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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just went through a rough, sleepless week of MANY hours dealing with the following:

Note: for everyone who gets this amp (or really any other gear at all):
READ THE MANUAL 2x SLOWLY! ...and save yourself a few "duh" moments. Let me elaborate with my little story...

When I first got my VOX AD50VT, I quickly read (i.e. skimmed) through the manual to get up to speed. Okay, I thought, ready to go. Let's crank and jam! Man things sound wonderfully toneful and it's just simply fun to play and tweak and play and tweak (of course, the presets sound super the way they are). There's so much variety and the tube-tone rocks. :D

So, I've been recording some tracks with my two week old AD50VT via the Line Out to my PC soundcard (SoundBlaster Live series). As some of you know I posted a few versions (various mixes) of a song that was all done through the VOX via the Line Out output. At first, I was pretty happy with things.

After listening though, there were some issues with the tone on the recordings (some people mentioned it as well). I figured it was just something in my signal chain that was throwing the tone I was using into high FUZZ/OVERCOMPRESSED mode. I've literally spent about 15 hours or more on the lead track just trying to "fix" it. I've spent many more hours than that trying to balance the mix to fix the way the lead sounds with everything else (lots of learning there!). Whew - I need sleep! After all that, I decided I'd simply dial in a better tone and redo the lead.

Yesterday, as I began to rerecord the lead track, I paid close attention to the tone. I was going through FullDrive2 Stomp > Dunlop Fasel Wah > Boss EQ > VOX > Line Out > nice PC 4.1 speaker system > PC was EQ'd fairly flat. I dialed in a preset and got started. There it was - that BUZZY tone! :eek:

Hmmm, I'll dial in another tone, something like the AC30 with medium gain (I thought I'd just try it with a semi-clean tone and see what came out). Played about two measures of the lead and the BUZZ was still there! Even though it was colored a little differently, it was the same buzz.

I was "not a little" frustrated! I then began to do surgery on my tone-chain. I ended up just plugged straight into the amp; no EQ, no wah, no stomps; just straight Strat to Vox. I dialed in all the different amp types and whenever there was gain/overdrive present there it was... the BUZZ! (*&[email protected]#$) I was totally puzzled. What's the deal with this thing? It sounds awesome normally (really it does!)...

I decided to blow off any recording till I figure this out. I unplugged the cable from the Line Out on the VOX (which re-engaged the amp's speaker) and just began to "noodle" around on the fretboard. HOLY COW! :eek: The magical tone was BACK! I played a bit more... turned the dials a bit... yep, there it is. The tubey punch, cool breakup, the pick attack sensitivity, all of it.

I thought my ears were playing tricks on me. I plugged the Line Out cable back in (running to PC system) - buzzy distortion came right back and lost its soul. I A/B'd it for about 30 minutes... and anytime I was going through Line Out - the tone just broke down.

About that time, I recalled many of the pro-sound guys on the recording/mixing forums have talked about "never" using the Line Out on amps for recording. I didn't really pay any heed to them - until now. It's really a night-and-day difference - you have to hear it to "get it". One tone character is great (on every setting) and the other is kinda like going straight out of a fuzzbox.

Hmmm.... I figured, well let's go re-read the manual, maybe I have a setting wrong or something. As I'm reading, I come across the following (paraphrased): "...plugging into the Line Out will DISABLE the Valve Reactor Circuitry..." :eek:

.............have you ever had one of those 'Epiphany' moments?.......

Suddenly this whole thing made sense in a sick sort of "I stayed up till 2:30am everynight for nothing?!" way. The key to the Valvetronix series' tone and amazing character is the Valve Reactor Circuitry! So everytime I was pluggin' into that stupid Line Out, it was turning it off!!! To coin a popular Charlie Brown phrase... "AaaaaAAAuuuuUUuuUuuuUUGGGggghhhHHHH!"

