Vox ac15c1 brightness

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by tele-nova, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Coloradotwanger

    Coloradotwanger Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    348
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado Cattle Country
    I have the same AC15C1.Love that color!I play my PRRI and VoxAC10 more though.
     
  2. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,499
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Wow. This seems like a guide on how to un-vox your vox amp - to make it sound more like a Marshall or Fender.

    The Top Boost channel is bright - that is the point.

    Yes, the Top Boost channel boosts the high frequencies that contain HISS - that is a feature of the top boost channel. It might drive you nuts until you realize that you can't hear it while you are playing.

    The Vox Top Boost does its thing and it does it well.

    The normal channel is not really anything special. The top boost is the "vox" sound. The normal channel was added to make use of an unused triode in a top-boost-only amp - to add an extra feature. I get it. I did it on my recent Vox "AC15" top-boost build because I didn't have enough panel space to add Speed and Depth controls for tremelo to it.

    Now, I too have had unfathomable moments when my mind played tricks on me and I thought I hated the Top Boost sound:

    I built an AC4 with top boost and the EF86 Channel. The EF86 was a monster with rich even tones. Suddenly I switched back to the Top Boost Channel and instantly hated it? How is that possible? I LOVE top boost tones. I took me a good 30 minutes of playing Top Boost songs to fall back in love with the top boost channel again. I finally decided that these two didn't belong together in the same amp! I stay away from the EF86 channel now. I have a Marshall for those kind of tones.

    I have two playlists that I practice to: A Vox play list and a Marshall play list. Two different sounds with two different purposes. There isn't anything wrong with that.

    Disclaimer:

    Of course I have to keep in mind that this IS a telecaster forum - a bright guitar that could be overdone in a vox amp. I tend toward P-90 equipped Les Paul types in my Vox amps. ;)
     
  3. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    1,443
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Location:
    Saltburn England
    the tone cut pot is just a treble trim pot ...anti clockwise...brighter...clockwise less bright
    thats all it does but its a very useful feature...dick denney wouldnt have bothered with it otherwise...its good to set your "sparkle" with it
     
    sonicsmitty likes this.
  4. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,060
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2019
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    My AC30C2 with blue alnicos, the starting point is to set tone cut at noon, especially when playing Teles. These Voxes are just so bright/even harsh.

    When playing Gretsches or Rickenbackers, the tone cut can maybe dialed down a bit.

    I use 9/10 times the top boost channel (high). So bass up, tone cut up and treble down. Well, perhaps when playing 12 string Ric, I may crank the treble up a bit to get that jangle.

    Voxes are quite hard to tame IMO. And that’s why I love them.
     
    Wulf likes this.
  5. Wulf

    Wulf Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    1,443
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Location:
    Saltburn England
    Thats why i personally prefer a Vox..though to the unwary it can be a bit like grabbing a tiger by its whiskers...not its tail
    i have a fender twin...inspires to play nothing but early 60s surf...the vox inspires me to play absolutely anything....but they do blow up....old ones did it regularly....and those vents in the top...perfect for ale to cascade into your electronics and totally kill it from alcohol poisoning...yup done that...mid gig.
    (tit)....but as a Vox user...first amp was an old AC15...i prefer them to anything out there...must have gone through 10 of them if ive been through one...i love the things...only 3 fenders...got drri65 a couple of yrs ago...sold..sounded like a sponge compared to vox..mine is as loud as my twin and much better sounding....anyone want to buy a 68 custom twin???..AC30...30 watts my left buttock
     
    JIMMY JAZZMAN likes this.
  6. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,529
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    The tone cut knob works. Not sure how that is a mystery. I found it the first time I plugged in. It says tone cut right on the panel. :) All you need to do is turn it a bit and play. It'll show you what it does in no time.

    The Bassman on the left is my 'new' baby for home play, modding, drooling over. The 'new' AC15 on the right, OTOH I've decided is for gigging. I do get a nice low volume sound of it. But I can tell that if I ever get back into gigging on guitar, that will come with me, and the fender will stay home. They both can get other wordly loud. That's not the point. It's about EQ. The Vox will be heard. The Fender will be loud mush in a band setting. Fine for rhythm and maybe trio solo or blues or whatever. Glorious at home. But the Vox will be heard in a band setting. And it will be good. Real good. Some times you just know it when you hear it.

