AC15VR review by Vox

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 6.3 (27 votes)
Vox: AC15VR

Price paid: £ 190

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 7
I'm playing this with my Vintage VRS100 which has humbuckers in. Starting with the normal channel and the first thing you notice is the amps strong response to your picking style and pick up position. The normal channel is based on the original AC15 as the channels volume acts gain knob as well which gives you a variety of classic Vox tones. With the normal below 9 o'clock the amp sounds rather crisp and has the sixties jangle to it. Rolling up to about 11 o'clock adds slight overdrive to it which sounds completely natural add reverb to it the notes ring out and sustain nicely. Around 3 o'clock the amp sounds like a cranked tube amp with plenty of Drive and bite for some classic pop & rock aswell as Indie bands like The Vaccines. Moving onto the overdrive channel which this time round features a gain control and 2 types of voicings. OD1 is very similar to the normal channel cranked up but is very saturated and bassier making it great for chunky rocky rhythm playings associated with blues. The channels volume also adds slight more gain ontop as you crank it pushing into an AC/DC and Led Zeppelin sort of crunch sound. OD2 is designed to be more modern sounding and cuts of the saturation and bass of OD1 adding alot more gain to the sound. Fairly decent sound for playing many styles of rock and some 70's metal such as Black Sabbath and Ghost. The sound gets a bit to much fizzy though and wouldn't really appeal to modern metal bands as it isn't saturated or tight enough, in order for it to that Vox should of just increased the gain on OD1.

Overall Impression — 8
I play alot of different music but mainly heavy metal however I decided to learn other styles more such as blues, Indie and reggae so decided on getting this amp in order to explore more tones that I couldn't really find on my Peavey Bandt 112 which I have lined up next to it. I wish it would have a middle control on it like the AC30VR. I love the wide range Vox tones it has on it aswell as its dynamics and sensitivity, very well suited to bands such as The Beatles, Yuck, The Vaccines, Kings Of Leon etc. Most people would probably recommend the AC15CC1 over this but I chose this due to the price range (Cheaper and wouldn't need the maintenance like a full tube amp would) and I was able to get a wider range of tones from clean to overdrive without having to crank it. Overall a great sounding amp with pleasing range of tones that makes Vox so famous among players.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This amp looks very dependable and is built very strongly and is sturdy. I think you may need to only replace the 12AX7 tube only after a long time of being in use. I also notice the reverb knob on mine causes a crackling sound when being moved and even doesn't work when in certain position.

Features — 7
This amp is apart of the recent Valve reactor series of amps that came out back in 2010. It features Vox's valve reactor technology that is also featured in the Valvetronix range of amps but this time round they have incooperated into a fully analogue circuit. It has 2 channels, the Normal channel and Overdrive channel with individual volumes. Both channels do share the same EQ tho which consists of treble and bass and has a global volume and reverb control. On top of all that you also get the classic Vox looks of the original AC15.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I've done a side by side comparison with my buddy's AC15vr and my AC15C1. Mine definitely has the clear advantage, but I suppose it would be good in a pinch or in an apartment/home situation.
    Vox has some nice amps, but this is not one of them. I've tried one and I honestly didn't liked it. It lacks vintage warmth... I can't explain it.
    Maintenance of a tube amp, haha its not that bad. Only complaint I have with my AC15C1 is I wish it had a mids knob and just a little more gain. I have to use a booster to get it where I wanted. I have compared it to a 60's - 70's Lectrolab and it has nothing on the Lectrolab.