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Vox AC10C1 or Fender Blues Junior

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by dcos, Jan 31, 2018.

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  1. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Meister

    378
    Dec 12, 2006
    Singapore
    Of the two choices, I prefer the Blues Junior, but only because it has a semi-open back which allows for a slightly less boxy sound vs the AC10.

    Have you considered a Tech 21 trademark series amp? The 30-Watter would probably do the job.
     

  2. mijstrat72

    mijstrat72 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2008
    mqt.
    My buddy and I both have Jr's. that we've done the BillM mods too. My buddy has a green board...I have a cream board. My buddy took his Jr. along to pick up his '78 Les Paul black beauty from an elite guitar builder. The builder stopped in his tracks when he heard that Jr. come to life. So yeah, Jr's. are that good.
     

  3. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI
    The Blues Jr is another amp that's fairly bright and aggressively voiced, which is why I'm not convinced it's the best choice for you.

    I haven't played through a Champion 40, so I really can't compare the two, but the Champion 40 is a solid state amp, the SCX2 has a 12AX7 preamp tube and two 6V6 power tubes. Other than that the two look pretty similar. Since you already know your way around the Champion, I don't think there will be much of a learning curve.
    Don't let the 40 watts vs 15 watts fool you- tube watts and solid state watts are very different, and speaker efficiency has a lot to do with volume, too.

    Compare the volume of your 10-watt Vox to the volume of your 40 watt Champion and you'll see what I mean.

    One of the reasons I like the SCX2 for your situation is that it gives you a wider range of sounds and effects than the AC10 or the Blues Jr, without needing a bunch of pedals.

    If you're heading in to Grand Rapids, you might want to stop by Rainbow Music (if they're still there) and play through both the SCX2 and the Blues Jr (and maybe check out a Pro Jr while you're there) to see for yourself if the difference is worth while for you.

    Maybe others who have played through both the Champion 40 and the Super Champ can weigh in with their thoughts.

    Hope this helps some, and let us know what you come up with!
     

  4. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI
    Oh- and as far as tubes go, here are some that I've had the best luck with:

    For an EL84 based amp:

    Tung Sol 12AX7 and JJ EL84

    For a 6V6 based amp:

    Svetlana or Tung Sol 12AX7 and Tung Sol 6V6

    These are all inexpensive tubes that sound very good, have minimal microphonics, low noise floor, and are fairly reliable.
     
    asnarski likes this.

  5. AbisFjord

    AbisFjord Tele-Meister

    Age:
    27
    162
    Dec 21, 2017
    Texas
    Alot of responses on this thread already, but here's my two cents. While I do love my Fender amps, and while the pairing of the Tele and a Fender amp is a natural choice, I love to play my Tele through my Vox AC15C1. The main buying points for me were the closed back design of the Vox, theoretically increasing the forward trajectory of sound out of the cone, and the utility of both reverb and vibrato built into the amp. Of course the AC10C1 only has the reverb, so without the option of a vibrato setting, the 10 gets a tally for a "con". Also, as you've said, the Vox can break in a very early stage, especially without the ability to dial in both master volume and channel volume - which in the AC15 and above, you can get more clean space by keeping the channel volume low and boosting the master. Moreover, in a stage/gig setting you pretty much have to crank both volume controls to get the power you need to compete, so that's kind of a moot point.

    Verdict: If clean headspace is your game, Fender amps are the way to play. If you like a little tube grit (a la British tone), the Vox is your guy, and the closed back design can give you just a hair of rollback on the volume control. However, for playing at home and doing the occasional coffee shop style gig, I'd be more comfortable with that Fender amp - it's a little more neutral as far as tone, and would match your Fender brand guitar (if you use one). Hope this helps!
     
    dcos likes this.

  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    The other alternative if is to set your guitar to around 7-8 on vol and tone, then set your amp to suit the guitar on those settings. That leaves you something on the guitar as a fine tune or to kick up for a solo.

    The Treble Boost is counter-intuitive. The AC10 doesn't have a separate control, the AC15/30 do.

    On those amps the more you turn the treble cut clockwise, the more it attenuates only the treble boosted part of the signal.

    So typically you would set your treble, mid, bass on desired settings with the Topboost fairly high (7-8) and then use Topboost to separately add the scream by winding back towards 0. And yes, you have to be careful with single coils, especially at moderate volumes.

