Blues with a Vox AC30

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Williampoulin, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Williampoulin

    Williampoulin Member

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    Hey there everyone. I play a lot of different styles of music like Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc etc.... But I've been getting into blues a lot lately from B. B. King to Jimi Hendix... I was just wondering how you guys would use your AC30 to play such styles.... I play a Strat.

    I love my tone, but just wondering how you guys would go about it!

    Thanks a lot,

    William
     
  2. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    Probably like Roy Gallagher. Believe he used a Strat and an AC30 at times.
     
  3. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    I think it does hendrix pretty decent... not the best because it doesn't do the "half-clean" thing as well as kt66 tubes. But yeah, there is a lot of rory gallagher going on.... keith richards and richie blackmore sounds to be had as well.
     
  4. Passenger84

    Passenger84 Member

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    I think for sure using the neck pickup would help to cop some blues out of an EL84-type amp. I know Terje Rypdal (Norwegian blues guitarist) does this with a start and gets some killer blues tone, IMHO. :)
     
  5. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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  6. Stringmaster

    Stringmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Kid Ramos uses an AC30 with great success--typically with an outboard reverb tank--not sure of the details of his amps, but I think they might be pre-top boost. You should be able to find some YouTube clips by searching Kid Ramos or Fabulous Thunderbirds.
     
  7. joel98z

    joel98z Member

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    Agree, the neck pickup on my strat is the sweet spot through my EL84 based amp. Role the tone back little to..
     
  8. Sam Cannon

    Sam Cannon Member

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    I've had a couple of ac30, the old ones and they sound great to me for the Americana type things or u2 type rock. But when it comes to the blues and playing solos they just don't have the vibe and mojo I'm looking for. That's not to say there aren't any el84 amplifiers that don't excell in the area of the blues, the Snider Chicago and Cali just shred the hell out of it. The Sommatone is another great little amp.

    So, IMHO the Vox ac30 is not a blues amp.
     
  9. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Well....

    My Jump Blues band, The Mighty Rhythm Kings, are embarking on a new recording, and got some tracks down recently. I'm using an AC-30CC1 with a Red Fang, exclusively.

    Since they're unmixed, and I haven't asked anyone if I could post tunes, here's a couple brief guitar solo snippets, featuring an Eastwood Tuxedo, straight into the AC30.........

    .........probably not keeper tracks, but it will give give you the flavor, a bit.

    http://www.jimfogarty.com/tunes/AsLong-Solo.mp3

    http://www.jimfogarty.com/tunes/WokeUp-solo.mp3

    - jim
     
  10. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    geez, jim! those clips sound OK.

    rory gallagher played some bad assed blues thru a jennings era AC30 when he was still in taste.

    jeff beck, in his earlier days, played something very much like blues from outer space thru a jennings era AC30. either the top boost or the EF86 channel on those amps sound really great when cranked out and w/ a rangemaster - look out!

    maybe not the blues amp, but i've seen 'em used for that. and country. and R&B. and pop. and alternative™. and worship music.
     
  11. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    I have an old non top boost AC30 that out bluesbreakers a bluesbreaker with a good Les Paul or 335. You got to play them loud to the point they sound like they are going to explode. With a strat or tele I use an echoplex and a Hotcake to push it over the edge.
     
  12. sqadan

    sqadan Member

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    I love my Strat with my AC30... Lots of blues players are using Vox clones these days - It's a different sound than what many are used to - but I really like the tones I'm getting with mine. I've also found that the "normal" channel on my AC30CC2 is a little more "Fendery" than the Top Boost channel - the tones seem to have a little more roundness.
     
  13. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    Heck yeah, I wouldn't hesitate to use an AC30 for anything bluesy.
    Look at all the country players using high-end "rock" gear nowadays...Matchless, Dr Z, Marshalls...who would have thought that?
    It's not so much a tone issue as it is feel, anyway. Play what ya' got!
     
  14. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    The only problem with an AC30 for the blues is that it's ungodly loud when it breaks up. Think louder than JTM45/Bluesbreaker loud. You could use an attenuator to cut that down a bit...
     
  15. sqadan

    sqadan Member

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    + 1 mine is ear splitting at anything over a 3rd of the way up on the master with the channel volumes up a about 1/4. It's a really loud amp.
     
  16. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    I do, but not with a Strat. See sig line.

    Maybe we are talking about a different type of blues? I am thinking classic rock blues, like Allman / Page blues?

    Good luck with whatever you pick out. :)
     
  17. stratotonedude

    stratotonedude Senior Member

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    You need a Peavey Razor and a Peavey Special 130.
     
  18. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    I think the biggest thing holding back AC30s in people's minds is that they don't know how to use them.



    They plug into the top boost channel and they're surprised it doesn't sing like Rory or Brian May's ACs.


    let me just try and put this out there.... the Top Boost and Normal channels on an AC30 are just about the two MOST DIFFERENT independent channels on any amplifier i've heard. In fact i think its just about the closest thing you can get to a two amp setup from a single combo.


    The top boost is jangly, chimey, and bell like with sparkly overtones. Its like a fender if fender had less emphasis on the bottom end, and more on the upper-upper-mids and harmonics. Fender may be a sparkling, fat clean, and the vox top boost channel is more of a chimey bell-like clean. I come from a piano playing background and having owned a Super Reverb before (which many say is THE blues amp), i'll say that the Fender cleans remind me of a Steinway grand piano.... the Vox Top Boost cleans are like a Wurlitzer.

    I don't particularly care for the Top Boost channel when it starts to break up.... there are lots of early Who sounds, and even more REM sounds in there, but its not my cup of tea.

    For me the normal channel is where its at.... at low volumes it is fat and still harmonically rich.... more like an Ampeg than a fender because it has such a smokey midrange. Its got a reedy-woody feel at low volumes on the normal channel.... which I think makes it pretty good for a jazz amp, though it lacks headroom. It does take pedals EXTREMELY well though.... much much better than my fender which seemed to only like mid-hump TS type pedals and the odd fuzz clone.. When you can crank it though is when the fun really starts.... It sings like no amp i've ever heard. The sustain and harmonics are very sweet and pleasing to the ear.... almost like a D*mble or Mesa Mark 1, but much much more organic and "rock" sounding. It can be very rude and heavier than I expected for rhythm work... but its well built for singing sustaining solos, even when its not boosted.


    Basically there are a few ways to get a killer blues tone out of ac30s.... you can turn it up and move tons of air for a Jimmy Page like minor blues tone with lots of emphasis on pick attack (think Since I've Been Loving you), you can take it to point break and then boost it with a rangemaster or clean boost for a compressed over-the-top sustaining blues sound (like brian may or even some Beano imitations... ac30s are not too dissimilar from the JTM45 and Bassman circuit), but the method I do is I dial it in for some crunch (as much as my environment allows) and use a Fuzzface to boost the dynamics to a useable level. Keep the volume knob low on my guitar for lighter crunch like the stones, turn it mid-way up for 70s classic rock type stuff, and then all the way when I want my solos to REALLY jump out at you and take center stage.

    I think the vox is such a musical amp (remember... they were designed as PA amps - to be musical for the entire band) that it brings out the best in almost everything I throw at it.
     
  19. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Great, great post.........I agree with everything said.

    I really like the ability to blend the channels on my AC30CC..........just a wee bit of Top-Boost added to a cranked normal channel brings out the nasties, without being too harsh.

    Also, it has a great Master Volume......and those are three words I thought I'd never utter together.

    I'll try and post some of my Strat and Tele recordings soon, once we get some rough mixes.

    - Jim
     
  20. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Yup.
     

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