#1
I've been reading about vox AC30s, and apparently their seems to be a much better feeling about the U.K. made as opposed to newer Chinese-made models.

Can anybody give any sort of specifics? Maybe someone who has tested both types.

It sounds like if I want to get the nicest Vox, I should pick up a used UK made one.

Thanks for the help.
#2
I've never played the UK made AC30's but I have played the Custom Classics and they are still great amps, I wouldn't be worried about getting one if you decided not to spend money on a UK model.
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#3
Well, i'd assume the build quality of the UK ones are better as they're paying fully skilled engineers (?) to build them, as opposed to any guy from China who stumbles into the factory in China. Plus, the UK is clearly the greatest place in the world.
#4
I'm not sure if the AC30 is the same quality as the AC15, but when I had my AC15 it sounded absolutely horrible, way too much high end frequencies. But if you have the money I would get a JMI 30/6. JMI were the original owners of Vox
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#5
Quote by glemnar
I've been reading about vox AC30s, and apparently their seems to be a much better feeling about the U.K. made as opposed to newer Chinese-made models.

Can anybody give any sort of specifics? Maybe someone who has tested both types.

It sounds like if I want to get the nicest Vox, I should pick up a used UK made one.

Thanks for the help.


ive played both side by side, and own a chinese made handwired one, and i can tell you firsthand there is no difference in sound. the problem people have with the chinese ac30s is the build quality on the custom classic series, which are to be honest, garbage. if you want a newer ac30 get a handwired one. the sound quality is better than any english made ones that aren't originals, and the build quality is superior to due to its handbuilt nature.
#6
Thanks!

I haven't had a chance to play one yet. How well do they handle lower volumes? I don't have really strict low volume practice necessity, but I certainly don't want to deafen myself. (will i lose too much tone at low volume?)
#7
if u like the vox sound, get an ac30 (if u can afford get the blue alnico version). If u dont kick it around and care for it, it will last.

EDIT low volumes sound good. But better when cranked up, the clean sound will get somewhat "dirty" but still clean dont know if i explained myself well. Anyway, sounds amazing
Last edited by Wiintruder at Dec 6, 2009,
#8
Quote by glemnar
Thanks!

I haven't had a chance to play one yet. How well do they handle lower volumes? I don't have really strict low volume practice necessity, but I certainly don't want to deafen myself. (will i lose too much tone at low volume?)



well if it's handwired there really isn't any kind of "low volume" setting if you're running it in full Pentode operation. the taper of the volume knob gets it going very loud very quickly. it hits its full volume at around 1-2 o'clock and from that point on just gets heavier and heavier sounding. if you run it in triode mode it will handle lower volumes very nicely. its a very bright clean sound.
#9
The master volume on the AC30CC is quite good, you shouldn't have any problems getting a good tone at low volumes.

For what it's worth, I thought the AC30CC sounded better than the earlier reissues made in England. They had some early issues with reliability but I haven't seen any problems with the more recent ones, I think they're quite well built. People are very hesitant to trust anything from China, so I think a lot of the hearsay about build quality on the CCs is based on prejudice or experience with the very early models.
#10
I've never heard of the pentode/triode modes. Could you elaborate on that a little?

Thanks for the information guys, will be very handy. The more I look a my favorite artists the more I seem to see vox.
#11
Quote by willT08
Well, i'd assume the build quality of the UK ones are better as they're paying fully skilled engineers (?) to build them, as opposed to any guy from China who stumbles into the factory in China. Plus, the UK is clearly the greatest place in the world.

+1
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#12
Quote by glemnar
I've never heard of the pentode/triode modes. Could you elaborate on that a little?

Thanks for the information guys, will be very handy. The more I look a my favorite artists the more I seem to see vox.


o. on the handwired models, there are 2 switches that flip between half power and full power.
pentode = 30 watts of full, raging volume
triode = 15 watts of somewhat more subdued volume.
its basically just vox's fancy way of saying half power/full power
#14
i didn't like the CC2x i played, it was missing a whole lot of balls. i played a UK made one in a different store and it sounded better but without a master volume you won't be playing quiet at all. imo the ac30 only started to sing when it was being pushed pretty hard, at low volumes it was very mediocre.

EDIT: also for the price of the handwired version you can probably look around for an amp that might suit you better because you are jumping into a pretty high budget level.
Last edited by joe_k at Dec 6, 2009,
#15
What others would you recommend? I made a thread earlier about various types but wasn't getting many responses. Looking at Egnaters, as they have variable wattage control, so that would be a plus. I like the look of Orange's also, but I'm not sure that will give quite the tone I'm looking for (more of a metallish amp?)
Any other suggestions are good too, of course.
#16
if you want a more metal amp then maybe look into an orange rockerverb 50. i played it the same time as i played the cc2x and it made a much better impression on me. the cleans where pretty good, but the gain was ripper. the ac30 to me only sounded nice once it was loud and started to break up a bit. the orange rips much harder. you definately need to try out more amps because if you want to play metal the ac30 isn't the way to go.
#17
Well, that's the thing, I -don't- want a metal amp.
Classic rock of various types, distorted and clean (Zeppelin to Skynyrd), alternative (fairly expansive), and 80s Glam/Stadium (Bon Jovi, Journey) kind of music are what I mostly play.

My mistake, I realize what I said in last post can be taken both ways, hehe.
#18
Quote by joe_k

EDIT: also for the price of the handwired version you can probably look around for an amp that might suit you better because you are jumping into a pretty high budget level.



this. a handwired will run you $2300 +

not exactly cheap. JMI offers an exact replica of the original ac30s for that price. i bought the handwired because i like the modern appointments such as bass shift and the half power modes
#19
Quote by glemnar
Well, that's the thing, I -don't- want a metal amp.
Classic rock of various types, distorted and clean (Zeppelin to Skynyrd), alternative (fairly expansive), and 80s Glam/Stadium (Bon Jovi, Journey) kind of music are what I mostly play.

