Reviews on the Vox Mini Go 50 Combo
We all know that Vox’s classic tube guitar amps date back to the early days of pop and rock over 60 years ago, but it may surprise some that the company’s digital modeling products have been with us for around 20 years. years now, writing an important chapter in Vox’s long and long history.
Unlike valves, digital guitar amplification methods are still under development, and current Vox modeling products use VET or Virtual Element Technology, an evolution of the original REMS engine used on early Valvetronix amps and effects, all two developed by the parent company of Vox, synth the giant Korg.
True to Vox’s reputation for innovation, VET incorporates many cutting-edge refinements and captures traditional valve circuits with unprecedented digital detail, as we discovered last year on the Vox Cambridge50. Vox’s new line of Mini Go portable amps are the latest to benefit from this exciting technology and here we take a look at the largest of the trio, the feature-laden Mini Go 50.
It’s a compact and portable combo with a single custom eight-inch speaker, housed in an elegantly finished cabinet with a rear port to enhance low frequencies. A diamond pattern speaker grille echoes the famous fabric used on classic AC amps, and a prominent silver Vox badge shines in the upper left corner.
There is no carrying handle; instead, the amp comes with a shoulder strap that snaps onto a pair of side studs. There is also a small pair of tilting feet, which allow the Mini Go to be safely tilted back for better monitoring.
On the back there are two power outlets, one for the laptop-style AC adapter and a USB-C for standard five-volt mobile power supplies, meaning the Mini Go 50 can be used n ‘ no matter where. There is a third jack for the optional VFS3 programmable pedal, which remotely controls all essential amp functions.
The control panel has separate inputs for the guitar and microphone, with a trim and aux send level control for the latter, feeding the delay and reverb effects of the Mini Go. There are nine amp models in total. , including seven well-known Vox Cambridge50 favorites, as well as a new Vocoder effect and Line input for amplifying electro-acoustic guitars or keyboards. Amp controls include gain, bass, treble, and master volume, which become bass, midrange, treble, and volume when line input is selected.
A three-position power switch lets you choose between full power, 1 / 10th or 1 / 100th output for performing, silent practice or recording, and you can store and recall up to three settings of patch. Under the amp controls, the Mini Go 50 has two effects sections: three modulations and an octaver on the first section, and delays and reverbs on the second section.
Next to the effects we find the drum machine of the Mini Go 50, with 33 patterns grouped into separate genres, with tempo and level controls. And there’s even more to come in the form of a looper with a practical maximum recording time of around 45 seconds, as well as a tuner function, auxiliary input, and headphone output, both on 3 jacks. , 5 mm. The headphone output disables the speaker and can be used for silent recording when needed.
Overall, the Mini Go 50 is well built to generally high Vox standards, looks smart and ready to rock with an impressive array of features.
The Mini Go 50’s amp vocals use the same VET engine as the Cambridge50 and sound impressively authentic. The classic AC30 Normal and Top Boost channels both offer a wide range of excellent tones, from shimmering clean tones and chirping rhythms to highly responsive classic rock and blues.
In addition to these two gems, there is a tempting selection of British and American influenced cleans and overdrives, including the Boutique Cl and Boutique OD D-style, both of which sound remarkably authentic, while fans of gain will enjoy Double Rec and SL-OD simulations, which make even the worst single coils sing with virtually endless sustain and fat, muffling bass.
The new Vocoder voice is a powerful special effect and perhaps best used sparingly. Used with a microphone, it adds vowels to single notes or chords when speaking or singing, or you can use it without a microphone, in which case vowels are triggered by selection, which is another useful sound.
The line input has enough clean headroom to accept most keyboards without distortion, and the EQ will suit most electro-acoustics without too much fiddling; it’s a good usable tone.
The other built-in effects don’t disappoint either, with lush chorus and phaser modulations, an authentically vintage-sounding tremolo, and a big octaver that transforms into a synth mono bass at the end of the control knob stroke. The two effects section rounds things out with analog and digital delays softened by spring or Hall reverbs. While the guitar can access both effects sections, the microphone input is significantly limited to delay and reverb.
The Mini Go 50’s drum machine sounds are not quite on par with its amp vocals, but are still more than adequate for live use, with a wide range of variations on each genre. The looper is easy to use and a lot of fun, automatically quantizing to a rhythm pattern, while the drum machine works vice versa, automatically adjusting the tempo to recorded loops. Besides making the Mini Go 50 a powerful training tool, these two features will spice up any live solo performance.
If you plan to use the Mini Go 50 live, the optional VFS3 footswitch becomes more of a necessity as you can assign a variety of different functions to the three buttons: for example, operate the looper, turn effects on and off, or access to the three registered patch settings.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the Mini Go 50’s potential in the short time we’ve had it, but it’s clear that if you’re a serious solo artist on the street / street circuit, this is is an amp you really need to familiarize yourself with.
Combined with the drum machine and looper, there is a lot of inspiration for original music or professional covers, while the authentic amp sounds are first class, with plenty of power to be heard and impressive bass from the vented enclosure. For non-musicians, this is still an inspiring training and recording tool – the great sounds will fit right into any professional recording.
As an overall package, this is incredible value for money. If you don’t need the preset storage or high power output, the Mini Go 10 is equally impressive, while the Mini Go 3 does away with the looper but retains those great amp and drum machine sounds. Whichever you choose, the Mini Go amps all come with a lot of fun, and surely that’s what it is.
- THE PRICE: $ 299 / £ 259
- ORIGIN: Vietnam
- TYPE: Digitally Modeled Preamp with Solid-State Power Stage
- PRODUCTION: 50W RMS into 4 ohms, switchable to 5W or 0.5W
- VALVES: Nothing
- DIMENSIONS: 390 (w) x 250 (d) x 358 mm (h)
- WEIGHT (kg / lb): 7/16
- FIRM: Particle boards
- SPEAKER: 1 special 8 “design
- CANALS : 11 amp models, 8 effects, 33 rhythm patterns, separate mic input with Trim and FX Send
- CONTROLS: Amplifier selector, gain, volume treble bass. Microphone adjustment and send level controls. Program memorization / recall button. Effects select / edit x2, tap tempo effects. Rhythm genre selector, variation selection button, tempo button, start / stop button, level control. Looper level control, dub record / play button
- FOOT SWITCH: The 3-button VFS3 footswitch (optional) can be assigned to 14 different functions
- ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Auxiliary input, headphone output, tuner function, auto power off, tilt feet, can be powered by mobile batteries via USB-C input on the rear
- OPTIONS: VFS3 3-button programmable pedal costs £ 59
- RANGE OPTIONS: Mini Go 10 (£ 199) has a single 6.5 “speaker; the smaller Mini Go 3 (£ 149) has a 5-inch speaker
- CONTACT: Vox amplification