Vox brings out the coolest looking practice amp the Mini Super Beetle

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by warrent, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry, that Ariana Grande reference is totally lost on me. I have absolutely no idea who she is, and thankfully no knowledge of anything she's licked. :eek:

    I do relate to being a Beatles freak, and I can relate to the idea that the Vox Mini Super Beetle could be my last amp. If and when I get one, I should quit right there. I'll likely never have need of another amp.
     
  2. Gawg

    Gawg TDPRI Member

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    I'm curious what settings on the MSB would get the classic Vox tones. I played around with it, and I wasn't hearing that chime sound.
     
  3. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    I like the amp concept. Would be great if you could buy just the head. One thing I noticed is that on all the demo videos, it sounds a bit harsh. Maybe it's due to the nu-tubes?? Anyone else notice that?
     
  4. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    You have me at a disadvantage, in that you've had a chance to play through one, whereas I have not. None have made their way yet down here to Corpus. Shoot, the local GC only got one MV50 in (they couldn't remember which version/voicing) when Vox first released them. The local store sold it right away, and from that day to this, they haven't had any more of them. As for the Mini Superbeetle, the employees on the sales floor at two different stores here (the GC and a locally owned family music store) had not even heard of them, much less seen one. I'm sure in the DFW area you have a lot more selection available.

    Maybe someone else here that actually owns one or has at least played through one can share about settings. Failing that, I'd suggest checking out the videos available on the MSB25. Some of them will briefly show what settings are on the amp as they're playing. I definitely hear chime/AC tones in those.


    If someone wants just the head of the Mini Super Beetle to run into a different cab, of course that's doable. If they didn't want to pay for the whole mini stack when all they want is a head, the MV50 line has an AC version, which I have no doubt that is a "stripped down" version of the MSB head. Or better said, the MSB head is an expanded version of the MV50 AC. But of course, going the MV50 AC route means doing without the expanded tone stack, reverb and trem found on the MSB.

    As for the Mini Super Beetle sounding a bit harsh in all the demo videos, I don't agree at all. Over the months since its release on June 28th, I've checked out two dozen videos (I just counted them) on the MSB25, and while some of the videos were amateurish, and in some the sound they're getting in a portion of the video might be a bit harsh, that isn't a consistent, characteristic tone.

    The Anderton's video in particular showcases the amp with 3 different guitars (a Tele, a 335 & an LP). At one point in the vid, Pete switches from a 335 to a Tele. The video is good about showing settings, and while Pete was playing the 335 and Lee was on an LP, the treble was set at noon. Then, on the Tele (at about 12 minutes in), Pete quickly asks Lee to dial the Treble back a bit, which he does, to about 10 o'clock. So while different guitars, different pickups, style of playing and settings will all have an affect on the tone you get through the amp, what I hear throughout that video is the warmth and the chime I would expect from a Vox AC voiced amp.

    This particular video was published the next day after the MSB's unveiling at Summer NAMM 2018, and was posted in this thread early on (reply #56). But it's still in my opinion the best for showcasing the amp, and since it addresses well the amp's tone at different settings with different guitars/pickups, here it is again...

     
  5. foundjoe

    foundjoe Tele-Holic

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    So the Andertons video still has a the harshness I hear in all the demos, plus it seems thin, like there's not much body to the tone. The Pathfinder 15R, for example, sounds fuller and less shrill in other demo videos. I do like the reverb on it, especially compared to a PF15R, which has weak reverb.
     
  6. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, okay. I don't hear that. I do agree with you, though, about the reverb on it, and that the reverb is weak on the PF15R. I always play my PF15R with reverb set at least to noon.
     
  7. Gawg

    Gawg TDPRI Member

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    Heh. My daughter knew that I was looking at the MSB so she and my wife bought one for my birthday. It's funny because I wanted to get a tube amp and had settled on a Blues Jr NOS. I was torn between it and an AC10C1. I'm having fun with the MSB.

    So yeah the MSB definitely has the chime now that I'm playing it at home. I get how some might hear a harshness or thinness. When i played the MSB in Guitar Center, even the AC4C1 seemed warmer (but it was very noisy in the store). I've listened to all the YouTube videos with the MSB at least twice. When the Anderton video used just the overhead mic, I thought it sounded really thin. Playing in the store sounded better but it didn't sound as good as the AC15 or even AC10.

    I might be tempted to replace the speaker with a Red Fang. Or a Greenback. I've heard both in Vox amps, and they each have their appeal. Either would add more bottom and have a fuller sound. But honestly I'm pretty happy to play with the stock for now.

    It can get loud. I'm enjoying that I can play at low volume and still get pretty good tones. I like the Strat on it, but I really like playing the St Vincent with the mini humbuckers.

    And I can now play with my daughter when she's on the DV Mark Little Jazz. In fact this afternoon, she plugged into the MSB to practice her jazz lessons.
     
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  8. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    I would recommend against the red fang, as that would accentuate the very thing you’re trying to get rid of. They can be harsh and thin all on their own.
     
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  9. Gawg

    Gawg TDPRI Member

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    I was going off of the below comparison, as well others comparing the Celestion Blue & Greenback. The RF and Blue both sound more clear and distinct. I like both the Greenback and RF but for a AC15 or AC 10, the alnico sounds better to me, more of i expect of a Vox.



    But this is a Nutube. How does that change the sound of these speakers? Not sure.

    Also the RF is nearly twice as heavy as a Greenback and probably the stock speaker. Not that I expect to move it around a lot, but that's more weight for those bars.


    I've also been listening for the crackle that John heard after he bought one. I'm not hearing it, even when I play at low volume.

    That blue is bright! I have to put my finger over it when I change the settings.
     