    I don't know if the previous owner clipped the treble cap or not. I haven't opened it to see. I just know it sounds fantastic with my EPI LP special w/p90s, which is a dark guitar (for a special, that is). The tele sounds like a tele. In your face with 'tude. :cool: I have a tone knob on my tele if my ears get pierced. No mods needed. It's clearly ready to rock when I am.
     
    Mojambo likes this.
  7. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    961
    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    I recently picked up a Vox AC15. I use it at low volume with a light overdrive pedal and EQ into the normal channel for my work apartment away from home. I am enjoying it. You can tame what you need to with the EQ and add a little bottom end for low volume playing. Also have the Vox AC 4 there as well, and it sounds good, but it does not compare to the AC15
     
  8. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    3,180
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    London
    After a fair bit of experimentation, I set my AC15C1 as follows, with pedals and Tele:

    Normal channel
    Master volume maxed out
    Tone cut around 2 o'clock
    Volume to taste

    Sounds just how I want it to.
     
    Mojambo likes this.
  9. J-bass&Tele

    J-bass&Tele Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    302
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    After a bunch of rehearsals and breaking in the Greenback I have pretty much settled on this:

    Telecaster into normal channel, volume at 11-12 o'clock, master volume set to fit the stage/rehearsal volume. Tone cut usually between 1-3 o'clock depending on the room and volume.

    Bought it new 2012. About once a year I'm thinking that I should explore other sounds and play and turn knobs for half an hour and usually end up where I started.
     
    AngelStrummer likes this.
  10. muscmp

    muscmp Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,029
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    california
    i do the same with an aby box. makes it much easier to dial in.

    play music!
     
  11. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    4,308
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Thats an interesting argument!
    That being said, a lot of classic Vox sounds were actually made with the normal channel: Rory Gallagher, Brian May, and Ritchie Blackmore all used the normal channel (often with a rangemaster).

    I'd also argue that a Vox doesn't need to 'do the Vox thing' all the time. They have their characteristic bright sound, but they can be really versatile amps as well.


    To answer the OP's question about brightness:
    When I first got my AC15, it was a struggle getting a setting between too shrill, and too muddy. I would turn bass up all the way, treble to about a quarter, and tone cut to half, and was a struggle getting it to sound right.

    Later on, I removed the treble bleed caps. They add a lot of extra treble regardless of where you set the other controls, and though they help get that bright 'Voxiness', they add more treble than necessary in my opinion, and make the amp less versatile.
    Even after removing those caps, the top boost channel can still get searingly bright if you want, so I don't quite understand why they added those caps.

    My main breakthrough, however, was switching to the normal channel. It has no EQ section, and has a really balanced clear 'natural' tone. With the bright cap removed, I found I didn't need to use the tone cut, it sounded fine the way it was, unless I was in a very bright sounding room.
    I set master to full, and channel to where it sounded best with the guitar (which I turned down). On my tele, it sounds best with channel volume at 50%. The Les Paul sounds fine with volume a bit lower (or through the top boost channel), and my strat sounds best mithe the normal channel volume above 70%.
    (Bear in mind, that I turn down on the guitar and only turn up for solos. Better clean sounds this way in my opinion).
     
    Mojambo likes this.
  12. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,960
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    I always dial the treble all the way back because the mic in front of it is hearing a lot more high-end than I am standing next to it.
     
  13. Mojambo

    Mojambo TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    May 31, 2013
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I will echo what many have said here...I think a Tele might actually sound better into the Normal channel than into the Top Boost. There's already plenty of treble there and the tone is nice & balanced too, no need to trim the bass or anything. Simply roll off whatever high end you need to from your guitar.
     
  14. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    671
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Baltimore
    On the Vox AC15C1. the tone cut is relevant, more so than any other amp I ever used. Less in more on this amp,
    as each and every guitar I run thru it, needs to be dialed in. It's a great amp. The top boost channel is great, but
    you can get great tones from the regular channel as well. The learning curve on these amps is long as each
    guitar "voice" is so different from each other. When you think about it, that's a good thing, but take notes.
     
  15. bowman

    bowman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,089
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I also use mine with both channels running simultaneously, but I control the Top Boost channel with a volume pedal, so I can have as much or as little as I want at any time, even mid-song.
     
  16. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    4,308
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Switzerland
    That's a cool idea!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.