AC30CC2 Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 02/25/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Vox: AC30CC2
The Vox AC30CC2 2x12 combo amp is the culmination of over 45 years of high quality, guitar amplifier design and fabrication. Vox has taken the best AC30 designs and added a number of useful, very cool features to create the most tonally flexible and affordable AC30 to date!
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.8
 Features: 9.5
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reviews (4) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
AC30CC2 Reviewed by: antou, on september 28, 2005
9 of 13 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1260

Purchased from: local store

Features: This is the new update version of the classic Vox AC30. All new this yr and yes, it is made in China! But the quality is no less than the English built. Say everyone knows the features. Class A all Tubes (3x ECC83 4x EL84 and 1 GZ 34) crack out 22 or 33 watts tubepower! 2 channels (they are not footswitchable) clean and top boost. Brillance switch on clean channel (think bright switch in Fender). EQ with treble and bass and and custom/standard toggle. reverb (tone, mix control with dwell toggle) and tremo (speed and depth), a cut control and most importantly a master volume! There is a effect loop with true bypass and extention cab output. // 9

Sound: I am lucky enough to have and Gibson Les Paul and Fender Tele. The amp brings out each own's characters. Through the clean with the tele, cystal clear rythm with warm, harmonic sound and plenty of head room. The gibson thru the Top boost, it's simlpe heaven for classic rocks or a blue monster. You will get the classic crunchy sound from Vox and if you want to enhance this further, you can blend two channels by switching a toggle to give you a fatter, bigger sound. If you like punk, metals, this amp on its own can't give you what you want as this is a vintage amp for pure tone, not distortion, but once you have a good pedal (I have a Vox Bulldog Distortion as well). Ultimate metal sound with extreme distortion and ultimate clearity. This amp does a little hum (barely audiable). But so as I've heard that is normal. This amp is bloody loud, it can beat any solid state amp at around 120 watts on volume any day. Thru the master volume control it can perform in a quiter maner but it will thin out the sound. For the Tone it sings out, I would give it a 11 if I could! stunning sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have the amp for only a month so can't really tell about the reliability. But suppose most of you have heard the poor reliability history of this amp. Beside, changing tubes in this amp is a pain as they are not open to air. But the build quality of mine is very good, very solid and backbreaking heavy (32KG). // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for 1.5 years and I play variety of stuff like Radiohead, Guns N' Roses, Green Day etc. This amp can easily be the best amp I have ever had (I had a crap berinhger and a fantastic Marshall AVT20). If this was stolen, I will feel pity to the one who did as he must be suffering from a serious backache from carrying this thing around. // 10

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overall: 9.3
AC30CC2 Reviewed by: wmzbomgzors, on february 23, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: The Vox AC30CC2 is the newest model in the AC30 line. Several new improvements and features have been added, namely the spring reverb, tremolo, and the five channels they've done a great job of hiding. When the first AC30s came out, there were three types: Low (this didn't do so well, which is why it is not in this model), Normal, and Treble. In 1963 a new type of AC30 hit it big, the top boost. This new AC30 actually contains the circuitry of the Normal, Treble (hidden inside the normal EQ Switch), and the Top Boost channel. The two additional channels come from blending the top boost and the normal channel (which could be set to either normal or Treble). So when you pay $999, you are essentially getting three classic analog amps. The top boost channel also comes with a three band EQ and another EQ Switch that switches between standard and custom. In the master section there is a tone knob, which affects all channels. Like the one on the original amps, moving this up and down will change your tone like on your guitar. If you have the Top Boost set to standard, it will react with the tone knob more actively, and you will see a big difference (like the Vintage AC30s). If you have it set to custom (also known as the modern setting), the tone knob will have less of an effect on the tone. There are numerous other features located in the back of the amp such as Output select (16 Ohm or 8 Ohm), Output Bias (changes how powerful you can run the amp without clipping), smoothing (changes if you hear ghost notes and overtones like a Vintage amp or the tighter sound of a modern amp), and a true bypass effects loop. This is an all tube (even has a tube rectifier) class A guitar amplifier. // 10

Sound: I mainly use my Fender Strat with this and it isn't very noisy at all. I have the smoothing caps set to Vintage though, so I do get a bit of hum when idling. This amp is famous for it's cleans. The only problem I have with it is that it takes A LOT to get this amp into overdrive (but I have it set so that it doesn't clip until using full power, which can be changed [see Output Bias features 3rd paragraph]). Overall, this amp sounds amazing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: There is one problem that has affected every AC30, and that is bad soldering. It is very important for you to try out an AC30 before you buy it (sorry musicians friend), because they are for the most part hit and miss. If you do get a good one though, it is very durable and reliable. I gig a lot, my main income comes from gigging, and nothing has happened to this beast yet. Nothing bad has happened to me yet with this amp. // 8

