AGA70 Acoustic Guitar Amp
BY GAYLA DRAKE PAUL
Say what—Vox is making acoustic amps? No,
we’re not yanking your chain, gang. Vox is
making an acoustic amp. The AGA70 is a sexy-looking box—sleek and black and very, very Vox,
with black diamond-weave grille cloth and the
iconic Vox logo slung low on the right. The front
curves at the top, too, which adds to the visual
vibe. The chunky white chicken-head knobs are
a quirky complement to the overall look, and the
bold, white-on-black labeling for each knob and
button is easy to see in any light, thank you very
much. The handle feels secure and comfortable,
easily capable of hoisting the 22. 3 lb combo.
Measuring 12. 7" by 10. 3" by 13" (W x D x H),
the AGA70 has a nice, small footprint and sports
a custom designed 6. 5" full-range speaker. Vox
packs 70 efficient watts and two very feature-rich channels into this little baby, too.
On the rear panel you have the standard
stuff: a power switch, a power cable connector, a connector for the optional VFS2
dual footswitch (which toggles the reverb
and chorus, and lets you switch the All Mute
function on and off), DI out (nice!), tuner out,
L/R lines in, and an auxiliary in.
On the top panel, things get more exciting.
There’s a Master volume, an All Mute switch,
and a sweepable Anti-Feedback control for
starters. The two channels are laid out very
clearly and sensibly. Both have switchable
phantom power (sweet!), a Chorus button, and
a Gain switch with High and Low settings (High
packs a serious punch), as well as Volume,
Bass, Middle, Treble, Color, and Reverb knobs.
Both channels also have XLR and 1/4" inputs—
a real plus for singers/songwriters. One channel also has a 12AU7 tube in the preamp.
control: Turned counter-clockwise, it gives
you a dark, fat, smoky tone. Turned all the
way clockwise, it gives you that sparkling,
Most of us associate Vox amps with a
wonderful, chimey, growly tone that some
describe as “sugarcoated road grit.” With its
12AU7, the AGA70’s Tube Pre channel gives
you tone much like that, only appropriately
tailored for an acoustic guitar. It’s more like
a “sprinkling of faerie dust against a twi-
light sky” kind of tone. The key is the Color
The Normal channel is nothing to sneeze at,
either. It delivers clean, crisp, woody, honest
acoustic tone. Some guitarists might favor
this over the tube channel, mainly because we
acoustic players aren’t accustomed to hear-
ing how a tube can change or enhance our
without-getting-splinters-in-our-ears tone. I
happened to plug into the Normal channel
first, and I’m glad I did, because I really liked
it a lot. But once I plugged into the Tube Pre
channel, I began to drool, then got weak in
the knees and never looked back.
The Color knob is pretty cool. It’s a post-EQ
treble-and-mids sweep that works the same
way on both channels, producing tones
that range from fat and smoky to chimey
and clean. To my ears, Color is more pronounced—and analog sounding—on the
Vox designed the digital Reverb and Chorus
effects exclusively for this amp. I like the
reverb quite a bit—it’s very warm and shiny.
The chorus is either on or off—there’s no
way to get more or less of it—so it’s not
something you’d want to use all the time.
But, like the ’verb, it’s warm and friendly,
and it allows you to easily expand your