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#682
Just thought I'd share this since this thread seems to have come back from the dead.





I posted a NAD thread a few weeks ago but I figure this thread could use some pics. It's a 1964 AC30 top boost. I think I got a great deal, having paid less than what a brand new C2 costs, with a heavy duty packhorse road case thrown in at no extra cost (those cases themselves are pretty expensive!). It does need a few things checked over by a tech, too, as most 'road worn' vintage amps do. But despite the obvious cosmetic issues, the amp's electronics are mostly original, and it sounds stunning. the speakers are late '60s G12M "blackbacks".

I think I like the normal channel best. It's got the most transparent response and balanced frequency curve, and is the one that handles overdrive pedals best too. The brilliant/top boost channel brings out a bit too much "fizziness" in most pedals (but it's great for sparkling cleans, with and without mod/delay effects etc), and the vib-trem channel is the main thing that needs to be looked at by someone who knows what they are doing
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#684
Quote by Will Lane
^Wow, neat! This one, right? http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac30-6_twin.html

The EF86 was taken out at the time I think? I have only had experience with newer AC's so I really want to play a few older models for the kicks one day. Sweet find!

Yep, that's the one. That's what mine would've originally looked like

The original AC30/4 had an EF86, but that model was scrapped and replaced by the AC30/6 model quite early on due to the EF86 having microphonic feedback issues at higher volumes. the top boost circuit was then introduced as a factory modification for the AC30/6 in response to customers complaining that the AC30/6 wasn't as bright sounding as the AC30/4.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#685
Quote by Will Lane
^Wow, neat! This one, right? http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac30-6_twin.html

The EF86 was taken out at the time I think? I have only had experience with newer AC's so I really want to play a few older models for the kicks one day. Sweet find!

They brought the EF86 back for at least this one :
http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac30h2l.html
I'm be afraid to gig with that one though.


Quote by Blompcube
Just thought I'd share this since this thread seems to have come back from the dead.....

And Vox threads will never die, at least not while I still live and there is breath in my body.
And I remember your NAD of that amp. Made me drool.

I want to get another Valvetronix.
I miss the one I had (Had to sell it for moving money ).
And an AC15 and an AC4.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Dec 1, 2015,
#686
I agree that this thread needs to stay alive.

I found some of my old posts from 2007 in here. Reading about how much I loved my AD50VT back then almost makes me regret that I traded it in to pay for an orange 4x12 about 2 years ago. But then I remind myself, I have an AC30 now, which is what I always wanted even then
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#687
Quote by Blompcube
I agree that this thread needs to stay alive.

I found some of my old posts from 2007 in here. Reading about how much I loved my AD50VT back then almost makes me regret that I traded it in to pay for an orange 4x12 about 2 years ago. But then I remind myself, I have an AC30 now, which is what I always wanted even then
Speaking of that, I find it somewhat humorous that most of the VOX units on the first page are either a Wah or something VT. I still want something VT myself, though! Tempted to pick up the AD50VT at the moment, they are less than $200.
Last edited by Will Lane at Dec 2, 2015,
#688
Quote by Will Lane
Speaking of that, I find it somewhat humorous that most of the VOX units on the first page are either a Wah or something VT. I still want something VT myself, though! Tempted to pick up the AD50VT at the moment, they are less than $200.

The VTs are great modelers unless you need like 6505 levels of dirt.
I had an AD50VT.
Left it at a friends house (her BF played bass and we would jam, and since I also had and AD30VT, it was just easier to leave it there).
Then when I went to California to take care of my dad, she got in some financial shit, she pawned then AD50VT, then lost it.
But Karma got her back (Long story but will related if you wanna hear it)..
#690
Quote by Will Lane
Sure, tell it!

OK then.
We all lived in Nevada, she was in Reno.
First I knew but her pawning the amp.
And although I had been living in Stagecoach, I was in Southern California when we talked about her pawning it.
It took her awhile, but I relented.
I had known here for years, even lived in her basement for a while, and had been buying my weed from her for years. Hell, she would even give me credit on weed if I was short money.
Anyway, my one condition was that she DID NOT LOSE IT to the pawn shop.
She promised profusely that she would not lose it.
Shortly after she pawned it, she was evicted (Which was expected) and she moved to some coastal Northern California town.
About a month before the pawn ticket was due, she was in Reno (visiting for whatever reason), and I tried over and over again to call her.
I was willing to Western Union her the money to get the amp out of the pawn shop.
But she never answered her phone.

