AC4TV review by Vox

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (26 votes)
Vox: AC4TV

Sound — 8
The other AC4 models come with separate gain and master volumes, and more complex tone controls, but I wanted the raw sound of this little monster. I like the sound of power tube saturation and this Vox delivers. With my Fender American Standard Strat and Tele this amp begins to break up about 1/4 of the way up on the volume. The break up continues pretty evenly up to halfway on the volume. Pushed just past halfway the the amp doesn't get much louder, but the breakup gets richer as the power tube begins to overload. With the P90 on my PRS SE Korina One or the humbuckers on my Hagstrom Viking, the overdrive terrific for such a small amp; think Pete Townshend, or Billy Gibbons. What the AC4TV can't really do though is clean. You have to dial back on your single-coils volume and keep the below the 1/3 mark to get a clean sound and volume that works for practice or home recording. Gigging? No way. The output level control works great, knocking the amp down to respectable volumes when the volume is turned up. Make no mistake though, the amp is loud. On 4 watts, the amp is loud enough to hurt your ears (but don't try to keep up with a drummer). At 1 watt, the volume won't bother neighbors much until you get past halfway up on the volume. At 1/4 watt, you can play fairly quietly, but the tone of the amp is a bit squashed. The tone control is moderately effective. You can shape the sound, but it doesn't represent a huge sweep from bass to treble.

Overall Impression — 9
This small, light, grab and go amp sounds great turned up. You can get a seriously overdriven sound without shaking the walls (much). Or you can attenuate it and play a respectable levels without losing very mush tone. Attenuated all the way down to 1/4 the amp no longer sounds quite as good, but still sounds alright. For the money, this amp is exactly what I was looking for: a raw, rich overdrive machine.

YouTube preview picture

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've owned this amp for 4 months now, and have had no problems at all. I expect it to be simple enough that not much can really go wrong with it. I got it for home use, and don't think it's versatile enough to want to gig with it.

Features — 7
This is a simple little 4 watt tube amplifier, made in China in 2012. It has one 12AX7 tube in the preamp, and one EL84 tube in the power amp. It comes with a 10 Celestion speaker and a 16ohm speaker out that disables the internal speaker, and a mere 3 control knobs: volume, tone and output level. The output level is an attenuator, allowing you to play at the full 4 watts, or knock it down to either 1 watt or 1/4 watt. I play classic rock and bluesy punk stuff, and this hit the spot for dirty sounds. It doesn't do cleans, unless you don't need the cleans too loud. Given that this is a small, light, cheap tube amp, there aren't any other features that I would have needed to see here. In fact, the simplicity is what attracted me to the AC4TV.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This amp is awesome, especially for the price. WHEN USED CORRECTLY in combination with a nice pedal board, the clean side of the volume knob can give a great eq and volume for gigging, or studio work.
    Had bought a used vox ac4tv in 2011 it had a lot of clean head room nice loud bottom end, got a new one 2015 and it breaks up way to early 9 or 10 o'clock on dial so I sent it back and 2nd one is the same, took it to vox service and he tried changing tubes same thing my used one I had to push hard to overdrive but I liked all the clean head room. Did vox change anything? All reviews above sound like my new one not much loud clean tones.
    I have a 10" Celestion combo, made in Viet Nam. It sounds excellent when I put it in the 1/4 watt setting and, play it through my Raven RC112 closed-back cab. The Raven also has a Celestion in it. I love the nice thick tone of a Vox myself.
    This amp is amazing! and actually it can do cleans! and very nice indeed! Just roll back your guitar volume! If you want gigging, of course needs micing.
    I used my Vox AC4TV little. It had the 8" speaker not the 10". It was on sale I guess a dump of an old model? It fell apart in a few months, China shines again. I was glade it was gone. Bad sound not much fun.