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AC30 + Treble Booster - how versatile?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jeremy Morgan, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Jeremy Morgan

    Jeremy Morgan Member

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    I am thinking of getting an AC30 (probably a CC1).

    The idea of using a treble booster into the Normal channel and using it as a one-channel amp appeals.

    My concern is that going from a two-channel amp setup I won't be able to get enough variation in sound, i.e. from clean to filthy, in a live situation without adjusting the amp. This would be impractical in the middle of a number.

    Is it really possible with the one channel setup to go from a fairly clean sound to a rich sustaining overdrive just from the guitar volume knob?

    Would the clean be clean enough - or loud enough (compared to the dirty sound)?

    Would I still need an overdrive pedal to get the range of sounds? I feel this would almost be equivalent to a two channel setup again.
     
  2. jezzzz2003

    jezzzz2003 Member

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    Hey nice name Jez ;]
    Ive been gigging my 50w superlead non master volume for about 3 years straight with superb results, nothing else satisfies me as much as my no 1, except for maybe the custom classic Vox 30 :D
    it has a great master volume and you could even get away with gigging it with no overdrive at all and just using your volume for cleans, a mate of mine picked one up a week ago and hes absolutely loving it going from a two channel Marshall amp, has no probs with it and had the same fear as you stated earlier,

    he loves the dynamics that amp has and just uses one overdrive,

    yes you can do almost pristine clean with the ac-30CC using your guitars volume knob, a great amp by any standards, the amp now comes factory shipped with a speaker out jack and also rca outs for reverb to get to the chassis without having to remove wires first.
     
  3. Telephile

    Telephile Member

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    I do this all the time. I admit though I usually use 2 ods one for a light boost and one for over the top but honestly I could do just about any gig with my AC30 and an eternity or other treble booster left on the whole time.
     
  4. webs

    webs Supporting Member

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    With the AC30 you can also use an A/B box into both channels as a channel switcher.
     
  5. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Supporting Member

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    i've always used one channel amps and turn to where it's breaking up. i usually use several pedals, but for quick rehearsals or small shows, i'll just bring an OD pedal or two and work the volume knob for cleaner sounds.

    if you just turn the gtr volume down a tad, it will clean up without losing much volume.... i think you'll definitely be able to get by... the other day i played my bluesbreaker with just a treble booster in front and i got a lot of sounds just using the pedal and gtr volume.... it kind of made me wonder why i have so many pedals!
     
  6. Jeremy Morgan

    Jeremy Morgan Member

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    Thanks for your input...

    Reading between the lines it still seems to me that the AC30 would need the help of additional pedals to get a clean to dirty tone.

    I was looking on Pete Cornish's site http://www.petecornish.co.uk/pedals.html I noticed that he makes a (ludicrously expensive) box which is basically two boosters chained together (the TB-83 Extra Duplex). It's not clear whether this was/is ever used by the likes of Brian May but its existence implies that maybe everything can't be acheived just from the volume control on the guitar.

    One other thing, in the past I've always noticed a drop in sparkle when backing off the volume pot on the guitar to clean things up. Does this still happen with the AC30/Treble booster combination?
     
  7. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I am playing a gig with my Black Pearl (single channel AC30-ish amp) tomorrow and I will only be bringing that amp and my telecasters. My OD pedals will be sitting at home.

    If you gain out your amp just right, your volume knob should clean it up really well and what a lot of players don't realize is that it often sounds more natural in terms of timbre and transition just backing your volume knob down to clean it up. You don't need a lot of gain to get good tone. You find that sweet spot where good gain and articulation work well with AC30 circuits and the rest is history. Voxy tones are my absolute favorite and I would not hesitate to gain out an AC30 pretty well and use my volume knob for any gig.

    Disclaimer: I am mostly a rhythm player so Mod/delay/effects are pretty moot for me.
     
  8. dave s

    dave s Member

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    A couple things you'd quickly discover with the AC30CC1:

    1) It is capable of bone-crushing loud AND clean!

    2) The right TWO pedals can get everything from clean to scream and in between tones using just the volume knob on your guitar.

    That said, the EL84 class-A type amps are a little harder to please putting OD or Dist pedals in front of them due to the amp's glassy top-end.

    Look for the post about which dirt pedals work great with VOX amps. Lot's of good choices there.

    For me, it's a clean boost, an OD pedal, dist pedal and a fuzz. Had to kiss some frogs to finally get a complement of dirt pedals that 'play nice' with VOX amps, but when you finally get the right ones, it's all good.

    dave
     
  9. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    As others have noted, it should work, well.

    [In my experience], a Telecaster is the easiest guitar to use when rolling
    down the volume for cleans, while retaining a solid clean tone.

    In my current band I'm alternating between Vox and Marshall style amps:
    a TopHat King Royale and an Emplexador, respectively..

