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Vox AC10C1 Owners Club

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by StormJH1, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Starting an Owners Club for a new Vox product that is a "reissue" in name only - the AC10C1. Some quick background: Vox actually made an AC10 from 1959 to 1967. It was more of a square "TV"-style cabinet with a 10" speaker, though it was also offered in a 2x10" "Twin".

    Here is a photo of the new AC10C1, which was announced around early April 2015:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a shot of the top, with controls for gain, bass, treble, reverb, and volume:

    [​IMG]

    And here's a shot of the back, noting the 16-ohm extension speaker jack, but no effects loop:

    [​IMG]

    I just received mine and it had no quality issues out of the box (thus far). But the amp is Chinese manufactured, it's a new product, and there's some pictures floating around of the internals of the amp that are a little suspect. Not because anything is "wrong" with it necessarily, but the tubes and circuit boards are arranged in an "unorthodox" manner to say the least. Things are pretty tight in there with respect to replacing the speaker, also, but the "compactness" of the amp is part of its appeal - it weighs 27 pounds compared to the AC15's 47 pounds.

    I think the amp sounds great, but I'm more interested in what other people have to say. I also welcome prospective buyers with any questions they want to ask before they make the purchase - I always appreciate that opportunity when I'm shopping.

    Anybody got one? Or looking at one?
     

  2. MMARSH

    MMARSH Tele-Meister

    324
    Jun 21, 2015
    CA
    Got mine about a week ago - great amp! I did change the tubes immediately to JJ 12AX7's (matched triodes, high power, low noise) and a matched pair of JJ EL844's for power. Makes a big difference.

    While I had it opened, I pondered the build for some time. After a while I came to appreciate the 'deconstructed' chassis design. It make for quick repairs (probably board swaps since much of the electronics are SMT). The speaker is very close to the chassis and that limits the speakers you can swap in. But there is the External jack and the works very well for a cab with whatever speaker(s) you'd like.

    About the sound: really gorgeous. For me, it is just the right compliment to a Fender clean. Sounds great with PAF-style humbuckers, Tele and Strat.

    Recommended.

    *EDIT* Here's a pic:

    [​IMG]
     

  3. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Congrats on your new amp, as well! I've heard a lot of people reference a tube switch. At this point in time, I'm willing to rip apart a guitar and replace electronics, but doing anything beyond a speaker change in an amp is little scary for me. Plus, I'm actually quite happy with the amp "as is", so I don't have the urge to tinker. But I'm sure I'll be fishing around in there someday for maintenance reasons, if nothing else.

    A lot of people make tube changes right off the bat. Did you notice any changes in the amount of clean headroom with the new tubes? Or does it just improve the overall quality of the tone without doing much about how it behaves with gain, etc.?

    I need to experiment with this (a lot) more, but I was initially impressed how well the amp is behaving with pedals. Loved the Tubescreamer, at least, and has a good clean headroom. Curious to try the Wamplers and a few higher gain options.
     

  4. MMARSH

    MMARSH Tele-Meister

    324
    Jun 21, 2015
    CA
    The amp sounded OK to me when I got it. But just 'OK' - it was a little brittle and lacked dimension. I am a fan of JJ's so I tried those right off the bat (within a day of having the amp) and the difference was terrific.

    If you can swap a speaker in an amp, then you can certainly swap tubes! If you are not sure which tubes to try, folks like TubeDepot and Eurotubes can help. They usually have info on their sites regarding which tubes sound good in specific amps, and if not, a quick note the owners will get speedy replies :) Just be careful poking around in there: the high voltages can hurt!

    The Vox really does take pedals well: that Harlow in my pic, for example, really beefs up the tone.
     

