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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Why Do Fender Guitars Sound So Good Through Vox Amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Sjnoring, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2017
    I've mentioned this before, and others have agreed, that Fenders and Voxes go very well together. So now I'm wondering why. Is there something in the designs that brings out the best in both? Or is it just that anything sounds good through a Vox?
  2. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    I dunno. Why do Vox guitars sound so bad through Fender amps. See what I did there? Hmm.
    nojazzhere, Owensv, Felino and 4 others like this.
  3. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2012
    New Mexico
    Everything sounds good through a Vox. They're just awesome amps.
  4. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 29, 2011
    I agree, particularly if it's a Telecaster through a hand-wired AC30.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  5. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

    Because of the configuration of the tone stack in a Vox, among several other circuit differences, the low point of the mid-scoop is higher in a Vox--around 800hz. In a BF Fender, it is lower--around 450-500hz.
    This makes quite a difference in the way the amps sound.
    The point can be adjusted by changing the treble cap in the stack--Vox uses 47pf, Fender uses 250pf, Marshall used 470pf. Higher value lowers the point, which equates to more mids.
    It's an interesting value to play around with. I like Fender tone stacks with a 150pf treble cap. It raises the point a bit.
  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Thanks for that. Now I'm looking for a Vox to mess around with. :confused:

    rich815 likes this.
  7. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2015
    I actually find Vox amps mighty spikey with Fender guitars, particularly Telecasters--unless you dial 'em in just so, and, most of all, unless the Vox speakers have broken in well. It took my AC15C1 about a year to really get sweet to my Fender/Squire guitars. And the great-tone range is very narrow. Just today I went from Gretsch to Tele, and had to stop and re-dial the AC15, the pedals, and the Tele for quite a bit to get it all just right. The Vox + Fender chimes are really lovely--like glass bells--but cranky, too.

    By contrast, in my experience, Fender amps are much more willing to play nice with Fender/Squire guitars, and produce a wider range of great tones.
  8. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2012
    New Mexico

    Here you go. There's a lot of debate between the Greenback and the Blue speakers, but my opinion is to get the Greenback and use the extra money for some decent tubes. The tubes they ship with are Chinese junk; the ones in mine went bad in a year. I put a set of JJs in, and its the best sounding amp I've ever owned.
  9. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2012
    New Mexico
    Vox amps can be temperamental if you aren't used to them. The tone controls are very responsive, but there's naturally a lot of treble built in. The Tone Cut knob is a lifesaver- even if it is set up backwards.

    Its quite different from a Fender amp where the tone knobs are there more for show than anything else.
    talkbox_64 and Tootone like this.
  10. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    The sky is only blue depending on your definition of blue.

    I'm not a Vox guy, so I sure can't agree that a Fender sounds "particularly" good through them compared to other amps.

    Also take into account how many Fenders are modded to not even have Fender pups in them, and the discussion gets kind of silly.
    moosie and MilwMark like this.
  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'm quite used to my home rig... having played a few nice US Teles, Strats and home builds with P90s through it... I know what a good tele should sound like....

    On my latest build I just grabbed a few unknown pickups that were floating around on my bench to check out ... an alnico pole neck and a cheap rails bridge... that sounded surprisingly good together... I still have this pair in it...

    One day I took it over to a guitar playing friends house when I went there to scrounge a few PG screws and guitar cases.... he's a trader and has lots of bits and pieces floating around... he also writes and plays jingles for ads etc and has some nice guitars/amps to play...

    plugged it into an AC15.... and both of our jaws dropped as he put it through it's paces..... the neck PU sounded even better, rich and full with chime, the rails bridge lit up as well with no shrillness........ glorious....

    he was rather impressed with the Tele... as I was with the sound of the Amp.... sweet...:)

    BSB Tele 2-16 small.jpg
    Tubeboy likes this.
  12. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 24, 2014
    My amp of choice, though the AC30/15s are a bit too loud for my needs. I've owned many over the decades and they are lovely amps, but a hand wired AC4 with top boost circuit works just as nicely.

    You really need Celestion Blue alnicos (like the amp in the video) to capture the original/classic VOX tone.

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    talkbox_64, Round Bale and wyclif like this.
  13. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    Same here. I've had bridge pickups in my telecaster and stratocaster replaced with overwounds simply because the stock pickups sounded shrill through my Vox amps. This was never necessary with my other amps. That said, the Vox amps DO sound terrific with Fender guitars (and the right pickup).
  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    They don't. For me. YMMV.
    JD0x0 likes this.
  15. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    If you tweak the knobs right, you can pretty much get any X brand guitar to sound great with just about any X brand amp.

