#1
is the AC30HW really worth the extra money?
I'm not playing at any gigs and I just want a small studio\practice amp

is the AC30 just louder and more powerful or is it generally "better"?
#2
The tone isn't noticeably different. The appeal is because it's louder and more powerful - it's an all-out "big gig" amp. If you're recording you'll prefer the AC15 by far. If you get an AC30 loud enough to sound good you'll blow out the windows of your house.
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#3
I'd say that the tone is noticeably different. The AC15 and the AC30 are not just different sizes of the same amp. If you want a good studio amp, you're probably better off looking at something with a master volume, like the AC30C2. The handwired series are good but have no master volume or gain controls, so they need to be quite loud to distort. A really good option in the handwired price range is to get a Valvetech Hayseed. You can get one with a master volume and an EF86 channel, both of which are great additions to the AC30 circuit. They make an AC15 style amp as well.
#4
youre saying the complete opposite...
anything to support your argument?
#5
I've played both amps extensively and have a good ear. Not sure how else I support an argument about hearing things.

A few youtube videos if you want to hear for yourself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANm2t6oqPPc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exca8rsluyU
They're voiced similarly, but their breakup characteristics and overall feel are different. They certainly are not close enough that I'd call them not noticeably different. Someone familiar with both amps ought to be able to tell the difference when another person is playing. To me the AC15 sounds stiffer, more aggressive and rough, and the 30 is smoother and throatier, especially turned way up. Even at guitar center volumes you can tell - go try a few. Most bigger stores carry both C2 models, though the handwired ones are harder to find.
#6
they are Hand wired not hard wired
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#7
They don't really sound that alike to me and i haven't even played them extensively. I'm not sure about the prices but here in Australia the handwired are so rediculously expensive you can probably find a much nicer amp for the price.

I got my matchless used for much less then a new handwired AC30. There is no competition, the matchless was better in every way. Look around before you decide on spending that much on an amp.
#8
Quote by Roc8995
I've played both amps extensively and have a good ear. Not sure how else I support an argument about hearing things.

A few youtube videos if you want to hear for yourself:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANm2t6oqPPc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exca8rsluyU
They're voiced similarly, but their breakup characteristics and overall feel are different. They certainly are not close enough that I'd call them not noticeably different. Someone familiar with both amps ought to be able to tell the difference when another person is playing. To me the AC15 sounds stiffer, more aggressive and rough, and the 30 is smoother and throatier, especially turned way up. Even at guitar center volumes you can tell - go try a few. Most bigger stores carry both C2 models, though the handwired ones are harder to find.


you gave me links to the regular AC30 vs AC15
the HW are completely different
the AC15HW has all of the standard AC30 features that are not included in the regular AC15 and it sounds much better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuTPxdAVlcA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvQ7eBw-rc0

more comments please
Last edited by Tomusic at Jul 21, 2011,
#9
it's not a matchless or a divided by 13 or a jmi.

that being said the newest editions of the handwired ac30/ac15s from vox are very nice for a china produced amp.

the ac30 and the ac15 are also pretty different sounding amps. especially with el84s the difference in feel between a pair and a quad are pretty substantial.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
Quote by Tomusic
you gave me links to the regular AC30 vs AC15
the HW are completely different
the AC15HW has all of the standard AC30 features that are not included in the regular AC15 and it sounds much better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuTPxdAVlcA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvQ7eBw-rc0

more comments please

i think he linked to the regular ones because they would really be of much more use to you as an amp for home recording and practice purposes. the hand-wired models have no master volume so unless you've got a really good, professional standard home studio setup with ample sound-proofing they are of absolutely no use to you unless you just want very very clean sounds, because you have to turn them up blisteringly loud to get any sort of overdrive out of them. you can overdrive the regular ACs at any volume because they have a master volume, and unless your recording setup is really top notch and can capture all the fine details, the difference in sound quality between a regular AC and a handwired AC will be minimal.

also the features may be the same, but it's what's inside that counts - the circuilt, the components, etc. the AC15 and AC30 are not the same.
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#11
Quote by Blompcube
i think he linked to the regular ones because they would really be of much more use to you as an amp for home recording and practice purposes. the hand-wired models have no master volume so unless you've got a really good, professional standard home studio setup with ample sound-proofing they are of absolutely no use to you unless you just want very very clean sounds, because you have to turn them up blisteringly loud to get any sort of overdrive out of them. you can overdrive the regular ACs at any volume because they have a master volume, and unless your recording setup is really top notch and can capture all the fine details, the difference in sound quality between a regular AC and a handwired AC will be minimal.

also the features may be the same, but it's what's inside that counts - the circuilt, the components, etc. the AC15 and AC30 are not the same.


actually i just looked and it seems that the hw's have switchable master volumes now.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#13
well they are still made very well.



that's better then what you'll get from most builders these days.

heck of a lot better then a lot of old fenders.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#14
Quote by AcousticMirror
well they are still made very well.



that's better then what you'll get from most builders these days.

heck of a lot better then a lot of old fenders.


I know I know but still...
handwired in china = semi-handwired in the USA hahah

any similar hw amp suggestions?
#15
matchless, valvetech, magic amps, /13, jmi, badcat

oh wait i always forget morgan.

morgan is great and affordable.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 21, 2011,
#16
Not really, Handwired is Handwired anywhere.

Look into VHT amps, handwired in the USA, mainly based on Marshalls though. They sound very good for their price too.

