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Feeling Voxy and looking for a new toy

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by tfarny, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I am mainly a faithful Fender type guy with my amps, but I have always been Vox curious, and now is the time to step out and take the plunge. I might spend up to $800 or a little more but I'm always happy to spend less:

    Needs to be loud enough to gig a bar unmiked, with a drummer, and reasonably clean-ish. So I think the AC15 is probably as small as I want to go, though the low price and good reviews on the AC10 have me curious.
    I don't want a big 212 combo either, though. I don't really need amp trem or verb or multiple channels.

    I have considered the regular AC15, AC15HW, AC30s1 and AC30C1 (both 112 AC30s with cost cutting features), or the Ceriatone clone of the Trainwreck Rocket, at the higher end - I could make a cab myself, and slap in some cheap speaker while I save for a Celestion Blue or Gold. Is there some other amp I'm missing here?
    I am tempted by the idea of just buying quality from the start and not messing around, but I'm also a cheapskate by nature, hence the weird range of choices.

    If I can't get what I'm after I am going to buy some kind of Jazzmaster, by the way. Or, hell, a used Helix. You can't let gear money sit around or it might get spent on home repairs or, worse, saved.....
     
  2. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

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    Fun! An AC15 will accomplish what you want, provided you are OK with a little hair on the tone as it doesn't have a ton of volume before it starts to break up.

    The HW series are highly regarded, but in all honestly the CC and C series also sound very similar. For $800 you should be able to get as nice an AC15 as you want.
     
  3. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    AC15c1 is the starter drug here. They're cheap -- I got mine new / b-stock for $425 -- and they sound great. If you play it for a while and it's big enough to handle the gig, there are plenty of places to spend your money. I'm now playing a Bad Cat Cub USA Player, which is a killer amp but basically a weaponized AC15. The AC15HW should be on the list, too, and the Winfield Cyclone in British racing green.

    You may find the 15 a little light for the biggest / loudest gigs. I do. Then the AC30 comes into play, great amp, not all of them sound great at quiet levels, every one I've touched is a beast to carry.
     
  4. meadwill

    meadwill TDPRI Member

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    I have an AC15. It’s a great amp and it came with a Celestion Greenback. I swapped the Chinese tubes out for some JJs and it seemed like it made it louder.
     
  5. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I’ve read a few mentions of the AC10 having hum issues, but since it’s highly unlikely one of those will keep up with a drummer it’s probably moot.

    Most people will tell you that the Blue is the only way to properly experience a Vox, and if memory serves they’re considerably more efficient than Greenbacks, which will help with volume concerns. There are presently a slew of speakers from Eminence pushing 102dB, if you like volume but are considering a change of voice. A new speaker will be more expensive than a new set of tubes (I, too, am partial to JJ for new tubes) but have more potential for change.
     
  6. maj34

    maj34 Tele-Meister

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    I loved my AC15C1. It sounded good with all guitars but it was special with my teles, especially my 72 Custom.

    The AC10C1 and it was pretty good, but very loose and boomy in the low end. It gets great reviews, but and I can see why for the price, but the AC15c1 was a lot better I thought, and I think to play with a drummer you want the 15c1 anyway.

    Never played a AC30, but the AC15C1 weighs enough.

    I have read the AC15CC1 is not as good, go for the C1.
     
    ShortintheSleeve likes this.
  7. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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  8. ShortintheSleeve

    ShortintheSleeve Tele-Meister

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    I'm a Vox lover. I use an AC15C1. If you're wanting reasonably clean, then I recommend using the normal channel as it has more headroom than the top boost. That said, my "clean tone" isn't what clean-tone lovers would consider clean--I prefer a little breakup. I also prefer the normal channel tone-wise with a Tele (I like top boost for humbuckers). I've explored boutique amp options that draw inspiration from the Vox sound, but besides my lack of dough to pay for one, I really like what my AC15 gives me. The only amp upgrade I intend to make at some point is to procure an AC15 HW.
     
  9. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Well, that didn't take me long! Last night I brought home a nearly-new AC30s1 (the 112, single channel AC30). Found a very fair price on Clist.

    I hardly had a chance to play it and of course I'll be honeymooning for a while, but wow it is fun! That particular Vox grindy/chimey thing - you know it when you hear it - is there and real easy to find. As far as gain, it's just about as dirty as I would ever go and not much more. Rock and roll! Holy moly it is LOUD. Also the digital reverb is pretty mediocre, but acceptable at lower levels.
     
  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. My Matchless fund went in a hole in the ground, the septic tank.
     
  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Should I start a NAD thread? Nah. Just back from band practice where I had a chance to crank the AC30s1 before the rest of the "band" arrived. We're a mellow two piece until we can find a vaccinated drummer...
    We both really liked the clean tone of the Vox, and there was more than plenty of volume. It tends to want to get hairy faster than a blackface Fender amp, of course, but the mostly-clean tone is mostly what I'm looking for anyhow. It obviously can get plenty bright, too. I found that straying too far from noon on either bass or treble was a bad idea. On my Allen,it seems like there isn't a bad tone you can get, but this one is going to need some dialing-in time.
    Seems a lot heavier than it needs to be (55lb for a 112 combo?), so that was annoying. The straight-in tone was the best for most of the night, though I did use the tremolo pedal on a pretty swampy setting for a couple of tunes. I didn't use any dirt pedals all night.
     
  12. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I have been gigging with an AC15 for the last few years and was really happy with it--some combos just sound magical with a a Vox, like my Les Paul Jr. and my Teles. But, I recently picked up a 65 DRRI and I'm pretty enamoured with it at the moment. I don't plan to get rid of the Vox though. It seems like one of those things I would eventually regret.
     
  13. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    15HWs look awesome but the 15c1 is way more in the $ range ... I've done 10c1 gigs with a drummer including outdoors but we're not super loud; if you're cranking with a drummer the 15 will provide that extra insurance ,,, they do weigh quite a lot more tho (old guy input!).
     
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