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VOX Adio Air GT

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by adamsappel, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    187
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Great plan. I had mine like your thr and it was too close. I think it needs some distance. BT and the app let that happen. Have fun!
     

  2. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    187
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Big factor. And you can reuse the old mustang footswitch too if you have one or get one used. Fender has a template or just pop some labels on it.
     

  3. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Ray,
    It looks like I need your input on the Adio vs the GT40 from a real life test perspective ;-)
    Let me know if you do try them out, I have a 4 to 5 hour round trip to drive if I want to test these two amps side-by-side, mainly because there are no Adios in stock anywhere near me yet, so I'll possibly end up just mail ordering one of these amps instead. Therefore all online opinions become pretty useful!
    It's likely that I'll go Fender for the extra bass I think it'll offer, bearing in mind my planned use of the Trio+ pedal with it to separate bass/drums from my guitar - I would hope the Mustang would be a slightly better match to my Bassbreaker than the Adio, given its physical size. As Lee says in the Andertons video, the Adio is restricted somewhat by the laws of physics in this respect; as a THR owner I know that small can still mean excellent sound quality, but I also know that the bass/drums I get from the THR sounds dwarfed by my Bassbreaker, even with the volume levels set appropriately; they just seem to exist in different spaces.
    I do, however, think that I may get an Adio anyway, if it's models sound better than the THR. The THR can always live in a bedroom ;-)
     

  4. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I drove down and picked up an Adio this morning. I've spent all of about 15 minutes playing it, but I'm honestly shocked at how good it sounds. I was messing around on my VT40X before I left and then plugged the Adio in when I got back (they take the same 19V power supply, surprisingly - the VT20X uses a smaller 12V). I'm sure if I A/B'd them I'd hear a difference in bass response, but just playing the Adio I can say the biggest PERCEIVED difference is that I have to turn the volume up past noon on the Adio where I could rarely get it above 9 o'clock on the VT40X. Again, I'm sure I could hear a difference in the bass if I A/B'd them, but just playing the Adio, I don't miss ANYTHING with the sound. Doesn't sound like two tiny speakers like the Backstar Fly does and the Micro-Cube does to a lesser degree. To the extent I could hear a difference between this and the VT40X, I doubt I could with the VT20X or GT40, or I'd have to listen really closely at least. I'm sure at volume there might be a difference, but as loud as I'll ever crank it in my small space, there really isn't.

    I've never played the Yamaha, so I can't compare it to that. I'm gonna play around with the Bluetooth and the app later to see what sorts of deeper editing options it retains from it's bigger brothers. Controlling it from the amp, you can't add both reverb and delay, which I occasionally like to do - they're both on the same dial. I'll have to see if you can combine them using the app. I don't have the GT40 - I had one for a couple of weeks and never liked it as much as the VT20X so it went back. I'm not sure how much of that was it's sound and how much of it was it's interface, which I never bonded with, but my opinion of the amp just never got past "it's objectively OK, but it's not much fun". That's only my experience - obviously a lot of people love that amp, so please take this with a grain of salt. I'm inclined to like Vox more both in terms of their interface (which I VASTLY prefer) and their models, which I find consistently good across the board.

    One thing I've found with all three Vox modeling amps I've now tried is that they crank the noise reduction up WAAAAY too high as a factory default. If you play it like that, particularly anything with more than nominal gain, notes and chords sometimes tend to drop out almost completely - it sounds terrible and it's really disconcerting. This is worse with the Adio than it was with either of the VTX models. But just adjusting the noise reduction to the lowest level takes care of that completely. On all of them. If I hadn't been aware of that from the VTX amps, I'd have seriously thought there was something wrong with the Adio when I first fired it up.

    I'm guessing the VT40X is gonna go back and the Adio will be my amp, but I have plenty of time to put it through it's paces and learn it's foibles, so we'll see. But my first impression couldn't be better...