My mistake, I realize what I said in last post can be taken both ways, hehe.



if thats what you're interested in, then you may be interested in something i discovered tonight. have a look at Metropoulos amps. they make identical replicas of classic marshalls such as the JTM 45, 1959slp, 1987x, 1974x etc. they are priced very nicely and you can either build them yourself or they will hand build them for you for an extra $400. Im strongly considering buying one of their JTM amps. they are hand wired, point to point, everything i've heard has been nothing but fantastic. a JTM 45 will run you $899 and it is in every way identical to the originals.


a vox AC30 is a fantastic amp, but its a little bright for getting the smooth warm tones of skinner and the higher gain of Zeppelin. you definitely want something more along the lines of a plexi. the cab is also hugely important for that sound. you're going to want a closed back cab. the open back of an ac30 means it isn't as tight and focused as a closed back, which you want.
Last edited by Lt. Shinysides at Dec 6, 2009,
#20
^this man speaks the truth. for what you want to play i would definately go a plexi styled amp with a boost. if you want other options there is ceriatone or brownnote which make 18W plexi copies which make it easier to get that plexi tone at a decent volume.
#21
Orange are only really metal amps if you run them with the gain dimed all the time. I tried (and loved) the Rocker 30 and thats much more of a classic rock amp, and the cleans on it are really quite nice IMO.

EDIT: For what your looking at. Look into Valvepower, fantastic little Marshall 18W clones. A few guys on here have them and really rate them. Should get you the tones you want pretty easily.
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Last edited by SimplyBen at Dec 6, 2009,
#22
I want strong clean sounds, preferably with a lot of warmth for Skynyrd and similar tone.

For distortion I like mellower distortion and crunchy leads, as opposed to more screaming kinds of sounds. Journey, Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, The Killers, Queen, RHCP, among countless others.
#23
Will 18 Watts be enough for smaller gigs? Looks like 30 is the usual recommended amount for such.
#24
Quote by glemnar
Will 18 Watts be enough for smaller gigs? Looks like 30 is the usual recommended amount for such.



there isn't a whole lot of percievable volume difference between an 18 watt amp and a 30 watt amp. the 18 will just get dirty earlier and have a little more sag in the bass. its definitely enough for smaller gigs. you probably won't even need to hook it up to a PA unless you're playing a mid sized gig.
#25
Main one I play is outside, atm, so there's a bit more noise dispersion than indoors.

One problem with valvepower seems to be that it's plain ugly. I mean, obviously aesthetics aren't everything, but they certainly factor in.

It also lacks a lot of features, mid/high/low controls, and effects (not that effects are necessary, but they play a part.)
Last edited by glemnar at Dec 6, 2009,
#26
if you still want clean then get a jtm45 clone or something similar which will have that drive, all be it at a liud volume, but will clean up nicely with the volume knob of the guitar.
#27
Quote by joe_k
if you still want clean then get a jtm45 clone or something similar which will have that drive, all be it at a liud volume, but will clean up nicely with the volume knob of the guitar.



this.

its the same wattage as the AC30 to so its volume is somewhat comparable. most clones will also have a master volume control which is absolutely invaluable with something that loud. the clean isn't as good as the AC30 (i personally believe the AC30 has the nicest clean of any amp ever built, so nothing really is lol) but its still a very nice glassy clean and the overdrive is a little bit thicker than the AC30's. if you have a 12 sting the JTM-45 is your amp lol. nothing sounds better through a JTM45 than a 12 string with the volume rolled back a little.
#28
JTMs seem to be a little...not portable, to be honest. I mean, I'm expecting to carry a decent weight, but a huge cab plus the head might be too much for my purposes, especially as a move houses once a week. A head with a 2x12 might still be an option, but I dunno.

What would you suggest in terms of combo amps?

And I don't have a 12 string, hehe.
#29
Quote by glemnar
JTMs seem to be a little...not portable, to be honest. I mean, I'm expecting to carry a decent weight, but a huge cab plus the head might be too much for my purposes, especially as a move houses once a week. A head with a 2x12 might still be an option, but I dunno.

What would you suggest in terms of combo amps?


in terms of combos, you can't go wrong with a 1974x. in my experience though, combos are harder to move than stacks. my AC30 weighs more than 130 lbs. and lifting it by myself is definitely a pain. a marshall JTM head will weigh around 50-70 lbs depending on the wiring, so it can be moved with 1 hand, and the cab has rollers so it's no effort at all. the difference between combo/stack is really down to preference though, that part is all up to you.
#30
can someone clue me in on the differences between the AC30VR, AC30H2, AC30CC and the classic UK Voxes? Can these amps be compared to each other soundwise? Do the old one's start falling apart after a while? And do they only sound nice with their volume at eleven? And if so, how do they handle fuzz, distortion and/or overdrive pedals?

I'm in the possibility of buying a second hand sixties Vox AC30 for some 750 euro's (1000 dollars) but if the new one's are really more reliable, I might be better off buying a VR for 470 euro (650 dollar) or a C2 for 800 euro (1100 dollar) at the local music store, where I can get guarantees and everything.

Off course, there's also the added value of having a classic Vox AC30, which might prove to be a worthy investment, as compared to having a new shiny classic Vox AC30 without the added 'spirit'.

Lots of questions for you guys to answer :-)

Thanks!