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INTERVIEW: Vox R&D manager Dave Clarke

Daniel Gumble
INTERVIEW: Vox R&D manager Dave Clarke

With UK amp giant Vox planning for a busy 2016, MI Pro editor, Daniel Gumble, caught up with the firm’s R&D manager, Dave Clarke,for a quick-fire Q&A session to find out about its plans for expansion and what consumers and retailers can expect from the company over the coming months…


Daniel Gumble: When did you start working for Vox?

Dave Clarke: “I started working for VOX in 2004, as a fresh faced 24-year-old.”
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DG: What’s your background in the industry? Have you always worked in the MI market?

DC: “I came from the industrial computer industry, having a solid grounding in electronics and design. I have been playing guitar since I was 12 and, when the opportunity came to combine work with my passion, it was a no-brainer. The MI industry is like no other industry I’ve worked in.”


DG: What does your role entail?

DC: “So, my title is R&D Manager, but this doesn’t mean all I do is manage. We’re a small team and all need to be hands-on when working on projects. Each engineer has to take ownership of the project, from concept to completion and beyond. This means one day you could be assembling a proto, the next designing a chassis and the day after that preparing photo-realistic renders for the marketing department.”


DG: We understand you are looking to increase Vox’s R&D by 50 per cent. Can you elaborate on why and how you are doing this?

DC: “That’s right, a 50 per cent increase is important to our continued growth as a leading guitar amp brand. We have lots of new cool stuff in the pipeline, and not enough hands to bring it all to market.

“Right now we’re advertising for an R&D development engineer to work with us in the Milton Keynes office.”


DG: Next year is Vox’s 60th anniversary – do you have any special celebrations up your sleeve?

DC: “You’ll need to wait until 2017 before I can answer that one…”


DG: What have been the key launches for Vox so far this year?

DC: “We had a really busy year last year, bringing new products to market, and the fruits of our labours were shown at this year’s NAMM show. We launched two new amp lines (the AV series, Analogue Valve Multi Voice Amp, and the VTX series, The latest Valvetronix digital modelling amps).

“We added AC30 and AC15 heads to our Custom series and we introduced the new Vox Starstream Modelling Guitar. Along with that we showed prototype concepts of a Vox head utilising the Nutube (a revolutionary low voltage low current vacuum valve developed by Korg) and we showed our upcoming Continental Organ.

“So yeah, you could say we’ve been busy.”


DG: Do you have any more Vox launches planned for later in the year? Anything for Musikmesse?

DC: “We don’t offer up and sneak peaks of our launches I’m afraid... you’ll have to come to Musikmesse to find out.”

Tags: vox , interview , Interviews , dave clarke

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