Apartment Voxie Amp: AC4-C1-12, AC10 or AC15?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Fhede, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Fhede

    Fhede TDPRI Member

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    Hi!
    I live in an aparment, I can play fairly loud for an aparment, but not abuse.
    I have a JVM410 that sounds terrific at low volumes and a DR22 clone that sound pretty well at low volumes (jointly with a Joyo American Sound -Tech 21 Blonde's clone-).
    Now I want to have a Voxie amp, in order to get the 3 classic tone of the rock 'n roll.

    The candidates are:
    Vox AC4-C1-12
    Pro: I can force more the tubes -> better tone (?).
    Con: No reverb.
    Fear: The smallest amps tends to sound more basic, littlier, less rich in freq and harmonics.
    Vox AC10
    Pro: More rich tone + Reverb.
    Con: -
    Fear: 10" Speaker (littier sound), Not manageable in aparment.
    Vox AC15
    Pro: Classic Tone, "mythical"(?) amplifier, Reverb & Tremolo.
    Con: Bigger and heavier.
    Fear: Too much volume, not manageable in aparment.

    Do the three sound well at low volumes?
    Do the three sound as a classic Vox amp?
    I have an AC4-C1-12 (with some upgrades: Power Transf & Greenback Speaker), but I haven't tried the AC10 and AC15?
    Which one do you suggest me? Why?
    Thanx!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  2. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    AC15 C1 has a master volume. I use mine at home all the time with no complaints from my wife.
     
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  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    AC10. Small. Light. Big enough sounding. Jammable. Attenuator to cut volume. Topboost channel of the AC15 - which is bigger, louder and 20lb heavier for the same reverb. The AC10 will fit under a coffee table. The AC15 is big enough to be a coffee table.
     
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  4. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    AC4C1-12 also has a master volume. weirdly the gain works better as the volume than the volume...I have volume between 12 o clock and 2 o clock and use the gain between 11 o clock and 2 o clock.

    I've had Ac15 and AC4tv, I Have AC4 C1-12 and Ac30. I like the AC4c1-12 for home use.
     
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  5. Fhede

    Fhede TDPRI Member

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    That is louder than the volume I can use.
    Today, I tried a setting that ot shows in a AC10 review in YT, the settings is Bass & Treble in 0.
    With gain in 11 -> Volume 11
    With gain in 13 -> Volume 10

     
  6. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's

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    Joyo ACtone into a clean amp is one possible solution.
    If you have a cab, the Hotone British Invasion does a very good Vox tone, plus it has an FX loop for adding a reverb if need be. Joyo make a BantAmp with a Vox flavour too, but again, you need a cab.

    The AC10 is a very good amplifier, from what I heard. I heard it fill a large room with very pleasant sounds. Quite a feat for a fairly low cost, closed back, 10" equipped, el-cheapo equipped amp. Of the three you listed, the AC10 is a close fit.
     
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  7. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    At one point I had the AC4 and AC10 at the same time.

    I used them in the house and due to neighbours having small children I usually play at low volume.

    The AC10 beats the AC4 hands down. I probably sold the AC4 2-3 weeks after buying the AC10 it just sounds so much better than the AC4.

    There was only one scenario when the AC4 sounded better and that was when I was watching TV and had the amp volume so low it did not interfear with the TV audio. Any louder and the AC10 just gets better and better.
     
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  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've owned all of the amps you're asking about. All of them are too loud to crank up, even in an apartment. The AC4C1-12 really doesn't sound very good to my ears - bass response is almost zero, and there is nothing you can do to improve it (the problem is the shallow cabinet design). It sounds boxy and cheap.

    The AC15C1 sounds great, but as with the AC4C1-12, you'll never be able to crank it in an apartment.

    Of those three amps, I'd go with the AC10C1. No, you can't crank it, but even with its 10" speaker, it's well-designed, sounds great at lower volumes, and has all the bass response that the AC4C1-12 is lacking. Its sound is very close to the AC15C1 and is a heck of a lot lighter. The 10" speaker produces a lot more bass than the AC4C1-12's 12" speaker.
     
