Vox DA5 review

  • £109
Five stars for the DA5

MusicRadar Verdict

At this price, everyone is going to want one.


  • +

    A faultless combination of features, performance and price.


  • -

    Practice amps weren't like this when we were beginners!

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The DA5 is cosmetically similar to the impressive AD15VT and AD30VT Valvetronix combos. Although there's no preamp valve in the equation, the DA5 comes loaded with a host of features.

11 amp voices are accompanied by 11 effects settings that include combinations of delay, reverb, compression, auto-wah and various modulation effects.

Around the back, removing a Velcro-secured panel reveals a cute six-inch speaker and grants access to the sextet of C-size batteries required to make this a portable combo.

At home, you can run it using the supplied 12-volt mains adaptor. Flexibility is further increased by busker-friendly strap buttons, a quarter-inch jack input with its own volume control for a microphone, an auxiliary input for a CD or mp3 player and a line/headphone out.

There's also a power selector that toggles between 0.5, 1.5 or five watts of output power.


It's astounding just how much level this little beast kicks out on full power. Sharing much of its tonal character with the Valvetronix amplifiers, clean sounds are dynamic and musical, and from a Stonesy crunch right up to thrash metal, the sheer quality of the tones on offer lays waste to the competition.

With economical use of the three buttons, there's a great deal of flexibility within the effects section, allowing you to adorn your sound with everything from subtle ambience to full-on psychedelia.

Whether you're after a great-sounding, lightweight amp for busking or guerrilla gigging or just a feature-loaded practice amp, there simply isn't a better all-round solution on the market.

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.