Vox AC10C1 tone

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

  1. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Holy moly, We must have the same ears!!

    I cannot get a fuzz tone I like to save my life.

    I LOVE so many fuzz based songs (especially The White Stripes) and just cant emulate that sound. I would die if i could setup a "Spirit in the Sky" sound. Rp1000, HD500 some random single pedals and many others i have tried....just my ears and hands I guess.
     
  2. Telegraphy

    Telegraphy TDPRI Member

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    Sadly dcos you have not purchased an AC10.
    What you have is a modern recreation of a classic amp that had beautiful tone and depth.
    As a bit of a purist i find it disgraceful that the large corporate companies can play games with people by pretending to build amps of yesteryear for today.
    If i showed you the inside of my nearly 60 year old AC10, i doubt you would recognise a single component that has been used in your Name only amp.
    Even the speaker.
    Vox Ac10 never had greenbacks.
    Tom Jennings would turn in his grave if he knew what the money grabbing big companies were passing off in his good name.
    I would always steer people clear from most modern amps.
    Of course there are some boutique makers out there that still care about Tone and build quality but they cost $$$$

    Sorry for the rant !
    I love Vox & have a connection to Toms (RIP) original JMI West street factory
     
  3. Pixies2005

    Pixies2005 TDPRI Member

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    Mad Kiwi made a great point.

    Playing a Vox alongside backing tacks or song - you can tune it in and it sounds great.

    Solo - possibly not so much. I find they’re not like a Fender where you can noodle away. That may be just me though
     
  4. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I have an AC10C1 and I actually sold an AC15C1 and friends thought I was nuts to move down to the AC10.

    I think the 10 is warmer and softer I tone. I think that with any VOX amp the bass needs to be cranked on the amp and the treble needs to be flat at best. They are very bright amps. My old AC15 hurt me; it was so bright that I couldn't use it.

    How do you have your VOX dialed in? Sorry if that's a silly-basic question but I dial the bass up and treble back and push the volume up to a level where I'm really pushing the bottom. I think it sounds beautiful but I have to set the controls in a way that is downright goofy next to my Deluxe Reverb.

    VOX amps are odd as far as tweaking the knobs is concearned but I love VOX amps. :confused:
     
  5. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    Try these settings. Use the gain (preamp volume) as the actual volume control. The volume (master, or post gain) all the way up. Back treble off a bit to about 11:30 and bump the bass to about 12:30. The speaker definitely needs to break in - the Greenback might actually help smooth out the highs a bit once it’s nicely broken in. I have a Celestion G10 Vintage (basically a 10” version of a Vintage 30), in my AC4-C1 and after some good break in it is fantastic. The AC10 is the same basic amp as the AC4, only with more power and reverb (it is essentially the top boost section of larger Vox amps).

    Note that in this pic my gain is all the way down simply because the amp is off and I always turn it down when powering off or on since these amps don’t have a standby. My actual settings for the preamp volume during use are anywhere between 9 o’clock and noon, depending.

    Image1517152848.889264.jpg
     
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  6. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suggested almost verbetum what you said here a few weeks back and got slammed.
    Appeartly according to the fine folks here, ac4 and ac10 are entirely different amps, even thou that is not my experence.
    I set my tone knobs just as you show, but the bass knob turned beyond that seems to get useless.
     
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  7. hongaku

    hongaku Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, I welcome any attempts at slamming. They ARE different amps because of a couple of key differences, but the core is practically the same. More power, reverb and a slightly larger cab do indeed make it a different amp, but they sound very much alike due to the fact that they are based on the same idea of a standalone Top Boost circuit.
    I’ve owned an AC4-C1 for quite some time now and I’m very familiar with it - in fact it’s currently my main gigging amp for most venues. When the AC10-C1 came out I was interested and I still might pick one up, but after playing one extensively, it is definitely just a slightly bigger and stronger sibling to the AC4-C1 amps. I already know exactly what I’d be getting with it and I already know exactly what tweaks I’d make with regard to speaker and tubes based on my experience with the AC4-C1.
     
  8. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    That basic setting is a good starting point, but I find I cannot carry the much Bass, either on my single coil Strat and Tele, or on my ES-335. But, just backing the Bass off a touch from your settings gets me into a wonderful tone-zone. I agree totally on the Gain settings.

    - Bob
     
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  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is exactly what I discovered. I, of course, wanted to maximize the bass response from this amp so I was inclined to crank the bass control all the way to 10. However, this ended up causing a mushiness in the overdrive with the low E string. But when I backed the bass knob off a bit, actually a lot, it got rid of the mushiness and did not reduce the actual bass from the amp at all.
     
