New VOX AC30 made in china: Any real difference between the different series?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by spiritofeden, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. spiritofeden

    spiritofeden Member

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    My question is mainly focused on VOX AC30 heads made in chine, but I guess it can be easily extended to the combos as well. I'm asking if there's a real difference in quality and sound between the COSTUM CLASSIC (cc), COSTUM CLASSIC PLUS (CCX) and HERITAGE HAND-WIRED (h) series. What would you suggest according to your experience?
     
  2. Randy Van Sykes

    Randy Van Sykes Member

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    To me the Heritage sounds the best (I have the 1x12 combo) mostly because the EF86 channel is all that I use and the CC doesn't offer that.
    I was worried a bit about reliability because it was made in China and the EF86 channel is said to go microphonic on you easily. But, I've owned the amp for almost a year and have played more than 50 gigs with it and it's just fine...I'm really really happy with it, tone and reliability.
     
  3. TomVanDeven

    TomVanDeven Member

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    +1
    I went and played Randy's Heritage Vox at the last Toronto ampfest, and directly thereafter I put my Mesa Rectifier up for sale and picked up my own Vox Heritage. I got the AC30 model, however.

    Gorgeous tones with a Telecaster, I've toured Canada with the amp (in a roadcase) and use the EF86 channel 100% of the time as well, absolutely no issues. Very reliable.

    I was originally going to pick up an AC30CC2X, as they have a master volume and an effects loop. In comparison to the Heritage, I found the bass response to be much better and the overall tonal character at higher volumes to be more organic... very classic tone compared to the CC2X. The power options on the Heritage as well are very helpful in getting an overdriven sound at lower or higher volumes, depending if you are operating in triode or pentode mode. The EF86 channel also has dual power modes, giving you 4 options... sort of like a master volume with 4 stages. Excellent feature.
     
  4. zoooombiex

    zoooombiex Member

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    I have a CC head (2 actually) and a HW head. IMO, I'd decide based on two things:

    1) ef86 v. 12ax7. They sound and (moreso) feel very different. It's not too easy to describe in words, but the ef86 feels like it covers a much wider gain range and has more headroom (even as it distorts, it will get louder whereas the 12ax7 will hit a ceiling earlier).

    2) extras. the CC obviously has reverb & trem, blendable channels, master. the HW does not. some don't need/want the options, some do.


    FWIW, I prefer the 12ax7 and like the options, so the CC is my preference. But how helpful can that be for anyone else?
     
  5. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    the handwired series is made in China too? i didn't know that.
     
  6. cjcayea

    cjcayea cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce

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    yeah, thats kinda lame
     
  7. ♪♪♫♫♪

    ♪♪♫♫♪ Senior Member

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    This might be a loaded question, but in what way is that lame?

    I worked for a major golf company in San Diego, and much as they wanted to keep production in the US, market conditions forced their hand. The obvious move was to open a factory in Mexico, but try as they might, they couldn't get the QC up to their high standards. Then, they tried importing components from China and assembling them in San Diego. That worked until a factory in China convinced them to consider importing finished goods from China. It turned out that, not only could the Chinese factory do the job at a lower cost, but the quality of the finished product was better than what was coming out of the US factory.

    Leaving aside the macro economic and political implications, in terms of keeping the cost down and the quality up, it's hard to beat China. It's frightening to think about what will happen when their auto industry reaches the next level...
     
  8. mcuguitar

    mcuguitar Gold Supporting Member

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    It's lame in all aspects of the word "lame". Lame is when factories in China use lead based paint on your son's Thomas trains. Lame is when factories in China start adding Melamine to milk products in order to increase profits. Lame is selling poison dog food. So I'm to trust Chinese quality control? I don't think so.
     
  9. TomVanDeven

    TomVanDeven Member

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    IMO a quality product is a quality product, regardless of where it is assembled.
     
  10. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Want to hear something scary? My son played with those Thomas trains, and during the dog food scare we actually had to leave Target without dog food while we were visiting my folks, since they all sourced their crap from there. Two out of three isn't a good ratio, but of course it's just a personal choice and not applicable across the board.
     
  11. BadCompany89

    BadCompany89 Member

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    I find it funny how so many people seem to think that non-master volume amps always sound better, but I ask you this - How many of these people actually compared the amps at equal volumes? Usually people tend to trun down the master volume too low because they don't like hurting their ears (who can blame them), which they can't do on the non-master volume amps. It's not a fair comparison IMO.
     
  12. ♪♪♫♫♪

    ♪♪♫♫♪ Senior Member

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    Just because they have corrupt and inadequate consumer protections doesn't mean they can't make a good amp.

    I'll get hammered for this by certain elements, but take a quick look back at the history of American consumer and workplace protections. Trust me, we've had more than our share of lead paint and Malamine-type debacles.

    People in glass houses...
     
  13. darth_vader

    darth_vader Member

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    :agree
     
  14. soul1

    soul1 Member

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    me too
     
  15. 205

    205 Senior Member

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    :agreeAnd me three
     
  16. Mitch T

    Mitch T Member

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    Why is it that talking bad about a manufacturer is totally not done and talking negatively about Chinese production is perfetly fine? :messedup Halleluja for hypocrisy!

    Anyway, they're different amps, I can't really say "this is the better amp".
    The CC is the easiest to dial in and has a master volume which works very well.
    The Heritage has a lot more balls and punch but takes more time to dial in, despite the low number of controls. THe balance between bass shift knob, amount of Cut, Brillant switch etc. takes some getting used to. The Pentode and triode settings are quite different too. The EF86 channel is great, nonetheless. Have yourself an A/B box and yo've got a pretty versatile amp.
     
  17. bushmill

    bushmill Member

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    :agree +4
     
  18. ♪♪♫♫♪

    ♪♪♫♫♪ Senior Member

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    wow. I'm shocked at the support for this position. I half thought I would get banned for saying that.

    There's one other point to be made about the Chinese product debacle--and this probably will get me banned--which is that US consumer protection policies are at least partly, if not completely, responsible for those products reaching US consumers.
     

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