VOX AC1RV Mini Amp

PROS: Small size, simple integrated drum machine.

CONS: Clean sound is still a bit distorted.

PRICE: $59

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Vox amps have always been small, powerful tone machines; their new mini amp has that lineage, and more. With two 3” speakers, it looks like a shrunken down AC30. The controls are very straightforward, with a clean and overdrive selector, gain, tone and volume. There’s something here, though, that will surprise you: a drum machine. It’s equally simple, a “genre” selection, tempo and level. There are 66 variations of rhythms to choose from. An AUX IN allows connection to an MP3 player, and a 1/8-inch HEADPHONE OUT allows silent use for practicing. It’s quite portable too, running on 6 AA batteries or a 9v adapter. 

Sound wise, the amp section is kind of one-sided; the clean sound can be distorted, even at low gain settings, and when in overdrive mode it gets very distorted, along the lines of a classic fuzz. It does have some practical applications, as it can fit in very well with a “lo-fi” type of recording situation.

The drum machine is simple, no tap tempos, very analog, and no programming of any kind. With the 66 variations, there are plenty of rhythm colors to play along to. Combined with the lo-fi type amp sound and the simple rhythms, it has a cool vibe going for it as a fun practice tool. It won’t replace a half stack, or a modern drum machine, but for practicing it’s a neat little unit, and with very analog controls, it keeps the player from getting caught up in programming, and lets them get down to actual playing.


-# Rhythm Patterns: 66

-Amp Section Controls: Gain, Tone, Volume, Overdrive switch


-Output Power: Maximum approx. 1W, RMS into 8 Ohms

-Speakers: VOX Original 3-inch, 4 Ohms x 2

-Dimensions (WxDxH): 6.8 x 2.6 x 5.0 inches

-Weight: 17.9oz

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