Debating the AC30 thing for hot-rodded chicken picking

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by stevehollx, Dec 7, 2017.


  1. stevehollx

    stevehollx Member

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    Never been an AC30 guy in my 18 years or playing. Always done the Boogie or hot-rodded Marshall thing, though also enjoy a nice blackface clean, so never really paid attention to that realm.

    Over the past few years I've been digging the Brad Paisley sounds with that tele snarl and high-end bite. I've been digging the sound of my Tele into the Axe-FX sims for the Komet 60, Swart Atomic Space Tone, and Trainwreck Liverpool. They've got something that other amps don't seem to have.

    I am contemplating if it makes sense to round out my collection with a real AC influenced amp. Honestly, I've never played a edge-of-breakup AC30 to know how it feels under the hands, outside of sims and listening to others' recorxings. Not chasing the AC30 clean chime here, but love that percussive snarly chicken-pickin tele leads that has a bit of grind and grease. Single channel will do.

    What is the easiest approach to get near this? I am open to a head (have V30, EVM12L, and greenback loaded cabs) instead of combos. Would like to keep the size to something that at a max would be sufficient for a small bar (i.e. tweed deluxe size/volume), and don't care about clean headroom here. Thinking the Swart Space Tone Jr could get there? Any good sounding AC-ish snarly amps otherwise to look at?

    For reference to round out other gear and tones I have covered, I have a Boogie Mark V:35, Fender 5E3, and am working on completing projects for a 50W modded Plexi and a Vibrolux combo over the next 6 months. I have an Wampler Ego Compressor, Xotic BB preamp, and Wampler Thirty Something.At one point was thinking a boost into the Thirty Something into a BF could get this tone, but that pedal seems more suited for modeling AC30 clean tones than the Paisley thing, from what I can tell in my limited use with it so far...
     
  2. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    The Paisley thing is the AC30 sound on steroids though. It's always been AC30'ish amp>alnico speakers. Problem though is getting there at a reasonable volume.
     
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  3. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Z-Wreck combo with a Brake Lite.
     
  4. paulvcarter

    paulvcarter Supporting Member

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    AC30 can do most things short of metal (prolly could with right pedal)
     
  5. ChrisVereb

    ChrisVereb Member

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    What about a Mesa TA-15 lunchbox head? It's affordable and in your power range, but it isn't single channel. The green channel in top boost mode should be able to deliver what you're looking for paired up with the right cab.
     
  6. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    Stick with the AxeFX. Those Trainwreck models are fun aren’t they?

    The Vox AC-30 and AC-15, Matchless DC-30 and Morgan AC-20 are well represented too (I own the real Matchless BTW).
     
  7. stevehollx

    stevehollx Member

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    Currently intrigued by the Dr Z Maz 8 and the Swart Space Tone Jr. Will have to test these sims in the axefx some more. Is the Swart too close to the 5e3, and the Max 8 more differentiating?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  8. jdel77

    jdel77 'Meh'. Silver Supporting Member

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    You'll want an AC30 with the Alnico Blues - they've got that feel, compression and bounce you're after.
    A boosted AC30 will most definitely get into high gain shred and metal - with enough preamp saturation and Alnico's, these things can be insanely tight and chunky.
     
  9. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Have you considered a Matchless or Bad Cat? Might be right up your alley.
     
  10. IAm MI

    IAm MI Supporting Member

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    If volume wasn't a consideration (and for me, it really is), and I wanted the Paisley sound, I'd go to Brad's favorite Doctor, and get the Dr. Z DB4. That thing sounds fantastic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  11. stevehollx

    stevehollx Member

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    Hmm haven’t been a fan of the bad cat sound that Steve Wilson gets. Don’t like the AC sound in metal. Don’t know much about matchless but I know the DC Amps get great reviews.

    Probably a bigger amp than I’m looking for here. Also not sure about it being more Marshall voiced
     
  12. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life

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    John Jorgensen

    Question answered
     
  13. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

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    Which was an ac-30. The thing is though, Paisley's current sound is way more gainy and compressed than Jorgensens Desert Rose Band stuff. Hello Trouble sounds like a Vox. New Paisley is more Trainwreck.
     
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  14. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus Silver Supporting Member

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    Non Master Vox AC30 (Brain May) is the most touch sensitive amp I have ever played except for a Traiwreck Clone, well about the same. Sold the
    Traiwreck and kept the Vox. Picking with your fingers on the right hand is almost a religious experience.
    Go for it!
    They are super loud but the edge of breakup is to die for. Always puts a big smile on my face! :)
     
  15. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    IMO, metal is not something like a Matchless DC-30 or Bad Cat Black Cat excel at. I think they would be a great option to consider based on what you are going for.
     
  16. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

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    For the longest time I thought I needed super clean for country playing. The more I listened to a lot of players, especially the solos, they had some bite on them. The sound of an AC cranked on the lead Chanel is really fantastic and probably my favorite tones.
    Also, the longest piece of gear I've ever used is the paisley drive.
    IMHO a few things get "that" sound...
    AC circuit
    Gold/blue speakers
    Paisley Drive

    Good Luck!
     
  17. Bluesful

    Bluesful Member

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    Truth.

    Thus why I use a PS with my AC30.
     
  18. Blix

    Blix Member

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    The little AC10C1 does those tones really well, but then again probably a tad underpowered for live use.
     
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  19. stevehollx

    stevehollx Member

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    Hmm, after checking his website for the songs a Z Reck or real Trainwreck was used on, it seems I'm actually preferring the 'wreck tones to the AC30 ones. That may explain why I like the Komet 60 and Liverpool sims in my AxeFX so much. Maybe I should be looking at building a Liverpool clone.
     
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  20. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    Why not the AC10 or AC15? Goose them with a pedal to get into ‘Wreck territory. You wouldn’t have spend a bunch of money on either to explore Vox tones and you could readily sell them if you wanted to upgrade or move on.
     

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