Now comes the Karma part.
Since she had moved to California, her car never would have passed smog certification and some counties in Nevada don't require smog certification.
So she had to pretty much lie to the insurance company and the DMV that she was a till living in Nevada.
I asked my mom, and she agreed, to let her use my moms place as her address (The county my mom lives in doesn't require smog certification).
When mail came for her, my mom would forward it to her in California, with the DMV and insurance company being none the wiser.

Well when she lost my amp to the pawn shop she said shit like "It wasn't my fault", "I'm not responsible for it", and other BS like that.

I was PISSED.
So I told my mom to stop forwarding her mail and do a "Not at this address, return to sender" with her mail.
Well, come auto and insurance registration time, the letters came to my mom's house and my mom sent the letter back to the DMV and insurance company.

And apparently my now EX-friend never even thought about the DMV, insurance and having to re-register her car.

Because she came back to Reno one day and got pulled over. Expired tags on her license plates.
NO current registration, no current insurance.
The police confiscated and impounded her car right then and there.
She called me, and boy, was she PISSED.
I reminded her of my lost amp, her promise, laughed at her over the phone and hung up.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Dec 2, 2015,
#691
^Goodness. That is why I never loan my friends that smoke pot my gear. Unrelated, I don't have any friends that smoke pot. XD Still though, that is rough.

About the cabinet I posted about the other day, here is his listing: https://reverb.com/item/1182863-vox-2-x-10-cabinet-black

NOT Celestion Alnico Blues, but bulldogs. I cannot find much information on the speakers, though.
#692
Quote by Blompcube
I agree that this thread needs to stay alive.

I found some of my old posts from 2007 in here. Reading about how much I loved my AD50VT back then almost makes me regret that I traded it in to pay for an orange 4x12 about 2 years ago. But then I remind myself, I have an AC30 now, which is what I always wanted even then


I still have my AD50VT as my main gigging amp! It's a good old dependable horse. Probably the second-oldest piece of gear I own after my Ibanez.
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Enjoy occasionally controversial ramblings related to guitars? I have a blog which meets these criteria.
#693
Quote by Will Lane
^Goodness. That is why I never loan my friends that smoke pot my gear. Unrelated, I don't have any friends that smoke pot. XD Still though, that is rough.

About the cabinet I posted about the other day, here is his listing: https://reverb.com/item/1182863-vox-2-x-10-cabinet-black

NOT Celestion Alnico Blues, but bulldogs. I cannot find much information on the speakers, though.
The one I saw for $700 was more about the size of one of the Beetle type cabs, but it wasn't a beetle cab and the grill was torn to shit in several places.
Sill, I almost got it.
If the grill wasn't torn to shit, I would have bought it.
It was right after my dad died and I got a $10k insurance check and treated myself to a few grand worth of toys.


Quote by Tombe
I still have my AD50VT as my main gigging amp! It's a good old dependable horse. Probably the second-oldest piece of gear I own after my Ibanez.
Yeah, I really miss my AD30VT more than the AD50VT.
More for portability reasons than anything else.
#694
Today I noticed that the top boost EQ on my AC30 affects the normal channel in some subtle way, and that channel seems to really come to life with the treble and bass controls maxed out. Makes no sense, since the top boost stuff is meant to only work for the "brilliant" channel.

I find this interesting. Lots of old amps have unusual quirks like this. like how turning up the volume of channels other than the one you're using on a tweed fender can affect the response of the channel you actually are using. I guess it's the same type of thing here.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#695
If you have seen any of my posts about cathode followers, you will know I am a confused man concerning the topic. I thought I would post about it once more concerning VOX amps but rather than make a new thread or post in Quick Questions again, I'll post here to help any other VOX users.

Cathode followers are buffers(?) that drive the tone stack of an amplifier, and as such they have more of a workload than the other tubes. Often this position is V2. Some tubes, particularly from New Sensor, cannot handle the workload and will not last long in a cathode follower/V2 position. At least that is a rough idea. Those tubes are the Sovtek 12AX7LPS, EH, Tung Sol reissue, Mullard reissue, Genelax reissue, and New Sensor Svetlanas. Link And there are some unlisted there as well I think.

