HELP!! AC30/Hayseed 30 learning curve (long)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Crowder, Dec 18, 2009.


  1. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    In the 25-odd years I've been playing, all I've ever played are Fender or Fender-inspired amps. Never owned an amp with EL-xx power tubes...never even spent much time plugged into one. I play rootsy rock, blues and country, and the blackface tone has always been "it" for me. So recently I decided to try what I'd never had and got a Hayseed 30 head. I'm playing it through the only cab I have, which is a Carr 2x12 with 2 12" Emi Wizards.

    I was totally underwhelmed at first. I guess I spent the first 30 minutes trying to make it sound like a blackface. :messedup The second and third times I fired it up, I started trying to find the tone that the amp wanted to make, if that makes sense. And things started to happen. I found not one, but two really nice tones in the amp, one from each channel. And both of those responded really well to rolling off the volume on my strat. Now, it seems, I'm getting somewhere. I'm falling for the responsiveness and sensitivity of the thing. I'm learning to "use" the tremendous low-end I'm getting (though I'm thinking that 2x10 may be a better fit for this amp).

    Here's what I'm using now:
    -- Half-power mode, Master at high noon
    -- Channel 1, EF-86 bright setting, volume at 10:30, low-gain input
    -- Channel 2, volume at 11 o'clock, high-gain input, bass and treble each around 9 o'clock, Cut all the way down.

    Channel 1 is an edgier, punchier and more broken-up tone, similar to what I think of as a cranked Marshall tone. Channel 2 is giving me a rounder, juicy tone that is closer to a tweed tone. It is still pretty hairy when you lay into it but overall it feels less pushed. They both clean up nicely as I roll off the volume. I'm working on an A/B box to switch between the two, and I'm looking forward to getting this rig over to the band space to see how the amp fits in with everything else. It's so PRESENT that I feel like I'll have to learn how to play it. It reminds me of playing an acoustic instrument, in that it's so much more sensitive to my attack. It's all too easy to squeeze out the odd REALLY LOUD note. At the same time, single notes and double stops seem so big, especially in the mid-range, that I can see how someone's style might develop around using that to his advantage.

    My only tonal complaint is on the top end. The B and E strings played up high seem to be lacking the personality and character of the lows and mids. Maybe this is why Vox-heads are so particular about the kinds of speakers they choose?

    So, for those of you who have more experience using these kinds of amps, I'd love to have some pointers. What speakers tend to work best? Are there any secrets to taming the amp, or learning to control the touch-sensitivity in a band setting? Any other great tips?

    I appreciate it.
     
  2. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    Yeah, AC30-type amps take some getting used to, but once you do you don't want to go back! (at least it worked that way for me)

    Speaker-wise, to bring out the most in the amp IMO and really sweeten the top end, you need some good AlNiCo's. I use Tone Tubbies with mine, and Weber or Celestion Blues certainly will work a treat as well.
     
  3. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

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    Hi,
    Is this a new amp you bought from me?
    If not, it may need some upgrades. If it was a used amp you can send me the serial number and i can let you know what it may need.
    Rob
     
  4. amp boy

    amp boy Member

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    i think these dual channel amps of EF86/12ax7 that play more in the voxy end would best be served by a blue and silver speaker combo.
     
  5. Tadams

    Tadams Silver Supporting Member

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    What kind of guitar are you using?
    My Hayseed 30 really seems to come alive with single coil pickups, strat, Tele, P90's.
    Humbuckers sound good, but single-coils really seem to enhance the character of the amp.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    any other tips?
     
  7. mockoman

    mockoman Member

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    I like to jumper the inputs,top #1 to bottom #2,then plug into top #2. Top inputs are hotter,Input #1 is the ef86 and input #2 is the TopBoost.

    I set the #2 vol to just below breaking up (11 to 12 o'clock for single coils,less for HB's).
    Then,blend in the volume of #1 (EF86),which is a big,fat, midrange,almost acts like an active eq.

    Leave the ef86 vol off,and with a Strat,I get the tone from the Beatles Nowhere Man.Blend in some ef86,and it will go into LZ I & II.

    Oh,and my speakers are a Vintage 30 and a G12H in an open back StoneAge cab.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  8. mockoman

    mockoman Member

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    Crowder,Rob is the builder,check it out...

