#1
hello there, I'm currently shopping around for a new amp head to go with the cab that i built, and i ran into the problem of modern hand-wired amps.

I don't have an unlimited budget, so i was searching around the $1600 max for a head, or head plus a pedal or two and i cam upon both the Orange AD30 and the Vox AC30 Heritage head. While they're very different in price, I know the Orange is built right in Britain, while the Vox, well, maybe in China. The Vox is cheaper, and, admittedly, a different beast than the Orange, but is it really a bad amp purely for being made overseas as opposed to in a Western country? Can you get the same classic, sweet British overdrive from the Vox that you could from the Orange?

I'm a just a little confused, but information or input is greatly appreciated (Also for he record, i play styles ranging from blues to classic rock, to more modern rock, but no metal or generally very high gain stuff)
#2
i think the heritage might be built in the uk.

the orange isn't handwired to the best of my knowledge.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#3
never played the ac30, but i have gotten an ad30 to near BrutoLz before. it was a different but awsome sound. and its a great amp
Quote by travs2448
is the puppy solid state or tube?

Quote by diceksox1809
solid state. when she screams it pisses me off

^

Quote by GrizzlyFnAdams6
Dimebag had s*** tone and that guitar plays like an abortion. Come at me, bro!


Quote by jpatan
It's because Garth Brooks brings the ****in' br00tz.
#4
I haven't been able to dig up many direct comparisons between the hand-wired (HW) and Heritage (HH) series Voxes, but i think they may both be made in China.

As for the Orange, regardless of whether it's handwired or not, its a tank, made my the tone-loving hands at the Orange factory in the UK. The sound is just so unique, but it comes at a price.
#5
they are both pretty good. i'd take the ad30 twin channel if it were up to me.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#6
yeah i thought the heritage was made in china too
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
I am hazy on the whole hand-wired thing. Can someone explain why a hand-wired amp would be better than whatever alternatives are out there?
www.miraclemaxmusic.com

"Punk is not dead. Punk will only die when corporations can exploit and mass produce it."
Jello Biafra

(so is it dead?)
#9
Quote by rawkandrowl
I am hazy on the whole hand-wired thing. Can someone explain why a hand-wired amp would be better than whatever alternatives are out there?


yeah pandas are really shit at wiring
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
yeah, being serious for a moment (do i have to? ) that's pretty much it. They're easier to work on if something goes wrong, and pcb (a lot of the time, not always) goes hand-in-hand with other cost-cutting which can adversely affect the tone etc.

But I mean if you had an amp with good quality pcbs and the exact same parts as a handwired version, would they sound any different?

Dunno.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
The fact that it's hand wired doesn't mean anything by its own. But handwired amps often had more attention during the building process, use higher quality components, better quality control. Of course this isn't always, but most of the time it is.
#14
handwired just means someone wired it by hand as opposed to wave soldered by a machine.

honestly though you get what you pay for regardless of the construction method.

edit: sometimes the best parts don't fit on a pcb.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Mar 23, 2011,
#15
^ you talking about those candle-sized capacitors you had?

Quote by denied
Most definitely, yes. But only as long as you know that it is handwired


hehe
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
i honestly thought the HW vox's were made in the UK.

i ordered a couple of them but one was an african mahogany, pretty sure that was UK. not sure on the AC30HW now.


as far as the difference, simply method of mfg. some of the best amps have pcb boards, and there are some shit circuits people decided to hand wire, so it's up to the individual amp imo.
#18
Quote by gregs1020
i honestly thought the HW vox's were made in the UK.

i ordered a couple of them but one was an african mahogany, pretty sure that was UK. not sure on the AC30HW now.


as far as the difference, simply method of mfg. some of the best amps have pcb boards, and there are some shit circuits people decided to hand wire, so it's up to the individual amp imo.


yeah i think the newer ones are made in china. Not certain, but i think so.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
Quote by WtrPlyr
The fact that it's hand wired doesn't mean anything by its own. But handwired amps often had more attention during the building process, use higher quality components, better quality control. Of course this isn't always, but most of the time it is.


This is very true.

The process of building an amp by hand inherently lends itself to much higher quality standards nearly all of the time. Every turret or eyelet that is set, every solder joint, etc. gets its own special attention. Many times, you end up with a much sturdier build as well. Sometimes you'll see arguments about tone. That's bunk. Neither technique (handwired vs PCB) has any advantage tonewise.

Modding handwired amps can sometimes be easier, but not always.

But the process is a lot more labor intensive and takes much longer than PCB construction which is why labor costs associated with handwired amps are a lot higher.
#20
there are hand populated pcb boards, pcb boards can be soldered by hand, etc etc.

simple amps can be handwired on a turret board and still be cheap, etc etc

find an amp you like first and worry about the construction method later.

at the end of the day it's all about moneys.

this is a very very bad pcb



these are tanks









Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#21
Quote by patriotplayer90
Hand built means it was made in the US.


This is a serious question. Are you retarded? Because that has to be one of the most incredibly asinine statements I've ever heard.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#22
Quote by mmolteratx
This is a serious question. Are you retarded? Because that has to be one of the most incredibly asinine statements I've ever heard.

go to EG once in a while.


#23
Quote by AcousticMirror
there are hand populated pcb boards, pcb boards can be soldered by hand, etc etc.