    On the AC10 you use the treble and bass controls more like a normal amp - but the treble control definitely needs care, or again it'll add shrillness. At settings above 5 it'll act like a boost as it should. So 0-5 is more like 0-10 on a Fender or similar passive tone control.

    The original piggyback add-on topboost had both treble and bass controls, but when it was integrated it was considered to be most effective as a cut-only. There's limited bass to be had out of Celestion Blues and the AC gain and power amp config.

    Topboost was designed in the 60s to give lead guitarists like Hank Marvin of The Shadows a way to stand out at stage volumes in limited power amps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018

  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    It sounds to me you want more like a traditional Fender tone, smooth with nice reverb at not too much volume. Tremolo?

    If so - a used Princeton Reverb 65 Reissue as someone else suggested would be ideal price and soundwise.

    The Vox is going for a certain sort of British Invasion sound - bright and spiky.
     
    dcos likes this.

  8. dcos

    dcos TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    26
    Jan 26, 2018
    Sand Lake, Michigan
    Yeah, it's time I go to Rainbow (still there) or GC and play through some other amps. Just wanted to get some insight on the different amps before I do that, and I have gotten a lot of helpful info. Thanks to all.
     

  9. dburns

    dburns Friend of Leo's

    Lots of AC10 talk recently. I posted a few quick sound clips in another thread, but this demo by Bobby Devito is really good. I've always been a fan of Fender amps and even owned and liked a Blues Jr. I just think the Vox sounds way better in a band context.
     
    cincyguitarplay, Kontaktmoi and dcos like this.

  10. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    I have both amps. This is my opinion.

    The AC10C1 excels at pretty cleans at lower volumes and if you turn the gain past noon and turn the amp up you get fantastic old school crunch. If you want to play easy old AC/DC tunes to blow off steam the AC10C1 is a dream come true. The AC10C1 has digital Reverb and it sounds long and smooth anD very digital.

    The Blues Junior can be set loud and clean with plenty of bass. It also has a spring reverb that sounds much better than the VOX Reverb. If you think it's bright dial the treble pot back. I took my BJ to smaller gigs for three years. I set it clean and I had a TS808 on the board that I used with it. Our other guitar player had a 50 watt EVH head and our bass player had an old Bassman with an old Fender 1x15. This is a club where the owner mic'd the drums but he expected our onstage amp volume to be loud enough. He always did a quick sound check for vocals and drums and the guitar and bass players were expected to have their acts together on their own. I had no problem staying over the top of our drummer and hanging with the other guitars clean. If you can't keep up with your drummer with a clean tone from a Blues Junior then your drummer is an animal. This bar usually had about 80 people in it when we played there.

    [​IMG]

    Considering what the OP is looking for I think the Blues Junior with more power and a 12" Jensen speaker and a real spring Reverb would be a much better amp than the VOX. That's my opinion. :cool:
     
    dcos likes this.

  11. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    67
    Mar 9, 2018
    San Mateo, CA
    I think your response is THE MOST CORRECT one, when giving advice on tone AKA which amp would be best suitable. If you are a band member you have to tailor your sound to fit in a small (narrow) frequency band as you are sharing the full sound spectrum with a bunch of other instruments. If you play solo, the audio spectrum is all yours. I currently have a few Fender amps; 1962 Original Blackface Twin, Hotrod Deluxe, Blues Junior original, Princeton Recording Amp and several others. Fenders have a scooped mid range. The Vox has a pronounced midrange. if your sound profile needs to be mid-range because of the folks you play with... Vox might be the way to go. If you have no restrictions there. Fender might get the nudge unless you are playing British original music. My contention is that amps should have a great Reverb AND a Tremolo just to have the versatility. Note that lots of people are playing with a (very) subtle tremolo ALWAYS ON, it just makes a great sound better. If you want to verify that, here is what you do. Buy a 25 dollar Joyo Tremolo pedal ( the yellow one) which has an optical circuit like the old Fender Amps, it is pass-tru AND it can boost your signal slightly.

     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
    RLee77 likes this.

