AC30 tone...what is the benchmark? Clips?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by SouthernShred, Mar 23, 2006.


  1. SouthernShred

    SouthernShred Member

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    So...I see a lot of threads around AC30's, Hayseed's, etc...does anyone have any clips or benchmark recordings that define great AC30 tone? I'm new to these particular amps and have no idea if I like them or not :) (it'd be nice to have a dealer nearby...)
     
  2. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    Brian May of Queen got what I consider to be the best AC30 lead tone. He also used a small solid state amp on studio recordings, however, so you're better off listening to a live record.

    As for rhythm, Tom Petty, Peter Buck (of REM), and Roger McGuinn (the Byrds) are probably the most famous examples. Some people will tell you the Beatles, but they actually used a Fender Bassman on more recordings than the Vox (not to mention that several of their Vox amps were actually solid state and not the AC30).
     
  3. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    To me, tones on records have other stuff going on--compression, EQ and who knows what else. The only way to tell is to play one, and at a volume where you can crank it. In other words, probably not at a store.

    On popular records that I can think of, Tom Petty's rhythm guitar tones sound like that to me. A GREAT example is Ro Sham Bo by The Grays, but I'm guessing most people haven't heard of them.
     
  4. Troy Baer

    Troy Baer Member

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    Even then, Brian May uses AC30s in a rather unorthodox way... He has an oddball homemade guitar running through a booster pedal (dimed) into the Normal channel inputs of 3 AC30s (also dimed). He's not using the Brilliant/Top Boost or vibrato channels at all -- in fact, they've been physically removed from his AC30s!
     
  5. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    Quite true. In fact, I almost put a disclaimer in my post mentioning that I've never heard anyone else get that tone out of a stock AC30, but I figured somebody else would come along and prove me wrong.

    I love his new signature AC30: the control panel consists of an input jack and a volume knob. Simplicity at its finest (well, I suppose he could ditch the volume control...)
     
  6. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    I remember them. Weren't they an offshoot of Jellyfish? Or am I thinking of somebody else?
     
  7. tmac

    tmac Goldmember Gold Supporting Member

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    Would that be a BF Bassman heads or the tweed 5F6A 4x10 variety?
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    The EMI photos of the actual early Beatles sessions had AC30s on stands, one is fawn color, and at least one other is black; there is little doubt in my mind that the first album was done with AC30s. That sound is quite distinctive, and really sounds very AC30. So if you stick to "Meet the Beatles" (USA), "With the Beatles" Parlophone UK, not their first release there, whose sessions ALL predate the solid state models (1962-63), you have a pretty good idea of the AC30 sound. In fact, for a lot of folks, it's the definitive AC30 sound, though I love the Petty thing as well. The EMI engineers certainly captured the sound of the amps.

    Brian May's sound is way cool, but doesn't really define AC30 to me, it's too goosed up. U2 often sounds AC30.

    The first Beatle album was such a sensation that lots of players at the time immediately went out and bought Vox amps, and you start hearing them on records by bands like the Hollies, etc.
     
  9. kev

    kev Member

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    Shannon, I don't know how often you make it to Montgomery or Birmingham, but Bailey Brothers here in Birmingham (which also has a store out of Montgomery) carries Vox.

    I have no connection to BB, just passing the good word man.

    Kev
     
  10. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    IIRC, it's a '64 blackface head, but I don't know what the circuit was like at that point. www.beatlesgear.com should have more information on it.
     
  11. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Supporting Member

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    Brian May for lead tone is a nice thought... but my favorite

    Is Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, also Brad Paisley basically is using AC30's with his Dr. Z amps that are closely modeled after Vox AC30/4's, he also owns an AC30/4 that he used on his first two records from what I understand.

    The Shadows, Hank Marvin used an AC30 and also an AC15, with a Benson Echorec.

    SOME Beatles stuff as pointed out, SOME Rolling Stones stuff Keef used an AC30, Brian Jones did alot, and Ronnie Wood does occasionally...

    Kid Ramos uses a reissue AC30 with a Fender Reverb tank, among many other amps...

    Well I'm outta ideas, my favorites are the AC30/4's, when many people think AC30, they are thinking of the later Top Boost AC30/6 models.
     
  12. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    From Abbey Road Stduio during the making of Yellow Submarine. Don't know what specific model that is in the background, but its not a Vox. That's Eric Segal btw of "Love Story" fame. He lent a hand with the writing.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I think 1 or 2 of the guys came from there. Jason Falkner is one of them and I think John Brion is the other. There are a couple of songs on there where the AC30 tone really rings out.
     
  14. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

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    Pick up an old REM album like Murmur, Chronic Town, Reckoning or Fables of The Reconstruction. Chimey VOX tone at its best.

    :)
     
  15. tjs

    tjs Senior Member

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    I believe that's the blond Bassman.
     
  16. SouthernShred

    SouthernShred Member

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    Kev, I make it over to Montgomery here and there to visit Elite Music Sales and to Birmingham to play with Scott Holt when he's on tour. Dunno what's going on with me right now, I'm really questioning my amp tones and fighting GAS :D Maybe I can make it over to Bailey Bros...I've done business with the one in B'Ham quite a bit.
     
  17. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    Didn't the guy from the Stooges use one, too?
     
  18. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    That incredible blues guy Rory.
     
  19. LST7006

    LST7006 Member

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    Truth by Jeff Beck
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>I believe that's the blond Bassman.<<

    I think so, too. I recall seeing shots of it in other session photos.
     

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