In what way is a Vox AC30 Hand wired amp inferior to boutiques?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by projam619, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. projam619

    projam619 Member

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    So I'm wondering which EL84 amp is the perfect one for my tonequest, and since I gravitate towards the clean Vox sound (a la the Edge), I've tried Dr Z Maz 38, 65 Amps London Pro, %13 RSA23, Morgan Dual 40. All of them have their merits, but I'm still searching....:huh

    So the most obvious fact just occurred to me: why am I searching for boutiques amps exclusively? What wrong with going with the original source?

    Can anyone chime in regarding the distinct advantage (besides customer service) that a boutique AC30 based amp would have over a brand new Vox AC30 handwired that I can purchase at GC or Sweetwater Music?

    Has anyone tried a side-by-side comparison? Does a significantly more expensive boutique deserve the cost? Will I regret buying a Vox AC30 HW, and end up flipping it like the others?????
     
  2. teleman55

    teleman55 Member

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    Try one at a store.
    I think you'll like it.
     
  3. timmy2tone

    timmy2tone Member

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    I think you'll get responses to your post regarding workmanship. The Vox handwireds are made in Vietnam (I think I recall correctly), so a tube swap may be in order! The boutiques are usually USA made. I'd really like to try the handwired AC15! Aside from all the arguments about keeping American manufacturing here in America, you as the consumer will benefit from cheaper labor and I'm pretty sure a Vietnamese factory worker can be as handy with a soldering iron as anyone! (I'm gonna duck now)!
     
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  4. iamdavea

    iamdavea Silver Supporting Member

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    "Made In Vietnam" just sounds dubious to me (and not for political reasons).
     
  5. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    the heritage and handwired amps, although made in asia, are actually pretty good, specially when you upgrade the tubes and maybe speakers if your that anal.

    re tubed a mates english 90's vox a few days ago.......... was surprised to see that even my heritage amp has more 'handwiring' than it!!
     
  6. Gretsch&Vox

    Gretsch&Vox Member

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    You like Edge tones? Go to the original source...The VOX.

    Yeah, to some, VOX may have lost some of its cachet because they're not made in Britain anymore. I've had the British made VOXes and the Asian made ones; there is no such thing as a lesser VOX.

    I have an AC15HW1(X) and it's a keeper.
     
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  7. exrunnerguitarist

    exrunnerguitarist Member

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    Get a decent AC30 (I would suggest the handwired or 6/TB models) and keep swapping out the speakers until you get a combo you like. That would be my approach.
     
  8. mAx___

    mAx___ Member

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    The HWs are in fact VOX's boutique line of amps. IMO, construction-wise they are at least as good as any of the small competitors. Component-wise they might not be on par though. Good quality parts in general, just not the best. In that respect the boutique builders have a quality advantage. But most of them have their own version of the VOX circuit.

    That said, the HWs sound killer, by far the best line of amps VOX put out in a long time IMO. And you can easily upgrade components to your liking thanks to the turret board construction.
     
  9. Mitch T

    Mitch T Member

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    :agree
    It's not about land of manufacturing. It's a good circuit, well layed out, average to good components and decently manufactured. It sounds good, it looks good and it's priced right.
     
  10. AcornHouse

    AcornHouse Member

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    I won't comment on the merits of the amps; but I will add that if you do get the Vox, Sweetwater is much more customer oriented than GC. They will treat you right, before AND after the sale.

    (disclaimer: I have no connection, interests, etc. in either retailer.)
     
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  11. libtech

    libtech Supporting Member

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    Actually they look very nicely built, some of the components used are not as nice though, although you could change that over time.. The bigest thing I dont like is those cream coloured vents/handles why cant vox just make those nice old brass ones?
     
  12. projam619

    projam619 Member

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    Cool, thanks for everyone's opinion! Going to GC this morning.
     
  13. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    What Vox can do with average parts is well beyond average in terms of getting what you are looking for. With those average parts, they nail Vox better than the vast majority of botique amps that I have owned. After owning super high end botiques and vintage units, I am not letting go of my HW2.
     
  14. lord preset

    lord preset Member

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    Nothing against the HW2, but the choice isn't really between the Vox and much more expensive boutique amps or finicky, fragile vintage amps. The Valvetech Hayseed 30 is only a bit more than the HW2 and is a fantastic, very accurate version of the AC30 with bombproof build quality. Unless you insist on standard Vox cosmetics it'sa no-brainer choice IMO.
     
  15. Rick360

    Rick360 Member

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    Howdy,

    If the current HW AC30s (w/ Celestion blues) sound as good as thier earlier Korg re-issue PCB versions w/ Celestion blues, then they're indeed fantastic amps.
     
  16. Morgan24

    Morgan24 Member

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    Why dont you buy an original one?? The prices on vintage gear is lower than ever just get one with stock speakers and your search will be over!!
     
  17. mAx___

    mAx___ Member

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    I totally agree! I've been unsuccessfully trying to find a way of installing the vintage brass vents in this amp since the day I got it. The leather handles are easier to find but not the type that VOX had in their earlier models.

    Not only are those vents ugly but they are huge. I miss the nice old days when there were no endless regulations for just about anything...
     
  18. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    Are they (the trad. brass vents) too small?
     
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  19. Gretsch&Vox

    Gretsch&Vox Member

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    YES---what Michael said.

    Wait Michael, why aren't you using a Hiwatt or Mesa Boogie to nail that VOX bell-tone/chime?! ;) :D Just kidding.
     
  20. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Get a used Valvetech Hayseed 30 or get the new Vox HW1 @ Musicians Friend, demand 15% off and invest in new JJ tubes and a celestion blue, 2 if you get the 30 watter. Done!
     

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