  12. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    67
    Mar 9, 2018
    San Mateo, CA
    I have been a Fender-amp guy for many years. One of the major reasons is simply because I never could get "any" sound out of "anything" else. BTW I play Strat's and Tele's because, just you guessed it ..I never could get "any" sound out of "anything" else. So I am a single coil aficionado and I do like it bright. However, I also always had the feeling that my preferred sounds never had the RIGHT amount of cut-through or projection while gigging . It always bothered me. Then, this one day I walking into the local GC store and saw a mint Vox AC10C1 in Vintage red with gold VOX logo. I grabbed a 700 dollars Mexican Strat from the wall and got to the soundproof room. The rest is , as they say, history. That little Vox has an amazing sound and had something I NEVER could get with any of my Fenders... this mid-range GRIT... not really distortion but just a tone layer of "growl" in addition to a clean sound. I could basically get all my preferred tones with a small panel of 4 knobs and I got them in a few minutes fiddling with them. I reserved the amp and went back a day later with one of my single coil guitars to verify that this was actually " happening" . Then I took the amp home. I few weeks later, I found an AC4C1 with similar sound qualities and I bought that one too. Needless to say that I did not need either of them but I wanted to make sure the fish did not get away! So, in my mind, the BJ and the AC10C1 are totally different. The BJ has a scooped midrange ( that means you can not really get it all back ), the AC10C1 had a dominant midrange that provides all the tonally in the sound spectrum where a guitar shines.



    Just my observation.




    IMG_2679 (1).JPG

    IMG_0706.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

  13. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2003
    WALTHAM MA
    I own both.

    It's funny, years ago I was jamming with a guy who had an AC15

    Everything he played reminded me of the sound of Rock'n Roll.

    If that's your goal then the AC 10 is your amp.

    If your band is mic'd then you can dial back that sweet overdrive for a clean "Tom Petty-ish" sound, think " Here Comes My Girl" that family of sound and you can't really go wrong with that now can you.

    Gary
     

  14. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    I’ve been looking at the ac10’s lately, a lot to like there. How many different special editions have been available since their release? I see the red one that @Kontaktmoi posted, wondering if there are any other limited styles around.
     

  15. Tootle

    Tootle Tele-Meister

    245
    Feb 16, 2015
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Special Editions of the AC10c1 that I know of: There's been a Tan Bronco version, British Racing Green, Bronco White, and the latest is Bronco Maroon. If you count equipment options, Sweetwater has an exclusive version with 10-inch Celestion Greenback speaker.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  16. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi TDPRI Member

    Age:
    60
    67
    Mar 9, 2018
    San Mateo, CA
    Yep, mine is the Bronco Maroon.. it's a gorgeous color....beautifully offset with the gold and white trim... It looks like a $1,000 VOX amp made by Louis Vuitton!
     
    Mr Green Genes likes this.

  17. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2003
    WALTHAM MA
    I am lucky enough to have a BJ, a Super Champ XD and a VOX AC10

    The BJ is a great meat and potatoes Fender Amp.

    You can't go wrong, it sounds like a ...................... Fender amp.

    Known and loved for just about as long as recorded music has been..................

    The Super Champ XD is a man of 1000 faces.

    Lots of great sounds, some fairly accurate British ones included and the effects are fun.

    The #one channel also does a very accurate job of being a Fender amp.

    Known and loved for just about as long as recorded music has been..................

    The AC10, I'm still on a honeymoon with this little gem.

    It's just a great amp, like I said before it's juicy sounding, rich and chewy. Yeah it makes noise but you'll never hear it in the mix.

    What you will hear is Chime, Juice, Crunch, Texture,

    How's that?

    Gary
     
    dcos likes this.

  18. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2009
    philly suburbs
    Thing I like about both, not enough air moving for a gig? External cab. I gigged for many years with the SCXD and a 4x12 cab.....AC10 owner now, haven’t had to bring a cab but sounds great through the same cab. Do most gigs with a different amp these days, but either will get the job done.
     

  19. Tootle

    Tootle Tele-Meister

    245
    Feb 16, 2015
    Pacific Northwest USA
    Yeah, Vox AC10c1 + 2x10 Alnico Golds in Avatar cab = sublime! Unlocks an impressive swath of tonal range & dynamics in the amp that are difficult to hear with the combo's internal VX speaker.
     

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