Indeed, but the PCB's themselves are generally not inspected rigorously for errors, shorts, etc. that occurred during manufacturing. In the world of manufacturing, any voids in quality processes open you up for a drastically increased probability of errors and defects.

I've got about 8 years experience in the world of ISO 9001 compliant manufacturing and spent several of those years also participating in L6S process improvements. That's why I stated that the process of hand building an amp lends itself to much higher quality standards inherently. There are so many more inspection steps built in.

Whether or not a PCB is populated and soldered by hand is not really the point. It's in the manufacturing process as a whole.

Of course, in some amps it's just not practical to hand wire the circuits.
#24
Quote by CECamps
Indeed, but the PCB's themselves are generally not inspected rigorously for errors, shorts, etc. that occurred during manufacturing. In the world of manufacturing, any voids in quality processes open you up for a drastically increased probability of errors and defects.

I've got about 8 years experience in the world of ISO 9001 compliant manufacturing and spent several of those years also participating in L6S process improvements. That's why I stated that the process of hand building an amp lends itself to much higher quality standards inherently. There are so many more inspection steps built in.

Whether or not a PCB is populated and soldered by hand is not really the point. It's in the manufacturing process as a whole.

Of course, in some amps it's just not practical to hand wire the circuits.


impractical you say?? i don't know the meaning of that word.

no I agree with you about the process. There are a few companies that I would trust their pcbs to be bullet proof. Otherwise yes you know I'm all gay about handwiring.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#25
Quote by mmolteratx
This is a serious question. Are you retarded? Because that has to be one of the most incredibly asinine statements I've ever heard.


I'm back


But seriously, it was a joke.
#26
So, since this forum exploded while i was asleep and in class, we can all, generally, come to a consensus that, despite not necessarily affecting tone, a hand-wired amp can be assumed to be of higher build quality, and therefore more durable/reliable than their wave soldered counterparts?
#28
Quote by yawny
So, since this forum exploded while i was asleep and in class, we can all, generally, come to a consensus that, despite not necessarily affecting tone, a hand-wired amp can be assumed to be of higher build quality, and therefore more durable/reliable than their wave soldered counterparts?


yes. especially when they are hand made in china.
#29
Quote by guitarpatrick66
yes. especially when they are hand made in china.


Well, bear in mind that 9 times out of 10, the alternative is a PCB constructed amp made in China--if you're talking commercial amps. Relative to one another, the assumption is pretty accurate.
#30
Keep in mind ptp wiring can also be more mod-friendly as well.

My vht special 6 is hand-wired and only costs $200, so I feel like it depends more on who manufacturers it and where it is made.
#31
To me handwired just means much much better QC. Almost any problem will be spotted by the builder when putting it together. Just taking a look over it after it came off an automated assembly line is a lot less in-depth so problems are more likely to remain in the finished product in a machine-made amp.

I imagine handwired non-PCB stuff is easier to repair as well.
#32
Well, if getting someting hand-wired improves, generally again, the quality that much, then i guess its worth paying the extra. Plus, id assume, that some of these amps have to hold their value much better than others.

I'm also all for modding my amps. I haven't done much work so far, and i don't think i'd immediately jump to hacking apart my new $1000+ amp, but i'd definitely get more into it, especially if it was point to point, since i hate messing around with tiny circuits. And if there's anything i couldn't fix, ive got an uncle whos an electrical engineer working on satellites or some such top secret thing, as well as owning a couple thousand old tubes (damn, i'm still trying to snag some of his old Telefunkens).

So the real question is, which amps ARE PtP hand-wired?
#33
there are different types of handwiring as well.

ptp isn't the only one.

like i said before...pcb boards can be handwired.

the amp can be laid out on terminal strips, tag boards, etc etc.

not very many amps are ptp handwired.

bcaudio is one example.

matchless, bad cat, top hat are some others.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#34
I guess i'm not truly only looking for something hand-wired, per se, but just for a higher quality amp that can get me the tone i want, and therefore is preferably not made in China.
Last edited by yawny at Mar 23, 2011,
#35
orange is good.

where are you located? us or uk?
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#36
I like Orange's, the tone is just distinctive, raw and unmistakable.

and in the U.S.
#37
Quote by yawny
I guess i'm not truly only looking for something hand-wired, per se, but just for a higher quality amp that can get me the tone i want, and therefore is preferably not made in China.


Then just go with what you think sounds good.

Find demos on youtube or other sites then look up reviews to make sure there aren't any widespread issues. If you're buying an amp from a well established manufacturer that costs over $1000 you shouldn't have to worry too much about handwired vs. pcb.
#38
I'm going to a place in Pittsburgh to check out some amps. It's fairly far from where i live, but it's just one of those places that carries gear that's at a whole different level than at most chain stores.

My main reason in asking on the forum was to get people's opinion on some higher level amps. A lot of people have some bad stuff to say about the Voxes made in China, and i want to at least narrow down my choices before i go there and force the employees to listen to me play for a few hours, haha.
#39
What model of Vox? If it's a custom classic...
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#40
no way, for what little i know about the new Voxes, i know to stay away from those.

Either a hand-wired or a heritage series, since those seem to be pretty good as far as what Vox makes now