Let’s be honest: we’ve all spent much of our guitar-playing lives coveting the inimitable sound of a sweetly overdriven Vox amp.
Now, Vox is offering all that great tone – minus the unwieldy amp – in a new range of pedals, the Valvenergy series.
The new line consists of four all-analog valve distortion boxes – the Copperhead Drive, the Cutting Edge, the Mystic Edge and the Silk Drive, each of which you can hear guitarist Pete Thorn incorporating in the awesome (and awesome-sounding) jam at the top of this demo video.
“Let’s talk about what similar about the pedals,” Pete says after the performance. “Number one, they’re all meant to capture the tone of classic amplifiers.” Number two, he continues, “they use Nutube technology. So what’s that?”
According to Vox, Nutube is a new vacuum tube technology developed by KORG that provides the same rich overtones and responses of conventional vacuum tubes, imbuing these pedals with the same great overdriven tones you hear in a Vox amp.
Each pedal in the Valvenergy series is inspired by a classic amp sound, and boasts three modes – standard use, line-level preamp output and analog cab sim. Additionally, the pedals are equipped with a high-contrast OLED display with an oscilloscope, a cool visual indication of how the waveform is affected by the knob settings.
First up is the Copperhead Drive, a valve distortion pedal inspired by thick and punchy British amp tones that adds some tough, gritty sounds to Thorn’s demo song. The Mystic Edge, meanwhile, provides the chime and midrange of the legendary Vox AC30. “This might be my favorite out of the whole group,” Thorn says. “I love that sound.”
Continuing on, the Silk Drive boasts the dynamic clean and creamy overdrive tones of classic boutique amps. “A little bit softer around the edges, a little smoother on the top end,” Thorn says. “Lots of gain and all that, but not high-gain metal.”
And if high-gain metal is what you're in the market for? Look no further than the Cutting Edge, which conjures aggressive, saturated and tight, modern tones. “It got into that territory and really did an incredible job,” Thorn says.
Can’t decide which Valvenergy is right for you? Grab ‘em all! As Pete points out, a Channel Link feature (when the pedal is in preamp mode) allows users to chain two or more Valvenergy pedals together with a standard 1/8” stereo cable (for two pedals) and a stereo 1/8” splitter linking three or four units.
One pedal can be accessed while bypassing the others, “so it’s kind of like channel switching,” Thorn says. “Pretty cool.”
Pretty cool, indeed.
For more information on the Valvenergy series, head to Vox.