It may be best known for the iconic hand-wired amplifiers and shapely guitars that have helped shape the sound of some of rock's finest for decades – including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen and the Arctic Monkeys – but Vox Amplification started out as a keyboard manufacturer. In the early 1960s, the company released an instantly-recognizable combo organ affectionately known as the Connie. Now more than 50 years after its introduction, a new and improved Vox Continental has been unleashed.
The original Vox Continental transistor-based organ can be heard swirling away on classics like House of the Rising Sun from The Animals, I'm a Believer by The Monkees, Light My Fire by The Doors and The Velvet Underground's Sister Ray. It didn't just sound good, but also rocked a striking look – including reverse-colored keys and a bright red hood.
For its 2017 makeover, Vox has retained the red top but opted for a traditional-looking keyboard layout. The new Connie is a more powerful beast than its ancestor, too. It's been treated to a multi-ribbon LED touch strip that allows the player to adjust system parameters like EQ and LFO. And instead of only recreating Continental tones, Vox has also included three distinct sound engines.
The Transistor engine is reported to authentically reproduce the sound of the original Connie, the Compact engine opens the door to another transistor organ from the period and the CX-3 engine recreates Korg's classic B3 clone. And if you need piano sounds, Vox has included some of those as well.
There are three electric piano emulations to choose from in the E.Piano section, "with realistically simulated amp and cabinet modeling, and carefully sampled overtones," and two acoustic clones – a Grand and an Upright. An Electric Grand sound is also on offer. The Key/Layer section of the available banks is home to more sounds divided into Key, Brass, Strings, Lead, Synth and Other categories.
The new Continental has 150 programs powered by its PCM sound and vintage modeling engines available for recall from its 10 GB of onboard memory, as well as six types of FX, four kinds of delay, five different reverb options and an analog valve drive powered by Korg's Nutube technology.
The 2017 Connie seems like a mighty powerful road-ready package, and comes supplied with an expression pedal and A-frame stand. The Vox Continental is available as a 61 key version for US$1,999.99 or a 73 key model for $2,199.99 – and can be seen and heard in the promo video below.
Source: Vox Amps