    My Hayseed is a later,post mod head,and it's perfect.
     
  9. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Supporting Member

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    Mines pretty perfect too. Came as a 2x12 combo with weber blues. Got the Allwood mods done and presto - love it. I did buy a great headcab from Rob to drop the chassis into. This helped with some tube rattle issues. Takes pedals amazingly well. For me, it's "the" sound. No perfect setting - it just all works. Once you get the controls down it's more just tweaking to fit the guitar. Mine lives in the studio and it gets much love.

    I consider myself very lucky to have begun my Vox experience with a Hayseed. Think of all the money I saved:)
     
  10. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    Sweet looking amp man! I guess us MO boys have pretty good taste in amps?
    Here's mine.
    [​IMG]

    I think that these things really come to life with AlNiCo speakers.... I tried it through a 2x12 with V30's in it and although it did sound pretty good and had a different feel, it didn't sound no where close to as good without the AlNiCo speakers.
     
  11. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    Rob builds great amps. I had mine loaded with 2 Red Fangs, and loved it. ONLY sold it due to weight. May buy it back tho, as it was one of the best amps I've ever owned.

    I ran mine on full power, and jumpered the channels. Lots of great tones on tap. Stay with it, you'll learn to love it.
     
  12. calmepeter

    calmepeter Member

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    question for both you guys: i contacted the guy at valvetech and he said he couldn't put those vox grills on his amps. so how did you get them on there?
     
  13. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    Not sure about now, but when I first contacted Rob about the way I wanted my amp to look, he said he couldn't do the Vox grill unless we purchased it from a supplier and sent it to him.... He wasn't allowed to purchase it himself for use on amps, but we (the amp buyer) could purchase it and request it be put on an amp he was customizing for us. That was a year ago, not sure if that is still true or if maybe something has changed? I'm sure if you ask Rob, he would let you know.
     
  14. Anthony Gring

    Anthony Gring Silver Supporting Member

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    I ordered a Hayseed 30 head a few weeks ago. Got it w/ the EF86 and Top Boost channels. Half power switch and master volume. Blonde tolex w/ wheat cloth. It will be my first. Did it based on reviews and talking with people that own them ( Thanks Telejas!) I have a 1 X 12 cab w/ a Celestion Gold and a 2 X 12 cab w/ Celestion Blues I'm planning to use it with. I got my first Vox amp three months ago- an early 90's Korg AC30/6tbx. With Strats and Teles, I play roots rock, blues and country as well. THERE was the sound I'd been looking for for so long! Ordered the Hayseed head for reliability and versatility. I'm keeping the AC30 of course as well. I'll post a review when I get it. Thanks for pointers on this thread. I'm sure I'll have questions when I get it sometime after New Years.
     
  15. Lennox Lewis

    Lennox Lewis Member

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    I'm with the poster above about having to get used to the AC30-type amps. I started out wondering why I didn't dig it like I expected. I'm now completely hooked.
     
  16. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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  17. woude

    woude Member

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    I bought an AC30H2 (heritage series) a few months ago and I'm still in learning to adjust to it. Normally I play koch amps and compared to that, this amp is pretty different. I find the Vox to be extremely loud, even with a band I can hardly turn it up to the point where it sounds the best. I also find the vox to have an extremely dynamic & direct character which punishes you for every tiny mistake you make. There is something in the upper midrange that ' bites'. I always feel the urge to use a delay to somewhat soften the attack & bite.

    What I love is the vintage flavor, the pristine highs, the overtones, etc. If you know how to play this thing, it will really reward you in the end!

    I really like the catalinbread DLS & Timmy to give it some drive btw. And an EHX Memory Man is just *perfect*, but also a bit cliche. ;-)
     
  18. tralfax19645

    tralfax19645 Member

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    Hi,
    I cannot use VOCKs diamond grill cloth on any of my amps. You can order the amp without the grill cloth and put it on yourself, but my amps cannot be sold with the grill cloth installed by me.
    Korgs lawyers say thats a no no.
     
  19. Tadams

    Tadams Silver Supporting Member

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    Keep us posted, and congrats!
     
  20. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    Celestion Blues are pretty much a requirement for me on these type amps. The WGS Black and Blue is great as well. Have not tried ASW's version yet.

    The Carr speaker cab you have is not a good match IMHO
     

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