First, is it at all possible to get a decent natural gain on a Vox ac-30? i understand that on the newer Custom Classics they only have two clean channels..but can you get a decent natural distortion? I like Vox's because theyre great sounding, aestetically pleasing and tube amps, but does anyone know of a decent tube amp i can get for under $1000 that isnt A)Fender B)Marshall or C) ugly? (sorry to be so shallow....but I want my visuals to match my audibles...:P)
a little lie says you'd like nothing better.....
It depends on how heavy you want to go with distortion. They aren't exactly high gain amps.
Guitars: Custom Lado Earth 2000-3, Custom ESP Explorer, BC Rich KKV, Gibson LP Studio, Greco SG, El Degas Stratocaster, Agile AL-3000, LTD EX-351

Rig:Marshall JVM410H + Marshall 1960A, Boss Noise Suppressor
I play alot of indie...Brand New uses matchlees and marshall and get really good tones..but i cant afford matchless and would really like an alternative to marshall...
a little lie says you'd like nothing better.....
Hey man...the best amp for under a $1000 bux I've ever played by far(besides older amps) is the Crate Palomino.It's aesthetically pleasing and a kick @$$ tube amp.Don't write it off just because it's made by Crate.SO many people just knock stuff without ever playing it or say things because they've heard it from other people.Go to a guitar center and A/B test it against any Fender in that price range(or any other amp for that matter) and it'll smoke it hands down.(I'm a huge Fender fan too).The tone is unbelievable man.It's so versatile and has a few nice touches to it also.The reverb is very usable,it has an overdrive channel that is really killer(plenty of gain...maximum stops at about heavy classic rock but you can always use a pedal for more),a presence switch that makes a subtle but noticeable difference, and a boost switch which is usuable also.It's also got a BEAUTIFUL clean sound and this is all for $550 bux.(u can talk the guitar center down to that....they're advertised for $600).Also check out the reviews on harmony-central and musicians friend....there's quite a bit of hype about this amp and I've read/heard many comments from older,more experienced players(some very dedicated to a specific amp)and they've been converted.Don't take my word for it tho and go check it out somewhere.It's the best purchase I could have made to improve my tone.Have a good one man.
thanks a ton drunk rocker...btw...i live in west virginia....therefor there is no such thing as Guitar Center for about 500 miles...or anyother store that sells anything musical worth buying...or else i wouldnt be posting these stupid questions online...i'd be out trying amplifiers :p
a little lie says you'd like nothing better.....
^ The Palomino's are manufactured by Crate's sister company anyway. That being Ampeg by the way.

I agree they're wonderful amps, though I personally use and RFX (which is solid state) for the built in effects and such. Really the RFX is just as good as the Palomino for everything but pure warmth. The Palomino's are HOT and I was able to get some killer Vox- like, Marshall- like and Fender-ish tones out of it.

Oh and if you can find a dealer near you try out a Traynor. They're said be wonderful, but I have yet to play one so I can't report on that one. Though there is a dealer near me that carries them that place just went in and thus it wasn't there when I was looking for an amp a year ago.
i only played one old ac30, the new ones may be different, but as far as i know you just have to turn it wayyy up and get the natural power tube breakup
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^Yeah, the CC's have a volume control, but it controls gain.
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i only played one old ac30, the new ones may be different, but as far as i know you just have to turn it wayyy up and get the natural power tube breakup

the newer AC30's have a master volume so you can crank one or both channels......with an OD pedal and a Les paul you can get some really great hard rock distortion. Its really warm and smooth. You can also switch them from 22w to 33w as well as changing filter camp values for a looser or tighter sound. IMO the Top Boost channel is way better than the normal channel. Thats not a knock on the normal channel which is still good, its just that the Top Boost channel is so great.
ohhh thanks gutch..thats what i was looking for....can you change channels via pedal?
a little lie says you'd like nothing better.....