The shock-waves caused by the release of Vox’s AC30 are still felt, even though this amp first hit the streets a very long time ago. Ever since that moment, people were looking for affordable ways to get the same tone. Vox made that possible in a variety of ways, with one of the more interesting ones being their Vox amPlug 2 AC30. This is a headphones guitar amplifier that fits in your pocket. If you are looking for ultimate portability, Vox amPlug 2 AC30 is one of your best bets.
Considering the size of this amplifier, we couldn’t really expect to find too many controls. After all, deep level tone shaping isn’t really a requirement for a super portable headphones amplifier. The stuff we do get with the amPlug 2 AC30 makes it versatile enough. There are Gain, Tone, and Volume control knobs onboard, as well as an FX button. All of these, except for the FX button, are pretty self-explanatory. Believe it or not, this tiny little thing comes with 9 different effects built right into it. We are talking chorus effects, reverbs and delays. On top of that, you also have the Aux input, so you can plug in your smart device and jam along with your favorite tunes.
The way Vox designed the whole amPlug series of amps is pretty interesting. There are seven different variations, each bringing its own niche tone. The one we are looking at here was made to bring you that AC30 tone. The others include a Bass model, Classic Rock one, Metal edition, Blues, Lead and Clean. This way you can choose the version that best fits your own style of playing and your tone requirements. With that said, the AC30 we chose to talk about, can be forced into that growl territory by pushing up some gain to the mix. To power this thing, you will need two AAA batteries. These will give you about 11 hours of up time with FX on, or 17 hours without effects.
In terms of tone, amPlug 2 AC30 packs a lot of heat. Even though it is a headphones amplifier, the type of tone it produces is very close to the one we are used to hearing from the full sized AC30. There are even some pretty neat tone-shaping options available. Adding more gain into the mix will get you into that growl territory that we all loved. It’s that fuzzy, raspy Brit overdrive. Add the built-in effects, which are pretty amazing considering what they are coming from, and you have a complete package. In terms of ultra portable practice amplifiers, this Vox solution offers one of the best value for the money ratios you can find on the market.
Building portable practice amps is usually not an area that many brands focus on. Vox has really gone the full 9 yards with the amPlug 2 series, especially the AC30. They have managed to squeeze the essence of this legendary amplifier right into a body that fits your front pockets. With a variety of different versions available, this little thing is both affordable and versatile.