  9. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have that Vox 8" cab, you could play it with any of those amps, but it might be too loud even with that to crank any of them. I cranked my Greta through it (2W), I have no doubt you could hear it through the walls but it wasn't loud enough to cause ear damage like with the 10".
     
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  10. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

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    I own an AC101 and it is a good choice. I went to buy the AC15C1 but ended up with the AC10 because, side by side, it was a noticeably fuller sound.

    But, yeah, you won’t really be able to crank it or any of them in an apartment.
     
  11. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    The AC15CH.

    Has a built in Attuenator 0,15w / 1,5w / 15w

    Great amp for home use

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Fhede

    Fhede TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys.
    I am aware that I won't be able to crank any of the three amp.
    The only amp I could crank was the Champion 600 with 6" speaker and a TS808.
    The point is to find which is the fuller & richer sounding amp that sounds well at apartment volumes.
    I have an Marshall Studio Vintage that sounds terrific but at apartment volumes doesn't sound good, I found the JVM he perfect balance great tone at apartment volume.
    I play the 99.99999% of the time at home.
    I will go for the AC10 for the moment.
     
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  13. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    I vote AC10C1. Recently picked one up and have had zero trouble getting good tones at any volume. Granted, if you prefer the normal tones over top boost, then it's not the one for you, but it is an outstanding little amplifier than you can tuck away to save on space. The 10" speaker in it isn't anything to write home about, but it certainly can get the job done and though the cab/chassis design is a little weird in how limited the excursion is on the driver, it still has plenty of oomph with all the bottom end you can want in my experience. I love mine and it's great to just grab and go since it weighs basically nothing, so if you ever want to jam with friends or even play a small gig, it can get the job done.

    I will say it can be a little touchy with pedals, though. So be aware of that.
     
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  14. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I also have the SV20H "mini" Plexi and it works great at home with a attuneator

    But my favorit amp for bedroom volumes is my JTM1 Offset in 0,1w position :)

    Cheers
     
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  15. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    From a vox tone snob:

    AC4C1 - Vox did a pretty good job with this no-frills series. It has an All-tube signal path and all the required tube sections for the classic top boost circuit - the 4th stage drives the master volume control. BUT vox did put a bright cap (c20) on the master volume, so it can sound thin at lower volumes. I hear lots of tele players not loving the AC4C1 series. Is it because they play their bright teles at low volumes and the high frequencies are sneaking past the master volume? I clipped my bright cap on my AC10C1-BL (smaller cab & same speaker as AC10 ) and it started sounding right. I have not played an AC4C1-12, but would love to find a used one for a good price and throw a weber cermaic blue dog in it and convert it to a handwired circuit like I did my AC10C1-BL. I have built 3 little AC4 amps and they are the perfect volume level for bedroom playing. I took one to band practice due to portability and the drummer comment was "That amp sounds great, but can it do a little cleaner?" My response: "Not at this volume!" I brought my AC15 after that.

    AC10C1 - "Big Brother" of the AC10C1. Uses the same speaker, but vox skimped on the circuit on this one. It is NOT an all-tube circuit, like it is advertised as being. The "first tube stage" of the classic top boost circuit has been replaced by a MOSFET transistor. It does have a push-pull output for more power, but they are reportedly still quite loud. It also has a digital reverb in it. I have not played an AC10C1 and since it was introduced, I have not heard a video clip that made me think I should play one - it doesn't have the right 'sparkle' to my ears. It is also quite small, which limits your choices on speaker selection. ( Can't throw in a Weber 10" Blue pup for example ). I think that tele players like this amp because their teles add a little 'sparkle' to it.