I have an AC30C2 that has had a TS 12AX7 RI in V2 for quite a while. So I emailed KORG to see if V2 was a cathode follower and they said yes, although they also stated their service records do not indicate any problems with certain brands in V2. So I have bought a JJ to swap it out but have not had the chance to quite yet. As I was playing the AC30 earlier tonight however, with the TS still in V2, I did notice that my clean tone was getting progressively more and more dirty as the playing time increased. I also feel it has been doing that and I am just now noticing.

It is my understanding that TS is not the worst for cathode followers, Mullard RI often are. So just a heads up. JJ tubes will work in a CF position. Also VOX amps have had cathode followers in V2 for quite a while so chances are your VOX has one too (if it has 3 preamp positions, anyway).

EDIT: After changing V2 from a TS to JJ, I noticed that the TS's internal wiring looked quite tarnished or burnt. It may have been like that new, but I doubt it. To double-check I looked at some other preamp tubes I had and their internals were all brown copper colored as they should be. Sound-wise I did not notice much a difference with the JJ except for when the amp had been on for a while. It kept clean much better than with the TS.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jan 3, 2016,
#696
I noticed something odd with the treble/bass controls on the AC30C2.

Boosting the treble cuts the bass some, and boosting the bass cuts the treble some. Boosting them both at the same time kind of results in a stalemate. It is hard to explain and I need to listen to it again. But any clue why it does that/how it could be beneficial?
#697
A customer came in with a VOX AD120VT that was in need of some work. When turned on the amp would warm up and a light buzz would come through the speakers, but the interface would not light up and no sound would come through from the guitar. He also said that when it did turn on, it would cut off after a while and suggested that moving some of the jacks in the back of the amp would fix that temporarily.

I opened up the amp and there was a T1AL fuse in an awful place to get to, underneath some boards and chassis at an angle. I managed to get it out fairly easily with a hook-poker, the fuse was secure by clips. Sure enough, the fuse was blown. We had some T1AL's (hurray!) and I replaced it by sticking one side with duct tape and the other side of the tape was attached to my finger. Genius! The amp lit up and sound came out, but one of the speakers was kind of farting. I contact cleaned the spade ends and secured them a little better and both speakers seem to be working. I also contact cleaned those jacks in the back and the amp has not cut off, going on 40 minutes now.

Now I have only played around with the AC30TB channel and it sounds surprisingly like my AC30C2! You have to bump up the gain quite a lot then roll of the volume on your guitar, but once you do that it sounds really great! The saturated tones sound pretty nice but maybe a little muddy. The interface is pretty easy to use, and I think I know how to save presets. But yeah, 'twas a fun adventure.

I did suggest to him to get a new pair of 12AX7's just to make sure they will not blow anytime soon. The tips of them poke out in the chassis and I could feel that they were not really that hot.
Last edited by Will Lane at Mar 21, 2016,
#698
Does anybody know where I can get replacements for the four screws that hold the amplifier tray into the cabinet? There are 2 on each side. This is a Vox ac30cc2x. Thanks
Old guitar players never die...they just lose the tension in their G strings.
#700
Quote by Will Lane
I got to play on this beast today. Non-master volume bliss.

Very nice - that looks like one of the early Korg era AC30TB reissues?

I've never played one of these but I have been told lots of times that the sound is very close to the original JMIs.

I'll bet that even at the volume you had it set to there it was ferociously loud - the classic AC30 circuit doesn't really have a "quiet" setting.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#701
Quote by Blompcube
Very nice - that looks like one of the early Korg era AC30TB reissues?

I've never played one of these but I have been told lots of times that the sound is very close to the original JMIs.

I'll bet that even at the volume you had it set to there it was ferociously loud - the classic AC30 circuit doesn't really have a "quiet" setting.
Yes it is a RI, although I can't really find info on them on the VOX Showroom site. And yes, it was loud. Those were my settings, actually. It was as loud as the drums, and our drummer was going all out too. Perfect blend of clean and overdriven, it felt really nice. I really want to find one/something like it soon. What is the closest I can get to it with a master volume?

