Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by j631378, Jul 11, 2005.
Which current boutique builder makes the best AC 30 top boost clone?
"Best," like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Mayfly, Bruno, Top Hat get mentioned a lot.
Are you looking for additional features or straight-up tone? I was looking for simple Vox tone and ordered a Valvetech Hayseed after trying it out for about an hour. $975 without speakers (I'm supplying Celestion Blues) with the additional option to switch in and out of an EF86 preamp on the Normal/Bypass channel. Hard to beat that price for a hand-wired amp with quality components, e.g., Heyboer transformers, etc.
Do a search for "Hayseed" and you'll get a better idea about them. Just fyi, I sold my AC30HW (which Bruno had a hand in designing) to buy the Hayseed. The HW is a great amp, I'm sure the Bruno is too, but I was looking for something like the tone of my AC30TBX, but with reverb and tremelo. It just didn't have the same chime as the TBX. The Hayseed is much closer to the TBX version of the AC-30 Reissue, but handwired and better components. All IMHO of course.
Bruno. Vox hired him to design the HWRI. That is as heavy a recomendation as you can get.
Call Gene or Ken at Ultrasound.
I am very happy with my Hayseed 30.
Lovin my Hayseed 30, but make sure that you get 15 watt Alnico speakers, that is very important to the tone of the amp. I chose Weber Blue Dogs, but I know the Celestions would be VERY excellent as well.
AC30-derived amps (not specifically clones) can take the basic AC30 concept and send it in some new directions, if you're open-minded.
Bruno UG30, as mentioned, is great. It gave ring and chime to even my dullest guitar. The reverb models are lush.
Top Hat King Royale has the basic AC30 TB sound on Ch 1, and then adds extra features. Second channel has tone controls and an MV. Switches allow you to clean up either Ch 1 or Ch 2, and fatten or brighten Ch 2. Enormously useful and flexible amp.
Matchless DC30's clean channel has the chime and the magic, too. Has the signature steely Matchless tone in there, but it's not like that's a bad thing!
Why do you like the 15w version better? Is there a big diff in tone? I think I have the 30 version, and they do sound great. More of a curiosity than anything else.
I hope to get a few voxes togeather this fall, maybe an amp fest event.........
I hear there is a RED JMI in Ft Wayne..............
Mostly for the fact that I'm a purist, seeking a purely vintage AC30 vibe from this amp. I think that the 15w speakers are part of that vintage AC30 vibe, IMHO. I also love the sound of speakers breaking up and struggling a bit with the volume of the amp, to me that's just all part of good tone. But some guys don't like any coloration from their speakers, and want to make sure that the speaker(s) can definitely handle the power of the amp, different strokes, I guess.
I heard a 30w Blue Dog in a Vox AC15 RI and then I heard the same amp with a Celestion Blue (15w) and I loved the tone of the Celestion Blue, the 30w Weber just didn't seem to impart the Vox vibe, quite as nicely as the Celestion, IMHO.
mine is the AC15 clone, but i'm sure mike can make a larger wattage model if you ask. he's cool like that.
but IMHO, nothing i've used, played, tried, owned, can touch the voxy magic mike conjures from his box.
i too got sick of the all the "vox inspired" stuff out there, and simply wanted a more soulful vox box than the crap factory made jobs (ever open one up? not pretty), and mike delivered with great fire and vengence.
so between the celestion blues, the weber blue dog alnicos and eminences red fang which would be the best in a hayseed?
I've been using a TopHat King Royale for 3 years, and am
thoroughly happy with it when I want classic AC30TB tones.
Not touting it as best, but I'd really be curious to try it against
some of the other "best"clones like the Hayseed, Kingsley,Bruno,Gabriel,
I haven't been curious because I feel the TopHat somehow isn't
cutting it; it is for me--awesome-sounding amp.
Everyone seems to have their fave boutique clone that just outshines
the 'other clones'
I'd be really shocked if any of the aforementioned do sound better
at ''Vox tones'' than the Tophat
I'd be most curious to try it alongside a really good JMI example.
I've never compared these to a real AC30, but I really like the Voxish amps: Bruno UG30, Gabriel Voxer (although lower wattage), Bad Cat Black Cat, and the Mayfly BC30. I own the Mayfly, but that's largely a result of geography (I'm in Canada) and economics (it's a damn good buy...it's got most of the Bruno and the Bad Cat for much less scratch). I'd love to get a Gabriel when funds permit.
If you're willing to pop for the blues, I'd suggest those.