Samick Motherlode

December 2014
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Vox AGA70 Acoustic Guitar Amp Review

Say what—Vox is making acoustic amps? No, we’re not yanking your chain, gang. Vox is making an acoustic amp. The AGA70 is a sexylooking box—sleek and black and very, very Vox, with black diamond-weave grille cloth and the iconic Vox logo slung low on the right. The front curves at the top, too, which adds to the visual vibe. The chunky white chicken-head knobs are a quirky complement to the overall look, and the bold, white-on-black labeling for each knob and button is easy to see in any light, thank you very much. The handle feels secure and comfortable, easily capable of hoisting the 22.3 lb combo. Measuring 12.7" by 10.3" by 13" (W x D x H), the AGA70 has a nice, small footprint and sports a custom designed 6.5" full-range speaker. Vox packs 70 efficient watts and two very feature-rich channels into this little baby, too.


Double Feature
On the rear panel you have the standard stuff: a power switch, a power cable connector, a connector for the optional VFS2 dual footswitch (which toggles the reverb and chorus, and lets you switch the All Mute function on and off), DI out (nice!), tuner out, L/R lines in, and an auxiliary in.

On the top panel, things get more exciting. There’s a Master volume, an All Mute switch, and a sweepable Anti-Feedback control for starters. The two channels are laid out very clearly and sensibly. Both have switchable phantom power (sweet!), a Chorus button, and a Gain switch with High and Low settings (High packs a serious punch), as well as Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Color, and Reverb knobs. Both channels also have XLR and 1/4" inputs— a real plus for singers/songwriters. One channel also has a 12AU7 tube in the preamp.

Tone-o-Rama
Most of us associate Vox amps with a wonderful, chimey, growly tone that some describe as “sugarcoated road grit.” With its 12AU7, the AGA70’s Tube Pre channel gives you tone much like that, only appropriately tailored for an acoustic guitar. It’s more like a “sprinkling of faerie dust against a twilight sky” kind of tone. The key is the Color control: Turned counter-clockwise, it gives you a dark, fat, smoky tone. Turned all the way clockwise, it gives you that sparkling, golden-brown goodness.