  5. Dune736

    Dune736 TDPRI Member

    69
    Oct 16, 2008
    Staten Island, NY
    Have my Vox AC10 for 2 month now. Out of the box it sounds good, but I felt it could be better. After 2 weeks of playing it stock, I replaced the tubes with Electric Harmonix EL84s and 12X7s. Also changed the speaker to a WGS Green Beret I had sitting around. The amp came to life with those 2 upgrades. Clean headroom improved and became much more dynamic. Cranking it sounds so sweet! Turning up the gain and volume knobs, the amp stops getting louder and becomes compressed. Which gives you some great overdrive tones. Digital reverb is alway a drawback for most, it sounds good on the AC10. The reverb on this amp goes a long way. So unless you are doing Surf or Shoegaze, you might not want to go past 2. I truly love this amp, and would recommend the AC10 to anyone who's looking for the Vox sound at bedroom levels.
     

  6. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    I'll bet that Bogner sounds good with it! The cool thing about getting a new amp is that it redefines the role of all those pedals you already have.

    Interesting. Well, I will give it some time with the stock tubes and that is always an option down the road if I feel it is missing something.

    Played with it some more, probably tried about 6 different guitars and a dozen or so pedals. The results were mixed - Tubescreamers and other overdrives like the Wampler Euphoria generally sounded great. Because it's a true tube/valve amplifier (unlike my SCX2, which is mostly DSP in the front end), it responds awesome to boosters and gain pedals that just push it a little further.

    Other pedals of the high gain variety (the Wampler Pinnacle, for example), seemed a little less effective. It got really bright and the gain structure was a little messier. Hard to describe, but it was just a different result than I had using it into Fender amps.

    What are you guys doing with your EQ controls on the amp when you play direct? I always start at 5 and try to stay close to there if I can, even though there's no practical reason to have to do that. Got some nice sounds with a Strat running Bass at 6.5 and Treble at 6, but it's pretty hard to make it ever sound bad with a Strat.
     

  7. donroeber

    donroeber TDPRI Member

    12
    Dec 29, 2012
    Philadelphia
    Got mine last week, just playing direct right now with a Les Paul, and I haven't done any modifications to it. I wanted something lighter weight for rehearsal, and this amp has been great for that.
     

  8. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Awesome, congrats to you too! It's fun to talk about an amp where literally nobody has had it for more than a weeks/months. Haha.
     

  9. strummer tele

    strummer tele Banned

    305
    Aug 14, 2014
    New York
    Didn't know they made this.

    So it's a Vox Top Boost circuit tube amp with a ten inch speaker. Isn't that what my AC4 offers? Yes, you get ten watts, I only get four but these are essentially practice or small gig amps and the 4 handles that fine.

    I bought my AC4 simply because of the color. I am not madly in love with the amp, but I would say it is a better deal than this new AC10. Basically does the same thing, just no reverb.

    [​IMG]


    Have to be honest, for $89 I know that this new 10 watt Pathfinder would be a better deal in the Vox 10 watt department. I have the Pathfinder 15R and I (along with countless others) am thrilled with that amp. Solid state but it delivers that perfect Vox tone that we all want. Plus the thing is loud as hell. The Pathfinder is a great line from Vox and I am looking at getting me the new Union Jack 10.

    [​IMG]
     

  10. Dune736

    Dune736 TDPRI Member

    69
    Oct 16, 2008
    Staten Island, NY
    I owned a AC4 for 3 years. I just did not like it. Sounded like a toy. Very bright with no low end. Sold it and was not looking for another Vox. Then one day at Sam Ash, I saw the AC10. Luckily I had my guitar in the car. Gave it a try and I was sold. The bigger cab and the extra power just helps the make this simple circuit work/sound much more musical.
     

  11. strummer tele

    strummer tele Banned

    305
    Aug 14, 2014
    New York
    I agree the 4 has very little low end and it can sound toy-like. But that is actually correctable with a pedal or two.
     

  12. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    Michigan
    I picked up a new guitar yesterday, A Gretsch Duo Jet with Dynasonics. I was playing it at the store through an AC-10 that was set up to sound crunchy. Dang did it sound good! Not much bottom compared to an AC-15C1, but a strong and very pleasant top end with lots of articulation.

    I have played through several AC-4 variants over the years and never cared for them.
     

