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Vox AC15VR

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by Old Mother Hell, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Old Mother Hell

    Old Mother Hell Tele-Meister

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    The AC15vr has been mentioned a lot but so far no club, so here goes. Tips, ideas, opinions and praise all welcome!!
     
  2. LesCanard

    LesCanard TDPRI Member

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    Why not - count me in. Happy owner and I love it!
     
  3. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    Count me in, if y'all please. I got my AC15VR new a bit less than two years ago in my rather humorous quest for a decent studio guitar amp. Also, I haven't played it for almost two months while messing with tubes and making accidental discoveries in a quest to turn an Orange TT into a useful amp at which I succeeded.

    One of my accidental discoveries is the increase in clean audible headroom available by replacing OEM Celestion speakers with 65-watt Weber Legacy 12L speakers. My AC15VR is next up for this speaker switch. Another issue with my 'VR is a thin yet perceptible hum that goes away when either I touch the strings on any of my guitars, or remove the guitar cord from the amp input. This hum does not occur with other amps under identical circumstances. I suspect my 'VR is responding to RF energy entering the amp via the guitar cord, as my wireless router is in the same room and causes similar minor interference to a few other devices in close proximity. The easiest fix would be to install ferrite beads at the input jack.

    Other than the headroom and hum issues (not major, really), I just love the way this amp sounds. Maybe we can scare up a few more users to help one another along the path to tonal bliss!
     
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  5. LesCanard

    LesCanard TDPRI Member

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    Nice to hear from you gndboy. I've found my self going through a lot of transition with my amp setup (incl AV15VR). In a nutshell - was running the 15VR as my main home amp - pedals etc. and have a Pathfinder 15R as my 2ndary amp. I play mostly a 2011 American Std tele and a 2010 MIM Tele with upgraded D Allen pickups. I decided that the AC15VR really sounded best clean to my ear, and if I needed a little dirt the 2nd Channel was very good I thought. I ended up buying a 1x12 extension for the PF, and switched the amps. Basically - my Pathfinder with Cab functions as the main amp with my pedals etc., and my AC15VR is my 2nd "clean" amp.

    It wasn't as much a slight of the VR, rather I just found it sounded best to me clean. I play through it a lot - it has a great crisp tone, sounds fantastic at low volumes, and IMO - really doesn't need pedals or anything to make it sound excellent (although admittedly the reverb is quite weak). I heard a lot of negativity (particularly vs the Pathfinder), but I'm really pleased with it.

    Settings Preferences? - Channel 1 - I keep the Volume high (i.e. 2 or 3 o'clock) and use the Master almost as the volume - about 9 to 10. It gives it some more depth on the low end I think but keeps that nice clean tone. Channel 2 - similar as 1 - it's really gritty when I engage it (I like OD2 for now).
     
  6. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    LC nice to meet you! I agree the VR has some fantastic cleans, which is why I really like it. Seems to me that most low-wattage amps these days are voiced for grind, even the 'VR to some extent, but not nearly like some others. The AC15VR is my best amp for big full cleans at fairly low volume. The better speaker should be all it needs. It's just my opinion, but I don't much care for the OEM Celestions these days. I use my controls exactly as you do. One of my favorite sounds is the bridge PU on a straight Tele with the tone control opened just a bit. With a touch of outboard compression it can almost make chords sound organ-like. Too cool:cool:!
     
  7. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    I ordered a Weber 12L for my AC15VR. That is a good stiff dark speaker with the 50 oz. magnet and the 65-watt voice coil. I have yet to encounter the amp a Legacy 12L won't improve. Current Celestions I do not like much.

    So while I'm waiting a few weeks the 'VR is getting played hard. Most folks have no idea how good this amp sounds. It needs no excuses, just a better speaker.
     
  8. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    Y'all are great! These amps rock.
     
  9. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    I think the AC15VR is beautiful. What I expect from the Weber speaker upgrade is an amp a touch louder and two touches darker at all levels, a vast improvement in clean headroom, and an overall increased focus in textural clarity. I realize my opinion is not popular, but I truly think Celestion speakers are an impediment to the tone of most amps, never mind they are stupid expensive. In the case of the AC15VR I must say the stock Celestion driver is the least offensive of my recent experience, but it's still spikey and blurry and seems to swallow itself on certain notes. Even with these shortcomings, the 'VR has such a sweet manageable tone at almost all levels. This amp works well from sleazy dives to a tuxedo gig, and that is some ground to cover. I wish Vox made a 300-watt 2x10 version voiced for bass.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  10. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    Does the tube matter?

