King Donkey, on september 20, 2011 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: A$ 300
Features: The Vox AC4TV is a very simple Class A all-tube amp. It has three controls - tone, volume and output level. For what is primarily a practise amp, that is all you need. Tone alters the brightness of the sound and volume is rather self-explanatory (around the 12 o'clock position it develops an overdrive). The output level switch allows you to change the wattage. You have a choice between 1/4W, 1W and 4W. I would not use this amp for anything other than practising at home or with my band but that is what it's for and it performs quite comfortably. The only thing I believe it is lacking is a reverb control.
From the Vox site:
Controls: Tone, Volume, OP Level (4W, 1W, W)
In/Out Jacks: Input, External Speaker Jack (')
Output: 4 Watt RMS 16-Ohm
Speakers: AC4TV 1 x 10" 16-Ohm Celestion VX10 custom speaker;
Valve/Tube Complement: 1 x 12AX7 (pre) / 1 x EL84 (power)
AC4TV Dimensions: 13.78" (W) x 8.46" (D) x 14.76" (H);
AC4TV Weight: 19.84 lbs.;
Power cable included // 9
Sound: I use an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus and I mostly play classic rock music, sometimes dabbling with a bit of early Metallica-style metal.
It should come at no surprise that an all-tube Vox performs classic rock to perfection. You can easily get some chunky Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple style overdrive happening by adjusting the volume and tone control. However, if you are looking to achieve a sound heavier than classic rock without the aid of pedals then you will be disappointed.
I don't use clean settings nearly as often as I crank out some overdrive but I still enjoy the warm clean tones it offers. It doesn't take much volume before the sound breaks into overdrive however so don't expect to get exceedingly loud pure cleans.
The amp responds well to pedals and adjustments to the guitar settings. The max volume it gets to could potentially struggle at a band practise, depending on how loud you wish to be.
Unfortunately the amp is rather noisy and constant whirring noises are easily audible, at times these have actually transcended to a unpleasant high-pitched squeal. It is a very short sound and isn't ear-splitting but it is still a little annoying. // 6
Reliability & Durability: This amp hasn't been used much but I can't see it breaking down on me anytime soon. Vox amplifiers are generally quite robust and if regular tube amp precautions are taken then it should last for awhile. Those high-pitched squeals I mentioned are a little worrisome though. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall I can say I appreciate this amp. It is a handy little thing to have in my bedroomand suits my predominantly classic rock music taste well. I'm not sure if I would have actually chosen this amp for myself (my dad bought it for himself but now I'm the only one that uses it). If it broke down then I wouldn't be particularly devastated and I doubt I would readily seek the same model as replacement. With just three controls it isn't very versatile so if you're after something that gives you a decent variety of sounds then I wouldn't recommend it. As an amp that just stays in my room // 7
Battery Chicken, on july 17, 2012 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Allan's
Features: The detailed specs are above, 4w tube combo. 10" speaker. Volume, tone and power attenuator to knock it down to a quarter watt to save the neighbors. It's a basic tube practice amp with very few frills. You couldn't use this in a band, even cranked out you'd be hard pressed to compete with a drummer. I bought this late 2009. Also they do look pretty cool. // 7
Sound: I'm a blues/rock player and use this with a 93 American Standard Stratocaster. I'm a 35 year old guy whose gigging days are a thing of the past, so I wanted a low wattage amp for mucking around on and occasionally recording. The clean tones are quite bright, think early Beatles. With mid volume it will start to break up reasonably easily depending how hard you attack the strings. Push the volume all the way up and things start to go from crunch to mud by the time you hit upper volume. Obviously it sounds better at 4w but is serviceable at the 1 and 1/4 watt settings. To be honest I'm not in love with the Vox sound, but this was really the only thing out there at the time, apart from modeling amps. I prefer a little more bass and the mids hollowed out. It really doesn't have much of a bottom end, but obviously you can't expect miracles from a 10" speaker. It's an okay little amp, I'd certainly recommend it to a beginner. // 6
Reliability & Durability: It's been pretty good on the reliability front, I've had a child in between buying it and now and took a year hiatus from playing electrically. I really should've warmed up the tubes every now and again, but I'm lazy so I didn't. Regardless it kicked back in a year later without a squeak. Speaking of squeaks, don't know what the dude above is talking about, haven't had a single issue with unwanted feedback or random sounds. I wouldn't gig with it, but if I did I'd be confident it would hold up just fine. // 10
Overall Impression: I'm more of a blues player than anything, and If I were in the market again for a low watt amp I'd probably be looking at the Fender Vibro Champ. That being said in the price bracket there is nothing terribly wrong with the AC4, but there's nothing terribly right with it either. It does the job, but it doesn't exactly inspire you either. // 7
TEKarma, on november 07, 2012 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Features: This is a simple little 4 watt tube amplifier, made in China in 2012. It has one 12AX7 tube in the preamp, and one EL84 tube in the power amp. It comes with a 10 Celestion speaker and a 16ohm speaker out that disables the internal speaker, and a mere 3 control knobs: volume, tone and output level. The output level is an attenuator, allowing you to play at the full 4 watts, or knock it down to either 1 watt or 1/4 watt.
I play classic rock and bluesy punk stuff, and this hit the spot for dirty sounds. It doesn't do cleans, unless you don't need the cleans too loud. Given that this is a small, light, cheap tube amp, there aren't any other features that I would have needed to see here. In fact, the simplicity is what attracted me to the AC4TV. // 7
Sound: The other AC4 models come with separate gain and master volumes, and more complex tone controls, but I wanted the raw sound of this little monster. I like the sound of power tube saturation and this Vox delivers. With my Fender American Standard Strat and Tele this amp begins to break up about 1/4 of the way up on the volume. The break up continues pretty evenly up to halfway on the volume. Pushed just past halfway the the amp doesn't get much louder, but the breakup gets richer as the power tube begins to overload. With the P90 on my PRS SE Korina One or the humbuckers on my Hagstrom Viking, the overdrive terrific for such a small amp; think Pete Townshend, or Billy Gibbons.
What the AC4TV can't really do though is clean. You have to dial back on your single-coils volume and keep the below the 1/3 mark to get a clean sound and volume that works for practice or home recording. Gigging? No way.
The output level control works great, knocking the amp down to respectable volumes when the volume is turned up. Make no mistake though, the amp is loud. On 4 watts, the amp is loud enough to hurt your ears (but don't try to keep up with a drummer). At 1 watt, the volume won't bother neighbors much until you get past halfway up on the volume. At 1/4 watt, you can play fairly quietly, but the tone of the amp is a bit squashed.
The tone control is moderately effective. You can shape the sound, but it doesn't represent a huge sweep from bass to treble. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I've owned this amp for 4 months now, and have had no problems at all. I expect it to be simple enough that not much can really go wrong with it. I got it for home use, and don't think it's versatile enough to want to gig with it. // 8
Overall Impression: This small, light, grab and go amp sounds great turned up. You can get a seriously overdriven sound without shaking the walls (much). Or you can attenuate it and play a respectable levels without losing very mush tone. Attenuated all the way down to 1/4 the amp no longer sounds quite as good, but still sounds alright. For the money, this amp is exactly what I was looking for: a raw, rich overdrive machine.