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Restoration VOX '62 AC15

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by deus56, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    This beauty belongs to a friend of mine.
    He looked for parts for 2 years, some of the board components
    and the replacement pot came from a damaged AC30 he saw that
    was being parted out. The preamp tubes were specially selected by Gregg Levy
    of Hi Test Guitars.
    He bought a sh*tload of EF86 tubes to find just the right ones for his amp.
    Two corrections from the video.
    1. The T530 speaker has not been re-coned, it has an original
    H1777 coded cone.
    2. The power tubes are not Mullard but in fact Philips Miniwatt (Dutch)
    from the '50s. They came from me.;)
     
  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    Nice! I’m quite happy with a 21st century AC15 but it’s good to see an old beauty like that restored and sounding great.

    BTW the link between Mullard and Philips is interesting: at the outbreak of WWII Philips sent their valve design information from their Eindhoven (Netherlands) plant to Mullard in the U.K. (Balham, south London iirc) where they turned out valves for British military radio and radar sets throughout the war. Mullard were then bought by Philips and the name was used as a Philips brand for electronic components well into the 1980s or 1990s. (My first job, in 1986, was working for MEL — Mullard Equipment Limited — a division of Philips making radios & other military electronics.)
     
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  3. Aandjr

    Aandjr TDPRI Member

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    Very Happy to this great amp restored. I also have an original early 60's AC-15 single with a beat up old cabinet and this reissue cabinet. It is otherwise original except for some caps but I may need to send this link to my amp tech and have him see what a fantastic job you did to make it new again.
    1963 Vox AC-15 Single.1.jpg
     
  4. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    Very nice!!! that you also have a vintage AC15. Color me jealous.
    I did not do the restoration, I only contributed the EL84s to the
    project. I posted this to show what can happen when both the
    owner and tech have the same amount of dedication to a project.
    I thank you both for the kind words, I know he will appreciate them.
    Once again, what a piece of history you have in that amp you own.
     
  5. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Holic

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    I though Philips went in on the Mullard owner side even earlier than that. Once the BBC got started and the market for radios grew, the fledgling Mullard company needed to expand to meet demand and Philips came in as a major shareholder.

    The Mullard factory (really a huge industrial complex) in Blackburn was a technological wonder. Pilkington designed and built their on-site glassworks. They pulled all their own wire. And their production quality was second to none - which accounts for the esteem with which Mullard valves are held to this day (perhaps only rivalled by Telefunken among European brands).

    But back in the day, Philips Miniwatt marked product could have been produced in Blackburn, and Mullard marked product could have been produced in Eindhoven - the factories helped fill each other's orders. Ditto any of the other brands under the Philips umbrella. The factory codes are all there, right on the glass envelope, so you can easily see if a valve was made in Blackburn.

    I used to pass the Mullard building at Millbrook on my way into Southampton city centre as a kid in the early eighties. I guess it was just regional offices, but maybe there was some production there too.

    And they made beautiful "tropical fish" :D
     
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  6. drewg

    drewg TDPRI Member

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    I wants me one of those... Someday! Thanks for sharing!
     
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  7. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    Yes Sir, the Mullard tubes rightly deserve their revered status!!!!!
    Here are a pair of their EL84 tubes from 1959.
    The tropical fish are indeed striking to see in a pedal.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Holic

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    More Mullard - deus56, you threadjacked your own thread :) Some little data books from the early 70s.

    ECC83 is:

    TTC = I61 = ECC83, Batch Code 1
    FYM = B1A = Blackburn, 1961, January

     
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  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I liked the sounds coming out of the EF86 channel. I did not care for the exhibition the Vib channel at all. It was not the amp’s fault.
     
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  10. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    Very, very cool.
    Beautiful 12AX7! How did you come by those books?
    I have never seen one before.
     
  11. Squawker

    Squawker Tele-Holic

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    The books were actually given to me by an eBay seller in the UK when I bought a job lot of used valves from him. They're neat little books, with essential data on the diodes, transistors, valves etc. that were current at the time.

    I think that 12AX7/ECC83 came from the same guy if I remember correctly, but it was bought with a couple of others as nearly-NOS with good test numbers. I didn't find anything that exciting in the job lot :D
     
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  12. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Funny - I have had in the past Mullard-branded tubes identical to Phillips Miniwatt 12AX7. Phillips had a factory here in Australia where they made short plate 12AX7s which are loved by radio enthusiasts - they're quite a 'sweet' sounding tube. Not tons of gain but lovely detail in clean stages. I had Phillips and Mullard 12AX7s branded Holland, Britain, Australia all with different internal detail and markings - ECC83 on some and 12AX7 on others. Mullard wasn't big here but Phillips was enormous.

    We got Phillips EL84s, EL34s which were probably Mullard UK. Also 6QD6C sweep tubes common in Goldentone and Moody amps.
     
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  13. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    I thought you would get a kick out of seeing these beauties, as like yourself they hail from the great country of Australia.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Excellent ! :cool::cool::cool:

    -tbln.
     
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  15. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    You are very likely right — I’m going on what I remember of the company history I was told back when I worked for Philips, it makes sense that there was a link already before the war.
     
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  16. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Does this model burst into flames when overdriven? That feature came standard on Vox AC30s in the early 60s ;)
     
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  17. Aandjr

    Aandjr TDPRI Member

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    No. It doesn't burn up. Next year my amp will be 59 years old. It has been reliable for the 15+years that I have had it. No service issues. When it is turned up it has great distortion but also sounds great clean. The Ef 86 channel and the normal vibro trem channel both sound great with guitars with single coils such as strats, telecasters and Les Paul Specials Gretschs with Hilotrons and DeArmonds and guitars with traditional Humbuckers and Filtertrons. And, even though I have a tolerant wife and neighbors, it is very loud so I don't turn it up often. Finally, it doesn't need pedals to sound great.
     
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  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Amps burn up when something is out of whack and heat builds up. Voxes are not the only amps that can burst into flames.
    Here is a MUsicMan 410HD130 going up....looks perhaps like some speaker voice coils could not stand the heat...and paper cones burn easily??.

     
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  19. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, I know Vox's aren't the only amps that burn up, I was just joking ;). I have heard from several people, however, that first generation of Vox AC30's did have a noticeable overheating/fire problem.
     
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  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    one might w9nder if this was due to the cathode biased output with really hot bias, people neglecting to replace EL84s in such an over-worked environment, or the fact that we’re running 2 x 15watt speakers and pushing the amps for all they were worth....and we know that an AC30 can put out some signal, right?
     
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