  10. schotter611

    schotter611 Tele-Holic

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    With these settings on my AC10, I get a ton of bass. Unmanageable with my tele and still plenty with less bassy guitars. So cab, speaker...whatever probably do indeed account for something. But just out of curiosity, when people say 'crank that master' on an AC top boost amp, it's actually the AC 10's (post gain) 'VOLUME', not 'GAIN', right?
     
  11. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Correct.

    - Bob
     
  12. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    First post but long time reader! Had to chime in on this one (excuse the pun!) as I'm in the middle of a big debate with myself over my AC10C1! I've had the amp for about 4 months, and I am really struggling to bond with it - very close to selling it, or switching to a Fender (or similar) option - looking for some more perspective on what tones are possible.

    I use the Vox with a 60's classic Tele, '54 reissue strat, and a vintage reissue 'partscaster' with Texas Specials. I mainly play blues inspired stuff, Led Zep, Cream, SRV and now and again some Stones or Pink Floyd - so classic rock. Pedals wise, I use an Spark EQ boost and an 808 Tubescreamer, and sometimes some tape echo (I have a Catalinbread SFT I throw on from time to time too).

    The issue I have is fuzzy/muddiness, and the tone getting bogged down, while the top end remains very brittle. I use it at apartment volumes, which I think is part of the issue. Anywhere over '3' with the gain/volume combination and I'll have the neighbors around.

    The amp sounds absolutely lovely when left to it's own Voxy devices, and does all the jangly warm break up when pushed... I can get a good 60's/70's British tone - it nails early Queen, some good early Blackmore stuff, but not at volumes I can support in the apartment. However when I turn up the bass and back off the treble, add in a bit of gain like mentioned in #25 - it becomes super muddy at the low end, and super brittle at the top end with all my guitars. With Texas Specials it just turns fuzzy, with a super harsh top end. If I use the bridge pickup on the tele with the tone turned down a bit, to try and get a Jimmy Page tele tone(ish), but it just sounds boxy and messy.

    Some days I *love* the sound, and I can put out some decent Kinks kind of tones - but it doesn't get the bell like blues breakup, or classic rock breakup I am after. Has anyone managed to get this tone out of an AC10, or do I just have the wrong amp?

    I am after something like the tone in the following vid (at 4 mins mark onward especially), which is nicely broken up, but still articulate:

    Help! :)
     
  13. schotter611

    schotter611 Tele-Holic

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    Yes! To me, this is what it does best. You gotta learn to love the amp for exactly that.

    Or add a nice stomp box to flavour to taste if you don't like its gain structure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  14. schotter611

    schotter611 Tele-Holic

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    I gotta take back my 'unmanageable bass' remark. With the Gain down, things change a bit (aka 'interactive'). To play this thing with the gain down had actually never crossed my mind....
     
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  15. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the reply! This is kind of what I was thinking... Hmm, it makes me lean towards another amp with much more clean headroom. :(
     
  16. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    I picked up mine secondhand at a very reasonable price. I also found it fuzzy and muddy.

    I changed the original power tubes to JJ's and all the issues disappeared. Made a completely different amp of it. Still running the factory 12AX7's, no issues with those at all.
     
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  17. schotter611

    schotter611 Tele-Holic

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    I too fiddled with it for a while while looking for that same clean 'surf tone' I got used to from my PRRI. Didn't happen. At the other hand, it totally gives me what I was missing about my Fender amp: That gradual transition into dirt territory (aka 'Vox clean'). Without pedals! I suspect you will need a couple different pedals on top of that cleaner headroom amp to cover the tones you described.
     
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  18. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    It’s simply not a good apartment amp. Voxen need volume. All tube amps do, but especially Vox.

    I’d recommend something like a THR10 for the volume levels you’re talking about. Even a 1 Watt tube amp will be power starved at the volume levels you mention.

     
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  19. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    Many thanks for the insight everyone - yep, I guess I'm just running it too quietly to get anywhere near the best results.

    I was thinking of changing to a Fender Blues Junior, as I already have a tubescreamer, EQ boost, and drive pedal and just using the clean channel as a good base to build up my tone from there without relying on the amp to give any overdrive/breakup, but guess I'll still have the same issues of not being able to get the tubes toasty enough. Hmm. :/

    Although, I am guess the Fender option would be a lot less brittle at the high end of things.
     
  20. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    Fenders are for sure better at low volumes than Vox. But you’re still not getting the “tube tone” you’re after running at those lower levels.

    I’ve got three tube amps that I adore (AC15, 1969 super reverb, Bugera V5). But when I have to play at the volume levels you mention, I play my THR10 and its modeled versions of those amps. The wave of great, small modelers are just better equipped to give those tones at those volumes. Their speakers and circuits are engineered for it. Tube amps from the transformers to the speakers, are designed to make a guitar loud enough to play to an audience.

     
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