VOX Tonelab LE

The VOX Tonelab LE is a really amazing piece of kit.  It is an amp modeler and effects generator rolled into one.

The unit can be used either floor standing or as a desktop unit for home recording work.

You have a choice of 16 amp models to choose from and combined with this you have 10 cabinet types to choose from.  Once you have the amp and cabinet choice you have the option of adding modulation, delay, and reverb with 11 choice under each of these heading.  Finally you have 16 pedal effects to choose from.  All in all the permutations are mind blowing from replicating a real life setup to dreaming up a completely novel sound.  With 120 memories to save the setting to you can develop your own library of sounds.

The Tonelab LE uses VOX Valve Reactor circuitry.  The Valve Reactor circuit uses a 12AX7 dual triode vacuum tube, a virtual output transformer and a dummy speaker circuit that simulates the reactive load of a real speaker. It reconfigures itself so that its characteristics are the same as the amps it’s modeling (class A, class AB, negative feedback circuit, etc.). This means that all of the nuances of the original amp model including sound, feel, distortion and presence are reproduced.

You can set the Tonelab output to meet your needs, there are options for different types of amps and for output to PA or recording decks.

There is a MIDI interface which allows you to create and edit setting on the PC and then transfer to the Tonelab.  A built in tuner is another facility, the full spec is as follows.

  • Amp types: 16
  • Cabinet types: 11
  • Pedal type effects: 16
  • Modulation type effects: 11
  • Delay types: 11
  • Reverb types: 11
  • Noise reduction: 1
  • Number of programs: 120 (30 banks x 4 pro-grams)
  • Input x 1
  • Insert return x 1
  • Output x 2
  • Insert send x 1
  • Headphones x 1
  • Level knob (adjusts output and headphones)
  • Digital audio output
  • S/P DIF(optical) x 1
  • Valve: 12AX7 (ECC83) x 1
  • Signal Processing A/D, D/A: 24-Bit
  • Tuner Range: A0-C7 (27.5Hz-2093Hz)
  • Tuner Calibration: A=438Hz-445Hz
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 500 x 249 x 80 (mm) / :19.69 x 9.80 x 3.15 (inches)

I have only used it for live work so far and the sound is amazing.  The controls are easily worked by foot, from programme selection to the stopping and starting of effects, you can also use the pedal to control some of the effect parameters.  The real reason for buying was for recording so watch for an update when I finally get round to it.

I bought mine from Merchant City Music, for a list of VOX dealers visit the VOX contact page.

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