    -Ray
     
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  5. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the update. Very interesting indeed. So, here's where I'm at. I've given it some thought and decided I might just order a Vox Adio for now, as the THR10C I have is the 'blues' model, and although I like it best overall in the THR range, I did own the normal and high gain versions too, for a while, and I sometimes miss having any higher gain models on the THR10C. If I get the little Vox it gives me that back. I can then either sell my THR or relocate it, or simply keep it and have both of these little desktop style amps in the room. However, the GT40 might still be worth considering in the future if I miss the volume I am guessing it would add. Having said this, and to quote the Andertons video, the Vox is rated at 50 watts (2x25) but these are surely 'BS watts!' .....BUT the GT40 claims 40 watts, so maybe there's not much difference and both these are artificially inflated figures. To be clear, I don't need huge volume, but just something that projects a little more, sounds a little bigger than the THR, so it won't get swamped myna 12 inch speaker in the other corner of the room. Maybe the Vox will suffice, if not I can go back to pushing bass and drums output from my Trio pedal into my hifi amp and floorstanders via the headphone out.
    I've been conflicted about this Vox and the Fender due to the impressive feature list on the GT40, but I also have to admit that the negative reviews are a bit offputting.
    Even here, people like Ray are saying they returned their GT40. I truly hope the software updates keep coming from Fender and can satisfy people, but even in YouTube videos (bad, bad way to form an opinion, I know) I haven't been overly impressed with the Fender. I just kinda hope that in the flesh it'll sound better, because I so want it to be a good amp, due to it ticking all the boxes for me on size and features.
    Ray, please keep us posted in how you get on with the Adio. Much appreciate all input and opinion.
     
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  6. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    187
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Dunno if it helps but i take ss watts and divide by 3 to get near tube watts
     
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  7. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Thanks, that's fair enough - even my 1w Blackstar certainly kills my THR for volume so I know tube watts are definitely louder.
    I just don't know how to understand the difference between a solid state 40watts (Mustang GT40) and the little Vox supposed 50 watts, when you compare the speaker sizes and cabinet sizes. The Fender has six inch speakers and a slightly bigger cabinet. The Vox has 3 inch speakers and a tiny box, so without listening to them it's hard to imagine how the Vox could possibly be louder, or even close. But it may not really matter if the Vox is tonally superior....
     
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  8. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    OK, a few more things after playing with it for a bit.

    The app isn't as deep as the app for the VTX models, but that's because it reflects the amp, which mostly isn't as deep either. For example, there are no bias or class switches for the Adio as there are for the VTX, where you could switch among three bias options and Class A or A/B. There are also fewer effects. You can run two effects at a time and you have to choose between delay and reverb on one of them and between chorus, flanger, phaser, and tremolo on the other. There are no OD or distortion effects and no compressors. Although among each type of effect that is offered, there are plenty of options to choose from in the app. The lack of some of the effects isn't a problem for me at all, but it may be for some so it's important to know before you buy.

    That said, all of the hidden amp models that are available on the VTX amps are there, plus a couple. Stuff like the Bassman and the Orange head, which aren't on the amp model knob, are accessible from the app. They have a "Texas Lead" model which is a basic fender plus an OD pedal - which I guess they made into an amp model since they don't give you any OD effects to add in. And it's a good blues lead tone too. And there's a flat model and an acoustic emulator which is decent - I suddenly have an acoustic strat available, now I can sell the Martin! ;)

    And the additional options for each amp, like presence and resonance and bright cap/mid-boost/low cut are also there in the app. Because of the differences between the amps, though, I couldn't just import the presets I'd created on the VTX amps - I had to start from scratch on the Adio. One thing I really like about the Adio is that unlike with the VTX, there aren't a lot of extraneous presets installed on the amp that you can't over-write. There are just eight presets in the eight preset slots, and you can overwrite all of them. So both the amp and the app are less busy as a result.

    The Bluetooth is all good as well. I got it connected for audio, and that works really well - sounds like a good BT speaker, or auxiliary plug-in speaker, or USB speaker! And there's a whole set of adjustments in the app for audio EQ, so you can go to town on that too. Getting it linked up to control the amp from the app wirelessly took some figuring out - you have to link from within the app - NOT from the normal Bluetooth menu on your device. But you DISconnect it from the bluetooth menu, not from within the app - that took a little while to work out. But I got it working on both my phone and iPad. The app is a bit crowded on the phone, but the iPad app is as good as the one on the Mac. And the app works seamlessly, unlike the glitchy one on the GT amps. I expect Fender will work that out, but I found it pretty frustrating when I had it...

    The models all sound basically the same as on the VTX amps - my favorites are still the two Dumbles and the 1959 Marshall, but I like several of the non-metal amps, including the additional Blue Vox that's not on the knob on any of these amps, but that's available in the app.