This is assuming the budget is maxed at the price of a new HW AC30. JMI and Bad Cat are amazing, but pricey.
Last edited by Dan_5893 at Jul 21, 2011,
#20
He's looking for vox style amps, VHT isn't the right place to look. Morgan, valvetech, xits, matchless, ceriatone clones of matchless or trainwreck Liverpool/rocket are good choices. The vox offerings in that price range are quite competitive though. Don't turn up your nose because they're made in China.
#21
Quote by Tomusic

but if there made in china...the whole "handwired" thing goes to hell...


chinese people don't have hands?

anyway, i'd listen to colin. he normally knows what he's talking about.

from my very limited trying of the ac30 and ac15 (i think they were both from the discontinued CC series, so not exactly vintage spec), they sounded pretty different. it wasn't just a "louder" thing.
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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
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
it's true. chinese people don't have hands.

you know from looking at the picture of the vox it actually looks really nice.

the whole point of the fender style turret board setup was the facilitate a method of building where the person doing the board populating and the person doing the wiring didn't actually have to be have any skills other then not be color blind and not suck at soldering.

that ac30 looks a lot better then a lot of the cbs era fenders. hell it's a lot better then a lot of "boutique" handwiring. color printing has come a long way.
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Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 21, 2011,
#24
don't get me wrong
I'm not racist and I have nothing against Chinese people

but you know... "made in china" =mass quantities= bad quality control,more attention to quantity then quality...



and AC30 breaks a lot less that's obvious (30W VS 15W)
but besides that I don't think there are significant differences
#25
^ yeah don't worry, i know what you mean, more often than not stuff being made in countries with low labour costs and questionable worker protections goes hand in hand with cost-cutting in other areas too.

I just thought it was funny the way you worded it.

But yeah I mean I'd listen to colin and min (acoustic mirror), they tend to know what they're talking about.
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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?
#26
Quote by Tomusic
but besides that I don't think there are significant differences

Then why ask? A bunch of people who have played both tell you they don't sound the same. You can believe what you want but then why bother making the thread?
#27
+1
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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?
#28
Quote by Roc8995
Then why ask? A bunch of people who have played both tell you they don't sound the same. You can believe what you want but then why bother making the thread?



you don't understand
I thought maybe there are better things about the AC30 besides power and speakers.
#29
I'd like to think that I do understand. There are other differences. Did you not read any of the posts in this thread besides the first one?
#30
I have the new Hw1x one of the best sounding amps I ever had, I like it boosted with a ts808 so I can cover everything and they do have a master volume.
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#31
Quote by Tomusic
you don't understand
I thought maybe there are better things about the AC30 besides power and speakers.


it's a different amp.

then the other one.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#32
While I haven't had much experience with the two hand wired versions common experience has seemed to show me that the 15 watt version of any voxy style amp just doesn't seem to have the same "chime" to it as a 30 watt version. I've built 15 and 30 watt versions of the different amps, played them at guitar center, and done all sorts of stuff. Something about the 30 watts just seems to be chime city.

Personally I love the sound of a Trainwreck Rocket a bit above a Vox, but you have to go boutique to get those. If your looking for a studio amp go with the 15 watter though. A lot of the vox sound comes from over driving the power amp. And its going to be LOUD when you do that.

And Handwired stuff from China is probably better quality than here. Those damn ladies are amazing at what they can do, and how often they can do it without messing up. And the components from that picture earlier doesn't look so bad itself either.
#33
found this picture of a jmi.

seems like vox is doing a pretty good job these days comparatively



i actually think the resistors on the vox are better lol.

jmi's got them beat on all the other parts though.
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Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 21, 2011,
#35
Quote by Tomusic
your'e right!
http://www.voxamps.com/images/handwired/th_AC30HW_TopPanel.jpg


but if there made in china...the whole "handwired" thing goes to hell...


Not true at all.

I'll give solar cells as an expample because that's what i know. There are solar cells made in germany which do not touch human hands, robotics manufacturing beginning to end. Cells made in china are handled contantly by people and has only some robotics. The quality of the final product is the same.

Plus, the cells made in china are cheaper.

Quality Assurance on the other hand, is a whole different story.
#37
There is a misnomer regarding the quality of products coming out of China. Whilst there used to be a lot of issues as quality control standards were pretty shabby a few years back (as recent as four or five), there has been somethign of a realisation that they cannot churn our sub-standard goods and expect to charge a (relatively) premium price.

I have a British AC30 and it's the mutt's nuts in terms of tome and quality. And it has to be cranked to get a good crunch out of it (probably explains why I'm slowly losing my hearing...), but the Chinese ones I have tried (there have been many) are great too. I know a few people that swear by them.

I am seriously considering buying an AC15 for recording puposes and would be happy to part cash for Chinese based upon my personal experience. That, and the fact that I have an odd compulsion to hoarde as much gear as possible at any given opportunity.

The hand-wired series are bloody fantastic but, as I own an AC30 already I see the expense of buying one here (Australia) as being prohibitive.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
#38
Pretty much everything that's been said.

(I know VHT amps aren't Voxy but they're comparitively priced handwired amps) Anyway, that aside.


The AC30 and AC15 are quite different. The 30 doesn't just mean more power/more speakers. It has a completely different character because of it's poweramp. They have different rectifier tubes which means slightly different characteristics in how the tubes react.

On paper they're very similar but in practice they aren't as close as you may think. The AC30's overdrive is much more ballsy than the AC15's.

The Handwired series do have Master Volumes which you can bypass. So really the decision is up to you. Personally I'd go with the AC30, but that's because I prefer its driven sound to that of the AC15. YMMV.