Mesa Blue Angel vs. Vox AC30CC

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Miles, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Just curious to see what folks around here think. I've got a smokin' offer on a Vox AC30CC 2x12 but I am hesitant as I would have to let go of my Mesa Blue Angel to fund it. This AC30 does NOT have the alnico blues

    So, as far as overall tone/reliability, etc... What do you guys think??

    Which is the better amp in your opinion?
     
  2. JonL

    JonL Member

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    I would think long and hard about selling the Blue Angel. In my opinion it's a much better built amp, and has a tone that is all it's own. I own a AC-30cc, and it's a fine amp as well, but the Mesa blue angel is a classic in it's own right.
    JonL.
     
  3. dave s

    dave s Member

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    I've owned and gigged with both the BA (210 model) and currently have a CC2x with the Celestion Blues. My beef with the BA was it had next to ZERO clean headroom even with both power sections engaged. I may have been asking the BA to do something it wasn't meant to do. It sounded great during test drives, but the first gig told the story. Not enough horsepower to produce clean.

    OTOH, the CC2 is capable of bonecrushing loud AND clean tones if this is a requirement for you. As far as reliability, the CC2 broke down on me twice at gigs. Since then, it's been completely retubed and had all the tube sockets shored up and some other 'suspect' connections bolstered by competent amp tech in my area.

    The CC2 is now as close to 'bullet-proof' as it can be. The Blue Angel is long gone! Like the amp ... it just wasn't for me. If I still had both amps, the VOX would get the playing time and not the BA.

    dave
     
  4. shadowbox

    shadowbox Supporting Member

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    I see Vox AC30CCs for sale far more often than I do Blue Angels. IMO, you should somehow scrape together the dough for the Vox and hang onto the BA. I have a BA 4x10 and no longer consider flipping it to fund new purchases. The BA does what it does really, really well....
     
  5. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

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    No way would I let the Mesa go to get that AC-30.
    Now, are real AC-30? Hell yeah.

    Keep the Mesa. It's a much better amp.
     
  6. dumeril7

    dumeril7 Member

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    I'd keep the BA and try to dig up the funds for the CC2 in some other way. I had a BA head and it was my primary gigging amp for 8 years and was solid as a rock. Yes, it doesn't have much clean headroom, but that's the whole point IMO! Its for people who like to dial up a nice overdriven tone and then roll back the guitar for clean (or semi-clean). It works quite well that way. Anyway, my understanding is that the first batch of CC2 had some reliability issues that Vox has allegedly fixed. So if you go that way, I'd get a newer one or one that is known to have any problems already sussed out.

    D7
     
  7. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I'm not worried about the headroom of the Blue Angel at all and I love that it is limited. It always breaks up right at the point of a loud drummer, which is great for an OD pedal right at that spot, so it's a wonderful amp. I'm not strongly considering this at all, it was just a thought.

    I have also heard of many reliability issues from the Vox too, and that is upsetting.
     
  8. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    If you are going to get the Vox, I would suggest sending it to Lyle Caldwell or Don Butler for mods, they do some amazing stuff with the AC30CC series. That or get on the waiting list for a Valvetech Hayseed.

    I have an AC30CC1 that I have tweaked a bit with Lyle's help, but I may send it to Lyle for a few more mods. The Amp sounds good stock though. The main reliability issues were tube related, particularly the rectifier tube....
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Keep the Blue Angel unless you absolutely must have an exact Vox tone (which the BA will not do). It's just a much better amp, both in build quality and in quality (as opposed to type) of tone, IMO.

    The lack of headroom is partly caused by the stock tube set BTW, as is the excessive background noise and slightly too middy tone. Replace V2 with a 12AT or AY7 and V5 with a 12AT7 (and V3 with a 12AT7 while you're at it, it's the reverb driver and this improves the depth of reverb tone), and if you can, put NOS 6BQ5s in it, and you will get a much deeper clearer tone with less background noise and more headroom before breakup.
     
