Other Amps

VOX amp people: Hive-Mind question for you

1

Try it out. If you like it, get it. Screw the purists.

2

Vox and Gretsch are a great combination. There wouldn't have been a British Invasion without them. It works for me. Best advice is to try it out yourself. It's all dependent on how it sounds to you.

3

I wonder if I would quickly want the AC-30HW2x with more headroom (and 2 Alnico's) over the early breakup of the AC-15HW1x (with a single Blue).

I like the idea of cranking it with the Master volume off, But I'm afraid the AC-30 will be too loud at the point it really gets good and I don't think an AC-30 set at 15w will sound as good as an AC-15 would sound and I don't really see me using the AC-15 at 7.5w (ever). Does anyone have an AC-30 with the 30w/15w setup if so, do you ever use it that way or do you use an attenuator or the Master?

At what point does the AC-30 really start to break-up? My Bassman is 40w, do you think being used to the Bassman, the AC-15 would sound too small and I would wish for the AC-30 with the 2x12?

4

Voxes are friggin' LOUD. Totally different impact and sonic signature than a Bassman, and hard to compare (scooped chunk with the bassman, midrange punch w/Vox)...but they're LOUD.

I had an AC15 for awhile, and it was louder than anything I ever imagined needing. (My usual standards of reference at the time being 40-50 watt Music Man, Deluxe Reverb, and 30-watt Classic 30s.) Before the 15 ever started acting like it was going to sound decent, it was Too Loud To Use. 'bout put me off Voxes for good. It also weighed like a steamship anchor.

I know you're thinking "hand-wired" and all, and I respect that...but as an exercise, try an AC-10 with the deluxe speaker option (and master volume) for awhile. It's as good a proving ground as any for your personal Voxtone compatibility, is stupidly loud, and nicely compact and portable. (Not that you care about that, but it's great as a test bed.) If you like what you hear, and want more, you can move up the line. If not, it's easy to re-sell.

Mine sounds way more like what I want in a Vox - like a recorded AC-30, for instance, both at chime levels and at full-Brian over-saturation - than the AC-15 ever did.

Just a suggestion.

5

And what happened to the first post in the thread anyway?

6

It was accidentally deleted.

I think I'll go with the AC-15HW, as you say it's a hella-loud amp and I would rather crank the 15 than have to use an attenuator on a 30. It's also 40lbs as opposed to 70lbs.

I don't really like the way they "half" the power on these 30/15 - 15/7.5 as they just run all the tubes at less voltage not 1/2 of the tubes at full voltage. That will take away a lot of the tone in my opinion. The Hand-wired is the way to go though.

Both have a decent Master Vol. that can be defeated and a clean channel that is very nice. The Hot/Cold switch for the Top-Boost is cool as well.

7

At what point does the AC-30 really start to break-up?

At around 50%. And that is loud. I play my '64 (no master volume) unmic'd mostly at medium-sized bar gigs. You can't get it above about 30% without the bar owners going into fits about the volume.
I had an AC15 for a while (the JMI EF86 version, which more recently existed as the AC15H1TV, which can be found used for reasonable prices). It had a similar breakup point at around 50%, but really even at lower volumes, with that EF86 preamp, it's never quite as clean as an AC30. Playing the same unmic'd medium-sized bar gigs, it was always right at what most people would consider the sweet spot, growly and shimmery, but not full blown overdrive. The problem for me was that I like to be a little cleaner than that. But if I wanted a Vox that would be loud and crossing into overdrive territory at right about typical bar band volume, the AC15H1TV would be my choice hands down. I've never played one, but I know people who own JMI AC15s who have, and they say that this amp truly sounds the same (and also has a second channel that's based on the AC30 Top Boost channel, so it's got that going for it too). They have a 3D chime all the way up and down the volume scale. And it's really a sound like no other. If you've never tried an EF86 Vox, it's an experience worth going out of your way for. I don't know if it's for everybody (in fact, it wasn't quite right for my needs), but it is a truly glorious and unique tone.

8

Oh, I see you've already settled on the AC15HW. No doubt, a good choice and likely to meet your needs. I just like to proselytize about EF86 Voxes. They're worth checking out, and right now there's one on Reverb for the tempting price of $810 and open to offers. That's a lot of amp for not a lot of money.

https://reverb.com/item/336...

9

I haven't "settled". That one on Reverb has my interest. ("Watching"). Once my gear sells on Reverb, I'll be shopping.

10

Oh, I see you've already settled on the AC15HW. No doubt, a good choice and likely to meet your needs. I just like to proselytize about EF86 Voxes. They're worth checking out, and right now there's one on Reverb for the tempting price of $810 and open to offers. That's a lot of amp for not a lot of money.

https://reverb.com/item/336...

