In terms of amplifiers, VOX is best known for the AC30 – a model that has traversed the decades and any number of genres with panache. Armed with new technology in the form of Nutube, the company has been able to expand on this lineage, providing players with the opportunity to specialise in their chosen sound with the MV50 series.
Despite possessing a Nutube preamp section and the ability to put out 50 watts of power, each amp in the MV50 series, remarkably, weighs in at around half a kilo. Designed to work hand-in-glove with specially designed VOX cabinets, a cabinet of your choice, or to slot right into your home studio.
If you’re a collector of tones, the MV50 series from VOX has more than enough for your experimental pleasure. Packed with new technology and capable of producing superb vintage sound.
All the Colours of the Rainbow
The MV50’s revolutionary approach to the art of amplification is typified by specialisation. Each flavour of MV50 is configured to explore a specific tonal territory. The options include Boutique – a vintage-flavoured sound that dishes up warm and clean to expressive, subtle overdrive and High Gain – perfect for heavy rock riffage, with a dash of modern cut-through.
There’s also Clean – if tight, funky and powerful tones are your jam, this one’s for you; Rock – dishing up the quintessential drive of vintage rock and roll and finally, AC – it wouldn’t be VOX if you couldn’t cop the tone of their immortal AC30.
The amps couldn’t be easier to operate. On each, there are three chicken head knobs: Gain, Tone and Volume (with the exception of the Clean MV50, which features Treble, Bass and Volume). A vintage-inspired VU meter measures the Output Level and you can use the Input for plugging in your guitar.
On the back panel are provisions for Speaker Output and impedance switching and an EQ switch, featuring Flat and Deep settings. For larger cabinets, the Flat setting is appropriate, but if you’re using a small cabinet, the tone can benefit from the bassy, Deep setting. There’s also a 1/4-inch jack output that feeds the line out or your headphones.
Of course, it’s only feasible to collect more than one flavour of these tones if the amp is at a price that won’t break the bank and importantly, is small in size. So how did VOX manage to pack the MV50 series to the brim with characterful tone while keeping the size and weight absurdly low: say hello to Nutube.
Nutube, the groundbreaking technology at the heart of the MV50 series means that VOX engineers could maintain the sonic signature of classic amps while subtracting a lot of the negatives associated with traditional vacuum tubes.
Nutubes have reduced energy consumption, increased reliability (anyone who’s owned a vintage amp can attest to eventual breakdown of tubes) and crucially, cut down the size and weight. Say goodbye to back-breaking lugs of valve-based amp heads!
This is only half the story, however, as the Class D power amp is required for the output section. Not content to provide a stock solid-state amp, VOX designed this section especially to work in conjunction with the Nutube preamp section, which yields the most authentic response possible.
To work in conjunction with the MV50 series, VOX has designed two different cabinets, tailored for maximum tonal flexibility. The BC 108 cabinet features an 8-inch driver that’s been specially designed to offer a bigger sound that you would expect from a speaker of that size.
The BC 112 is fitted with a Celestion speaker, which has an emphasized mid-range, dishing up a broad, full-spectrum presentation of the guitar that’s customary in classic single 12-inch amp configurations.
Aside from its impressive set of specs, the size, weight and cost of the MV50 series means that a world of possibilities can be opened up. Whether you’re using one as a practise amp or strictly for home recordings, or using two to create a stereo rig, or playing a gig and saving yourself from a terrible lug, the Mv50 does more than provide great tone.
For more details, head over to the Yamaha website.