NAMM 2023: Vox pledges to make Brian May’s legendary tone “accessible to all” with two signature mini amps

NAMM 2023: Vox has teamed up with electric guitar legend Sir Brian May for two signature guitar amps, both of which promise to deliver the Queen icon’s historic tone in tiny packages.

Few guitar/gear combos are as iconic as the Red Special and the Vox AC30, and it's these classic amp tones that Vox has sought to provide with its latest signature offering. Specifically, as May puts it, the amps aim to bring “the sounds you make in a stadium show into your living room”.

There are two amps on tap: the amPlug Brian May guitar headphone amp and the Nutube technology-loaded MV50 Brian May. Unsurprisingly, the former is all about tones at standard headphone level, modeled after a cranked AC30 signal chain and featuring a Treble Booster setting.

The amPlug also offers three onboard effects – Brighton Rock delay, phaser and chorus – and comes loaded with a range of backing rhythms, including the stomps and claps of We Will Rock You, for home practice and jams.

An accompanying mini cab is also available – finished in an identical Red Special-inspired colorway and carrying Brian May’s signature – for low-level headphone-less practice.

Arguably the more intriguing amp of the drop, though, is the MV50, which offers Vox’s downsized Nutube technology in an effort to produce authentic tube tone.

Specifically, the MV50 is based on the MV50 circuitry and AC30 tone, but also offers a Knight Audio Technologies treble booster for a more May-esque tone. Apparently, despite its humble size, the tone of the MV50 is so spot on that May boldly said he’d take it on future tours to see how it “shapes up”.

Highlights include a 50-watt output, connectivity for hooking up to a cab, and speaker emulation in the line out, all of which means it should stack up as a suitable gigging companion and would certainly do the job recording direct in the studio.

“It's perfect for any smaller show, and if you want to put a mic in front of it, it'll do for your big gigs as well,” Mayer said of the MV50. “I wouldn't mind going on some future stadium gig and seeing how this shapes up.”

Of the wider set of amps, May added, “I want people to be able to get the sounds you make in a stadium show into your living room, and these products achieve that. I hope that people find them inspiring.”

Each amp comes as a standalone unit, or in a special limited-edition set that includes the matching speaker cab, as well as a keychain and postcards. 

Price-wise, the amPlug Brian May is available for $59/£54 as a standalone unit or $/£149 as a set, while the MV50 can be purchased on its own or as part of a wider package for $249/£259 or $399/£419, respectively.

Visit Vox for more info.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.