– Afire

I bought the one on Reverb, you pointed out to me.

Thank you Afire.

I figure I don't need the bells and whistles of the newer Hand-wired ones and like the "Made in England" and "broken-in" Alnico Blue and interested in the EF86 channel.

WhooHoo! (stoked).

Saved myself about 350.00 as well over a new one.

11

What Proteus said about the AC10 is true. They are better than the modern AC15 at capturing the essence of Vox.

I own an AC30, and it hasn't been on a gig in over a decade. They make a room uninhabitable by the time you turn them halfway up.

12

I bought the one on Reverb, you pointed out to me.

Thank you Afire.

I figure I don't need the bells and whistles of the newer Hand-wired ones and like the "Made in England" and "broken-in" Alnico Blue and interested in the EF86 channel.

WhooHoo! (stoked).

Saved myself about 350.00 as well over a new one.

– BirdsNBats

Awesome. You'll have to let us know your thoughts when it comes in.

13

NOS glass, EF86, no mods, no Master, UK Alnico Blue (nicely broken-in) this should be a serious RnR amp.

Thanks again, Afire

15

I think you're going to like it. Not many amps stand out to me. Not because I'm picky, but because I'm not. It's hard not to notice an EF86 Vox.

16

It was accidentally deleted.

I think I'll go with the AC-15HW, as you say it's a hella-loud amp and I would rather crank the 15 than have to use an attenuator on a 30. It's also 40lbs as opposed to 70lbs.

I don't really like the way they "half" the power on these 30/15 - 15/7.5 as they just run all the tubes at less voltage not 1/2 of the tubes at full voltage. That will take away a lot of the tone in my opinion. The Hand-wired is the way to go though.

Both have a decent Master Vol. that can be defeated and a clean channel that is very nice. The Hot/Cold switch for the Top-Boost is cool as well.

– BirdsNBats

I am mostly a Fender amp guy, but here's my two cents...

I have the AC15HW1 and it's plenty loud, but having the master volume helps. I found dialing the tone to be counter intuitive with these AC15s. I figured that since they are known to chime so easy with rich harmonics, it would be easy get that famous tone. Well I thought, just cut the bass and bring in a little treble, to push the chime aspect, but that left me with a terrible thin tone. I found out you really have the get the low end of these working to bring out the magic tone in these. That"s when the harmonics start jumping off the speakerDon't be afraid to push those EL84s with some balls! Once you figure that out it's a pretty great tone. I also think they sound best when bypassing the master volume,

Oh, one more thing, for a 15 watt amp, these things weigh a ton!

17

I am mostly a Fender amp guy, but here's my two cents...

I have the AC15HW1 and it's plenty loud, but having the master volume helps. I found dialing the tone to be counter intuitive with these AC15s. I figured that since they are known to chime so easy with rich harmonics, it would be easy get that famous tone. Well I thought, just cut the bass and bring in a little treble, to push the chime aspect, but that left me with a terrible thin tone. I found out you really have the get the low end of these working to bring out the magic tone in these. That"s when the harmonics start jumping off the speakerDon't be afraid to push those EL84s with some balls! Once you figure that out it's a pretty great tone. I also think they sound best when bypassing the master volume,

Oh, one more thing, for a 15 watt amp, these things weigh a ton!

– Daniel Weldon

Yeah, that's why I decided I would go with the AC-15 without the Master Vol. I really want to push it and I have all the big iron I need in my Allen "Hot Blond" for big cleans, etc.

With the rehearsal space and this VOX I can really crank it up.

18

Yeah, that's why I decided I would go with the AC-15 without the Master Vol. I really want to push it and I have all the big iron I need in my Allen "Hot Blond" for big cleans, etc.

With the rehearsal space and this VOX I can really crank it up.

– BirdsNBats

I thought all the new ones had masters?

19

I had an AC15HW1X for a few years. It really nailed “MY” tone needs, I play in a mostly original power pop / rock band (Pretenders / Costello type sound). I love that edge of almost breaking up and then clean it up by dialing the guitar volume down a tad. The tendinitis got me in the end as 50 lbs was simply painful. I settled on a Carr Lincoln, which gets a very convincing AC15 sound and comes in at a fighting weight of 40 lbs.

I also have the AC10C1 with upgraded tubes - great chime! The gain & volume are very friendly for dialing in some sweet tones. This amp is quite loud, but I wouldn’t gig it unless mic’ing was at least an option. Mic’d on a larger stage (as your monitor), this amp works great.

Great thread!

20

I thought all the new ones had masters?

– Daniel Weldon

Daniel, here is a view of the controls (Vox AC15H1TV)

The chicken head knob by itself is a "Top-Cut"


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