  10. telecopter

    telecopter Member

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    I've had the 1X12 and 4x10 versions of the B.A., and the all versions of the AC30CC's. The B.A. is darker sounding to me...I didn't care for that, X 2. That's why I sold them.
     
  11. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Yeah, I had thought of those exact tube swaps which you suggested. I love the tone of the Blue Angel, and I'm never worried about its early breakup as I said before, I like the early breakup because it's always right at that great stage volume and I use an OCD in front of that.

    I will be keeping the Blue Angel after further research of the CC reliability and build quality though. I went and played 2 yesterday and both had some really bad issues.

    One had a stripped cabinet handle and a really unmusical crackle or vibration coming from the speaker, the other had a blown rectifier tube.

    Those things get HOT!! Needs a cooling fan or something.

    Anyways, the Blue Angel is such a useful tool. Yes, it is a bit middy, and I will try those suggestions for a deeper tone.

    I love the response of this amp though, right on par with my Black Pearl.
     
  12. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    I think the Blue Angel is built so much better and personally sounds so much better I'd have a hard time ever letting one go.

    The AC30CC is a nice amp, but I don't think it sounds better than a BA unless you just really need the AC30 sound and even then the Wharfdales just aren't as good sounding as the blues.

    I'd have to keep the BA.


    Personally I think the Blue Angel is one of the best amps Mesa has ever made. They are worth holding on to.

    Of course it always depends on the application for the player. I just really like the BA.
     
  13. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Don't get me wrong, guys. I love my Blue Angel and the tone it puts out. It was just a fleeting thought of GAS that I am trying to conquer. After a bit of research and some play time, the AC30CC GAS was put undoubtedly to bed. They are nice amps, but the overall attention to detail doesn't seem to be there and I played to many myself that had things wrong with them along with all the horror stories here on TGP and harmony central concerning reliability.

    Dave S, I'm sure your CC is bullet proof and I'm sure your tone kills. But if any amp of mine broke down twice at a gig, I'd want to leave it at the gig and go home, or drag it from my car on the way home. A $1000+ amp shouldn't have those issues IMO. Sorry yours did.

    Anyways, the Blue Angel is punchy and responsive and it is middy, but cuts through really well. It's a very useful tool and when I need more space, I bring a 2x12 roadster cab to compete with our other guitarist and the BA sounds pretty large and in charge. It feels sort of in between a vox and fender, or maybe even some 'ampeg' flavoring in there. It overdrives great, though I seldom use the BA as my source of overdrive, it takes the RAT or OCD perfectly well.
     
  14. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I guess I'm in the minority here. The BA (not retubed) just didn't work well for me at the time. I've owned AC30s for 10 years now and I wouldn't be without one. I don't think I'd buy a CC, I'd look for a somewhat trashed JMI or Korg that could be resurrected (or the AC15HC). As always YMMV!
     
  15. Miles

    Miles Member

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    Just for fun, it would be nice to hear some Blue Angel clips from fellow TGPers.

    wink wink!...John P?
     
  16. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    never played one, but i only hear great things about the blue angel, and from what i hear, to go to vox ac30cc would be a step down!

    just what i heard.
     
  17. AdmiralB

    AdmiralB Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's a question for you...according to the schematic (I've never opened a BA up), the second half of V1 is a DC-coupled cathode follower....which isn't used. The tone stack is driven from the plate of V1A, and V1B just...sits there.

    Other Mesas with unused triode halves - DRs, for example - just ground all three elements. But the BA actually sets it up as a CF, then does nothing with it.

    How come?
     
  18. Lamont

    Lamont Member

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    I love the Blue Angel,, i think its the best amp Mesa built next to the Mk series.The simulink is plain awesome ,6v6s and el-84s ..Imagine one w/ a quad of each that would go half power and also simlink in both setting ?? Get to work engineers.But i bet that in might get a bit heavy..Great amp that i still see for $600 to $700.
     
  19. Miles

    Miles Member

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  20. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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