Buy Vox AC15C1 or build a Vox-inspired kit?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Dr. Lo, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Dr. Lo

    Dr. Lo Supporting Member

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    I LOOOOVE the Vox AC15 and especially the AC30 tone, both the normal and the top boost channels. I'm debating whether to buy a Vox AC15C1 or to get a comparably priced kit to build an AC15 or AC30-inspired amp head that I could run through my open-back cab loaded with a Celestion Blue.

    If I were to go with a kit, which one would you recommend and why?

    Cheers
     
  2. earthlydescent

    earthlydescent Senior Member

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    I'd say kit... I know that the C1 gets a bunch of praise here, but I just don't think it's that great. I've played a bunch of them (maybe 10 different ones) and they all had reliability issues. Scratchy pots, cabinet rattle, broken hardware, tube squeal, etc. I've played one that worked right, it sounded good but not great. Now the handwired series is great minus the lack of reverb.

    I don't have a kit recommendation though, sorry.
     
  3. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    I would also toss one in for the kit. That will be a challange and having put it together you'll feel a good portion of satisfaction of having achieved something on your own.

    Don't know many Vox-y kits, except for Weber's.
     
  4. Dr. Lo

    Dr. Lo Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys. I hope others will suggest some interesting Vox-inspired kits.
     
  5. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    Trinity does an amazing Matchless Lightning (AC15) inspired kit, the TC-15. All the best parts. Great instruction/support. Fair price. www.trinityamps.com
     
  6. snoof

    snoof Member

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    once you pay for the kit and put in all the hours, the C1 will be cheaper and less headaches. I love mine, best $600 i ever spent. and no probs at all w/ reliability. Also, pulling the bright cap on the C1 helps the tone. IMO of course...
     
  7. 72Telecaster

    72Telecaster Silver Supporting Member

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    Gosh, was just going to post what snoof said - but looking at the TC15 kit for under $400 that looks interesting!

    For me, it's more a decision of if I want a project/learning experience or if I just want a solid amp to play. If you're really excited/motivated to build something (and deal with the troubleshooting and "process" of the build) go the kit route. If you're on a budget or aren't enamored with the DIY part, get an AC15C1, throw an AlNiCo in it and enjoy!
     
  8. mAx___

    mAx___ Member

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    If you get a kit make sure to compare the schematics with the vintage AC15 from the JMI era that are available at the official VOX site. I heard that i.e. Weber kits don't follow the originals very closely.
    I would source the parts myself if I had the ability to build an amp from scratch...
     
  9. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    That's it exactly.
     
  10. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Member

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    I've been gigging my AC15C1 steadily for the past year. I haven't had a single scratchy pot or tube rattle issue. Once the GB broke in, the amp really started to come alive. I highly recommend the AC15C1 for anyone wanting that classic Vox tone on a budget. I'm really tempted to pick up a HW or a Morgan, but I just can't justify it as well as the AC15 has worked for me. I wish it would crap out so I could upgrade.
     
  11. earthlydescent

    earthlydescent Senior Member

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    Well, I probably ran into a bad batch. I just had a bunch of bad luck with em'. I've never had the pleasure of playing thru a Morgan but the HW series is a huge tonal step above the Custom series. Like I said though, no reverb... What bums me out, but whatever.
     
  12. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Member

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    I don't use the reverb or trem, so those are unnecessary features for me. I'm not kidding when I say I wish this thing would break. I really do. I bought it just to see if the Vox tone would work well for my current band, and it turned out to be the perfect match. Now I wish I would have bought something "nicer", but can't justify replacing this amp until it gives up the ghost.
     
  13. slipslick

    slipslick Member

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    The Ac15C1 is a sweet sounding amp. The Trinity TC-15 kit appears to be more of a Matchless C-30 type (but at 15 watts). The chassis Kit is less than $400 but does NOT include transformers, a cabinet or speaker(s)
     
  14. Dr. Lo

    Dr. Lo Supporting Member

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    This has been very helpful folks. I'm not crazy about the idea of building a kit, so I'll stick with getting an AC15C1 and perhaps putting my Celestion Blue in it.
     
  15. losergeek

    losergeek Member

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    My AC15C1 has been a tank - been gigging it on average once a month for two years now. I had heard a lot of reports about reliability issues with the CC1, but nothing like the post above when it comes to the C1
     
  16. MarkF786

    MarkF786 Member

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    For me, building the amp is as much fun as playing it. And I know that the build quality will be better than something mass produced. And if it ever breaks, I know I can easily fix it.

    I know it might sound crazy, but I'd pay more money for a kit than buying something mass produced.
     
  17. snoof

    snoof Member

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    I hear ya. But just wanted to point out those things to the OP.
     

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