Vox VX50AC 1x8" Acoustic Guitar Amplifier (2017 -)

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Korg Nutube 6P1

Three Vox VX50 series amps were introduced in the fall of 2017. They included the VX50AG Acoustic amp, the VX50KB Keyboard amp and the VX50BA Bass amp. Each was rated at 50 watts RMS.

ABS Plastic Enclosure
Like the Vox VXI and VXII that preceded them in 2015, the VX50AG featured a lightweight but durable injection molded ABS plastic cabinet with a wood speaker baffle. This unique cabinet design, combining plastic and wood, allowed the VX50GA to weigh less than 10 pounds. The closed back two-way VX50AG enclosure included a two-way coaxial 8" speaker with a center mounted tweeter.

The preamp section of most tube guitar amplifiers will include at least one 12AX7 tube. The 12AX7 was designed as a "dual triode," meaning that it includes two separate circuits for amplification. Each of these triodes has three elements: a cathode, control grid and an anode. Amplification occurs when a flow of electrons from the cathode passes through the control grid to the anode. A filament wire located near the base of the tube heats the cathode to start this flow of electrons.

Korg has been a leading manufacturer of portable keyboards since the early seventies. Most modern Korg keyboards incorporate a vacuum floresecent display (or VFD) that offers a visual indication of the sound that is loaded and ready to play.

Korg discovered that a vacuum florescent display could be configured as a triode, complete with cathode, control grid and anode, to create amplification. After years of research, Korg developed the dual triode Nutube 6P1 vacuum tube (seen at lower left). It utilized new technologies derived from vacuum florescent displays that would allow the Nutube 6P1 to perform the same functions as a traditional 12AX7 tube.

The Nutube 6P1 offered a number of advantages over the 12AX7. The Nutube 6P1 is significantly smaller than a 12AX7. As it did not require a traditional filament heater, the Nutube 6P1 required a fraction of the current required to power a 12AX7. Unlike the 12AX7, the Nutube 6P1 remained relatively cool to the touch while in operation. Finally, the Nutube 6P1 offered a significantly longer service life than the 12AX7, perhaps never needing replacement.

The preamp of the Vox VX50AG utilized a Korg Nutube 6P1 as a signal buffer. The Nutube offered the rich overtones of a traditional vacuum tube without the need for periodic replacement. The turquoise glow emanating from the Nutube 6P1 can be seen through a series of twelve small holes located on the control panel.

Hybrid Circuit
While the preamp circuitry of the VX50AG included a 6P1 Nutube, the 50 watt power amp section was solid-state.

The VX50AG had two channels, Instrument and Mic. The Instrument channel had Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble and Effects controls plus a phase reverse switch. The Mic channel featured an XLR input jack with switchable phantom power plus Volume, Bass, Treble and Reverb controls. A Master volume control adjusted the total output of the amp. Both channels included a red LED clip light to indicate the presence of excessive input signal levels.

The Effects control in the Instrument channel offered a single rotary control that swept between digital Chorus, Reverb or a combination of both.

External Power Supply
The VX50BA utilized a 19 VDC "brick" external power supply.

VOX VX50GA Amp Specs
Output Power: 50 Watts RMS
Speakers: 8" Vox Coaxial with Tweeter
Inputs: 1/4" Input jack, XLR Input jack, Headphones jack, Aux In jack, Power Supply input

Outputs: Line Out
Controls: Gain, Bass, Low Mid, High Mid, Treble, Master Volume

Effects: Chorus, Reverb, Chorus+Reverb

Power Consumption: 3.42 A
Dimensions (W x D x H): 13.94” x 7.56” x 12.32”
Weight: ~9.04 lbs
Included Accessories: Power cord, External "Brick" Power Supply,
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail : $319.99
Street Price: $229.99

Signal Path from the VX50AG Owner's Manual

Official Vox VX50 Series promotional video clip, used by permission of Vox Amplification


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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