Looking for a new amp. This is what I'm looking for;

- Any wattage is fine, will be played at home primarily.
- Master Volume a must
- Great cleans and crunch with a decent amount of gain on tap (enough to get some hard rock/punk, I'm using a distortion pedal for higher gain)
- Must have more than a tone control (full EQ preferred but Treble and Bass will do)
- Budget of up to £1000, would prefer to keep it around £7-800 though
- Combo much, much preferred, 1x12 preferably as well.
- I'm looking to go used, will only go new for something which is great value and not readily available used. I don't see the need in spending more for something which I can get in near new condition for half the price.

I've been looking at the Vox AC30/15 handwired/custom classics, stuck on other ideas. Looking for a tone something like this



Jesus! I was gonna recommend the Blackstar HT5c until i saw your budget is about four times the price!

Blackstar could be well worth a look though, youd be able to get a higher end one. They have a seperate knob which enables you to go from a 'British sound' to an 'American sound' at the turn of a dial.
The AC30 is an astonishing amp! I absolutely love it, sounds good with any guitar I've tested through it... Absolutely loveable amp!
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if you are looking at the ac's i would recommend the ac15c1 (greenback) simply because you wont go deaf with wattage (regardless) of master and a greenback in that ac15 is glorious.
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. The HT series by Blackstar isn't really what I'm looking for. I've got the HT Dual as my distortion pedal so it would be pointless. The DSL401 I've tried and it was quite nice but I think I could do better in my price range.

Does anyone know the difference between all the newer AC models, C1, C2, CC1 etc? And is the hand wired worth it?

Any more suggestions would be great.

the AC15 with the greenback (G12M-25) will still be loud as hell. 1 watt alone can drive a speaker to be as loud as a full sized jack hammer. i'd go with the AC30 for the much needed extra headroom.

Quote by robbo546hall
The DSL401 I've tried and it was quite nice but I think I could do better in my price range.

for those tones i was gonna recommend a marshall, but i think you'd like something more along the lines of their JTM45 (though it has no master, and you AC30 is actually closer to your desired tone).

Quote by robbo546hall
Does anyone know the difference between all the newer AC models, C1, C2, CC1 etc?

i don't know all the exact differences, but i think i can shed a bit of light. it seems the higher end/more expensive AC30's tend to be closer to the original AC30 (tube rectified, with alnico blue speakers and the handwireds use turret board construction). the cheaper the AC30 the more to a plain, solid state rectified, PCB amp, with cheaper speakers.

the speakers are a bit dollar item, getting the alnico blue speakers in there costs substantially more.

Quote by robbo546hall
And is the hand wired worth it?

i'd get the handwired myself, mainly cuz it looks like they use the best methods and parts. if they offered all the options on a PCB amp then i'd go for that.

Quote by robbo546hall
Any more suggestions would be great.

based on the clip you provided, i would either use my JTM45 clone or my orange OR50H for those types of tones. an orange rocker 30 would also be in that ballpark (the rocker 30 has some similarities to the AC30, but it would have less gain on tap than my OR50H).
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The immediate thought that comes to my mind when you say British crunch isn't an AC30. I think Marshall Plexi of some sort cranked up to demolition volumes. As you specified that it has to have a master volume then it's a JCM800 2203/2204. A DSL would get you in the ballpark too and probably cost a bit less.
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I tend to think of VOX as having more of a chime than crunch...Normally I would say 18W Marshall or Tiny Terror but your specifications kinda rule those out, so JCM800 or AD30?
Laney VC Series to my ears they sound like a meaner, crunchier AC30.

The LC are supposed to be more harder-rock orientated, they might be worth a look too.
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Quote by robbo546hall
Looking for a tone something like this


This is the exact tone I get when I boost my Blackstar HT Stage 60's clean channel with my Fulltone OCD, with an EQ pedal bumping up the highs in the FX loop. Seriously, that is dead-on.

I know you said you weren't looking at Blackstars. I just wanted to point out that they can definitely get that tone (with a little help) and it sounds so sweet in person!

I disagree with the responses that recommended a Marshall, or even an Orange amp. You could probably make those work, but really they'd have too much of a midrange bark for what you're trying to do. I think you want something with more chime and treble - like a Vox (as you mentioned) or maybe a Fender.
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Vox AC15 C2
Yeah, I said I wanted British crunch, which in fairness is not what an AC30 is associated with. But I kindof meant just a general British low - mid gain tone, maybe a bit janglier than crunchy, and of course they have great cleans as well. The AC30 from the demo's I've heard sound right for me. I'm gonna go and try and play a few of the different models.

EDIT: And I'm not interested in Orange's at all. I had an AD30 head a while back which is one of their top of the range amps, it was just too fuzzy and not enough bite. Most of the Orange's I've tried seem like that to me.

Last edited by robbo546hall at Nov 2, 2011,
FWIW - Based on what I read on the "Big Star Discussion Board" (that's the band in the youtube link you posted), they play Gibson guitars with P-90 pickups through Fender blackface amps (such as the Deluxe Reverb). If that's the tone you're after, then there's your answer...

EDIT - Here's the link to the discussion:
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
Last edited by 57Goldtop at Nov 2, 2011,
Check out a Marshall Vintage Modern. I played one for a while, since I was really curious about how they sounded. For the price, I was really, really impressed. A Vintage Modern is near the top of my amp wish list.
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