    Since I've been taken by the tres wonderful Jan Phillips ECG 5751 dual triode, I have a drawer-full of good 12AX7 types doing nothing. Installing the Weber 12L will require disassembly of the amp, at which time it'll be easy to pop in a new tube for the amp's namesake. It's difficult to get hard information from Vox USA, and the nearest I can sorta figure is the 12AX7 is used P-P with an output of a few milliwatts high impedance driving the final solid-state amplifier, which I want to believe operates in Class D. Who knows? I'm wondering if a high-quality 12AX7 will have a positive effect on the amp's overall sound. Why not? I have a really good '70's RCA red label 12AX7 I'm willing to take a chance on in that position. It's pretty stiff with regard to headroom, and has a darker sound. Of the JAN Phillips ECG tubes, the 12AX7WA is my least fave, mostly because of it's very bright tone, even to my scorched ears. So, we'll see.

    Do any of y'all have experience swapping the Valve Reactor device?
     
  11. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    The Weber speaker arrived and was installed. While the amp was apart I changed the tube to a Svetlana 12AX7. This AC15VR will do unbelievable loud cleans now. With chime, and all that subjective drek. To hear is to believe. See above. I do not make this stuff up.
     
  12. Bulldog87

    Bulldog87 Tele-Afflicted

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    Anybody else us one of these? I'm thinking about adding one to my collection. I'd like to hear some more feedback! I'm either going to pick one of these up or wait and get a full tube ac15. The Fact that its not full tube doesnt really bother me. Everything i do is indoors and mostly at home. Thoughts?
     
  13. Old Mother Hell

    Old Mother Hell Tele-Meister

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    Vox amps are known for their clean sound, but these VR units sound awesome with pedals - I can vouch that. I'll be hooking up a Fuzz Lord pedal to it and let it melt...
     
  14. barney77

    barney77 Tele-Meister

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    I'm quite keen on one of these.

    Does it have enough volume to gig?

    I'm looking for something more portable, that I can tilt at my ugly head, that takes pedals well.

    Cheers.
     
  15. Old Mother Hell

    Old Mother Hell Tele-Meister

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    Dunno if it's loud enough for large venues - a club gig ought to be fine; I only use it at home. However, there's an input for external speakers (and you can always mic it).
     
  16. barney77

    barney77 Tele-Meister

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    Cheers thanks for that.
     
  17. gndboy

    gndboy Tele-Meister

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    It's only fifteen watts, so in many cases that'll be fine, and in others it won't. The Weber speaker worked out fine for me, but given the sealed cabinet I'm considering an Eminence Swamp Thang 12" for ultra cleans. My 'VR has a really nice rhythm swat with the Tele and the clean channel. The Svet 12AX7 functions well in the combo with no microphonics thus far. Also, moving the amp away from the wireless router cured the thin hum.

    With the sealed cabinet, this amp really doesn't sound much like an AC15, but it's a great little 'mini-stack' sound with the Vox chime. I like it more each time I use it.

    If I do put an Eminence Swamp Thang in the amp, one thing to seriously consider is using a sixteen-ohm speaker and replacing the extension speaker jack with one that will not mute the internal speaker. I believe this amp will be fine by itself, and really move some air with a sixteen-ohm extension cabinet.
     
  18. JKSteger

    JKSteger Tele-Meister

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    Forgive me for bringing up an old thread but...

    How loud does these AC15vr's get? I've been wanting one for some time now since I gave my Pathfinder 15r and a Affinity Tele to a kid who's family could not afford the luxury of buying a small amp and electric guitar. (kid could play pretty good with that old acoustic even though you could fit your hand between the strings and fingerboard :) )

    at any rate, I was looking at these but I have no way of trying one out and I'm a little interested in the volume these can get to. I've also seen the circuit board online and beside the tube socket is a potentiometer that someone said turns the volume UP or DOWN, kind of like a limiter. Does anyone know about this and could tell me if this is set in the middle by default or is it turned all the way up?

    Thanks,
    J.
     
  19. lareplus

    lareplus Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of people wonder if the amp is loud enough for gigs, without mic'ing of course.

    I don't know how efficient the speaker is, it would be nice to know how many decibels it puts out. .
     
  20. Kestrel

    Kestrel Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one of these for a time. I liked it. Being a hybrid amp I thought of it as a sort of Pathfinder on Steroids. Don't know how many decibels it puts out cranked, but if you're looking to gig, you'd be much better off with a higher wattage amp for more headroom unless you don't mind mic-ing or connecting it to an external cab (depending on the size of the venue, of course). That said, unless the AC15VR was the only amp I had, it wouldn't be my first choice for a gigging amp. For a few more bucks I could find a Classic 30 or Delta Blues on the used market and have a totally gig worthy American-made all-tube 30 watt amp.
     
  21. valvestate

    valvestate Tele-Afflicted

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    Resurrecting this thread! Keen to purchase this due to low price tag and my Pathfinder 15R has always been okay in Church usage.

    Is this ok compared with with a Vox V112NT-G2?
     
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