Vox ac15 handwired or fender custom Princeton 68

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by noquarter1983, May 26, 2019.

  1. noquarter1983

    noquarter1983 TDPRI Member

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    so as the title suggests. Looking for a recommendation between both of these amps. The Vox ac15 handwired or fender custom Princeton 68 with a greenback speaker?

    Currently own the fender but I have someone interested in doing a swap for his Vox ac15hw.

    So a point of reference, right now I rely on dirt pedals for my overdrive sound with the fender. I’m a sucker for a good tune screamer into a fender tone. But I also like the sound from a naturally overdriven Vox.

    These amps will primarily be studio used so no live usage to worry about.

    Tone I like is a gritty slightly dirt sound. Not a sparkly clean sound. Not blues. Not metal. Indie rock or Americana sort of tones.

    What’s the majority’s opinion here?
     
  2. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    are you loving the princeton? can you try the Vox

    both are good; I think personal preference + your touch is needed to sort them out
     
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  3. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I owned versions of both (74 silver face PR, Bad Cat Cub) and let the PR go, not because it was a bad amp, just wasn't the amp for me. Not very helpful, I know, but there's nothing useful to say from here, except that it may take a while to dial in your tone with the Vox -- don't be disappointed if it feels weird at first -- and your tube screamers may or may not work for you. I can't stand the TS-into-AC15 sound but some people love it.
     
  4. noquarter1983

    noquarter1983 TDPRI Member

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    I have a blues breaker pedal
    Rat clone
    Russian muff
    J rockett The dude pedal
    Tube screamer

    Lots of options for dirt. I am not afraid to part with any that don’t vibe.

    I don’t dislike the fender by any means. I jut have to rely on dirt pedals for my tone and I don’t feel
    Like I have found my voice yet if that makes sense.
     
  5. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

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    As much as I love Fender amps, I'd go for the Vox. My biggest regret was not buying a Vox AC15 for a good price. Maybe one day, who knows.
     
  6. noquarter1983

    noquarter1983 TDPRI Member

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    I understand there's some tone differences from the standard Vox ac15 and the hand wired. This is what intrigues me the most.
     
  7. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    If you're going to drop the money on an AC15HW you should take a long hard look at the USA Player Bad Cat Cub. Why? It's cheaper for one thing, by quite a bit if you're looking at the AC15 version with the Blue. It has a foot-switchable preamp to go between EF86 and 12ax7 preamp tubes -- kind of two amps in one -- and the best master volume I've ever played through. The Bad Cat 12 in there doesn't give anything away to the Blue, either, though it is different. PC board, yep, but lifetime warranty and good customer service. This is the easiest amp to get a good sound out of I know.
     
  8. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Meister

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    The distortion is always more distorted on the other side.

    If you like the Princeton, don’t trade and save up for the Vox.
     
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  9. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    I don't own a Princeton, but I do have a DRRI for that Fender sound. I also own an AC15HW with the Celestion Blue in it.

    I use pedals with my Fender and can dial in a sound I like pretty easily. I have not found a pedal I like with the Vox and I own the following, OCD, Zen Drive, Green Rhino, Fuzz Head, Wampler Plexidrive, and T-Rex Hobo Drive. I think there are threads that recommend the Crowther Hotcake? and the Timmy and even a Rat, but your description of your desired sound may not require any pedals at all. Dialing in a good sound on the Vox is not as easy as the Fender for me, but it can be done. I think I'm getting better at it. Engaging the Hot switch on the Top Boost channel is not as pleasing to my ears as with it off, and there is a considerable jump up in volume when engaged.

    One thing about the Vox, it sounds better when you turn up the volume and bypass the master volume, but it's very loud. I used to have a 30 watt Reeves Custom 30 that my 22 watt DRRI was louder than. I think the 15 watt AC15HW is louder than both. You should play it before you buy.

    That's just my opinion, and I haven't had nearly enough opportunity to practice dialing in the sound on the Vox as I would like. You may find it easier.
     
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  10. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    When the 68 custom series was new, I did a side-by-side comparison of the 68 Princeton and an AC15 (non-hand-wired). They were both fine amps, and very similar in a lot of ways. But to me, the Fender was just all around better.

    Everyone’s going to feel a little differently about it, of course.

    But I preferred every facet of the Princeton. Cleans, ODs, reverb....

    Again, the sound you’re personally going for may be better suited to the Vox. But I’m just a Fender guy. Playing through the Fender sounded like me. Playing through the Vox sounded like a less clear or filtered version of me.
     
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  11. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

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    I would have both if it were feasible financially ...
     
  12. Les H

    Les H Tele-Meister

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    Today's Americana sounds seem to be more voxish than fender.

    As many people who own Fender amps I really rarely see one on a stage anymore.
     
  13. noquarter1983

    noquarter1983 TDPRI Member

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    thanks guys, lots of good feedback here, greatly appreciated.
     
  14. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    What’s all this “OR” talk?! True happiness is found in “AND”.
     
  15. Fluddman

    Fluddman TDPRI Member

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    Yes both is the correct answer. They sound awesome run together in a stereo rig!

    There differences compliment each other nicely.
     
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  16. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    I'm hoping to try mine this way at an upcoming jam. I have an ABY pedal I'd like to try with it.
     
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  17. noquarter1983

    noquarter1983 TDPRI Member

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    Unfortunately I can't own both, it would be a direct swap with another guitarist.
     
  18. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    I’m partial to fenders, but it’s a bit like choosing an ice cream flavor.
     
  19. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

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    Keep the Fender and save up for an AC10. Best of both worlds.
     
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