  10. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    No crackle here, either, after a week and a half. There must be an easy kludge for the blue light; figured I'd ask on the pedal forum eventually.
     
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  11. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    I returned my Vox Mini Super Beetle after two and a half weeks.

    I liked:
    • My wife thought it looked cool, and she's not into gear.
    • Great jangle.
    • Stereo headphone output. (Didn't try through PA.)
    • Nice tremolo.
    I was disappointed by:
    • The 10" speaker sounded small at bedroom volumes, though it would probably be loud enough for small gigs with a drummer who didn't hit the skins too hard. The 10" speaker in the AC10 is said to be beefier, and its cabinet is closed-back rather than open-back, like the Mini Super Beetle. In practice, I got used to the Mini Super Beetle's sound very quickly. (I also noticed that I was running it louder than my usual practice amp, a Fender Mustang GT40.) But when if I went across the hall and played the same guitar through my cheap Monoprice 15W tube amp, the Mini Super Beetle sounded...mini. Note: the Monoprice has a 12" speaker, but it's open-back like the Mini Super Beetle. The difference isn't subtle.
    I didn't expect:
    • The Mini Super Bettle seems to have less gain on tap than the MV50 AC (from what I can tell in YouTube videos). My sense, after playing it for two and a half weeks, is that this amp really was voiced for Beatles tunes.
    I sent it back because:
    • It emphasized nasty overtones on sustained open chords, especially D and G. Early on, I recorded a sample with a Les Paul and asked about it on another thread. A couple people couldn't hear anything -- and neither could I when I listened to the sample on my work computer. Others suggested it might be fret noise. I spent a lot of time working with the amp, playing with different guitars and comparing their sound through other amps. I could get that harsh overtone with chords on other amps, if I tried, but I could also dial it out easily. I could never dial it out with the Vox Mini Super Beetle, even with an EQ pedal. I described my experience to the customer service rep at Musician's Friend, and he gave me a return authorization. With so few customer reviews of this model, it was impossible for me to tell whether this was a defect in my unit, or a feature of the design. But it was driving my crazy. Now that the amp is gone, I keep expecting to hear the sound with my other amps...and I just don't.

    I liked the basic sound a lot, and I like the idea of a small, inexpensive amp voiced for Beatles (and Tom Petty) stuff. Bravo, Vox/Korg. I certainly would have kept it if not for the overtone issue. My plan now is just to get an AC15. Mick and Dan, on That Pedal Show, speak highly of it, and now that I've had a taste of the real Vox sound, I want to keep exploring it.

    In the process, I've also realized how good the Monoprice 15W sounds, after playing other things for the last year. With a Zoom G3 in the FX loop, it sounds quite dreamy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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  13. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Rick Romanelli did an impromptu video in Brighton Music Center in Pittsburg several months ago. He was test-driving a Michael Kelly tele through a Vox Mini Superbeetle. I’m like 99% sure that this video has been posted here before, but just in case…



    Well, last Tuesday Rick was talking about going with the MSB25 over an AC15, and the next day he started posting videos of his newly acquired Mini Superbeetle.



     
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  14. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Has anyone had a chance to compare it to the MV50 AC, which really blew us all away at the store where I worked when we got it in. But, it sounded MUCH better with the matching 112 cab, rather than the 1x8. We also liked the MV50 clean, but not as much as the AC, and we didn't really like the MV50 Rock. I'm no longer working there, but AFAIK, they haven't gotten the two new ones, the MV50 Boutique and MV50 High Gain.
     
  15. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just a little while ago, Richard and Neville did another episode of the Tone Lounge for Guitarist, this time showcasing the Vox AC30S1 and (for our purposes here) the Mini Superbeetle.

     
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  16. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    Update: I was all set to buy an AC15 on some kind of Black Friday sale, when Boss announced the Nextone, which I would describe as a cross between a Katana and Blues Cube. It was several weeks before I could try one in person, but eventually I found a store that had one and purchased the Stage (40W) version. Now that I've had it for a week, I really like it. It does the Vox sound I wanted, and some other stuff too. The Tweed channel is particularly nice, I think. It is more expensive than the Mini Super Beetle, and about six pounds heavier.

    I'd still like to try a used MV50 AC or Pathfinder 15R. Larry G, I know you're a fan of the latter; and I have read a fair number of the posts in the owner's club threads for both. I saw a Pathfinder 15R at a pawn shop today for $120, and if it's still there in a couple weeks I might go back and plug something into it. Sure sounds great in these demos I was listening to after dinner:





    In the meantime I'm going to enjoy what I have.
     
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  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

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    By all means, enjoy what you have. The Boss Nextone has me curious, but it will be a while, probably, before I see one locally to test drive myself.

    As for the Vox Pathfinder 15R, yeah, I'm a big fan. I may at times get nostalgic for my stolen Peavey Bandit 65, or get curious about the Nextone or Vox MV50, or even downright GASy for the Vox Mini Super Beetle, but the Pathfinder 15R is most probably the only amp I'll ever need for the rest of my life. And I know it's an amp I want to have in my arsenal for the remainder of my life. It's tempting now to wax lyrical about why the 15R is so great and versatile and useful, but like you said, you've read the club thread on it.

    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't wait too long on that one you saw in the pawn shop. If it's in perfect working order and even decent cosmetic condition, it's a good deal at $120. And given that it's at a pawn shop, you might even be able to talk 'em down a bit off that $120. Then later, even if you decide it isn't your cup of tea, flipping it should be no problem.
     
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  18. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    Last week I got a working Pathfinder 15r. The Mini Super Beetle beats it on looks, but the PF is easier to carry. I don't have the MSB anymore to compare sound, so I won't darken counsel with my impressions on that score.
     
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