MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
- For SMH10 it's the second item in the option list for setup. #1 is phone vox and #2 intercom vox. With it enabled sticking a somewhat long and loud 'AH' in front of the first sentence is enough to trip the vox. For the 20S, as best I can figure out from the manual, there is no vox intercom setting, only vox phone.
- VOX is a feature commonly found in most higher-end consumer two-way radios. You'll see this feature listed on many of the most popular models, from the mid-range TLKR T60 to the advanced Motorola T92. But what is VOX on a two-way radio, and how does this feature work? Not to worry- read on, and all will be revealed!
- NPR's Michel Martin speaks with professor Evan Lieberman about the study he co-authored looking at how sharing information about the pandemic's racial disparities affect peoples' policy opinions.
When asked what TV shows Vox would like, Viv stated Vox doesn't have a specific favorite when it comes to his preferences for TV shows, but it is noted that he likes to watch commercials and enjoys watching game shows. In the real-life fictional Voxtagram stories, Vox is the manager of the service. VOX feature is only available on the PC app. The purpose of VOX mode is to allow you communicating without using a keyboard at all, which could be very useful sometimes although it might require some upfront configuration. You can switch between PTT and VOX modes on the fly using the hotkeys. Turning VOX mode on.
And finally today, poetry. In honor of National Poetry Month, April, we've been asking you to submit your original poems on Twitter or TikTok. And joining us to talk about some of your submissions now is poet Samuel Getachew. He served as the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, and he was a finalist for the 2020 National Youth Poet Laureate, and he is with us now. Welcome. Thank you for joining us.
SAMUEL GETACHEW: Thank you so much for having me.
MARTIN: You've accomplished a lot already as a youth poet. You've won prestigious spoken-word competitions. You were a finalist for National Youth Poet Laureate. But I'm going to ask you to take us back to how it started for you. Do you remember when you fell in love with poetry and why?
GETACHEW: Oh, geez. I've always been in love with the written and the spoken word. I was an avid reader as a child. I used to eat lunch in the library. And there was kind of a moment where I realized that I could also create language and create art out of language myself, and it wasn't just something that I had to consume.
But specifically with poetry, that came a little bit later. My teachers in my first, you know, classroom writing assignments would always tell me, you know, this is good, but it's not academic writing. This sounds too much like poetry. So there was kind of a moment in middle school where I just kind of decided to try writing poetry super-intentionally. And then I kind of just never looked back.
MARTIN: I think like a lot of people, this has been a year of change, you know..
GETACHEW: Yes. Djay pro.
MARTIN: ..And of some uncertainty for many people - maybe most people. What has been the role of poetry in your life during this period?
GETACHEW: This year has changed so, so much. For me personally, I feel like I've grown so much as a person, and my view of the world has changed so much. And throughout that, poetry has really been grounding. And I think it's also exceptional how I've been able to see poetry's influence on the way that I view so many things that aren't related to poetry.
In the last two months, I've been living in New York on my own for the first time, where I'll be finishing out the rest of my gap year. And I've actually been pursuing modeling, which has been a very, very different and interesting experience from poetry. But I - you know, as I'm trying to learn this new art form of, you know, styling my own shoots and experimenting with fashion and experimenting with movement and posing, I'm, like, noticing the similarities in which, you know, poetry - it lives in everything. And I see it in music now. I see it in day-to-day interactions - how everything kind of takes on this really beautiful shape of poetry to me now because of all the years that I've spent, you know, living with poems.
And so I think throughout everything, poetry has always just been something that helps me understand the world. And I think that that can sometimes be super-specific, as in I'm writing a poem about an experience that I've been through. But it can also be super-abstract, where I'm finding similarities in the ways that I'm interacting with people and interacting with new challenges that I'm facing. All of that has been super-influenced by the way that I've approached poetry.
MARTIN: All right. Well, great to hear. All right. So let's get to some of the poems that stuck out to you.
GETACHEW: Yes, let's..
MARTIN: Why don't you just pick one? Go ahead.
GETACHEW: All right. Let's start with this Twitter poem. This is from Kelly Van Nelson, and this is a haiku. (Reading) Empty street is filled with nothing but memories of feet once moving.
MARTIN: Oh, wow. What did you like about it?
GETACHEW: Before I moved to New York, visiting my old high school, it was just a random day that I happened to be driving past it, and I was looking at how empty it was, even just in passing and how full I remembered it being before COVID. And it just - it - this poem made me a little bit nostalgic. It reminded me of that feeling of looking at a place that you once thought of as, like, so full of life and seeing it empty.
MARTIN: Yeah. It's interesting. It's bringing up feelings for me because I'm from New York, born and raised. And that's the main thing that I was thinking about, is friends who still live there, family that still live there talk about how empty the streets had been - right? - especially during those early days when everything was shutting down. It just really brought up a lot of feelings. Well, that's great.
So you also picked a submission from TikTok. I'm going to play it. Let's listen.
