AC30C2 review by Vox

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (31 votes)
Vox: AC30C2

Price paid: £ 699

Purchased from: gear4music

Sound — 10
Fender Lonestar Strat - Heavy Rock / blues / improvisations etc. 2 Texas specials and one Seymour D double on the bridge. Noise is low and well controlled - only took it to half way in the house - that will shake the windows nicely - no break up of fidelity that I could tell at that level - as I said if I was gigging and wanted a dependable amp I would trust the Vox brand based on the 1962 model I had never faltering ( not even a tube replacement ) from 1975 to 2003 when I sold it for a over-cheap 870 ( paid 38.50 for it in 1975 - what a fool but debts at that time etc). Try one out at full volume in the music store but check for the elderly and infirm within 500 yards first if these Gbacks go as loud as the Blues. You can always fit a pair of Blues for another 350 - but as I have seen the C2X that comes with these at 999 prob better buying that than getting the soldering iron out - if you need/can verify the better sound. I used to use it with a Tonebender fuzz/distorion (70's vintage)pedal into a flanger (forget the make) and it was bloody excellent.

Overall Impression — 9
This would be kept and used by me as giggiing amp if I was fortunate enough to be doing them - as with a good pedal I can't fault it. People at the back of the Theatre had now probs with the orig and I've no doubt this one can cut through and throw out some cutting tones when needed. Given the space and enough use I would (may) replace it. The only thing that puzzles me is the "kettle lead" to plug in the back - although this is probably common with a few other manufacturers models now ( the Fender for a start ). I could see this getting loose or being dislodged in a gig/stage event and falling out of the back of the amp in future - causing the tubes/valves and circuitry some upset/strain ( and the performer ). Maybe a locking catch similar to Lawnmowers / back of the power inlet on my Plasma TV - and that just sits in the lounge! Other than that bloody marvellous. I'll try and prepare myself for the parting on Wednesday... Thanks for reading

Reliability & Durability — 10
As I said only a week so can't rate this one but if circuitry and valves used are as good as the original should be tough as old boots - used to roll the orig along the Pavements / roads over to my mate's house regular ( we couldn't pick it up and carry it for 600 yards it was so heavy ) and chuck into vans/cars with very little care (ypung and stupid) and I used to wonder how the valves were still in ne piece let alone working - but never faltered.

Features — 10
2 channels Normal and Top boost 2 inputs on each. Genuine spring reverb and vibrato effects. Treble & Bass on top boost channel- this comes with 2 x 12" Celestion Greenbacks. Effects can be switched on / off by addl. foot Switch VFS2A available separately. headphone jack, extenstion speaker output. Fanatastic power and volume - I can't really tell much difference between the Blue Alnicos I had in the original 1962 AC30/6 and this to be honest - although haven't tried using thisone to put 2 guitars and a Bass through it to fill a 1100 seat Cinema venue as I did with the old one! I like the sound of the Greenbacks - sound great to me - although as I said I haven't thrashed it yet as I will be sadly returning the beauty shortly - reasons below (sob). You will be familiar with the Tube layout from any specs you find when considering the purchase. It seems a bit strange to see the little lovelies upside down instead of laid out as in the old model but the sound is just great - better for noise etc than the old one due to the master volume and channel volume controls. The reverb is excellent too. It's a lovely beast and the finish is excellent - sturdy & heavy (gave the DHL bloke a near hernia I think) and I love it. Prob is for a home practice amp (no more 1100 seater gigs since 1975 for this 51 yr old) I'd need to buy a plethora of pedals to get the further effects that I want - and it's quite big for the smallish study in my UK 3 bed semi. So under gear4muisc's great 14 day money back promise(how brilliant is that - they pay the postage too) I'll be kissing it goodbye as it's replaced by a Fender DEC3.30. the sonds from that are comparable (at low levels anyway) and it's practice and computer/SD card interfaces swung it for me. I'd like to keep em both but space is the problem. I'm sure anyone intending to use it for gigging will like the clean chiming sound this produces though and I'd recommend anyone check it out to compare with similar combos (Egnater etc) before buying. If you already have the effects / set up you need I'm sure that this amp will enhance that set up.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I sure would like to know where you seen one of these for $900. The best price I found was on e-bay for $999 with a best offer option. I was going to offer $900 for one but haven't yet and I doubt if they would accept it.
    I own this amp with blues. installed the right tube add mercury power and output transformers sounds great. now i'm having a custom made 13 birch cabinet made. this is one of the best sounding amps going.
    if you guys want the right tubes for this amp here it is Genalex B759 number 1 1964 RCA 5751 number 2 Genalex 12ax7 4 1964 RCA 7189 power tubes this is the best setup for this AMP BELIEVE ME
    I bought my AC30C2 17 days ago... yes I know early days... but... I bought this amp based on it's reputation... a lot of my favorite artists played a Vox at one point or another... true, there are AC30's and there are AC30's... Greenbacks, Alnicos, Wharfdales, CC2's, Handwired's and so on... but this AC30C2 is the one they had at the shop near me... I went in, tried it and it did sound pretty effing awesome... hands down... I really don't need the Tremolo and the reverb is a bit weak... I'm using my Boss FRV-1 Reverb for the time being... I will take it back to the shop soon for a Warranty check up... After experimenting a bit with high/low inputs, the Top Boost channel and channel jumping I decided to work with the Normal channel... the tone is amazing... I run the channel volume at 12 o'clock, it seems to break up just right on that setting, then use the tone cut at about 30% and the master volume to suit the room and roll the guitar's volume to control how clean or gritty I want to go, I can then kick in the Boss BD-2 to boost it... the whole thing sounds pretty effing cool... I'm rehearsing all my tracks again now with the AC30 while I'm advertising for a new band... It's like I'm breathing new life into some of the tracks while adding tons of tone to other tracks... Yes, yes, it's made in China, MDF, chinese Greenbacks, ra, ra ,ra... guess what... it sounds pretty damn good... that's why I bought it... because it sounds pretty damn good...
    How about paying 500$ for one of this? I had always looked for A Vox tone, but I am thinking about buying a Fender hot rod deluxe III too. What should I do?
    i just ordered one a few days ago. I should be getting it this tuesday. I also ordered a pair of Celestion Alnico Blues to put in it. Does anyone know how to do this, or if I should just have a professional do it?
    There a breeze to change them out. They only have two wires going to the speaker. Positive is usually red or striped. They should be the push on type. Pull on them to unconnect them, unscrew the old speaker and screw in the new one. Look at the connections on the new speaker. You will see a + sign on one connection and a - sign on the other. Hook up the positve wire to the + and the black or negative wire to the -. It's that simple.