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Vox MVX150H

Guitar Amplifier
By Bob Thomas

Vox MVX150H

Vox's hybrid approach to electronics has yielded a natural–sounding amp that won't break your back.

Since 2017, the NuTube miniature dual-triode valve has been employed in the preamp stages of Vox's small-format VX and MX amps, but in their new MVX150H amp head, this tiny tube steps up to the big-time. As with the earlier Valvetronix range, the final 'welly' comes courtesy of a Class-D power amp, but those amps used modelling in the preamp stage. In contrast, the MVX150H employs a 6P1 in the channel preamps and in the power amp of this two–channel, full–size, 150W guitar amp head — an intriguing idea, which presumably is intended to deliver a more tube-amp-like playing experience.

Overview

From the front, the MVX150H looks just like a conventional two-channel head. On the extreme left of the control panel you'll find the single input jack, with the Ch1/Ch2/FSW (footswitch, not included) mini-toggle switch sitting above it. The Channel 1 controls (Gain, Tone and Volume knobs plus Clean/Crunch, Bright and Fat mini switches) come next, and a blue LED lights when the channel is selected. Channel 2 retains the indicator LED, the Bright and Fat switches, and the Gain and Volume knobs, but also adds a more comprehensive Treble, Mid and Bass EQ and a Mid-Shift switch, and toggles between Rhythm/Lead rather than Clean/Crunch. A global, footswitchable reverb is available, and both Presence (higher frequencies) and Resonance (low–frequency cabinet thump) are there to tailor the overall output to your taste. Finally, there are two Master Volume controls, the second of which can only be selected via a footswitch.

The rear panel starts out quite conventionally with the IEC input to the multi-voltage (100-240 Volts AC) power supply, which is followed by the soft-switching momentary On/Off switch and the now commonplace Eco Mode On/Off switch, with the power-off period being 30 minutes. Restarting after the power-off requires powering the amp up again.

Sitting next to these is an unusual Wet Only output — an independent loudspeaker-level quarter-inch jack output that, when active, is driven by one half of the MVX150H's power amplifier. Using this output removes the reverb and effects return 'wet' signals completely from the MVX150H's speaker outputs. This is a Bridge Tied Load (BTL) output, which means that the socket's tip and earth form the signal path, and that therefore there is no connection to earth. This jack is only active when a plug is inserted, and is followed by the rotary 4/8/16 Ω impedance selector switch for the MVX150H's two main loudspeaker outputs. These, in turn, are followed by a rotary Power Level selector switch that ranges from Mute, through 1/1000, 1/30, 1/5 and 1/2 to Full power. Full power is impedance–dependent (150W into 4Ω, 75W into 8Ω, 37.5W into 16Ω). If you're using the Wet Only output to carry your effects, then the...

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Published November 2019