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NAD: Vox AC4TV

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by mistermullens, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know, I'm a little behind in getting one of these, but it just sort of happened. Here's how it came about. The wife and I are having twins next year, so as a result my music room is getting turned into a nursery. Cleaned out the room, and had a bunch of little things along with some drum hardware that just wasn't going to get used. Packed it up, hauled it to my local used guitar store, and traded it all, plus $7 and came home with my AC4.

    I've always loved small amps and I have a 76 Vibro Champ w/10" speaker I use regularly at gigs. I can play pretty decent sized rooms with it (unmic'd) because our drummer isn't crazy loud. I've been wanting a second Champ, but they seem to be in demand right now so the prices are going up. I came across the AC4 just in time with little out of pocket. Since my VC performs so well at shows, I figured I would have similar results with my AC4.

    Played it at rehearsal last night, and it sounded freakin' great! The volume was on 9:00ish with the guys not having any problems hearing it. It breaks up a sooner than my VC, but it sounds killer! I've got a show tomorrow night, and I'm looking forward to breaking her in.

    No mods, yet. May not need them, but we'll see. I play a 2006 Epiphone Riviera>Tuner>MI Audio Blues Pro>LPB-1>AC4. Oh, there's a wah in there too. Takes pedals really well, and is amazingly touch sensitive. Cleans up nicely when I very my pick attack.

    I'll report back after the gig.
     
  2. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's

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    HNAD! Congrats and welcome to the Vox tube amp owners.

    I have an AC15C1 and two Lil' Night Trains. What I have found is with their smaller amps (LNT, AC4C1, AC4TV, etc...) the tubes and speaker are really cheap.

    The tubes are obviously about the cheapest tubes they could muster up. They are harsh and bright sounding, noisy and have been known to die prematurely. A good set of tubes can really make almost any Vox tube amp sound better. Shop around with the different brands and read as many reviews about the tubes, to find what might suite your taste.

    The speaker, the VX10, is made by Celestion for Vox. To me, it's mediocre at best. It's harsh and overly bright, just unpleasant. That was even after breaking it in for months. Speakers can be as much of a tone enhancement item as the amp itself and a very personal choice according to your taste. I wont skimp any more than using a good copy of an original speaker. My favorites are Weber and WGS, but Eminence gets good ratings in my book too. I'm a big fan of Alnico Blue type speakers in Vox amps, they make that vintage Vox chimey-jangle and crunch. I started with an Weber AlNiCo Blue Pup. While it is a bright and jangley speaker, it isn't harsh like the ceramic VX10 and the Blue Pup is much warmer toned and has a nice tight bass response. With the right tubes and this speaker in a homemade 1x10 cab, it sounds almost identical to my AC15C1 with the Weber AlNiCo Blue Dog. Another good chouice for the Alnico Blue tone is the Eminence Red Fang, which is available in 10" or 12", but they cost more than the Weber Blue Pup/Dog speakers.

    Another popular choice has been the Celestion G12M-25 Greenback, as used in the AC15C1s. It's a good sounding speaker, I just preferred the AlNiCo Blue sound more than the Greenback sound. The Greenbacks are woodier and warmer sounding, but still retains much of the Vox jangle and crunch. Celestion also make a 10" version in the G10 Greenback. WGS make the Green Beret 12" and 10", I have the 12" and it's a good speaker. Weber also make the 1225, but I haven't seen a 10" version from them.

    A good combination of speakers and tube will net you one of the most beautiful sounding amps. A great base tone is built into the Vox tube amps (if the Vox tone is your thing), but they do usually require tuning to your taste. Once you find you combination, it's a wonderful thing to hear.
     
  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I do like the AC4...nice grind...not sure about clean getting above drummer though.
    bud of mine has one..he has a newborn in house..had to vol down..
     
  4. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    Congrats MrMullens!

    I agree with Jack on these amps, that with some mods they can be made into nice little beasts.

    I installed the Mercury Magnetics mod in this one, but got a very good deal on it since the guy who bought the kit realized it was beyond his comfort level.

    If you do a search, there are a bunch of tweaks you can do on the AC4TV, and most of them are fairly inexpensive if you are handy with a soldering iron.

    So, are you getting a Blackface or Silverface Twin to go along with your wife's twins? :D
     
  5. TheOutlaw

    TheOutlaw Tele-Meister

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    i loved the sound of mine for the 3 days or so that i had it. i couldnt deal with the crazy amount of tube rattle that it had. i'd love to pick up the head/cab version some day
     
  6. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks! We're got on Twins right now. I read the entire AC4TV "club thread" as well as some others and got saturated with mod options. I prefer alnico speakers, so there's a good chance I'll upgrade, and since I got such a good deal on the amp, I might even splurge for a Weber Blue Pup. I like to get to know my amps a little bit before I start changing things. I'll be able to tell a lot after a few more rehearsals and shows with this thing.

    Hell, if things go well, I might even get a second!
     
  7. orangedrop

    orangedrop Friend of Leo's

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    Outlaw,
    If your amp is exhibiting tube rattle, I would bet you a set of fresh strings for your guitar that you have a microphonic tube in there.

    When I checked these out at GC on New Years right after they hit the shops, the display amp had a terribly microphonic tube in it, as did the one I bought.

    My guess is, Vox or whoever their conglomerate is, got a very good deal on BULK JJ tubes.

    As in all the seconds, so here's what ya do...

    Open the amp, but when you pull the back panel which the guts are attached to, fold it out of the cabinet very carefully because the leads to the speaker are pretty short.

    There is one direction in particular you will find, that you can easily flip the back panel inside out, and gently place it into a face down cabinet.

    Pull the tubes, and place the non pinned end right into your ear canal so that it plugs your ear, like sticking your finger in your ear to block out noise.

    Now gently tap the side of the tube with the meat of your index or middle finger.

    If there are loose elements in the tube, you will hear a funny little "rattle", or "ringing", a bit like banging a spring reverb tank.

    If you hear anything other than the tap on the glass, the tube will be microphonic.

    The more rattly, the worse the microphonics.

    I had a 12AX7 in a Fender Tone Master head that was so bad that tapping the input jack made the amp ring as if you had a bottle in front of a microphone.

    This is at low gain too, and swapping in good tubes fixed it in less than a minute.
     
  8. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    WOW! I gigged my AC4 last night and it was amazing! I have never been more pleased with my tone. The volume of this amp is quite impressive and it stayed around 9:00ish all night. It cleaned up nicely, with just a bit of hair. Kicked in my MI Audio Blues Pro for some heavier sounds. I am super impressed by this amp, and can see why so many people give it great reviews. I have feeling I could be building my sound around it.

    I don't see a real need to modify it at this point. I'll give it some time. Think I might get a second and run them stereo!
     
  9. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm still pumped about Friday's show and how well my AC4 performed. Great tone. I've begun to keep an eye out for these used, and there aren't a tone of the AC4TVs out there. I guess that says something about how much people like them. I think at some point, I'll have a second and run them in stereo. Never done that before, but I bet its great!

    It takes pedals well.
     
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