Vox AC15C2 too muddy?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by LukeStrong, May 27, 2017.

  1. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    Last year I bought a Vox AC15C2 twin. Its a great amp for cleans. I bought it as it sounded great for classic rock (Queen, etc), Indie and country. However recently I've been getting into blues more (BB King, Joe Bonamassa, etc). But Im having a bit of trouble with the sound of it.

    When I turn the normal channel volume up loud the bass sounds from the amp become too muddy and 'farty' sounding on neck pickup, so i have to switch to bridge to play. That doesn't have the same sound that i wanted on the neck (of coarse).
    I bought a good overdrive not long later to try to fix this. I have the Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet. Absolutely brilliant pedal, sounds great. Although the farty bass sound still happens. I mostly play blues so spend most of my time on the neck pickup.

    Is there a way around this? Could be be the (stock) tubes? Or speakers? This is my first valve amp so I'm not sure what to do. Is there a better overdrive than the Fulldrive 2 thats good for blues? I use it for about 1hr everyday, for a year so far. Could the speakers have broken in or something? I'm not to sure about all of this yet!!!

    All the variables for you:
    Gtr: Fender Chris Shiflett Tele Deluxe (Custom Humbuckers - height - 5mm from strings, 250k pots)
    Drives: Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Mosfet (Gain at about 8'oclock to not be as farty, boost at 8 o'clock, volume and tone at 12)
    Cables: Van Damme XKE pro grade
    Amp: Vox AC15C2 Twin
     
  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an AC15C1 and if anything it's too bright (no, I haven't done the bright cap mod). Something's not right. Have you swapped the tubes yet? The stock Chinese tubes are junk. I bought new tubes after having mine about a week. Mine were "fizzy".
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  3. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Holic

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    On my Ac15c1, as the speaker broke in, it developed more bass response. Does adjusting the Tone Cut counter clockwise have any effect?

    It could be the tubes. The original tubes seemed like they gave the amp a more compressed, less punchy sound. These amps eat power tubes, but when my power tubes went , it had the opposite effect. The amp got quieter and less bassy.
     
  4. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Holic

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    Swap your guitar's pots for 500k.
     
  5. nathanteal

    nathanteal Tele-Holic

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    The bass and treble controls on the amp are super interactive. Where do you have them set?
     
  6. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the quick replies.

    I haven't yet. I'm thinking some JJ 5751s (bit lower gain) and EL84s. Good choices?

    I don't know if the speakers are fully broken in yet. I have the AC15 Twin, so it would be expensive to replace the speakers if is a problem with them.
    The tone cut works as it does for most. Darker when left, brighter when right. When its "fully on", I go to neck pickup and its still pretty farty. Bridge pickup sounds great but for the old bluesy tone neck pickup is better.

    I've borrowed my friends epiphone les paul which has 500k pots in it. No real difference with the bass sound, just too much treble. The difference with 250k and 500k pots in my tele deluxe isn't too noticeable.

    I'm using the normal channel. The top boost I had the bass at about 10 o'clock and treble at 2 o'clock, so extra bright. Still quite flabby on neck pickup (250k and 500k humbuckers and 250k single coils). And then ridiculously bright on bridge pickup (same pups and pot config as stated above)


    Thanks for all the quick replies.
    I'm also wondering how the AC15C2 compares to amps like the Fender Bassman and Blues Deluxe. I'm getting into blues and tweed amps sound great for that. A lot of the music I'm listening to these days, the artists are using tweeds or plexi style amps. I may swap the AC15 for a marshall or Blues Deluxe or something, or keep it and get another.Plus the amp collection needs to grow :)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  7. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I put Tung Sols in the preamp and JJs in the power amp. Very happy with my sound now.
     
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  8. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    How long do they last?
     
  9. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    The normal channel has always been tough to get right for me. I ended up just running a pedal to it with a lot of EQ control (Friedman BE OD) as always on. That would be my advice, just get some kind of always on tone control pedal with separate bass, mid, treble and presence controls. Maybe just go ahead and get one of those 10 band mxr EQ pedals.
     
  10. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've only had my AC15 a couple of years now and they're going strong. I had a Marshall that had tubes last 10 years, but I'm sure it all depends on how much you play, how loud you are, how much you move it around, etc.
     
    Tootle likes this.
  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    The vox sound is about the top boost channel. The normal channel starts moving you toward say a Deluxe Reverb which is a bit more rounded. You use that bright sound of the top boost to get some distortion/splash to the chords, some call it chime.