Overall Impression: I play blues, classic rock, and a little bit of country with this amp; and it does all of those genres well without pedals. I also own a Fender Tubemaster and an Oldfield amp made by Charlotte, NC amp builder, Paul Gusler. This amp holds it's ground with them, and they're custom shop amps! If I didn't have my Tubemaster for plexi-like tones, then I would probably wish this amp's channels could be A/Bd. This is a classic, great sound amp. // 9

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overall: 9
AC30CC2 Reviewed by: Bossman123, on june 25, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1253.7

Purchased from: Crowleys Music Cork

Features: As far as features go, it has got plenty to keep you happy. It's got beautiful spring reverb, tremolo, master volume, 2 blendable channels, brilliance Switch, Switch to choose between 22 and 33 watts, true bypass FX loop. The channels are not footswitchable although I've found a little trick to solve this (leave me a comment or PM me if you want details). Not the most versatile amp you'll see but then again Who buys an AC30 for versatility? It's got 4x EL84's, 3x 12AX7's amd a GZ34 tube and uses Custom Wharfdale speakers. All it's short are footswitchable channels. // 9

Sound: I use an MIA Strat with stock pickups usually through a Boss BD2 and SD1. This is the perfect classic rock amp, it absolutely nails those Zeppelin/ACDC tones. It's got the most beautiful sparkly cleans I've ever heard. It doesn't have a lot of gain which is why I use the Boss SD-1 as a clean boost for some more gainy rhythms and the BD-2 for leads. It can be a bit noisey at times as you'll find will any AC30 especially with my strats single coils. The 30 has enough head room for any medium to large gigs whereas the 15 is lacking in this area. In terms of gain think Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love or ACDC's Highway to Hell, it nails these sounds. If yoiu want classic rock look no further! The only reason I'm giving it less than a 10 is because I don't like the EQ which I find quite unresponsive. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've had this amp for around 4-5 months now and so far no complaints as regards durability. I gig regularly but would not go without a backup becaus of the AC30 shaky reliability in the past. I have heard some bad stories about these amps breaking down after weeks and that kind of thing but these problems seemed to have only in the first few hundred amps and seem to have been fixed by Korg now. The only complaint I have is a scratchy volume pot but that's an easy fix anyway For me, I can't give the amp a bad mark here but won't give it a 10 due to that scratchy pot. // 9

Overall Impression: I play a lot of classic rock, funk, modern rock and blues and this amp is perfect for all of it. However it will need a pedal to boost it for solos and heavier tones. I've been playing seriously for around 3 years, I started off with a little Roland SS amp and moved on to a Roland Cube 60 before getting this and I can honestly say that nothing can beat that true tube tone. If it was stolen I would seriously consider buying it again or maybe one of the new higher gain AC30s. I love the reverb on this amp, it's very sweet and natural sounding. The only thing I wish it had is a tad more gain. // 9

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overall: 9.3
AC30CC2 Reviewed by: leonkennedy74, on february 25, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Huber & Breeze Instruments

Features: Everyone knows the history of the Vox AC30: The Beatles each had their own, and eventually had a custom model, Brian May of Queen uses them exclusively and now has his own signature model, the entirety of Radiohead uses them exclusively, and many other big names choose the Vox brand. But as most of us know, all of these amps have been crafted in the good old United Kingdom, the same place where Orange and Marshall have been crafted. So what makes the CC model of AC30 different? They're the first model to be outsourced to Korea. Vox and JMI have done away with the UK production system to cut costs, and honestly, who can blame them? So the biggest question on your mind must not be, "has the quality gone with it? Nope. You still get the classic, British Vox AC30 sound in a much more affordable package. The AC30CC2 was the standard 2x12, two input, single channel, class A/B amplifier for the Vox lineup for the years 2002-2008. They have been replaced with the current model, the Vox AC30C2. This amp possesses a single effects loop with a 15db power boost for effects, 30 watts and two beautiful Wharfdale speakers, however the amp does come with the option for two of the Chinese Celestion Greenbacks. Analog spring reverb and tremolo can also be dialed up and can be switched on and off using the included Vox footswitch. As this amp is a rehash of the more classic AC30's, it does include a master volume knob, a treble channel and a regular channel, and a Switch to mix the two. The treble channel is dirty in a way that only a tube amp can be, but even when the volume is cranked on the channel to unleash all the nastiness, the master volume knob lets you tame the overall volume, while still retaining all of your tone. Great feature. // 10