~CAVEAT that every Valvetronix lover needs to live by~
NEVER EVER NEVER try to lay down usable tracks by using the Line Out on the back of the combos. It will kill the sweet character of the tube tone and only give you the preamp fuzz (it does change slightly with each model, but it's still fuzzy and not even close to the tone quality of the combo itself). Oh, and read the stinkin' manual a couple of times... so you don't lose precious sleep chasing a ghost!

I guess it's kinda funny...in a sick, demented sorta way.

Now I have to go find a Shure SM57 (or Sennheisser E609), mic stand and adaptor to go into my PC card... Grrrr...

Submitted for your amusement.
~A~
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was puzzling over what to do (because the line out thing is NOT the way to go)... and I really wanted to jam... so...

I dug around in my closet and found an old Boom-style PC microphone ($25 best buy)... I figured - eh... why not?! So I plugged it in and recorded acoustic and lead (awful LOL) scratch tracks with it... This is really thrown together in like 20 minutes or something. I had to play everything whisper quiet because everyone is in bed! So all things considered - I was suprised! The sound is actually FINE for what I had! LOL

Applied a little mixing from the HomeRecording BBS forum methods and voila! Check it out - what do you think of the overall sound? Remember just an old cheapo boom mic (teeny thing).

http://www.kewlpack.com/misc_files/music/SomewhereInTheMist.mp3

Pardon the playing, I was really just throwing it down improv and rough. Mostly I am posting because I was completely surprised that it worked!

Here are a few pix of the little microphone...
http://www.kewlpack.com/misc_files/other/TinyMic.jpg
~A~
 
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Indeed very interesting topic Kewlpack. Congradulations.

I plan to get one of the family 15, 30 or 50. I do a lot of home recordings and I plan to use the line out a lot. Right now I'm using a Cyber-Deluxe which is just a wonderful amp and DO records very well with its stereo line out. I created a yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Cyber-Deluxe where you can listen to mp3 I did using its line-out. My most famous :dance: is this one: http://download.maxt.com/stratquebec/watchtower.mp3 and I like also very much this one http://download.maxt.com/stratquebec/HocusPocus.mp3

Ok now lets talk about the Vox:

When talking about its LINE/PHONE jack output, things are very confusing here. Logicaly, the buzz you're speaking of should be hearable when you use the headphones, so, is it??? If it's not, then the buzz is not coming from the amp.

About "disabling" the valve reactor circuit, when a jack is plugged in the rear panel LINE/PHONE jack, really I don't think this is true... and not false also!

See: The user manual state this at page 9:

"The output from this jack is taken from immediately before the
ValveReactor power amp, and the character of the guitar amp cabinet is applied to it." .

And on page 18 we can read this:
"For example: if you choose the amp model AC30TB — an amp with a
Class A power stage and no negative feedback — that’s exactly what your Valve Reactor power amp reconfigures itself to emulate. "

Ummmm... What do they mean??? You see, if the valve reactor was really disabled when using the line out, the amp simply should not works... at least, that's how I see it. I may be wrong. So maybe, when a jack is plugged in the rear panel LINE/PHONE jack, the Valve Reactor POWER AMP is, indeed, disabled but the Valve Reactor pre-amp signal is then sent to the line out.

So the VOX Valve Reactor "true tube power amp sound and feel" would be available in two flavors: Line outputed and power amp outputed.

Does-it make sens to you?

And read this:
"Hear KORG USA Product Specialists
All the great tone is from these amps, no additional effects processors were used. Recording were made from the line output jack."

Ref: http://www.korgnw.com/AD15-demos.htm)

These korg specialists are named Freddy DeMarco and Rob Math and these mp3 are the one listed on the ADXXVT demo page of the UK VOX site.
Here:http://www.voxamps.co.uk/support/resources.asp?productCode=NEWAD15VT&groupCode=demo


Again, logicaly, the buzz you're speaking of should be hearable when you use the headphones, so, is it???

I know all that is nothing to make things clear! But I would like to listen to the recordings you made with the line out and A/B it with the ones that you did using a mic. Is it possible for you to post it again?

