I can say this now: The Vox AC4C1-12 is a terrible amp.

nathan5782

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I picked up one of those used a couple of years ago, it was the black tolex version and I only kept it a few months. I did try it with a 2x12 cab with Celestion Creambacks and thought it sounded better that way but decided to get rid of the amp.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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I picked up one of those used a couple of years ago, it was the black tolex version and I only kept it a few months. I did try it with a 2x12 cab with Celestion Creambacks and thought it sounded better that way but decided to get rid of the amp.
They made a beautiful looking amp, I just wish they made the front-to-back dimensions a bit deeper. That would really have improved things.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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The AC4C1-12 isn't brilliant, but it isn't terrible either. It is severely cab limited. You're right. It's the shallow cab design, plus the fact it isn't 1/3rd open back.
A new back, cut from 9mm ply with room for the driver to breathe really helps. Why Vox decided to make it a closed back is probably an ecumenical matter.
A little late now, but should you ever chance upon one for chump change, try it with the back off.

My AC4, with the back modified, now lives happily with my son.
There was a guy online who took the back off, somehow cut 1/3 off it while preserving the tolex, then he folded it over the bottom of the cut and re-installed it. It looked pretty good, but I don't know how much it helped sonically.
 

gusfinley

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I would love to see this "shallow cabinet" theory played out on you tube, but there are many variables to consider in a scientific approach.

Many people praise the AC4HW1 as a superior amplifier, but a review of the schematics show that they are nearly identical circuit-wise. The AC4HW1 is around 2" deeper, but is also made from plywood rather than the "chip board" used in the other AC4C1 series amps. Another major difference of the two would be the AC4HW1 is supplied with a Celestion Greenback speaker.

So is it the cabinet size, cabinet construction or the speaker?

If the AC4C1-12 was played through an AC4HW1-sized cabinet made from the same material as the AC4C1-12 cabinet with the Vox VX12 speaker installed and it resulted in a superior tone that may solve the case.
 

Dukex

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I had the AC4C1-BL (10" cab). It suffered from cab size/speaker quality as well. But when I plugged it into an oversized cab with a Weber 10A125 the amp came to life. Yes, I liked it just fine. Ended up trading it in toward an AC4HW1 which I still have. Not everyone likes those either. But I do.
 

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muscmp

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It did sound a little better through an Egnater 1X12 cab (they make great cabs at great prices, by the way), but that negated the whole point of owning a combo amp.
oh, didn't see that was stated. a lot of people use small amps with ext. cabs or heads with cabs. still able to be utilized at gigs with no problem.
play music!
 

uriah1

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. Put in a 90watt bd10 in there.
 

joe_cpwe

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Yeah....back when I bought my VHT Special 6 combo it went head to head with a AC4. The Vox couldn't compete. No low end at all.

Similar money and size ...get the VHT very time.
 

joe_cpwe

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Sometimes I laugh at people's expectations: Tele thought treble boost amp = no low end. Hmmmm....
I didn't compare them using a Tele, it was a dual humbucker guitar. Also, I was looking for a low wattage, 10" speaker equipped, tube amp to use with pedals and the Vox & VHT seemed to be the best used candidates that day.
Had you been in the store, I suppose you could have told me my expectation of any low end from the Vox was ludicrous. Since you weren't there to give me your ideas I experienced it myself and shared my experience on the forum.
Is it again ludicrous to think I should have posted all, Gus? Don't bother answering, I don't give a sht.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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I didn't compare them using a Tele, it was a dual humbucker guitar. Also, I was looking for a low wattage, 10" speaker equipped, tube amp to use with pedals and the Vox & VHT seemed to be the best used candidates that day.
Had you been in the store, I suppose you could have told me my expectation of any low end from the Vox was ludicrous. Since you weren't there to give me your ideas I experienced it myself and shared my experience on the forum.
Is it again ludicrous to think I should have posted all, Gus? Don't bother answering, I don't give a sht.
I guess this is the perfect place (in case anyone is searching the interwebs) to make it clear that nothing with "AC4" in the name is going to have adequate bottom-end. And if you add "C1-12" to the name, same story except now you have a bunch of top-end on top of that lack of bottom-end.
 

joe_cpwe

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I guess this is the perfect place (in case anyone is searching the interwebs) to make it clear that nothing with "AC4" in the name is going to have adequate bottom-end. And if you add "C1-12" to the name, same story except now you have a bunch of top-end on top of that lack of bottom-end.
On the other hand, this may not be the perfect place to make it clear. I've heard some people think we're supposed to have that knowledge intrinsically. Possibly born with Vox amplifier knowledge? Some would say "Tone Instinct"?
If so, we'd just be wasting our time by re-stating the obvious? :cool:
 

gusfinley

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I didn't compare them using a Tele, it was a dual humbucker guitar. Also, I was looking for a low wattage, 10" speaker equipped, tube amp to use with pedals and the Vox & VHT seemed to be the best used candidates that day.
Had you been in the store, I suppose you could have told me my expectation of any low end from the Vox was ludicrous. Since you weren't there to give me your ideas I experienced it myself and shared my experience on the forum.
Is it again ludicrous to think I should have posted all, Gus? Don't bother answering, I don't give a sht.
I'm glad you compared them at the store and made the conclusion before bringing it home!
 

stnmtthw

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Yeah, I goofed on the thread title. AC4C1-12. This one. It's an amazing LOOKING amp.

View attachment 1025480
My daughter has one identical to this, but with red tolex. She loves hers. I swapped out the old ****ty Chinese tubes for her and it's great for a little practice amp.

I personally prefer my AC15C1- great at low volumes and can crank it if I need to.
 

El Reclusa

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Ages since I commented here, but this somehow drew me in...

I've really wanted a vintage AC4 for a looooong time, but I' not paying $2k+ for a 4W amp. Also, my Kalamazoo Model 2 is close enough that I kinda don't care anymore...

Been curious about the current AC4s for a while now, but I'm pretty good on 5ish W amps that sound great as it is. I had entertained the idea of buying one cheap to gut and build an OG AC4 circuit into, but...I can't be arsed. The HW one looks appealing, but that's a lot for an amp made in Viet Nam, unless they're treating the folks working there building them very well.

I will say this- I have an AC30CCH that's a good amp, for modern and Chinese made, but the Top Boost circuit is a big nope for me. If it was the only preamp channel on the amp, I wouldn't still own it. The normal channel, however, is pretty damned good. The whole thing is way too loud without an attenuator, but if you need a loud gigging amp you don't have to be as precious about as a vintage Vox, it'll do.
 

brianbivens

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I will only chime in a little here… at home, we like really great full range tones from our amps, but in a live setting with bass, drums, keys(?), the guitar is a mid-treble instrument, otherwise it won’t cut through the mix. I find that the sounds I use live at church each week, are generally not the sounds that I prefer to hear when I practice. I have to put an EQ shelf cutting out anything below and boosting what’s above 650 Hz and then my guitar sings in the middle of the mix. I wonder if this amp was made more for that setting. I don’t know, I don’t have one. I generally play through a vox AC 10, or silent stage to front of house through this:
 

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archiestone

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I often find crap sounding amps are really attributable to crap speakers. A speaker swap or cab hookup usually improves matters. YMMV.
 




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