It’s been about five years since Vox introduced the 15-watt Night Train amp head, a diminutive lunch-box-format mini amp that packs an impressive punch.
Since then, Vox has expanded the Night Train line, most recently with its next-generation G2 Series, which includes the 50-watt Night Train NT50H-G2 head.
An upgrade of the previous NT50H head, the Night Train NT50H-G2 is the most powerful, gig-worthy and versatile Vox Night Train amp to date, providing several new features like digital reverb, an XLR speaker-emulated DI jack and more performance-friendly functionality than its predecessor.
Features: The Night Train NT50H-G2 is a 50-watt head driven by two EL34 (power amp) and three 12AX7 tubes (preamp). The amp provides two fully independent channels—Bright and Girth—each with its own set of gain, treble, middle and bass controls, while the Girth channel also includes a volume control. The thick switch now functions on both channels (not just the Bright channel as on its predecessors), and the master section includes reverb, tone cut and master volume controls. The rear panel offers a single 16-ohm and a pair of eight-ohm speaker output jacks, mono send and return jacks for the effect loop, a 1/4-inch footswitch jack for the optional Vox VFS2A footswitch and a new XLR speaker-emulated DI output.
The main differences between the Generation 2 and its previous incarnation include its glossy black finish (which replaces the previous flashy chrome-plated housing), digital reverb, XLR DI, thick switch for both channels, and the deletion of the tight and effect loop bypass switches.
Performance: One of the most impressive features of the original mini Night Train amp was its stellar clean tone. The NT50H-G2’s Bright channel delivers similarly excellent clean tones that feature the distinctive Vox chime and the original Night Train’s bite and satisfyingly full body, but with significantly more clean headroom and output. Overdrive crunch emerges when the gain control is above 12 o’clock, but the clean character remains even at full gain. The Girth channel produces ballsy high-gain distortion with a crisp, harmonically complex crushed-glass sparkle, and when the thick switch is engaged it goes into modern metal territory.
The built-in digital reverb pairs quite nicely with both clean and high-gain distortion tones, sounding lush and deep on the former and providing a sense of space while retaining clarity on the latter. The thick switch is like a built-in overdrive pedal, providing a preset gain and midrange boost that expands the amp’s tonal palette and functions like additional channels.
List Price: $978.60
Manufacturer: Vox Amplification, voxamps.com
The thick switch functions on both channels, providing the Bright channel with added crunch and bite and the Girth channel with fat sustain and impressive gain boost.
Built-in digital reverb provides the Bright channel with lush, deep textures and the Girth channel with an added sense of space, while retaining clarity.
The Bottom Line: The Vox Night Train NT50H-G2 is a compact but versatile amp head that provides a wide variety of tones and impressive volume output that’s ideal for live gigs and the studio alike.