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Chinese made Vox AC-30...opinions?

Longgone

Member
Messages
148
In the 90`s I bought a purple Vox AC-30. I believe it was made by Marshall. I liked that amp a lot. I`ve long since sold the amp but was thinking about getting one again. Everything I`ve read about the present model is that it`s made in China. What are your opinions on the latest AC-30 and does this new model compare to the vintage and Marshall built reissue?
 

michael.e

Member
Messages
20,596
I had a couple of the English Voxes. Nice sounding amps that were very close in tonal quality to my JMI Amps AC30. I did for a short time have an AC15TVHW that was Chinese made.
Seriously, the tone of that amp still haunts me. For the price, the quality of that tone cannot be beat. I think they put some serious work in to the design of that amp. I would not mind having one for the right price. Now, with the new AC's coming out, the prices of the HWTV models may drop a bit further. I would love to get my hands on another 15.
 

Longgone

Member
Messages
148
I`ve noticed the price has dropped dramatically on the new models. I wonder if that`s solely because the labor costs are cheap in China or if it`s because they`re using cheaper materials? I`ve read the speakers are no longer the Vox alnico blues. It makes you wonder what else is different.
 

rsm

Senior Member
Messages
14,081
The Heritage series (I have the AC15H1TV and the AC30H2) were discontinued this year replaced with the new Hand Wired series which AFAIK are available for pre-order only. The new Hand Wired with the Alnico Blues now have the same cone as UK Blues but I doubt they are UK blues. The Hand Wired are back to the Normal and Top Boost channels, no more EF86 channel like the Heritage. PGS has a demo vid of the the new Hand Wire AC15HW.
 
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morglan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,503
I really love my AC30C2 with the Celestion Greenbacks. Sounds great.

I also have an AC15H1TV on the way...
 

Cirrus

Member
Messages
2,429
Fine amps. TBH you've got to go and try some. Trying to make any judgements based on the fact they're made in China is a pretty sorry state of affairs.

For what it's worth, I love my ac30cc. As with any amp, it needs decent valves and speakers. After two years of gigging solidly, it's still going strong, and I'm about to change out the transformers and choke for Mercury Magnetics products, throw some sozo caps in, and do another couple of mods that reflect what I personally want from my main amp. Along with the weber blue and silver alnico speakers I've put in it, I'll definitely have spent extra getting it to where I want it to be, but it's still cheaper and in all likelyhood more reliable and quieter than getting a '64 jmi ac30 tb would have been.
 

DarrenD

Member
Messages
47
Very fine amps - I've seen people simply replace the speaker or do some other cheap modifications and it is scary how good they sound for the price.
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
Messages
48,130
I have one of those Mahogany AC30 handwired amps that has probably the best tone I've ever heard out of an EL84 amp. I don't know if it's the blues, the wood or just the amp itself, but it has such a crazy touch sensitive presence to it, I'm blown away everytime I play it. It is loud as hell too, so I'm running a 12Au7 to tone it down a bit.

As far as being made in China, I think VOX usa designs this stuff and I can say the chassis is a flexy piece of crap, but once it's in place, you don't have to think about it until time comes to change the hard to get to tubes.... that's the only bad thing I can say about the amp. The tone is sooooo worth it. :bow
 

Longgone

Member
Messages
148
I have one of those Mahogany AC30 handwired amps that has probably the best tone I've ever heard out of an EL84 amp. I don't know if it's the blues, the wood or just the amp itself, but it has such a crazy touch sensitive presence to it, I'm blown away everytime I play it. It is loud as hell too, so I'm running a 12Au7 to tone it down a bit.

As far as being made in China, I think VOX usa designs this stuff and I can say the chassis is a flexy piece of crap, but once it's in place, you don't have to think about it until time comes to change the hard to get to tubes.... that's the only bad thing I can say about the amp. The tone is sooooo worth it. :bow
I`ve seen one of those on Ebay. I really liked it. I was surprised that Vox would produce something like that.
 

jnurp

Member
Messages
72
I had a Heritage head and cab, both made in China and they were top notch and fantastic. Dont let the made in china thing throw you off. The heritage stuff is top shelf stuff.
 

TobyManhattan

Member
Messages
397
I have the AC30CC2 which is made in China and it's a pretty good amp, especially for the price. Make sure you swap the tubes, I've had two CC2's so far and I had a dead tube on each within a couple of weeks. If you have a choice between the C2 (current production model) and the CC2 (made up until last year) get the latter, it just has overall better parts.
 

ericbeekman

Member
Messages
28
I had a new AC30C2 briefly. Tried it out in the shop, sounded okay, but after playing it at home for a few days i quickly returned it. (Got a bad cat cub 2 r instead, already described it in another thread)

Really don't like the Chinese vox compared to an ac30 (1965) at the studio we rehearse. That sounds amazing and every chord just chimes away. The ac30c2 sounds like it has the sounds and specs, but is just modelled after it.

If i were you, i'd go for a handwired series, especially with blues init. Those will blow you away! Even though they are also Chinese made, they have the full specs! Or a badcat/matchless type of amp. Any matchless or bad cat i've heard with el-84's is equally as good as a real JMI ac30.

IMO off course!
 




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