Vox AC1RV review

  • £59.99
  • $85

A desktop amp that's got rhythm

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Our Verdict

Arguably this is one for technophobes only.

For

  • Choice of rhythm patterns. Cool livery. Tones.

Against

  • Poor drum tones.
Buying options

This tabletop combo not only offers authentic livery but also a choice of 66 onboard rhythm patterns.

"The drums themselves possess that unpleasant Bontempi organ character."

We're staunch fans of the Vox AmPlugs and the base tones here, optimistically described as overdrive and clean, do owe some of their tone to those headphone amps.

The rhythm patterns are split into 11 styles, including blues, country, 16-beat and so on, and each offers six variations that can be further augmented by a manual tempo control.

Power comes from six AA batteries, which will give up to 26 hours of continuous use, or an optional power supply.

Sounds

The gain, volume and tone pots do allow for a certain amount of tone-shaping, and there's certainly plenty of dirt on hand for a reasonably satisfying playing experience, whether using headphones or the internal pair of three- inch speakers.

While easy to use and varied, the drums themselves possess that unpleasant Bontempi organ character that's unlikely to appeal for any length of time, and we found the clean channel to be anything but.

Although the modest price would make it an inexpensive purchase, it's difficult to imagine anyone dispensing with, for example, GarageBand in favour of the amp section here when a warm up or practice session is required.

In these days of open-ended guitar software, and their ease of installation onto laptops and even smartphones, is there even a place for the AC1RV?