#1
Hello,

I recently nabbed a Vox AC30C2 and am in need for a distortion/OD pedal to go with it. For my live playing, I am in a cover band and thus playing clean at least 50% of the time if not more. Apart from clean, I also like to use my Maxon OD9 for some light dirt on a lot of songs, but I don't like cranking the gain on it. Its sweet spot for me is with the gain dialed up just a little bit, just for a small amount of crunch. Since I need a clean tone for so many songs, I don't think cranking the amp for dirt will be an option (as sweet as this does sound...)

I'm looking for something that can add some nice crunch for rhythm playing while also making my solos scream enough. Nothing in high-gain or metal territory, but enough to get a pretty hot lead tone for solos and a few songs that need some distortion. For example, we cover Free Bird, Bohemian Rhapsody, and a lot of classic rock songs like that (as well as some classic pop and funk stuff, 80s and funny covers of recent hits).

I've heard that pairing dirt pedals with the AC30 can be very hit or miss so I was hoping to get some recommendations. I've heard that the Crowther Hotcake was designed to go with the AC30 and would be a strong option. Any experience with this pedal, or some other recommendations would be most appreciated! For a budget, I'd prefer not to go over $200 and obviously cheaper options are always nice (so my wife doesn't kill me).

Cheers.
#2
I am a huge fan of the Fulltone OCD. I use it as my back up now to run through anything I have to if something breaks or I have to deal with a house backline. I don't use it with my DSL because the clean channel is pretty boomy, and I feel like the pedals adds a lot of bass and thickness, which can be great for your AC30. The fulltone fulldrive 2 works pretty well too, with a solo boost. if im not mistaken
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#3
Quote by Katsock
I am a huge fan of the Fulltone OCD. I use it as my back up now to run through anything I have to if something breaks or I have to deal with a house backline. I don't use it with my DSL because the clean channel is pretty boomy, and I feel like the pedals adds a lot of bass and thickness, which can be great for your AC30. The fulltone fulldrive 2 works pretty well too, with a solo boost. if im not mistaken


Agreed with that.
The Fulldrive 2 works great with the AC30 IMO.

The Crowther Hotcake is supposed to be THE overdrive for the AC30, although I've never tried it myself.
#4
Both my OCD v4 and my LGW sound great with my AC30. I also have a SHO clone in front of those so I can boost them if need be.
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#5
Also, consider a rangemaster clone or other treble booster.
Those sound sweet through an AC30, and almost a requirement for any Queen tunes.
#6
i've got the same amp as you so i might be able to help you out with my experiences. In my cover band i've basically got the same situation as you by the sounds of it, since i need a clean tone at least 50% and with the amp only being a single channel, it left me using pedals as my only real method of getting dirt. You'll hear a lot of people tell you that an ac30 can be very picky with pedals, which from my experience is mostly true, in particularly with tubescreamer type pedals because they can remove too much low end. I've found transperant dirt pedals are the best along with treble boosters, since they work with the amps natural tone rather than against it.

I put in a lot of time and effort putting my rig together and my aim was to try and recreate the amp's natural overdriven tone when i crank up the gain as best as i could. My top three pedals to date with this amp are a crowther hotcake, paul cochrane timmy and an analogman bean boost. I run them all through the normal channel and they all do a good job. If i were tight on cash though and could only get one, it would be the timmy for sure. It's an incredibly versatile pedal that works great for all types of classic rock tones. It's very transparent, so basically it sounds like the ac30's clean tone except with gain on top of it. The only problem with the pedal though is it's hard to come by brand new because they're very popular. Online stores usually sell out not long after new stock comes in, which makes the price of a second hand one more than getting one brand new.

You asked about the hotcake and its also an excellent choice for this amp. It can go from great light crunch through to heavier tones, however it can get very fuzz like if too much gain is put in. If you're looking at buying one, i strongly recommend checking out some of the videos on youtube because they give a relatively good indication of how it sounds.
#7
yes all of these options would have been my go to.
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#8
in addition to what's been said (which are all good suggestions), i think a rat has a reputation of working well with an ac30, too.
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#9
Thanks for all the great suggestions everyone.

I've watched a few videos on the Hotcake and I'm really liking what I hear so far - it has that tone I had in my mind when thinking of an AC-30 with gain. Right now I'm leaning towards nabbing one since it looks like they can be found online for $160 or so. I'm still keeping my options open though, I've got some great suggestions to check out and a few to keep an eye out for in case I see a hot deal.