  13. losrogers

    losrogers Tele-Meister

    196
    Oct 31, 2012
    Tucson
    I've owned the Vox AC10C1 since late June. Ran into some noise problems: volume flux, crackles, intermittent output/low output.
    Took it in for warranty work last Saturday and got it back Wednesday.
    Replaced defective VR-3 1Meg treble pot. All seems well now. Cranked it up wide last night, sounds like 10 watts of Top Boost, I like it.
    Wanted to add this post in case any owners are experiencing noise problems.
    Also, I'm looking for recommendations on upgrading the tubes.
    Edit to add: Thank you to Rainbow Guitars repair shop for consistent, quality service.
     
    SturmUndTwang likes this.

  14. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's

    Feb 18, 2012
    Candler, FL
    The most common current production tubes used in Vox amps has been the JJ EL84S for the power tubes. Many use JJ ECC83s for preamps, but I don't care for most of JJs preamp tubes. Their power tubes are really good for current production tubes. I like Tung-Sol 12AX7s. Mullard (RI) 12AX7s are good, but can be a bit too thick sounding.

    I've had good results with many various JAN/NOS tubes. Shop around you can get the less common tubes at very reasonable prices.
     
    asnarski and Tootle like this.

  15. Dune736

    Dune736 TDPRI Member

    69
    Oct 16, 2008
    Staten Island, NY
    I know most people love JJ's, but I've had bad luck with a few sets. Pass few years I've been using Electro Harmonix tubes for pre and power, and have not looked back. Very good tone and they last long time. Just make sure they are made in Russia. Bought two EHX 12XA7 on the cheap and they were made in China and sounded like it.
     

  16. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Did an interesting A/B comparison with my Fender Super Champ X2 (another TDPRI favorite). The AC10 is clearly louder - though I haven't made changes to mine like adding a Ragin' Cajun that a lot of people do with added volume in mind.

    Same guitar, same settings, switched the cable back and forth. I was amazed how much more sustain the AC10 and how the tone from it seemed to "project" better (probably because of mids), even with both amps on what should be fully "clean" settings. The only negative of that is that the Vox can get pretty harsh on the high end quickly, but that's what the EQ knobs are for, and a compressor helps if you're really worried about it.

    Long story short, it's a 10-watt amp, but it can be insanely loud for home playing.
     

  17. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    296
    Aug 30, 2014
    Asheville
    Here's my AC10 sitting on top of my other great smaller amp, the Princeton '68 Custom. The Vox has been just awesome, especially at the price point less than HALF what the Princeton cost. Paid $404 for mine at GC.

    This is an incredible amp, with great Vox sound and plenty of volume. It takes pedals really well, and pairs perfectly with the Timmy OD.

    Looking for information about schematics, tube recommendations, which speakers will actually fit as replacements, etc. I'm afraid we may be out of luck for alnico replacements due to the interesting chassis arrangement and small enclosure.

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]
     

  18. therealfindo

    therealfindo Tele-Holic

    741
    Jun 26, 2012
    Germany

  19. Oiram

    Oiram TDPRI Member

    3
    Oct 4, 2015
    SJI,WA
    I've had one of these for about two months now and it's great. No technical issues at all. Only changes were tung sol el84's and a couple of nos 12ax7. Stock speaker sounds good to my ears, however I'm running it through a 2x12 cab loaded with a Celestion G12H30 and a G12M Greenback. Nails the stock tone only bigger, better, and louder. Im really happy with it.
     

  20. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    296
    Aug 30, 2014
    Asheville
    Speaker Fitment

    It appears that the strange chassis arrangement of the tube platform is causing interference with several replacement speaker options. A Weber Blue Pup alnico just will not fit. The bigger magnet bell alnico's are going to be a problem. Even the Weber ceramic Blue Pup has slight interference. But, some guys on the The Gear Net have engaged Weber and they are modifying a ceramic Blue Pup for the AC10C1. This may be a one-off, but it would be worth asking them if making it an option for the AC10 is feasible.

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]
     

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