(SOUNDBITE OF TIKTOK VIDEO)
CHRISTIE BRIE: The goddess of the moon descended and pressed me. With a kiss, I awoke a woman.
MARTIN: That was from Christie Brie. What did you like about this poem?
GETACHEW: I - you know, I'm 18 years old. I'm coming into adulthood for the first time. I'm getting ready to go to college for the first time. And this is such a period of growth and transition for me. And I really, really loved the way that in such a short poem, that piece was able to kind of depict this, like, overnight coming-of-age feeling. And so, yeah, I'm being a little selfish, picking the ones that resonate with me so personally, but yeah.
MARTIN: It's fine. And OK, how about one more?
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GETACHEW: This last one is also from Twitter, and I think it's also a haiku. And this one is from Sharon Rousseau. I'm so sorry if I mispronounced your name. (Reading) The sweet dragonfly would be glad to eat you up if you fit its needs.
MARTIN: OK (laughter). And what did you like about this one?
GETACHEW: I love nature poems, and I love nature poems that are a little bit sneaky. And I felt like this one fit both of those criteria. And I think it's just - it's such a beautiful metaphor and can be applied to so many of our daily interactions with people. And I love writing and poetry that explores kind of those less pleasant to think about sides of interaction but things that we all think about subconsciously anyway and just never really admit.
MARTIN: Well, as we said earlier, at the beginning of our conversation, you started writing really early, really young.
MARTIN: And do you have any tips for people who maybe would like to start writing but don't know where to start?
GETACHEW: For people who are just getting started out with writing, I would really emphasize that writing doesn't have to have rules if you don't want it to. And then in terms of having trouble getting started, simply with inspiration or things like that, I would say, you know, find your favorite book, your favorite poem, even your favorite song, and find a line that really resonates with you from it, and just put that at the top of a blank piece of paper and use that as the first line of whatever you want to write. And that is an exercise that has helped me in the past. It's an exercise that I know lots of experienced writers do to this day, and it's a pretty safe way to get started.
MARTIN: That is Samuel Getachew. He is the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. Samuel Getachew, thank you so much for joining us. Congratulations on everything. Keep us posted on everything you're up to.
GETACHEW: Thank you so much for having me.
MARTIN: And if you would like to participate in our Poetry Month celebration, there are two ways. As we said, you can post your original 15-second poem to TikTok with the hashtag #nprpoetry. Please keep it radio-friendly and 15 seconds or less. We are also taking your original Twitter poems, and you can tweet those to @npratc with the hashtag #nprpoetry. We're sticking with the original Twitter length rules. Poems must be 140 characters or less. And as you heard, your submission may end up on NPR because every week, we have invited a celebrated poet to join us and discuss some of the poems that caught their eyes.
(SOUNDBITE OF KAYTRANADA FEAT. KARRIEM RIGGINS AND RIVER TIBER'S 'BUS RIDE') Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Fender Deluxe Reverb and the Vox AC15 are roughly the same size, often used by roughly similar musicians to play broadly similar music. Perhaps this is simply to say that they are both extremely versatile and popular amplifiers.
The circuit and overall design behind each of these club-sized classics is quite different, however, and they have different sonic signatures as a result. On one hand, sure—either one might work just fine for your music. But if you want to know which excels at the kind of tone and feel that will help your playing soar, you need to dig a little deeper.
|Spec||’65 Deluxe Reverb||A.C.15 Custom|
|Output Power||22 watts||15 watts|
- * 2x10' and 2x12' combos and head versions have occasionally been available
- ** Reverb included on current AC15 Custom; not available on many vintage AC15s, or on the current handwired model
- *** Tremolo included on current AC15 Custom and original vintage AC15s and other iterations, but not on current handwired model
- **** MSRP with Celestion G12M Greenback speaker; $1,120 with Celestion Alnico; AC15 handwired MSRP is $1,820
Prior to diving into the real differences between these two combos, it’s important to note that the specs and configurations of the Vox AC15 have varied a lot more over the years than the Fender Deluxe Reverb’s specs and configurations. This begs the question, 'The Deluxe Reverb vs. which AC15?'
Vintage AC15s from 1958 into the late '60s were made with an EF86 pentode preamp tube. Vox’s original handwired reissue from circa 2007—the AC15H1 TV—were made with these preamp tubes as well. This tube adds a somewhat thicker, creamier texture to the amp’s overall character when compared with the more common 12AX7 preamp tube used in the current renditions and in the popular English-made AC15TB of the 1990s.
That being said, the current models still have much in common with their different predecessors. They display several similar sonic characteristics—many of which make any rendition of an AC15 quite different from a Deluxe Reverb—so it’s still easy to differentiate these two classic combos from opposite sides of the pond.
The Deluxe Reverb has duly earned its massive popularity over the five-plus decades since its arrival by offering everything that many guitarists need to play a wide variety of music in an easy package.
