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Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by StachePower, Aug 14, 2020.
"Duh...grow up..." ? Lol.
More than just entry level - I've been playing since 1986 and I just bought an AC10 three years ago. No, it's not a vintage Vox but it's a great-sounding amp. Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with the stock speaker, it's a great match for this amp.
I was going to start a separate thread, but hopefully it's OK to ask on here: How does the handwired AC15 compare against the AC15 that I guess is being refered to on here? I have the chance of a used HW with the Alinco blue speaker for little more than a new AC15C1X. Not bothered about the lack of reverb on the HW as I have an EHX Cathedral pedal for the odd occasions I want some reverb.
As the OP, totally fine to hijack the thread a bit. I think if I’m reading the specs right C1X only difference from the C1 is the speaker. If the HW is under a grand seems worth it.
In regards to my post, I can get an Ac15 in my area, San Diego, for around $400. Haven’t seen a used AC10 here since before the pandemic so probably have to pay full price for that.
Thanks, I was comparing a used AC15HW1X with the Alnico Blue for a small amount more than a new AC15C1X with the same(?) Alnico Blue speaker. There's another HW with the Greenback speaker for sale, but I've got a few cabs with Greenbacks already, so it would make sense to try something different. It's barely any cheaper too, so not worth the slight saving I guess.
I tried a guitar I was thinking of buying through an AC10 in Andertons last year and remember being impressed with it in one of their very small demo 'booths'.
The "C" in the AC15C1 indicate a vox "Custom" series amp. Custom here can be interpreted as not-quite vintage.
Here is a comparison between the AC15C1 and the AC15HW1 which I will abbreviate to "C" and "HW."
1. Inputs: HW gives you a high and low input per channel - the low input kicks in a 50% attenuation of the signal from your guitar. It makes for a good quick way to clean up your signal a bit.
2. Power Supply: This is the main difference between the amps. The C series skimps a lot here. The HW is tube-rectified, choke-filtered and uses the "node-based" power supply scheme. The C series uses diodes instead of the tube for rectification, uses a resistor to replace the choke and uses a "ladder-based" power supply scheme.
3. Cabinet: The HW series cabinet is made of Plywood, while the C series amp is made of ?? (chipboard maybe). Of course, the fawn color is a dead giveaway. The HW cabinet is more to spec with the original AC15, while the C series cabinet is kind of a scaled down AC30 cabinet.
4. Signal Path: The HW series has an all-tube signal path with channel mixing performed at the phase inverter. The C series has op-amp mixing prior to the phase inverter. Reverb on the C series amp is also handled by op-amps.
5. Other Features: The HW toutrs a bypass-able master volume, hot/cool top boost channel modes and a bright switch on the normal channel. The HW also has a half-power mode to cut output to 7.5Watts ( this is done via the tube biasing). The C series features include analog spring reverb, analog tremelo (MOSFET driven). One of the features of the HW series is the "classic" top boost channel where the bass control is in parallel with the "mid" resistor. This acts like a notch filter around 400Hz when the bass control is maxed and the treble is also quite high. The C series uses the "custom" top boost channel which "fixes" that classic top boost channels "problem" - but to some this is an essential element of classic vox top boost channel tone.
6: Build quality: The HW amp is more easily repaired, replacing common components could literally be done in minutes by removing the back panel, desoldering and soldering in a replacement component. It also uses better components all-around: resistors, capacitors, transformers, etc.
Did I miss anything?
My friend Scott sure likes his new one!
If it's vintage VOX tone you're after, look no further than the AC15 Heritage. It sports the coveted VOX EF86 and Top Boost channels. You can find them for less than $1k on Reverb and/or ebay. If you can find one, get the head version.
As for VOX + pedal, the Crowther Hot Cake is the one to get. If you like more gain, get the Double Hot Cake. As for AC10, the SRT is a "holy grail" tone-monster, though quite unobtainable. I'm hoping VOX will do a SRT hand-wired reissue. The last original SRT that I saw was priced at $25K!
@gusfinley Thank you for a very in depth list of the differences. Sadly the Alnico one I was interested in has gone, so I'm now debating getting the Greenback one, though it's only £50 less than the AC15HW1X was, so it doesn't feel like such a good deal.
There is also an AC30 HW head for sale elsewhere which might be an option as I already have Greenback cabs (1x12 & 2x12) and I have an attenuator. Maybe better for my back as I think the AC15HW1X is heavier than my Fender '64 Custom Deluxe reverb and I find that hard to move around as it is.
I too was on the hunt for an AC10 before the lockdown.
I think you should get an AC15 or AC10 when the right deal comes along. Something to consider (I didn't see posted yet) is there are two versions of the common, modern AC15. The C1 and CC1. One has a Celestion one has a Wharfdale. There are a few other differences. I have the less desirable of the two, the CC1 with the wharfdale. It's definitely not vintage but for how much I paid used, I'm ok with it being vintage inspired and I'm happy with the sound. It has depth.
The AC15CC1 is another strange one. It is solid state rectified, not choke filtered, but uses the "node based" power supply like the classic vox amps. It also skimps on one tube section like the AC10C1 does, but it skimps on the cathode follower driving the tonestack instead of keeping it an inserting a MOSFET like the AC10C1. It does have analog tremelo and a solid state driven spring reverb. The non-x model indeed has the warfdale speaker in it. The AC15CC1 omitted the cut control and only had a single channel (top boost) and single input jack.
I have a Rickenbacker 360/12 and a Vox AC10. They sound awesome together. But if you want that Beatles/Byrds tone, get a Janglebox pedal.
Just to add some love, my amp is the Deluxe version of the AC10c1. Someone mentioned it can be bass-heavy or clear but not both as easy and it is always chimey! I wouldn’t go throwing it around but I sit on it and play it loud! It breaks up super sweet, and depending on your guitar and tastes a boost or OD that can fill in the wholes in the EQ and tip the preamp into saturation will work. I like the F@&K OD cause it adds some bass to keep my guitar warm but has a high cut to soften the spiky treble. Pair it with a punchy amp and you get everything! Even the volume to gig with.
Are they worth it? Sure why not. They dont cost that much. And they are good for hours of family fun.
I had a AC10 for well over a year and liked it a lot, until I played a AC15. And yes, I upgraded.