    You need to factor in Pot value too. The vox uses 1 Meg pots in the tonestack, and the 1Meg treble pot acts like a larger value 'treble cap'
    The 22nF 'mid cap' (which is similar to a marshall value, there) shifts the bass/low mids up more in the Vox stack.
    The 22nf 'Bass cap' (similar to marshall) will also shave off some of the lowest frequencies, most of which are outside of the guitar's bandwidth, anyway. This usually tightens and cleans up the bass response a little.
    Teleguy61 likes this.
  16. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Wait, you're saying that Vox has more of a scooped sound than a BF/SF? I'm not hearing it that way. Just the opposite.

    If I'm wrong, well, I thought it was mids, but whatever it is, I can't get on with the sound of a Vox. Fender guitar or no.
    Round Bale likes this.
  17. voskarp

    voskarp Tele-Meister

    Feb 12, 2017
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Great guitar + great amp = great sound!

    I love the sound of my Telecaster trough my Vox.
    Tubeboy, 6BQ5, Round Bale and 2 others like this.
  18. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
  19. tamader74

    tamader74 TDPRI Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Houghton Lake, Mi.
    Well, I had heard since I was a young fella that a Vox amp. and a Gretsch fiddle was the way to go,...and I agreed fully on that combo,...but as time passed I got the chance to plug my Tele. thru a Vox I had traded for, but was gonna flip it,...

    ...Well that thought went away pretty quick, and I kept the amp. for a long while. I was downsizing my amp. collection to just 2, and I was NOT going to give up my Fender BFSR (like I said, all this when I was younger with a strong back,...and heart LOL).

    I had gotten back on my feet a bit a few years back from a long visit from Mr. C, in which his visit took a pretty vast vintage Instrument collection from me to pay for his 4 year reign of terror on my body, and went was out to buy a Brand New guitar, a '15 AmDlx. butterscotch blonde Tele. at a store that had bought some of my old guitars while I was sick,...

    ...they were MORE than willing to compensate me in return for what they had bought from me,...anywho, I plugged the blonde beauty into a AC-15 with the stock Greenback,...and the magic was right there. I didn't need a amp. right then, but that sound/tone simply haunted me for the 2 months until I could get back to that store.

    On my second trip there, the Manager asked if I would like to try the AC-15 with a Celestion Blue Alnico speaker?, I gave a positive reply, did NOT take long for me to decide that THAT combo was way to 'Bright' for me,...and I was hoping he still had a regular AC-15 with a GB in it,...he had already summoned the stock guy to bring me one out from the back NIB when he saw the look on my face with the Blue Alnico edition (he was laughing).

    He and I chatted and he stated what I had heard with my Buddy's, if your gonna buy a AC-15, buy it NEW if you don't know who's selling it to you,...swap the pre-amp tubes as soon as you can,...seeing's as the amp. has fixed bias, change the power tubes within a short time...but the pre-amp tubes make an Immediate change in turning a $600. amp. into one that sounds a lot more expensive.

    He had tried the Celestion Blue on his AC-15 and didn't care for it much either,...and put the stock GB back in his. I find that my AC-15 sounds awesome with my '97 Guild Starfire III and my '09 American Special Tele.,...even better than the AmDlx. I had bought on my first trip to that store (LOL).

    I just am thankful that God saved me from my Cancer, today I'm 100% Cancer free and while I suffer from the heavy bouts of Chemo. I endured, I will never get back what I lost...but it's a lot of fun trying!!!. Tom
    jwp2, Tek1, nojazzhere and 12 others like this.
  20. BradL

    BradL Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Sussex, UK
    Great story! ^^^

    My own relates to an AC30 HW2 that both I and the late Gary Moore were separately admiring in a shop in Brighton. He went for it but sadly passed shortly thereafter and the amp was returned to the shop as it wasn't technically part of his estate (not paid for I believe). Being a fan -I owned a minty CC1 Les Paul as well- the amp took on an extra level of reverence and so I ended up buying it. However whatever magic imparted to it by the inestimable talents of Mr Moore didn't transfer for me and I found it a tad too "spiky" sounding for my tastes which wasn't ideal when neither my Marshalls nor Fender amps exhibited the same characteristics. Anyway, after much deliberating I decided to sell it on to a working/touring musician and as far as I know the guy who bought it loved it then and loves it still.
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