    I use a treble booster to get certain tones in clean and overdrive modes;
    meaning: guitar vol. rolled down or full-on.

    Works flawlessly. :cool:
     
  10. jimijazz

    jimijazz Member

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    If you can cope with the loud (and I mean LOUD) volumes, then yes, a Treble Booster and AC30 will go from sparkling clean to serious distortion with the twist of a guitar volume knob. Check out Queen Live at Wembly 86 for proof of this.
     
  11. Jeremy Morgan

    Jeremy Morgan Member

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    That was always my understanding too, but then I saw this: http://www.petecornish.co.uk/vintage.html#tb83extraduplex . It shows Brians May's pedalboard circa 1981.

    There is one hard-wired 'always on' treble booster (TB-83) and then a duplex box (= two switchable boosters), a TB-83 Extra Duplex. This would imply that Brian was getting extra gain from the two foot-switchable boosters when required, rather than running gain entirely from the guitar volume.

    BTW, I would almost definitely use an attenuator of some sort, even for gigs, to keep the volume levels under control!

    P.S. Queen Live at Wembley 86 is one of my favourite live DVDs!
     
  12. Teahead

    Teahead Member

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  13. Teahead

    Teahead Member

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    Regarding some of your other questions, the clean is just as loud as the dirty sounds when the amp is cranked because there's loads of compression happening from the valves and a treble booster just saturates it and sustains it all the more.

    Plus, when rolling back the guitar's volume it retains all the spank and dynamics thanks to the raw, open nature of the germanium boost, this is a perfect compliment for the warmth and compression of a cranked Normal Channel and a big part of why it works so well for players who work the guitar's controls, like Brian May, Rory Gallagher etc.

    Last, don't discount the master volume on the CC models. I've used and heard Hotplates and Airbrakes and the master volume of the CC competes admirably for no extra expense.
     
  14. Jeremy Morgan

    Jeremy Morgan Member

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    Teahead, thanks for the clip - sounds great!

    Is the Beano Boost a flat (full) boost or is it a treble boost? It didn't sound that trebley to me.

    Were all those tones made without altering the amp controls? Maybe I should qualify my first post; by 'versatile' I really meant versatile for live use i.e. no need to tweak controls mid-song. That was the initial appeal of the AC30 + treble booster type setup.

    I get the feeling that going from a saturated lead to getting a 'funk style really clean sound' e.g. 'Le Freak' wouldn't be attainable (using the guitar volume) without backing of the amp gain - not a major problem if the clean is needed for a whole song; however some types of music call for really clean sections then saturated lead - maybe this is just too much to expect from this setup without a pedal of some sort?
     
  15. Jeremy Morgan

    Jeremy Morgan Member

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    I see that the CC amps have got a preamp volume control in the Normal channel (= preamp overdrive), but wouldn't you be missing out on that all-important power-amp distortion if the master control wasn't up fairly high?

    I suppose at the end of the day the only way to know for sure is to try/buy one!
     
  16. Teahead

    Teahead Member

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    That was the Beano in treble boost mode, although it does also have a mid and full boost setting. The amp wasn't touched at all, just cranked up the volume to full and worked the guitar's controls. The beauty of the Normal Channel is in it having the one knob, even I can't screw that up!

    Treble Boosters generally aren't "trebley" in the sense you'd usually use the word. They use the germanium to boost only the mids and highs, but not the bass. When an AC30's Normal Channel is cranked, especially with the open cab and Blue Alnicos, it shaves off some treble as it compresses and it's bass is already very bloated.

    So the combination of the two parts of the puzzle fit together perfectly and you end up with a classic rock tone that I personally never tire of playing. Here's Les Paul, Beano and AC30, treble boost again, no working of teh guitar's controls here either, but a totally different sound and feel thanks to the humbuckers ... http://www.uncledig.com/clipgallery/Teahead%20-%20beanoheaven.mp3
     
  17. jimijazz

    jimijazz Member

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    I love your clips man! Awesome, awesome sounds!
     
  18. Aussie Mike

    Aussie Mike Member

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    DING DING DING DING!

    This is THE answer to your question Jeremy. I couldn't recommend an A/B pedal more for this amp.
     
  19. Miles

    Miles Member

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    God, I'm an ignoramus, I had no clue. What a great idea. Although I'm really stoked about both my amps, this is something that makes the new AC30's sound very appealing.
     
  20. Jeremy Morgan

    Jeremy Morgan Member

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    If you were to use an A/B box to give a clean dirty channel which do you think you would use: Normal for Clean, Top Boost for Dirty, or vice-versa?

    I suppose the two separate inputs actually gives you an advantage over other conventional two channel amps in that if you wanted you could stick a treble booster in front of the Normal channel only, so that when you switch to the Top Boost channel it would effectively be taken out of the circuit. Not as easy to do with a conventional single input amp. I would imagine a Boss LS-2 would be good for this.
     

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