EDIT: Here it is. http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac30tbx.html
Last edited by Will Lane at May 21, 2016,
#702
I know exactly what you mean by "perfect blend of clean and overdriven", but have no idea how you'd accomplish the same type of tone with a master volume amp. This is the reason why I had to have a non master volume AC30. That sound... Can't beat it, imo

How I run my AC30 at the moment is with a boost into the normal channel. I have a homemade colorsound overdriver clone which I use as both a boost and a 2 band EQ, this gives me a hint of the "top boost" sound out of the normal channel, only it's marginally smoother and warmer due to the channel voicing, and handles distortion pedals a lot better as the top boost circuit tends to exaggerate the buzzy/fizzy overtones a bit too much. It also allows me to get a bit of overdrive from the preamp, without having to turn the amp up excessively loud.

For full on distortion - I use a Boss DS-2. I don't care what anyone says about Boss distortions - mine always sounded great with my Laney VC30 and sounds even better into my Vox AC30. I was going to build myself something a bit more 'fancy' for the pedalboard I'm in the process of putting together, like a MOSFET overdrive or something, but I think this is a case of "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#703
If any of you lovely people are in the Raleigh NC area and you want an insane deal on a UK 90's AC30 6/TB (AC30 TB, considered *one of* the best of the newer production models), https://raleigh.craigslist.org/msg/5622996080.html

I'd get it myself but I won't be able to get down to that area anytime soon.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jul 15, 2016,
#704
I would not consider that the best of the newer production models. The HW series or the BM run might be up there, depending on what you want, or to be honest the CC series were warmer and fatter sounding to me than the Korg stuff. I haven't seen prices in a while but a few years ago 1200 wasn't a terribly low price for one of those, either.

I'm sure it's a nice amp but I wouldn't call it an insane price on the best modern AC30 by a long shot.
#705
I played on an AC50CPH today at GC. I did not like it much and I do not think it was exactly the amp's fault. It was running through a Marshall 4x12 cab, first of all. And of course it was used, so I think the valves were very worn. The clean-clean stuff was okay but did not sound VOX to me. I could not turn it up very much of course, though. The more compressed stuff sounded fizzy, fuzzy. I saw EL34's in the power section which may also attribute a bit different sound compared to the EL84's. From what I researched, channel one is a typical TB circuit, but channel two was something not-VOX, more like a Marshall 70's high-gain stack. Not my jive. :/

Quote by Roc8995
I would not consider that the best of the newer production models. The HW series or the BM run might be up there, depending on what you want, or to be honest the CC series were warmer and fatter sounding to me than the Korg stuff. I haven't seen prices in a while but a few years ago 1200 wasn't a terribly low price for one of those, either.

I'm sure it's a nice amp but I wouldn't call it an insane price on the best modern AC30 by a long shot.
Hmm. I get a lot of conflicting information learning about the recent models. I have not been able to try all the new production stuff so I was going off of mostly research. And as you said, "depending on what you want", my "want" may be different than yours. I edited my post to not be so absolute...

But speaking of TBX's, I really wish I had the money right now for this one. He told me $750 to have the Blues replaced with the GB's. https://norfolk.craigslist.org/msg/5679081981.html
Last edited by Will Lane at Jul 15, 2016,
#706
The CPH lineup was a flop, it's not just you who didn't like them. From your description it sounds like the amp might have been working fine. They were pretty damn fuzzy.

It's funny to see the revisionism in reviews of the Korg Voxes years later. When the CC series came out, it was hailed as the savior of the Vox name because the Korg amps had been so expensive and uninspiring. Only after 10 years of top-notch Chinese Voxes have the Korg ones become "good" again, perhaps in a similar way to how 70s Fenders were undesirable until they became 'vintage.'
Of course, that's just what I remember from the Korg - CC transition. It doesn't say anything directly about the quality of the amps.

However, having played all of those models, I don't think highly of the TB/TBX lineup compared to the others. They're decent enough amps, but they just don't have anything to offer over the new Vox models. If you don't need the trem circut, the HW series did everything the TB series did but without the harsh top end, and a smarter layout. If you do want the trem circuit, the CC/C2 series had it, plus reverb and a master volume. This is just my experience, but my suspicion is that people get all starry-eyed about the "Made in England" badge and ignore what are, to me, clearly better sounding and more flexible amps in the CC/C2/HW series. Of course, this assumes that people have actually played all of those. If you've been playing the same AC30 since 1996 and are happy with it, that's great. But if you're looking for an AC30 now, I would strongly suggest the CC and C2 series over the Korg models.

There is a range of opinion about the recent models, for all sorts of reasons. A lot of people were not happy that they were made in China, and they had some serious issues with the rectifiers in the first run that turned a lot of people off. The Wharfedale speakers in the CCs were not great, and of course with any re-work of an iconic amp you're going to have some people unhappy with the result.