    AC15C1 - Classic top boost channel, plus normal channel. "All-tube" circuit up to an op-amp mixer before the phase inverter. Solid-state driven analog spring reverb. MOSET driven tremelo. Master Volume. Heavier then the AC4/AC10. 12" industry standard speaker ( Celestion greenback or Alnico Blue ). Can be found used for similar price to new AC10. Heavy, Loud - These seem to be the only two downsides to this amp, but it has a master volume and you don't really have to carry it everywhere if you leave it in your practice space! The AC15C1H is a good suggestion as it has an attenuator, but then of course you need a cab.

    I watch the local online classifieds daily and here is what I have noticed - LOTS of AC15s being put up for sale. If you don't play much, this is akin to $400-500USD sitting there mocking you. This makes it hard to justify keeping it, I suppose. I have seen a few AC10C1s recently, but haven't contacted the sellers to see why they are selling. I have seen a few AC4C1s up for sale ( never when I have the money to buy one - but I do have two AC4s at the moment ). I make it a habit to contact the seller and see why they are selling it. Then I tell them if they don't like the tone to clip the bright cap on the master volume and two sellers have decided to keep the amp after the mod! - most just a interested in turning their amps into money.

    If there is a place where you can try all of them out, see what your own ears tell you, but try the AC4C1 at full volume to see what it would sound like with the bright cap out.
     
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  16. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll append my first comment with this conclusion: In addition to the amps that the OP is asking about, I've also owned an AC4TVH. So basically, I've owned every current Vox model from AC4TV through AC15C1. I ended up selling all of them except for the AC10C1, and have been using it as my only amp for a few years now. Everything about it just sounds right. Yes, the AC15C1 sounds slightly fuller, but at the cost of nearly twice the amount of weight. But with regard to Vox tone, the AC10C1 has tons of it. I did play an AC15C1 a few weeks ago at my friend's house, and while there is a slightly fuller sound, the tone itself is no different than the AC10C1. Nothing I was able to try with the AC4C1-12 was able to fix the "boxy" tone (not even replacing the speaker or clipping the bright cap), although with the AC4TVH bass response was slightly improved by replacing a capacitor with one of a larger value. But it was still nowhere near the AC10C1 in terms of bass response. Oddly, I liked the AC4TVH better than the AC4C11-12...
     
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  17. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    all I can say if you live above the first floor the AC15 would be out for me....
     
  18. Fhede

    Fhede TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys!
    A friend of mine had a AC15, he hated it until he clipped the bright cap, then he started to like it, after a while the GAS made him to sell it. He still regrets having done that.
    I will try to get both AC10 or AC15 but my priority will be the AC10, the AC10 is smaller, that is good for my limited space, the AC15 weight isn't a big issue because I don't move the amps, I have a moving amp for the nighttable or livingroom, the Yamaha THR10 (emulations: Twin Reverb, Vox AC30, Marshall Plexi, Marshall JCM800, Mesa Dual Rectifier) that sounds pretty well.
    I will keep the AC4-C1-12 so I can compare it with his bigger bros. I found that the setting Bass= 0; Treble= 0 helps to sound better at low volume, not as good as cranked but quite good. I also feel that despite the 12" speaker, the AC4 sounds a little boxy, I supposed that is because of the cab, but not sure, as I said before, I think that the circuit of a low wattage amp sounds smaller, with less freqs / harmonics.
     
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  19. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    All of the amps mentioned: AC4C1, AC10C1, AC15 have a bright cap on the 'gain' or channel volume pot. This is part of the classic top boost circuit.
     
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  20. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    The cabinet is exactly the reason the AC4C1-12 sounds boxy. I plugged mine into an Egnater 1X12 cabinet and it has lots of bass. The problem was that it lost some of its "vintage sound" character with the extension cab. I even put the speaker from the Egnater cab into the Vox amp cabinet, and it still sounded boxy, even with the different speaker. Changed tubes, clipped the "bright cap".... nothing made it sound better. I sold it and went with the AC10C1 which hits with a lot more muscle in the low-end than you'd think it would, with its 10" speaker.
     
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