    This amp gets PLENTY loud. Not near as loud as the VT40X and probably not as loud as the VT20X or GT40, but it gets way louder than I'll ever use. I had a couple of volume surges when I switched to a pre-installed preset without turning the overall volume/attenuator down and damn near knocked myself over. So, for the environments you'd want to use this amp in, it's got plenty of kick. One thing I'm finding is that it seems better to almost dime the attenuator (called the Instrument control, which also allows you to balance the volume of the instrument and the other audio sources) and control volume with the volume knob. When I had the attenuator turned down to about 9 o'clock, I had to really dime the volume and the amp doesn't seem to know how to handle that, particularly with gain - all sorts of drops and burps and farts. At least I think that's whats going on. But as long as I kept the attenuator up beyond noon and the amp volume at less than about 3 o'clock, all was well.

    That's all for now. I'll keep you informed if there's more. But, for me, this appears to be a keeper. So the VT40X will probably be returned once I've lived with this long enough to be certain...

    -Ray
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  9. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    One last thing - nicest purse I've ever owned...

    -Ray
     
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  10. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Lol
    Just absorbing all you said in previous post. I'm playing my THR as I type (sort of!) and still enjoy the tones, just wish it had a little more gain on it.

    Talked to the wife and she instantly said the Vox looks like a handbag, haha, BUT she is happier for me to have that by the TV than the Fender with its slightly bigger plain black box and traditional amp look.

    So I'm settled, I think - will order in a Vox and see how it goes. Fender can wait, this time.
    I've even downloaded the Adio app already on both iPhone and iPad and played around with it. It looks good to me & it would seem (unless I got this wrong?) that I could control everything from the app with no need to even touch any controls on the amp itself, if I wanted.
    I do think the THR has a nice implementation of both gain and master vol, effectively giving you a bit more control over the gain tones of its models, the Vox may not respond the same way but we'll see. Shame there are no OD or distortion effects, but then again nor does the THR have those.

    I know they're on the Fender, i.e. Rat, Tube Screamer etc, but the dirt tones are the ones people seem most unhappy with on the GT40. Plus I have a real TS if necessary

    My ideal tones would be SRV type stuff, so the Texas amp model appeals to me, im hoping the gain knob/settings on that model give a decent range of sounds as I think I'll spend a lot of time on that one.

    At one point I owned two THRs at the same time, just so I had the higher gain models, having just gone down to the THRC only I do miss the higher gain stuff. I don't really want super high gain metal tones, but I like a heavy sort of Sex Pistols type of tone if I can get it, something I should hopefully find somewhere in the Vox.

    Cheers Ray for the updates.
     

  11. luckett

    luckett Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    Other than bluetooth, battery operation and form factor, does the Adio offer anything that the VTX doesn't?
     

  12. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Full range speakers. Might be a positive for some, a negative for others.
    For me it's a plus because I want to feed it bass and drum backing from a Digitech Trio plus pedal.
     

  13. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    No, unless you just like women's handbags... ;)

    For me, it comes down to whether I have to sacrifice much for the form factor. The bluetooth really doesn't matter to me. It's sort of nice to be able to play with backing tracks and to control the app without extra wires, but that's not a big deal to me - I didn't use the app much on the VTX amps once I had my presets dialed in and I'm sure I won't with the Adio either. And I don't use the app much even when developing the presets - one of the things I like about Vox's interface is the manual mode where you can work it like a regular amp and then save whatever you come up with to one of the preset slots. But there are a few settings you can only get to from the app, so I then tend to tweak my presets with those once I have the general sound dialed.

    But really it comes down to how much of the sound quality do I have to sacrifice in the space I play in and the answer so far is damn effing little. Probably gives up nothing to the VT20X except at volumes I won't get to and only a little bit on the bass end to the VT40X. It really sounds extraordinary in the small office/den/bedroom where I play. If I ever get back to the point where I'm playing with other folks regularly, particularly with drummers involved, maybe I'll have to look at adding something bigger, but for how I play now, this little purse thing is shockingly good. The form factor and portability is pretty big for me given that we spend a few months a year elsewhere - now I can take my amp with me instead of playing through a headphone amp or some tiny amp that's really limited.

