An AC30 works great for blues-listen to the early Yardbirds and Rory Gallagher. If you have a model with a master vol, like the HW or the CC series, you can get the Bluesbreaker sound very easily. With the standard vintage JMI or Korg, you may need a pedal unless you are playing pretty loud.
The Bluesbreaker has less headroom than the AC30 and the EQ works a bit differently. A TIM or Rat works great in front of an AC30 to get the BB early breakup at lower volumes.
Either one would work but it is down to personal taste - I went about 25 years hating AC30's now I love them. Twist my arm and I'll take the original 1962 model, though.
Most 60's Brit Blues guys used Marshall (Clapton only used an AC30 in The Yardbirds).
Imo, if you want that deep "cello" type tone then the JTM45 (or 1962 Combo). Though I must admit that I copped that cello tone from Gary Moore's version of "Driftin'" on a Maven Peal "Ganesha", yesterday - incredible deep response through Celestion Blues.
Always try before you buy.
I know that the gear is all wrong, but my old guitarist tracked his guitars for our last record with a Telecaster through a Rangemaster into a cranked AC30, and his tone sounded like Zep 1...which is a fairly bluesy album.
I would caution that blues is a feeling more than a sound. some of the greatest blues players have pulled their tone out of some strange amps/guitars. Play what you love...what sounds right to you for your style. That's more than half of the battle right there.
Thank you guys for your input. Ultimately, a lot of the tone is within the individual, a good amp helps finish it off. I love the early Zep stuff as well, raw but "right" tonally for that style for my taste. I guess I need to check out another bluesbreaker as well as the AC30 before I make a decision. Thanks again.
The CC series can do the bluzzz...I can get a crunchy fender BF to screaming vox...
Its about style of playing and for me using the neck pick up if a strat for blues. My JV strat neck pups set low does the job. A les paul with p90s is also a blues machine paired with AC30 CC. Just depends on how your tweak settings an thats one thing I loved about the CC - useful features
I like the 2&4 position for early dire straits stuff
I feel that the AC30 has been somewhat overlooked by blues players over the years.
Their is a good reason for this I believe; In the mid 60's Fender amps were hard to come by in London, and even more so in the North, not too mention the price, which would put them out of range for the struggling 'Blues man'
Like the Fender amps the Vox AC30 was a combo amp ,like many of the Fenders of the time, and was as good , or close enough to get a good blues type tone.
It's this difference that has contributed to the 'Brit Blues tone'.
As the sixties moved on we started to gravitate toward the Marshall sound
and so the evolution in the British soud so familliar to all of us now.
I'm a Blues player and have always prefered the Vox tone for the particular music I play over the Marshall.
It's a cultural thing as well, as I feel that our blues playing brothers in the U.S. rightly associate the Vox tone with the 'British Invasion' of the mid '60's
Where here the Vox has, since it's inseption been used to play everything
as the Vox has six input it was not uncommon to have an entire band playing the whole show through that one amp ! Ive done that more times than I care to admit !