The Vox Tonelab ST is the newest in the long-celebrated Valvetronix line of multi-effects processors for guitar from Vox Amplification. Although Vox is well known for their heritage of classic tube guitar amps, the Tonelab multi-effects processors and the corresponding Valvetronix amplifiers have won the hearts of many.
The Tonelab ST is the most compact and least expensive in the series, coming in at an incredible street prices of $199 and boasting dimensions of only10.63”(W) x 7.09”(D) x 2.76”(H), it fits right into your budget and is very portable and lightweight, even with it’s heavy-duty construction.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with the Tonelab ST and thought I’d share my thoughts. First of all, there’s something for everyone packed into this box. Given the price and size, it could easily just fit onto an existing pedalboard and would be worth the coin for the volume pedal and expression controlled modulation effects alone. (Or the fact that it doubles as a USB guitar recording interface, however you want to look at it.)
I’m not normally a modeling guy but I often find myself utilizing this kind of technology in the studio for various projects and let me tell you – the Tonelab ST is perfect for quickly dialing in a tone and laying down some tracks. It’s small enough to be easily packed away when not being used (we’re talking desk drawer, here) and the USB connectivity for computer recording or downloading/sharing new patches is awesome. I’m not joking when I say all you laptop recording guys need one of these.
So what’s the problem? That depends on how picky you are. You can’t navigate from preset 001 to preset 050 in a split-second with the foot switches, so if you need that capability you’ll want to stick with the Tonelab LE. The effects have some controllable parameters, allowing you to approximate most types of effected sounds one would typically use in a musical situation but I would have liked more delay time and some type of looping/hold function. (Some of you delay guys might be happy to know that the Tonlelab ST has a darker, warmer delay texture which reminds me of those old Bucket Brigade equipped units.) I did pull out some cool layery, kinda shoegazy textures using factory preset patches and very little effort. So, that was cool.
And let it be known that the amp models on this thing are great. The word has been out on the Valvetronix line regarding how good the amp modeling is so I won’t beat that horse too much, but I was equally impressed with the models on the ST as I was with the LE.
So basically the ST is a very versatile, very inexpensive, compact version of the LE. Fits on a pedal board or in a desk drawer and sounds great. I’m buying one (employee discount, FTW!).
They’re in-stock now so if you want one, I suggest ya grab it up before the first batch runs out!!!
Vox Tonelab ST Owners Manual <—–Read it! 😀