Vox AC10C1 tone

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by dcos, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. dcos

    dcos Tele-Meister

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    Just bought my first tube amp, the Vox AC10C1, hoping for a better tone than the solid state Champion 40 I've been using. Right out of the box, I wasn't too impressed with the Vox. It sounds very boxy and incredibly thin and bright. I have the Greenback speaker in it. I'm playing an Epiphone ES 339 through it which isn't an overly bright guitar. It does seem to be calming down a bit the more I play it, so I'm hoping this is just the break in tone. Anyone else feel that way when they first heard their new AC10?
     
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  2. Pixies2005

    Pixies2005 TDPRI Member

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    Stick with it, allow the speaker to break in.

    That said Vox’s can be thin and brittle sounding anyway. You should be able to make a difference by really playing with the tone knobs on the amp and your guitar. Set them with your ears, not your eyes :)

    I have to say, as a Champion 40 owner, it is an excelllent solid state amp.
     
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  3. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    I have the AC10. I don't use it much because of what you describe and I have the speaker upgrade in mine. It's also a noisy amp, I find anyways.

    I'll keep it and see if I can ever get into it, but it ain't a Fender, that's for sure.
     
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  4. Pixies2005

    Pixies2005 TDPRI Member

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    I wasn’t a fan of the AC10 when I tried it in a store. I ended up getting the little MV AC 50 and it’s little Cab instead.
     
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  5. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Well, contrary to the first few replies here, there's forty-four pages of love, info, data, and general discussion about this great little amp here:

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/vox-ac10c1-owners-club.587591/

    Check it out. Listen (look?) at the many YouTube videos out there to make sure you are getting the most out your tone, volume, and gain controls. It's not a Fender, and was never intended to be. Great amp at its price point. The Greenback has gotten some mixed reviews in this amp, with a few folks switching back to the original stock speaker. Read up. Post away!

    A set of decent quality tubes is an almost universal upgrade (remember the low price point?) to quiet the amp and help bring out its qualities.

    That being said, I have found that it naturally seems to play nicer with my Strat and Tele than it does with my humbucker ES335.

    - Bob
     
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  6. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    Don’t give up on the little Vox. I have one and have fell in love with it. Give it time to break in, and play with those knobs. I’ve found an East River Drive pedal really brings mine to life with single coils. Probably any good Tube Screamer type pedal to give that mid bump would do it.
    I think they’re awesome!
     
  7. dburns

    dburns Friend of Leo's

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    If you don't like it you may just not like it, nothing wrong with that. That isn't going to change my mind on how good my teles (which is all I own) sound through it.

    I post crappy Instagram guitar clips from time to time and I think my best tone is from my Vox, over my other amps, which in the past were a '68 Custom Deluxe and Mesa v25. Wish I knew how to share them here.

    Not saying it's a better amp because it isn't, total apples n oranges, but for an around the house amp I easily prefer its tone.
     
  8. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Had the AC4C1-12 and the same feeling. Sold it within months.

    For better or worse, I'm simply a Fender guy, their classic clean models.

    Got an SCX2 head and matching cab and right out of the box, I was in heaven. No way I could get THOSE warm sounds out of the Vox. Maybe others can.
     
  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have that amp (not with the Greenback, though) and I will tell you that the tone and volume controls are *very* interactive. I've never seen another amp like it. I like the sound of mine. As others have said, you may want to get that speaker broken in, and do a lot of experimenting with the tone/gain/volume controls. There are great tones in that amp.
     
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  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    Me too, but I replaced it with the AC10C1 - it actually has more low-end with its 10" speaker than the AC4 does with the 12". The AC4C1-21 is just not a good-sounding amp to my ears.
     
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  11. dcos

    dcos Tele-Meister

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    OK, thanks for the advice to stick with it. After only one day and several hours of playing through it, the amp is sounding MUCH better. The tone is a lot warmer, a lot less boxy, and I'm starting to like it a lot. I'm also getting used to playing with the tone controls on the amp and my guitars to get the tones I was after. I basically bought this amp because of all the positive reviews on the web so I'm glad to find out they weren't wrong. I think it's a keeper.
     
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  12. dburns

    dburns Friend of Leo's

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    Here's quick clips of a clean tone then a Kid Charlemagne solo tone.

    I like it because I can go from this type of clean tone to a solo tone with just the slightest turn of the gain knob. Then after digging in on the solo I can play the chords and they sound relatively clean. Pretty versatile. I don't recall the exact settings in either of these but I do know they were both straight into the amp at low volume...and the gain for the solo was set at less than 50%, around 11 o'clock if I remember correctly.



     
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  13. Mr.Ike

    Mr.Ike Tele-Meister

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    First. Nice playing to the brother above my post. On the amp. I agree with others, love Vox amps, but just not for me. I too realized that I am just a fender guy. Return if you can and try some other flavors. Just my two cents.
     
  14. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't some of these new AC10C1 amps use opamp stages in the signal path?
     
  15. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Went through the same thing, and the next day, I felt the opposite. It changes daily, and I didn’t like that feeling.

    It’s really all about the stuff you play, and the right tool for the job. For me, it isn’t Vox.
     
  16. dcos

    dcos Tele-Meister

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    dburns, nice playing and thanks for the advice. The amp is definitely growing on me as the speaker breaks in. Besides the Epi ES339 I have a kit Tele copy that I built, a Squier Strat, and an Ibanez 2455. They're all sounding pretty good through it at this point. Ira7, I'm also hearing what you're saying and reserving judgement for a bit. I'm going to try to get ahold of a Blues Junior to compare.
     
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  17. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    This. I love mine, but have the tone controls set about 1 o’clock bass, 10 o’clock bass with single coil guitars. I did spring for new power tubes (and the std speaker).
     
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  18. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you use any tube amp with less than 4 preamp tubes and reverb it has op amps in the circuit path.

    Doesn't prevent it sounding like a tube amp.
     
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  19. Pixies2005

    Pixies2005 TDPRI Member

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    The MV AC 50 is my personal last go round on the Vox / Vox style Tube amp merry go round.

    I love the Vox sounds from jangle through to roar. At least half of my favourite guitar tones were created on Voxs.

    What I’ve found with them is that when you’re having a good day, playing well and the settings are just right - it is the most glorious sound and experience ever. It feels like someone else, someone with better chops than you, is playing. Notes flow and there is a feedback loop that just coaxes things out of you.

    However on other days they are an unforgiving amp that amplify every single issue with your playing and can be quite demoralising.

    They are quite picky and really need to be dialled in.

    It’s like me and fuzz pedals. Lots of fave tones were fuzz pedal based. I just can’t drive them.

    I’d recommend you stick with it, learn to drive the amp and then decide if you like it.

    I love the AC30 models on my Champion and the Matchless on my THR10. I just haven’t been able to emulate either the consistency of sound with the actual tube amps themselves.
     
  20. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    I agree, very much like a tele in that regard.

    I also think that the AC30 type amps (AC30, Ac10, AC4C-12, Pathfinder 15 etc.) do their thing best in a band or LOUD backing track environment (if at home). That is when the sometimes harsh brightness really does it's job in cutting through and just disappears in the mix.

    In saying that having used them for a number of years now, I am used to that sound at home practicing and at lower volumes but that will take a bit of time to get used too. IMO.

    I suspect as much as the speaker is wearing in, so are your ears to that particular vox sound.....hopefully you'll both meet in the middle at some point and stay happy :)
     
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