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The Rocktron Velocity Series V10 is one of the best examples of the “standard” beginner amp. It is decent across the board, especially when you factor in the Velocity V10 is extremely cheap. It isn’t unusual for other beginner amps to charge double what a Velocity V10 costs. It has all the traditional features a practice amp should have built in and a solid enough tone. It does not have anything particularly unique or special about it, but it does the job well and cheaply. The key to the Velocity V10 is value.
There are better sounding amps, amps with more features, and cheaper amps available. However, there are almost no amps as cheap as the Velocity V10 which offer as many features or as decent a tone. The Velocity V10 is a budget amp, but guitarists aren’t losing anything critical by choosing it over more fully featured or better sounding amps. The Rocktron Velocity V10 has everything a beginner really needs built right in. The extra features from other amps are nice, but not actually necessary for practicing.
The Rocktron Velocity V10 is best used as a practice amp, which is the main need of most beginners. Rocktron does produce louder, more powerful amps in the Velocity series, but they are priced a little too high for a beginner amp. One of the reasons the Velocity V10 does well as a beginner amp is the low price. The more powerful Velocity series amps have the same features, but higher price tags. A 10-watt amp is more than sufficient for almost all beginners, so paying more money for extra power is not much help. The Velocity V10 is a very solid option for beginners to practice with, while the other models seem more intended as entry level performance amps.
The Rocktron Velocity V10 has a nice selection of features for an amp in this price range. The Velocity V10 is controlled with a single volume control and two tone controls. A distortion channel can be toggled on and off to give the Velocity V10 a more rock or metal oriented signal. A gain control allows guitarists to control the level of distortion from a signal that is just a little fuzzy to an almost over distorted signal. One really nice feature on the Velocity V10 is the headphone jack. Using the headphone jack mutes the speakers, which allows guitarists to practice using the Velocity V10, even in situations where they can’t practice using an audible guitar amp. It is a really nice feature for beginners that want to practice at unusual hours or do not want to disturb other people around them.
The tone of the Rocktron Velocity V10 is decent, but not particularly amazing in any major way. It produces a decent quality, audible tone that lends itself well to practicing. The clean tone does its job very well, which makes it good for beginners that need to be able to hear what they are doing clearly. The distortion on the Velocity V10 is fairly weak in terms of quality. However, this is hardly shocking since even high end solid state amps tend to have poor distortion. Tinkering around with the gain can help get a usable signal for practicing with distortion, which is important for practicing some techniques. The Velocity V10 is not an amp you would want to record with, but its tone is good enough to practice with without being irritating like many of the lower quality amps in this price range.
Ease of Use
The controls of the Velocity V10 are simple, but actually one of the better controllable beginner amps available. As with virtually every other amp, the Velocity V10 has a single volume control. The tone controls are divided into a bass and treble control, with the mid control omitted. While not as controllable as the bass, mid, and treble control scheme, the Velocity V10 does give more control than the single tone control used on some other amps.
The nicest part of the controls is how the distortion works. Distortion is activated by pressing a button. The level of distortion is controlled by turning the gain knob. It is a very simple to use, but very controllable setup for distortion, which is nice compared to the either overly simplistic or overly convoluted setups frequently found on other beginner amps.
The build quality on the Velocity V10 is decent and it does seem like it should handle any reasonable amount of punishment. As a solid state amp, it can take some nasty hits and still not take any functional damage. The materials used to build it do seem slightly on the cheaper side, so it might not survive very hard hits that a better made amp could take. However, realistically, no one should really expect an amp to function after taking a hit hard enough to really damage a Velocity V10, so even with cheaper building materials, there should be little chance of it being damaged enough during any reasonable usage to no longer function.
The Rocktron Velocity V10 is cheap, which is one of the reasons it makes such a solid beginner amp. It is in the same price range as many of the battery powered micro-amps, but about as powerful as most standard beginner amps. The Rocktron Velocity V10 is an excellent value for guitarists that just want a decent practice amp, but don’t want to spend much money in the process. When it comes down to it, any amp that really beats out the Velocity V10 on quality is going to cost significantly more.
Compared to the higher quality beginner amps out there, the Rocktron Velocity V10 is not that impressive. However, the Velocity V10 is also substantially cheaper than most beginner amps and still solid across the board. The Velocity V10 is more oriented towards budget minded beginners, rather than features or tone oriented ones. Beginners willing to spend more money can find better amps. However, at this price range, very little competes with the Velocity V10. The few good options at this price range don’t offer anything that the Velocity V10 doesn’t have and most have less features built in.