Fender and Vox tube amps are revered by guitarists around the globe for their sound and features. With both companies still producing new models, vintage models have always commanded high prices.
Country of Origin
Higher-end Fender amplifiers are made in the United States by Fender Musical Instrument Company of California, while lower-priced models are manufactured overseas. Vox amplifiers were originally made in Kent, England, but production was moved to China shortly after Vox was sold to Korg USA in the early 1990s.
Most Fender and Vox amplifiers stick to traditional designs with modern improvements, but Vox invested heavily in amplifier modeling, which is offered on most new models. Amplifier modeling allows a single amp to emulate the tone and control attributes of other amplifiers.
Fender amplifiers are sought after for their clean, bright tone, sometimes called the "California sound". Vox amplifiers are coveted for their "British sound", which features darker tones favoring the mid-range and bass frequencies. Both amplifiers are used for every musical style.
The most expensive vintage or new Fender and Vox amps contain traditional tube circuitry. Larger Vox modeling amplifiers are hybrids, containing primarily solid-state circuitry, with a tube in the pre-amp section. Fender also makes many solid-state amplifiers, but does not offer modeling.
The choice of a Fender or Vox amplifier is a matter of personal preference. Both amps offer quality sound, but the player must decide which best delivers the desired tone. Players who purchase amps with an eye to resale value should consider high-end Fender tube amps or Vox hand-wired tube amps. Entry-level and mid-priced amplifiers by either company are good choices, but are made in large quantities and do not enjoy the status or high resale prices of their more costly siblings.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Bill Bradford