I'll put it this way: I can dial in a CCX to sound like a TBX, but not the other way around. So I have to wonder what the other factors might be, because I've played a fair number of all of these amps and I remember when nobody wanted a Korg.

(This is all about the AC30, by the way. The CC1 AC15s were not as good IMO, while the AC15TBX was quite nice.)
Last edited by Roc8995 at Jul 15, 2016,
#707
I think the reason why the Korg TBX models are desirable now (Btw, the CC, C2, HW etc. are still Korg) is because they are the closest you can get to the sound of an original JMI era AC30 without buying an actual vintage JMI AC30, and generally a lot easier to obtain for more reasonable prices.

Of course there is no objective "best", but when talking about reissues people tend to use the word "best" when they mean "closest to the original".

Also I think there are lots of people out there who think they want an authentic vintage tone, but in reality they don't want to have to work as hard for their tone as they will need to to get a tone that's anywhere near as good as they expect from a 'true' vintage style amp. My JMI era AC30 is about as unforgiving as they get when it comes to exaggerating sloppy playing so I have to pay very close attention to the accuracy of my technique all the time, but that's just the way they are, and the same applies to the TBX. the newer CC/C2/HW/etc are much more forgiving, but IMO much less rewarding too.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#708
Quote by Blompcube
I think the reason why the Korg TBX models are desirable now (Btw, the CC, C2, HW etc. are still Korg) is because they are the closest you can get to the sound of an original JMI era AC30 without buying an actual vintage JMI AC30, and generally a lot easier to obtain for more reasonable prices.

Of course there is no objective "best", but when talking about reissues people tend to use the word "best" when they mean "closest to the original".

Also I think there are lots of people out there who think they want an authentic vintage tone, but in reality they don't want to have to work as hard for their tone as they will need to to get a tone that's anywhere near as good as they expect from a 'true' vintage style amp. My JMI era AC30 is about as unforgiving as they get when it comes to exaggerating sloppy playing so I have to pay very close attention to the accuracy of my technique all the time, but that's just the way they are, and the same applies to the TBX. the newer CC/C2/HW/etc are much more forgiving, but IMO much less rewarding too.
Does it also do the "ghost note" thing? I saw that the Hayseed 30 amps, in lieu of being as accurate as possible to an original JMI circuit, purposely are designed to let that happen. I am not a guy who wants the vintage or "as close to vintage" amp as possible, I just want the one that sounds the best for what I do. I really just need to try some CC2's and some HW's...
Last edited by Will Lane at Jul 16, 2016,
#709
Quote by Will Lane
Does it also do the "ghost note" thing? I saw that the Hayseed 30 amps, in lieu of being as accurate as possible to an original JMI circuit, purposely are designed to let that happen. I am not a guy who wants the vintage or "as close to vintage" amp as possible, I just want the one that sounds the best for what I do. I really just need to try some CC2's and some HW's...

I think mine still does that to a small extent when it's cranked, but I don't really crank it up loud. It definitely did when I got it first but I've had it serviced since then and now it's too loud to crank up enough to cause the ghost notes to be noticeable.
Happiness is a warm Vox AC30
#710
I decided to perform the bright cap mod on the C2, which the cap for the TB channel is C15. It was surprisingly more difficult than I imagined since C15 is almost underneath the top ledge of the control panel. I wanted to just lift the leg out one of the PCB holes so I could easily reverse it but the leg ended up snapping. Oh well- The bloody thing seems brighter!

Maybe I am just used to hearing the amp through the layers of a warm mic, cabling and routing through my Church building's sound system. I am sure the amp is not actually brighter, but it definitely feels as such and I changed some settings to compensate. My ears are ringing a bit. I was hoping it would help take away some of the hard-compression, dense OD sounds and make it more akin to the TBX series- I do not think it did. As far as the main purpose of clipping the bright cap - taking pedals better - it seems to but without A/B'ing signals I cannot really tell for sure. It is not something I feel like I should have to go back and restore. We will see in a band mix and through the system if it was more beneficial than the trouble I went through.

I want to do a review of the C2 soon anyways, as I have had the amp for over a year now and I think I am able to look past any initial biasing and really put the amp through its paces.

EDIT: Here is that review.

Last edited by Will Lane at Oct 12, 2016,