AC4TV review by Vox

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (26 votes)
Vox: AC4TV
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Price paid: A$ 300

Sound — 6
I use an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus and I mostly play classic rock music, sometimes dabbling with a bit of early Metallica-style metal. It should come at no surprise that an all-tube Vox performs classic rock to perfection. You can easily get some chunky Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple style overdrive happening by adjusting the volume and tone control. However, if you are looking to achieve a sound heavier than classic rock without the aid of pedals then you will be disappointed. I don't use clean settings nearly as often as I crank out some overdrive but I still enjoy the warm clean tones it offers. It doesn't take much volume before the sound breaks into overdrive however so don't expect to get exceedingly loud pure cleans. The amp responds well to pedals and adjustments to the guitar settings. The max volume it gets to could potentially struggle at a band practise, depending on how loud you wish to be. Unfortunately the amp is rather noisy and constant whirring noises are easily audible, at times these have actually transcended to a unpleasant high-pitched squeal. It is a very short sound and isn't ear-splitting but it is still a little annoying.

Overall Impression — 7
Overall I can say I appreciate this amp. It is a handy little thing to have in my bedroomand suits my predominantly classic rock music taste well. I'm not sure if I would have actually chosen this amp for myself (my dad bought it for himself but now I'm the only one that uses it). If it broke down then I wouldn't be particularly devastated and I doubt I would readily seek the same model as replacement. With just three controls it isn't very versatile so if you're after something that gives you a decent variety of sounds then I wouldn't recommend it. As an amp that just stays in my room

Reliability & Durability — 8
This amp hasn't been used much but I can't see it breaking down on me anytime soon. Vox amplifiers are generally quite robust and if regular tube amp precautions are taken then it should last for awhile. Those high-pitched squeals I mentioned are a little worrisome though.

Features — 9
The Vox AC4TV is a very simple Class A all-tube amp. It has three controls - tone, volume and output level. For what is primarily a practise amp, that is all you need. Tone alters the brightness of the sound and volume is rather self-explanatory (around the 12 o'clock position it develops an overdrive). The output level switch allows you to change the wattage. You have a choice between 1/4W, 1W and 4W. I would not use this amp for anything other than practising at home or with my band but that is what it's for and it performs quite comfortably. The only thing I believe it is lacking is a reverb control. From the Vox site: Controls: Tone, Volume, OP Level (4W, 1W, W) In/Out Jacks: Input, External Speaker Jack (') Output: 4 Watt RMS 16-Ohm Speakers: AC4TV 1 x 10" 16-Ohm Celestion VX10 custom speaker; Valve/Tube Complement: 1 x 12AX7 (pre) / 1 x EL84 (power) AC4TV Dimensions: 13.78" (W) x 8.46" (D) x 14.76" (H); AC4TV Weight: 19.84 lbs.; Power cable included

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Seref
    The AC4TV used to be the go-to low watt lunchbox amp as it got you more than the EVJ for less money. Since then the market has been saturated with lunchbox amps and the good ol' AC4TV has been left in the dust. There are better optins for your money out there today. Vox is going to have to revamp this amplifier if its going to survive in today's market.
    ne14t
    Seref wrote: The AC4TV used to be the go-to low watt lunchbox amp as it got you more than the EVJ for less money. Since then the market has been saturated with lunchbox amps and the good ol' AC4TV has been left in the dust. There are better optins for your money out there today. Vox is going to have to revamp this amplifier if its going to survive in today's market.
    What should they change really? Start modifying and changing this amp and you are inevitably going to be paying more for it. I would leave the amp as is, I am not a fan of the combo flavor but I do like the Head/Cab variant and for $350 for the head/cab thats by far THE cheapest Class A tube amp you can possibly buy. My current lunchbox is a Marsahll Haze 15 and sure this amp probably couldn't roll with it even on a bad day for the Haze; however the Haze combo with only one cab cost me about $800. Damn good bang for the buck, this thing could keep well guided guitar noobies on the right track and away from modeling amps!
    King Donkey
    JoePerry4life wrote: Those high pitch squeals you speak of is probably just feedback when you have it up loud.
    I suppose that's possible but it sounds different to normal feedback. High-pitched squeal probably wwasn't the best way to describe it.
    King Donkey
    Oh bugger I just noticed I didn't complete my last sentence.
    As an amp that just stays in my room none of the flaws bother me much; I am quite happy with this little guy.