And also, mainy claims that the fan in the AD50VT is noisy. What about yours?

Thanks a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually got rid of my AD50VT.

The Valve Reactor is the implementation of the tube in the power stage - NOT the preamp stage like all other modelers. The line out takes the preamp only signal - no Valve Reactor is applied to the signal. They probably just do some sort of digital voicing for the line out. It wasn't the same. You lose the tube dynamics because the tube never gets into the tone chain when you go Line Out.

The fuzzy/buzzy tone was essentially the preamp tone (gainier settings) without the tube power stage.

After awhile, the amp also just seemed very "boomy" at gig volumes and the metal grill undulated pretty hard. The speaker finally seemed to break in a bit though.

It was enough for me to simply exchange it for something else. YMMV.

I think these are decent enough amps and can do some things pretty good. But I am picky and just wasn't completely happy with it.
~A~
 

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hi new here to this site. i have the same problem with my vox ad15vt. i get that buzzy sound when i plug in to the line out also, but it sounds great miked. the problem i had was spiking when recording like it needed serious compression,and i couldnt get a good recording.the valve reactor definintly works on the power amp side.its funny i sold recently a marshall 8280 valvestate that the preamp tube only worked on the overdrive channel , which sounded great but the clean channel sucked. :scif890:
 
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So we should hear the same buzz in the demo recordings on the vox site given they are done with the line out! (see: http://www.korgnw.com/AD15-demos.htm) Do you hear that buzz also in these recordings ?

Also what kind of adaptor cable do you use from the line out (phones) jack to your recording device? Maybe the problem is there...

This question is very critical to me since I plan to do a lot of home recordings using the line out late during the night...

Thanks again for your help.
 

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i can hear a slight fizz too.maybe it is the way the mp3,s were encoded.i havent been satisfied with anything i have tried using the line out.i like the distortion this amp makes when playing through the speaker.and fortunatly my ad15vt sounds good at low volume so i now mic it with a sure sm57 and dont have a problem playing late.i recently made a remake of the yardbirds "heart full of soul" and it really nails the ac30 sound. i did use the line out on this one.ill try to upload it or email it and you can see for yourself .
 
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"ill try to upload it or email it and you can see for yourself ". That would be really appreciated ! thanks so much for your help.
 

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hey stratquebac thanks for the interest! ive uploaded heart full of soul to mp3 covers and tributes page.
 
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That song reminds me my good old days! Thanks! Well I do hear this little something I would call a "spring noise" in the dirty part. I do hear that same buzz in every Valvetronix mp3s available on the the vox site including the Tonelab. I think vox did a great job with his "valve reactor" technology but the "digital taste" is still there and this buzz too. Nothing's perfect!

That being said, the line out doesn't sound that bad. Fro sure, like for any amp, nothing could beat a miced real tube amp but the vox tone is pretty acceptable to my ear. We must keep in mind what those ADXXVT can do at such an affordable price!

I'm interested to listen to your recordings using a mic and will a the pleasure to AB it with this one.

I appreciate a lot your help. I will get one soon, that's for sure but still don't know wich one...
 

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quote "I will get one soon, that's for sure but still don't know wich one." if i had it to do all over again i would get the ad50vt because it and the ad30vt have a atuennator to reduce the output.but im happy with my setup because i also have a fender hotrod,and marshall 8280 valvestate 2x12 combo which giive me almost any sound i want. but they are loud late at nite :rock: http://www.guitars101.com/vb/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=298107#
Rock
 
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Ya I'm thinking of the AD50VT too but read many complaints about its noisy fan on the Harmony Central reviews but anyway...I'll have to check it closely myself at the store... I already tried the 30 watt and was verry astonished about much versatility at a so low price. I own and use a Cyber-Deluxe which IS a superb amp but I'm selling it and some gear cause I need $$$. I'll try to find a used ad30vt. I should be happy with it for a while...

Thanks again! You're a gentleman!
 
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