    If you don't like the sound of the amp and it sounds like you don't, move to another amp. Bonamassa territory is more Fender recently but also traditionally Marshall. May I propose a Deluxe Reverb Reissue with some pedals or the Marshall DSL40c for the type of sounds he uses on stage. (Although you hear him playing a lot of different amps these days). Another amp suggestion would be a Vibrolux for stage volume. Your guitar has humbuckers so that's going to drive the amp a bit more than single coil guitars.

    I generally don't use my SG with my Vox AC15C1 (15 watts but a loud 15) because it just pushes the amp in an unpleasant way. I generally use a strat or tele with the VOX. The same unpleasant tone to a lesser extent comes with my SG and my DRRI (22 Watts). The SG matches better to my Vibrolux (40 Watts) and Marshall DSL40c (20/40 watts) because they can deliver cleaner low end with humbuckers.
     
  12. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    I really like to normal channel more than the top boost. Even though it doesn't have the eq control.

    I'm thinking maybe something like the Flux-Five or Seymour Duncan 805 with a built in EQ. I almost bought a boss GE-7 for about £15. Just missed it!!

    I don't have a case for it yet. I need to as I'm finding myself transporting it more recently. The roads around me are sh*t so something may have bounced out of place. Busy at the moment but will check all tubes are seated properly. For volume, at home I'm at about 70db, unmic-ed gig - master on full, mic-ed gig, master between 12 and 3 o'clock (depending on how annoying the sound man is :) )
     
  13. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    I've considered it. Although this amp has been played by me many times at different gigs or shows, whether it was a festival or in the pit for a musical. On my bridge pickup for classic rock, it sounds great - cuts through the mix brilliantly. Its just the neck is a bit muddy. I'm looking at OD pedals with EQ, like the Flux-Five as it definitely is the best amp I've used for clean tones! The Vox just has a bit of sentimental value as its the first 'proper' amp I've got.

    I've tried guitars with single coils and it sounds brilliant. Makes them sound so much brighter!
    The humbuckers I have are custom wound to be pretty hot (signature guitar of lead guitarist of Foo Fighters, Chris Shiflett. Another reason I bought the Vox, other than the fact its a great amp. He got a great tone out of it on the Wasting Light Album)
     
  14. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep do this!!

    You can experiment with 12AT7 in position V1

    Top boost tone is killer blues tone. Rory G did ok
     
  15. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    Yeh. I love his tone. I think the tubes are the first thing I'll try as they aren't as expensive.
     
  16. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Could it be your neck pickup? Maybe the pickup itself is quite muddy and or boomy. Because here's the thing. If you like how the bridge pickup sounds, whatever you do to your EQ, is going to effect the bridge and dial it away from the tone you want. Maybe consider lowering your neck pickup significantly, or changing out to a different pickup all together.

    I've never had to hit an EQ pedal to go from neck to bridge on any guitar amp I've had.

    If your pickups are wound 'hot' like you say, that explains it. I 'hot' neck pickup sounds like it does through your amp. Try something with less windings in the neck for more treble, less boomy bass. I've always been VERY picky about neck humbuckers for this reason. They can get muddy and boomy easily.
     
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  17. LukeStrong

    LukeStrong TDPRI Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their input. My main thoughts are I need to adapt as when I haven't played through my vox, I've been borriwing a friend's TSL100 and '60s marshall 4x12. Other than that I could try an eq pedal or new tubes. Any other suggestion like speaker choices are welcome and thanks to everyone again. But thanks to all so far
     
  18. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Interesting thread. Certainly a finicky amp, but worth the trouble when dialed in. I'm in the process of getting new tubes for mine. I had the problem noted by bendercaster above--it got weaker as the (stock) tubes wore out.

    Fjrabon is onto something here. I found that for a classic blues tone, going through the normal channel EQ'd by a pedal or two worked best. Assuming you can play it fairly loudly to push the tubes naturally. This way, you're more in control of break-up with your note attack, guitar settings, etc.

    Otherwise, yeah, try new tubes, and be super careful with the controls. Each of my guitars has its own very picky golden pocket on that amp. Took me nearly two years to figure it all out. But it's worth it.

    Good luck and post again when you've solved the puzzle.
     
  19. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

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    I know that sound you mean like someone blowing their nose and I get it through my AC 15 on the Little 59 bridge. So humbuckers probably have something to do with this.
     
  20. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like your pickups are unbalanced. I second the suggestion to play with pickup height. I regularly put the bass side of neck pickups lower than the treble side.
     
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