an AC30 being one of them, three of which can be changed and set by the user. The amp also features 13 onboard effects.
The VT20X is a hybrid amp that uses both digital and analog methods to reproduce the sounds of other amps.
Unlike other modeling amps that recreate the sound of an amp, the VT20X simulates their circuitry. The amp also uses a tube that, I feel, adds some extra warmth and color to the sound.
This combination of digital and analog makes gives the amp a very natural sound. This is truly one of the best-sounding modeling amps I have ever played. The VT20X is able to produce a very smooth, crisp, clean tone as well as very heavy and aggressive distortion and almost everything in between.
That versatility opens up even more once you connect it to the Tone Room app. This allows you to select a wide variety of amps and pedals and even set up your signal chain.
The accuracy of its recreation is also incredible. When I compared a real AC30 with the AC30 model on the amp, there was no difference in the sound. Even if there is, I certainly wasn’t able to notice it.
The other amp settings sound just as fantastic. The Deluxe and Tweed, which are the two clean settings, give you the option of either bright and chimey or warm and smooth.
The overdrive or gain settings cover an even wider spectrum - from the bluesy Boutique OD, all the way to the heavy and crunchy Double Rec.
The onboard amp models and effects make this amp extremely versatile. It sounded great regardless of the genre I was playing. From jazz to blues to rock, even metal isn’t a challenge for the little amp.
Even the amps and pedals on the Tone Room app sound incredible, in my opinion. They aren’t perfect recreations, but the difference between them and the real thing is so slight that it doesn’t really matter.
Like other Vox amps, I found that the VT20X is also much louder than you would expect a 20-watt amp to be. The amp has some real kick at full volume. Even at lower volume, I didn’t notice any dip in sound quality. This is great if you still want to practice without disturbing the neighbors.
Mic’d up, I can certainly picture using this amp for most smaller venues, but the bigger VT40X might be the better option as a gigging amp. I would say the VT20X is much better suited as a practice amp.
The Vox VT20X is an incredible little amp - combining modern and old technology to produce some of the best sounding amp models available today. All of this packed into a compact and affordable unit makes this one of the best modeling amps that any guitarist would be happy playing.