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Tom Petty soundalike settings for Vox ac30cc2?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Lord_Ingipz, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Lord_Ingipz

    Lord_Ingipz Tele-Meister

    May 13, 2015
    Cicero, IL
    Have been having a hard time trying to dial in his tone. Mainly American Girl and Last dance with Mary Jane. Closest I got was using the top boost channel with the bright switch engaged. Playing a Fat telecaster with an american special bridge pickup.
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I showed an owner of one of those Voxes how to do that jangle one day. I plugged into my Pro Sonic, put it in the cathode biased mode and switched my very versatile ‘strat’ into a certain pickup arrangement and....his eyes and ears went wide open. There it was....something that his amp would not do. Interesting....Beatles, Byrd’s, Petty....I could cop them all with that guitar and the Pro Sonic.
    asnarski, Modman68 and horseman308 like this.
  3. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2017
    Get a Princeton Reverb...
    asnarski likes this.
  4. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Meister

    May 7, 2016
    Do you remember your gain and eq settings for that? Just curious.
  5. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    I think you'll need an overdrive to push it a little for some of those tunes.
  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    No, I don’t recall...I just adjust to get it there. A lot of it has to do with the versatility of my guitar, too.
  7. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

    Oct 1, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    My band played “Last Dance with Mary Jane”. It’s tuned kind of weird. A quarter step flat.

    I used a Les Paul and a Marshall with some light overdrive.

    Thought that I always nailed the tone.
  8. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Meister

    May 7, 2016
    Yeah, the Strat probably has more on-board versatility than most. I always kinda heard that song as an out of phase thing, so a Strat quack would do it well. I get it with my LP, which has the pups wired OoP. And yeah, some tweedy OD is about all you'd need otherwise.
  9. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Top boost with the bright switch engaged on a CC2? YIKES! That should bleed ears 5 states away!

    What was done in the studio is always difficult to nail... there is often layers of compression as well as eq/filters at the board. I also think the studio cut is a Ricky, not a Strat, but I could be wrong about that.

    Tom's live tone is very different. Thicker, crunchier.

    With my strat and VOX CC I can nail Tom's "live tone" with these settings.

    * Strat bridge pickup
    * Normal channel
    * Bright switch off
    * BIAS set to WARM on the back of the amp
    * Channel volume around 7 or 8
    * Turn up master for desired level
    * if there is too much high end, turn up the CUT control (I have mine turned up slightly... may 10 o'clock or so)
    * if there is not enough high end, turn on the bright switch then dial up the cut control as needed
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Well, my guitar is not a is much more versatile with 16 different options plus a bass control in addition to the normal treble.
  11. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Holic

    Oct 17, 2008
    Tujunga California
    Tom has used many different amps in the studio and onstage, not just AC30's, but the SS Vox Beatle amps, old Fender Bassman head/cab, even Marshalls, so pinning down one song or the other is kind of hard. He also had a big guitar collection, and used many different ones in the studio and live. I think the very first album is mostly the SS Vox Super Beatle and the old Fender Esquire/Tele that both guitar players would share, as time went on they amassed a ton of amps and guitars and used them all. All of their equipment was kept in their big rehearsal space and they would pick out whatever they wanted to use for each song. I think on "Mary Jane" he used the Bassman (I don't remember if it was a blonde or a blackface, I'm thinking Blonde Brownface but could be wrong) and I'm not sure which guitar.
  12. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have an AC15 and we do many Tom Petty songs in my band. The Vox is PERFECT for those songs. Beatles, too. Here are my settings (pic below). I keep the Tone Cut dialed almost all the way back, because I like the brightness. But I dial the bass up a good amount to give me a fuller sound. For songs like "The Waiting" and "Listen to her Heart" I just play it straight clean. For songs like "Mary Jane" I add some very light gain. I used to use a Sparkle Drive but recently switched over to Timmy pedal, because you can get a darker sound that balances the brightness of the amp. I have also found that an Xotic EP Boost pedal is a very good fit for the Vox, since it is very darker and really thickens up the tone for leads.
    Lord_Ingipz likes this.
  13. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    I could very well be wrong but in that video clip I dont think your hearing Tom at all (or barely)....that is mostly Mike Campbell with that ES looking guitar.

    Tom isn't playing any of the hammer ons or pulloffs that make the intro riff.
  14. GuitarJonz

    GuitarJonz Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    If you can't dial in your Vox, a Way Huge Red Llama pedal into almost any clean amp will give you the Petty tone in spades. It's what Tom used on his board. I like the older red MKII better than the newer 25th Anniversary model, which has more gain than the earlier ones.
    studio1087 likes this.
  15. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    To get good Heartbreakers tone the most important thing is to try and channel how formidably cool they were. Amps and knobs and yadda yadda hardly matter, your hands need to learn how to work together to get their groove and that will make it sound right ;)

    How was that for practical and constructive advice? :p
    Jakeboy likes this.
  16. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    The amp settings posted are inspiring and I'm sure that they sound like Tom or Mike. Tom and Mike are spiritual tone machines.

    I'm in a cover band and we cover 4 Petty tunes and we talk about doing a Petty tribute thing (we love Tom Petty - all of us do.)

    This is how I do it with a clean Fender amp. Love Pedal Les Lius in the 5E3 mode. The boost is like extra secret sauce depending on the song.


    Before I found the used Les Lius I used a Tone Bakery Crème Brulee which is supposed to be a Klon Clone but it really gets you in the Tom zone.


    I can't really tweak my amp to be just like Tom or Mike all night because of the variety of songs that we play but these pedals get you very close. I love that sound.
  17. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    I'm not listening to them right now and don't recall which guitars were used - but it's a Rickenbacker they did the same things in the studio as Roger McGuinn to get the specific "jangle" tone, and that is compress the heck out of it. I use a Janglebox JB3 with my 360/12C63 and 360/6 and NO other guitars. It's the only case (IMO) where good stompbox compressors are not just useful, but essential - especially with 12 string. Cheap ones like the Dynacomp are too noisy and limited (IMO). But the Janglebox comps and the Xotic SP both do a pretty good job of equalizing string response on a Ric.

    Depending on the amp it's sometimes beneficial to stack 2 or even 3 good compressors (they have to have a "dry signal" mix feature, though). But most Vox and Fender amps that have good tubes, are biased properly, and have reasonably fresh (under 15 year old) filter caps are OK - better if optimized by a qualified tech.

    Hope that helps.
  18. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Sep 14, 2016
    not houston
    i have a cc2x and for those kinds of tones i would probably start with turning the master to around 7 or so, then turning up the channel volume to where you need it, then adjust the rest from there. i would also probably use a boost or an overdrive with the volume all the way up and the gain all the way down.
  19. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    If they recorded it analog, the tuning could have been the result of 'pitching down' the speed of the tape machine to get the desired tempo, resulting in the weird tuning.

    - D
    gridlock likes this.
  20. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

    the tuning is not down but up. About 1/2 step.

    I 'believe' the recording was sped up slightly. Not sure if by accident or design.....the info is out there, i just cant remember where! :)
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