Sound: I'm not much of a guitar player, really. Nothing fancy or technical coming out of my setup, mostly because I prefer to be a little more textural. I like a lot of delay, a lot subtle overdrive, or fuzzy sounding splatters instead of really trying to carry one specific melody. Now that's not to say that I can't, or that I never do, but it's not what I prefer. I can't tell you that my AC30 fits with my sound, because honestly, my AC30 defines my sound. I walked into Huber and Breeze instruments, turned to a salesman and said, "sell me your most classic sounding AC30". And he led me straight to the AC30CC2, plugged me in, and I immediately knew that this was the sound I had been craving for! What I'm trying to say is that if you want an AC30, you know you want an AC30 and you have a sound where you know an AC30 would fit. The amp is silent. No buzz, no hum, nothing. If you crank up the volume, you can get some pretty nasty feedback, but that's to be expected really anywhere. The amp is fairly versatile if you want a British sound. Good mix of highs and lows, and a reasonable mid range band. If you're seriously considering one, I would recommend that you go and do some in depth research on their EQ banding because it doesn't work like a regular 3 band EQ. There are two knobs, a Treble and a Bass knob, and increasing either of those knobs will decrease you mid section. It's rather complex, so a little Google work will benefit you tremendously. I use mostly single coils in my set up, my number one being a 50's reissue Strat, my secondary being a 58' Kay Jazz II with pseudo P90's. I have used humbuckers through this amp, but I find that they sound awful muddy and unresponsive. I attribute that to my lack of an ability to dial in a tone I like on the guitar, but also because I refuse to change my settings on my amp from what I like. Again, the best thing you can do is take your guitar in and try out what it sounds like through this model AC30. // 9

Reliability & Durability: AC30's are notoriously... tender to their environments. I've only owned mine for around 6 months, but I've had no problems so far. Except for the fact that it's heavy. No, no, I mean it's REALLY heavy. No, you're not listening to me, I'm not kidding around here, the amp is easily a hundred pounds. Yeah, a hundred pounds. On the subject of a finicky amp, AC30's have been known to break down, wiring to fray or resistors to bust, and a number of other issues on the internals. However, if you're going out and buying a brand new AC30, this is much less likely to happen now. The bugs have been worked out of these things, they've been field tested and put through their paces now, so I can safely recommend them to you if you're a gigging guitar player. The only real issue I've had so far is the tolex on the bottom mine is wearing out and in a few places, it's torn or frayed away from the wood. Nothing a little glue hasn't been able to fix for me, but still a little disappointing. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm a huge Radiohead and Pink Floyd fan, so I went out and hunted down an AC30CC2, because it's a great match for both of those sounds, and it does exactly what I want from it! It's a great amp for that, but if you're looking for Jimi Hendrix, you'll be disappointed. I've been playing for easily 7 years now, and have quite the effects board built up. The amp responds beautifully to all of it, digital delay, analog delay, tape delay, overdrive, distortion, maniacal fuzz, hints of chorus, phaser, flanger and a host of other wacky sounds. It really picks up the harmonies in all the pedals and makes them all sound spectacular, in a way that my old Fender Hot Rod II never could. When I went out to buy the amp, as you read above, I wanted an AC30. It was a sound I was familiar with and that had grown on me, but I did try out a variety of other amps. I tried out the entire Vox line, between the hand wired AC30's to the newest model AC30C2. I outright hated the AC30C2, I thought it sounded like crap. No response on the EQ controls, crappy build quality, and a pain in the *** to try and get some distortion out of. The hand wired on the other hand, was lovely. It didn't sound drastically different, but when it did sound different, it was magical. A completely different feeling to the amp. But it's twice the cost, and the magic wasn't worth that to me. I tried out a few different Orange amps, the Tiny Terror Combo for one, but it was too high gain. Actually, the whole line of them was, as I tried out a Rockverb 30 as well and didn't like it. The AC30 was versatile, subtle, beautiful and had all the response I was looking for. It blew me away, and I couldn't ask for anything else. In my opinion, the one question that really makes or breaks it is, "if it were stolen or lost, would you buy another"?. And the answer is yes, very easily yes. I don't know if I would buy this exact model again, I might actually spring for the fawn white hand wired model, but I will never own anything but a Vox for the rest of my time on the earth. It's just THAT good, and THAT beautiful. I implore anyone who is in the market for an amp to go out and try an AC30, whatever the model is, because it may actually change the way you hear your instrument, just like it did for me. // 10

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