After the tweed Deluxe of the '50s and the tan-Tolex rendition of 1961-'63, the Deluxe Reverb arrived as the club-sized cornerstone of Fender’s blackface lineup in late '63 or early '64 (histories often claim a '63 origin, though it’s hard to find existing examples from that year).
In addition to the amp’s updated cosmetics, Fender introduced a circuit that provided more control over the amp’s EQ—sandwiching bass and treble controls between two gain stages from one 12AX7 tube per channel—as well as other tweaks that helped derive more headroom from this 22-watt amp.
High voltage supplies and a fixed-bias output stage with a negative feedback loop squeezed maximum power from the 6V6GT output tubes, eliciting a clear and punchy response.
Sonic Calling Cards of the Deluxe Reverb
- A somewhat 'mid-scooped' voice with fairly solid lows for its power rating, and glassy, clear highs.
- Great pristine cleans at lower volume settings.
- Classic meaty twang at volume settings approaching mid-way (especially with a Telecaster, Stratocaster, or a Gretsch guitar injected), a characteristic that has helped to make it one of the all-time greatest country amps for recording or club gigs.
- Sharp, stinging lead tones with the volume cranked up to produce natural tube distortion—a great smaller-amp rendition of the Super Reverb’s archetypal Chicago blues tone.
- Luscious tube-driven spring reverb and opto-coupler tremolo, which for many are among the finest renditions of these on-amp effects available.
The Deluxe Reverb’s respectable headroom at lower volumes and its general preamp configuration also make it a great foundation for most overdrive pedals. Many Tube Screamer-types are a match made in heaven with this amp, as these amps characteristically have a shy midrange that Tube Screamers fill in.
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Despite the Deluxe Reverb being good at so much, there are certainly several things that it simply isn’t cut out for. While you might be able to get a faux-Plexi tone out of it with one of the many popular 'Marshall-in-a-box' overdrive pedals available, it really doesn’t achieve anything close to those lauded Plexi crunch and lead tones on its own. Also, players who live in the amp-overdrive zone sometimes find its breed of tube distortion overly stinging or a bit 'ice-pick-y.'
Of course, any amp this size will have its volume limits. The Deluxe Reverb might not be enough on its own to fill many big-arena stages, though many players find its 22-watts surprisingly loud. And since most big stages these days mic amps and feed them through the monitors, the Deluxe Reverb is probably more versatile now than ever before.
The Vox AC15 was designed by Dick Denney in 1958 for Jennings Musical Instruments (JMI). It is often described as being the first guitar amplifier created specifically with the guitar’s frequency range in mind, rather than merely being adapted from existing tube-amplification circuits.
Regardless, this is an amplifier that segues beautifully from shimmering cleans to toothsome overdrive, and original examples are among the most-prized vintage amps on the collector’s market today.
Among the distinguishing factors of the AC15 design are its cathode-biased output stage with no negative feedback, generating around 15-watts from a pair of EL84 output tubes. As discussed above, the original AC15 and the first handwired reissue (the AC15H1 TV) had an EF86 tube in the preamp; if you’re considering one of those, substitute a little more thickness, creaminess, and fatness into the sound picture painted here versus the added sparkle of the 12AX7-loaded version with a Top Boost EQ stage—also found in the equally legendary AC30.
Sonic Calling Cards of the AC15
- A beautifully textured, rich voice overall, with lots of sparkle and shimmer from its plentiful harmonic overtones.
- Chiming and blooming cleans at lower volume settings.
- Surprisingly delicious Brit-toned twang at lower-mid volume settings, making it an unexpected favorite with a Tele for alt-country and indie-roots.
- Deliciously chewy, thick, lively tube-amp overdrive when pushed hard, with a delectably sweet midrange.
- The AC15 hasn’t typically been known for its reverb (although previous renditions of the tremolo are decent), so these effects are bonuses on the current standard model.
Although 15-watts might not sound like much, it really doesn’t yield an appreciably different volume than the Deluxe Reverb’s 22 watts. What the AC15 does give you at this level is a more natural-feeling segue from clean to overdrive when you hit the strings hard, and a slightly looser (but still appealing) low-end due to that cathode-biased output stage with no negative feedback.
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Some players feel the AC15 isn’t quite as good a pedal platform as other firmer-toned amps its size, and it’s often true that certain overdrives will push these amps’ front ends just a little too hard. The mid-heavy voicing of Tube Screamer-type ODs, for example, can elicit too much midrange mud from an AC15, which already has plenty going on in that frequency band.
Also, some other overdrives and fuzz pedals don’t play nice with the amp’s Top Boost tone stage, inducing harsh highs in particular. Well-balanced overdrives and booster pedals can often help nudge an AC15 into tasty lead-guitar goodness, though. If 15-watts doesn’t seem all that powerful, the amp’s frequency content—and its high saturation of harmonic overtones in particular—can often make it sound surprisingly loud to the ear.
Ultimately, this is a legendary little tone machine that really suits players who want a lot of character in their mild-breakup or cranked-vintage-overdrive tones.