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Vox AC15HW1X - Classic Vox Chime?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by HaroldBKNY, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    Is the Vox AC15HW1X capable of achieving the classic Vox chimey tone? If so, what settings do you recommend?
     
  2. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    If by "classic vox chime" you mean:

    Classic voiced top boost channel with cathode follower- check.

    Tube rectified and choke filtered power supply- check.

    Alnico blue speaker - check

    Cut control- check

    Hi and low input jacks - check

    As for settings. I like these on Top Boost Channel with a les paul with P-90s : Gain 12 o'clock, Treble 2 o'clock, Bass 10 o'clock - cut control to taste - Master volume and Pentode/Triode Switch set to whatever it takes to get the right sound at an acceptable volume.
     
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  3. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    Hah, I know it checks all the boxes, doesn't it? I don't have too much experiences with vox amps, but to me I just have trouble getting the sound I want out of it. It sounds so modern, and not too different from a Fender or Marshall, depending on gain settings. Maybe the problem is that I turn up the gain too high, and I need to keep the volume at 2 or 3 instead of 5 or 6.
     
  4. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    I like to keep my voxes right at the edge of breakup for maximum touch sensitivity. Play light for clean and medium for a hairy edge and heavy for some dirt. For most of my amps that is noon on the volume knob
     
  5. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    Do vintage voxes actually get as much gain as this one does? I once played an AC30 from the mid 60s and it didn't break up too well at all. It was mostly good for a jangly clean sound.
     
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  6. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Holic

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    Don't forget.. these VOX tone settings are " interactive" or better, they interfere with each other. So very small changes result in HUGE tonal changes. And of course, the type of guitar you are using will dictate your settings. Swapping guitars.... yep.. changes to the tone controls are needed. Of course, you did not mention what is any stomp boxes you are having in your chain. another thing that you really need to look at , some boxes work great... others don't and will have you chase your tail for weeks.

    Vox's amps take some time to dial in but once done they just SOMETHING that no other amps have. It's in there..somewhere!! I have two AC 15's, one with the Alnico Blue, the other one with the Greenback, Different soundings! Ok here is the answer on a question you have not asked (yet). I prefer the Greenback. The Blue is " too polite" less in-the-face. Somewhat less responsive to string attck . But that is my personal opinion.
    BTW I used to have a HW 15... I sold it because it did not have a reverb and was HEAVY as hell ( and BIG ) compared with the standard AC15. Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    Just wanted to chime in as these Vox threads often make it sound a really complicated amp to dial in.
    My experience - and i guess the reason I still play one now (AC30 HWH) - is they are a simple 'plug and play' amp that sounds great clean or dimed.
    Definitely complex in sound, tone is very interactive but certainly not difficult. They do weigh a ton, though.
    Compared to say, an Engl or Mesa The Vox is straightforward, what you see is what you get. Quite like a Fender.
    Very controllable from the guitar's volume knob, I set volume a bit over half way and use the guitar to go from clean to unclean.

    And being handwired they are easy to mod - a common change is to reduce the modern power supply filtering (which actually makes the amp very quiet, but a bit 'stiff') in line with JMI specs, which I think makes it a bit less immediate and in your face, more vintage.
     
  8. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    That sounds really interesting, and possibly exactly I'm looking for. I'd love to try it out! Could you link me to another thread or a site that details what components to change?
     
  9. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    Very interesting, I thought the blues gave you “more” of everything
     
  10. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    It's definitely louder than a greenback, for sure.
     
  11. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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  12. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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  13. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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  14. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    I think they both change components to get closer to the vintage JMI values and feel.
    I did it to my AC30, it was easy and pretty cheap - and reversible.
     
  15. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    Speaker break in is huge w Vox. Is speaker broken in on your amp OP?
     
  16. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    Cool, well, I'm definitely gonna do it. Really, the best way I could think of describing the way I dislike the tone is that it's too "modern". Though I don't really know what changing the filter caps does to the sound of an amp, I think it's worth a try, and it'll be a good learning experience.

    And besides, I already modded the amp once to turn the "speaker extension" and "external speaker" jacks into speaker "send" and "receive" jacks (so I could use my attenuator with it, and play other amps through the internal speaker), so the resale value is probably already gone.
     
  17. HaroldBKNY

    HaroldBKNY TDPRI Member

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    No clue, got it used
     
  18. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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    Good luck with it, I certainly wasn't disappointed. The first thing I noticed was the slightly softer attack, which was something I liked in old AC30's. But with the mods I think it's as good as my old '64 AC30 (now sold).
    The Nik Player guide walks you through it.
     
  19. Norris Vulcan

    Norris Vulcan Tele-Afflicted

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  20. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Holic

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    But... it that what you want / need? You do not "need" more bass or top end I think, there is enough of that. Y need / want tone and response to playing techniques or "chops". You want a speaker that enhances stomp boxes. My personal opinion is that the Greenback does a better job , it is more aggressive in the frequency band you want your guitar to be shining in (or at). I play single coil guitars exclusively, I am playing clean with some drive / push and want immediate response / feedback to MY EARS when I play. The greenback does a better job for me. That's all.
     
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