Help - my AC10 is too bright

johnh

Member
Messages
4,622
I recently bought a little AC10. I really want to like the amp, but it's just much too bright with my setup. Even with the treble control turned all the way off, the tone is still to bright with my single coil guitars.

Has anyone else experienced this? Am I doing something wrong? Is there something wrong with my amp? Or is it just a bright amp by design?

I've read about people cutting caps on the AC15's to reduce the brightness - does anyone know if the same thing is possible wit the AC10?
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,662
Is it brand new?

Sometimes new speakers take a while to break in - they're extremely bright at first and mellow with age. I had the same problem with a Twin Reverb when I first bought it - I felt like I had to run the Treble on 1 or off the even be able to stand it. Nowadays, the Treble sits on about 5 all the time...

Other experts will chime in, but I would say since you have Pro Juniors, which are similarly sized/powered amps, you're probably familiar with the sound of a 10 inch speaker in that wattage range.

Still, do you play the AC10 on the floor?

If it's pointed at your head or you're listening to it directly, you may want to put it on the floor to get some coupling going on to enhance bass response, and get out of the line of fire of the highs.

I had a similar problem with I bought my Pro Jr - I played it on the showroom floor of a big store with it cranked up pretty loud and it just sounded amazing.

Got it home and played with it a bit as a grab and go. Picked up radio stations in people's houses, and just didn't sound that good to me anymore.

I actually put it out in the garage for a year or two not playing it, and thought about selling it.

Got it out of mothballs and was like "holy crap, this thing does sound good, why haven't I been using it".

So it could have been a lot of factors - expectations being one of them - but I still love the amp to this day. Use it as a grab and go, ran it through a 212 for a while, goes with me as a backup for the Twin (saved me at a gig once) and I use it at rehearsals all the time (often without any effects at all, and I use a lot of effects!).

Obviously, if it's not new, or it doesn't grow on you, or you can't get out of your head how you want it to sound rather than appreciating what it does do, a speaker swap is probably going to be the single most effective tonal transformation and the easiest to try.\

In fact, what you should do if the amp has a speaker output, is look at your AC or the Pros and see if they have the same Ohm speakers - you could unplug the internal speaker from the AC10 and plug it into one of the PJs and see what happens. You could also plug the PJ into the AV10's speaker (or you could literally swap them if you wanted to and the ratings match). That can give you an idea of if it's the amp, or the speaker, and what chance there is of it improving with age, etc.
 

108

Member
Messages
2,232
AC series amps are bright at low volumes, that's simply the nature of the beast. The AC10 in particular does not need a bright cap mod in my experience. I don't find them to be too bright at all, in fact they are darker than AC15s and AC30s at low volumes.
 

Major Dude

Member
Messages
1,212
However, if you find that yours is too bright then yes, try carefully snipping the bright cap.

From there you could always try a darker voiced speaker....or maybe it's just not the right amp for you.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
39,599
It's ultimately up to you, but I clipped the bright cap from the TB channel of my AC30 for that very reason. Way too bright at lower volumes.
 
Messages
6,216
Though I agree with the above suggestions, it could be those single coils being quite bright that brings the issue on as well. Is the bridge pickup connected to a tone pot? Does your guitar have .1 or .05uF caps?
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,438
It's nice little amp, mine is fawn colored. I changed the power tubes with some old EIs I had laying around. I Left the stock preamp tudes in as I actually like Shuguang factory 12AX7's (and 6L6Gcs). It doesn't seem too bright to me. I can plug in an external 2X12 with blues and it has the same tone as the built in speaker with a bit more air and volume. I wish an AC15 were as light and portable...
 

WillLane

Member
Messages
2,034
Roll the tone knob of your guitar down instead/as well. VOX AC's are bright amps, bordeline ice-picky with some single coils- even more so if you are using a direct-out bridge pup.
 

alamere

Member
Messages
1,561
These little amps sound great in my opinion.. hard to believe it would be too bright...
Tell us about the rest of your setup, guitar? pedals? If things seem too bright, I'd suggest looking at everything.. Where do you have the knobs set on the AC10?
 

crazyneddie

Member
Messages
3,199
This is not an amp for someone who doesn't want a bright amp. Are there any brighter amps than these? Every now and then I bump into an old Vox that has been really broken in and they sound ok.
In my experiene I find them very difficult amps to get any tone but that "Vox" tone, which is very bright.
Can you return it for something else?
 

johnh

Member
Messages
4,622
Thanks everyone. I've actually put the amp up for sale in a local store, but was wondering about bringing it back home and giving it another chance. The AC10 does sound much better though my 2x10 cab, or at higher volumes. But I specifically bought it for use in church (low, low volume!!) where my Pro Jnr sounds great, but a little light on bass - even when placed on the ground.

I've since bought a separate 1x10 cab for my Pro Jnr, but that means two boxes on stage. First world problems! What I'm looking for is the warm sound of my Pro Jnr, but with a little more bass in a single lightweight enclosure.
 

Godspeed64

Member
Messages
4,245
The AC10 is the darkest AC amp I've played. In fact my friends who aren't Vox fanatics (unlike me) love the AC10 for that very reason. It's a sweet amp, that sounds very different lined up to a row of Voxes, but still Vox-like next to a Fender or Marshall for example.

If the AC10 is "too bright", then I'm afraid no Vox will be your cup of tea. To me it's one of the best amps in their lineup.
 

108

Member
Messages
2,232
Thanks everyone. I've actually put the amp up for sale in a local store, but was wondering about bringing it back home and giving it another chance. The AC10 does sound much better though my 2x10 cab, or at higher volumes. But I specifically bought it for use in church (low, low volume!!) where my Pro Jnr sounds great, but a little light on bass - even when placed on the ground.

I've since bought a separate 1x10 cab for my Pro Jnr, but that means two boxes on stage. First world problems! What I'm looking for is the warm sound of my Pro Jnr, but with a little more bass in a single lightweight enclosure.
If the Pro Jr is close to the sound you need, consider rehousing it with a 12" speaker rather another 10". 12" typically have a wider range sound and a little more bottom. Additionally, the slightly larger cabinet needed to house a 12" adds some thump. If you're not bonding with the AC10, there's no need to force it. I'm squarely planted in the Vox camp at the moment with four of their current amps, but they aren't for everyone. You could probably get enough from an AC10 to afford a nice new combo cabinet for the Pro Jr.
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
If the Pro Jr is close to the sound you need, consider rehousing it with a 12" speaker rather another 10". 12" typically have a wider range sound and a little more bottom. Additionally, the slightly larger cabinet needed to house a 12" adds some thump. If you're not bonding with the AC10, there's no need to force it. I'm squarely planted in the Vox camp at the moment with four of their current amps, but they aren't for everyone. You could probably get enough from an AC10 to afford a nice new combo cabinet for the Pro Jr.
This. Or even get crazy and do a 1x15 cab.

Alternatively, get a hemp cone speaker for the AC10. That should tame the ice pick a bit. Eminence Lil Buddy is a great economic option.
 




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