    And frankly, as good as it sounds, I'm not sure the VTX amps need those little glowing tubes for anything other than marketing. I was always a bit dubious and now I'm more dubious.

    -Ray
     
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  14. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    It's nice to have that option, but the thing I really like about the Vox interface with it's modeling amps is the ability to control it like any ordinary amp while you dial you sounds in, and then save them as presets. There are a few settings that are only in the amp that are good to tweak once you have the basic thing together, but I like that I don't HAVE TO use the app to build my sounds. With the GT and the Mustang before that, I felt like the only way to use them effectively was through the software. Which works, but just doesn't feel like as much fun to me.

    -Ray
     
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  15. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Yes I hear you - I will probably not use the app extensively once I've got my basic tones. On the Yamaha it has a similar 'Manual' mode and you can dial in whatever you want then simply hit and hold a save button on the box. I did this way more often when just tweaking my set of four or five presets than I ever hooked it up via USB to the laptop to use editing software.

    Out of interest, does the gain control put much dirt into the clean models? On the THR the gain will add some grit to even the cleanest amp models if you crank it up, I guess it works the same on the Vox? If you take the Boutique Clean (Dumble?) for example, then crank the gain, does it end up overlapping with the Boutique OD version of the same amp?
    Or the Deluxe clean model, does that dirty up? There is a Deluxe model on the THR that gets very furry indeed if you up the gain. The demos I've seen of the Vox so far don't really cover this, focusing more on the amp preset sounds rather than what happens when you tweak the gain control, for example.
    Thanks
     

  16. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I haven't checked all of them, but the two situations where we're talking about different channels of the same amp are the AC30 and AC30 top boost and the Dumble clean and OD. And there's overlap. On the Dumble, there really isn't any grit to speak of in the clean channel, but there's some clean to be had in the OD channel with the gain turned most of the way down, so you could spend a lot of time in the Dumble OD and get most of the range of possible sounds. But with presets, no need - I have one from the clean channel and a couple from the OD channel, one with just a bit of dirt and one that gets closer to a scream. On the AC30, there's a bit of OD on the normal channel but no clean to speak of in the top boost channel. Other than that, everything is pretty much a standalone amp and I've found some amount of dirt and some clean in about all of them. Although I haven't gone checking the metal amps for clean sounds... :)

    -Ray
     
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  17. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Ray. Will be buying one tomorrow
     

  18. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Look forward to hearing your impressions. It was a really easy transition for me since I'd been using their modeling amps already and the Adio has lot's in common with the VTX amps - you may have a bit more of a process if you haven't used their modeling amps before. Each maker seems to have a few of their own tricks...

    Enjoy, good luck, etc!

    -Ray
     

  19. Riversider

    Riversider Tele-Meister

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    Well, I had a Valvetronix VT20+ back in 2013, it was the first amp I bought after about a 25 year break from playing!
    I thought it was pretty good but my points of reference were a bit dated. I picked it over a Fender Mustang in the shop that time, too, preferring the sounds of the Vox.
    Prior to that I had a lovely old Peavey Bravo back when I played in the 80s/90s, different times.....
    I think the Adio truly looks a whole lot like an improved THR, and I have bought all three of those over the last 2 or 3 years, mainly because I love the concept but can't ever decide which set of amp models I like best, each variant having just 5 or so. The Vox has a wider variety, plus Bluetooth and a
    little more volume, it would seem. These are enough to warrant me getting one, anything on top of that will be a bonus. It'll be a couple of days before I get it but I'll report back....
     
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  20. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    187
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    I kept thinking that too until I turned it up. Not sure if it matches the 40 but it ain't baby bird peeping either. My limit is getting the cops called and it'll do it for me here. It's more than loud enough for home / bedroom work. We need someone who can go to 11 without worry to chime in. It fills a small room. The gt40 seemed to do bass better same room but it was on a stand on the floor in the middle of the room so had room to boom not on a desk up against the wall. I liken it to the thr but much louder. I'll try to remember to test it out in a couple of days if I don't have to drive in.
    Shame that the only way to audition for many is to order then return. My big problem is I should sell the 40 but I love the modeling on it. Gotta see if I can make it to tax time without going hungry. Knew I should have sold it first... lol.
    One of these days I'd love to rent some time at a rehearsal place that has tube amps and bring the small solid state ones and do an in person ear bleed test.
     

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