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Notable AC30 Players (Top Boost users VS NON-Top Boost users)?


Gold Supporting Member
There's plenty of legend regarding the AC30 and its footprint on the history of music. However, I wish there was more attention paid to the distinction between users who made their stamp playing an AC30 with the Top Boost circuit and those who made their mark using AC30s without Top Boost.

Too often, even in marketing material, AC30 users are bundled together without regard to whether each individual user (or set of users) preferred the Top Boost circuit or otherwise.

For example: Did Brian May and Rory Gallagher NOT use the Top Boost circuit and instead goose their already-cooking AC30 with a treble booster, thus negating a possible need for a Top Boost circuit?

On the other hand, did The Edge and Peter Buck, during their wheelhouse, prefer the extra brilliance and gain stage of the Top Boost circuit?

I imagine information gleaned on this would be really, really helpful to a host of tone chasers who are looking for that AC tone that's right for them if they had a better idea of which AC amp delivers that kind of tone.

Thanks TGP!


I can't really answer the larger question of which players used which circuit, but the video below details how Brian May's rig is set up.



If you have a particular artist in mind, you can generally find their model/year by doing some digging and putting 2 and 2 together. If you get that model, it is just a switch between the TB and normal channels (if the amp has them) to see which one works best, if you could not find the information beforehand. Obviously though, the amps have to be in production in years during or before the artist's album release of the song(s) you are striving to get the sound of. And if you are getting cork-sniffery, you will need the same tubes in the amp as well- and good luck finding that information. I do not see much recorded on an AC30 post the 90's TBX series, although the CC2 and C2 are still respectable.

The reason why the information is not all together in one place is because the information is out there already, but we are all to busy playing on our AC30's to bother compiling it. :rolleyes2:
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Silver Supporting Member
The problem is that even if you the "correct" answer with some of the ac30 icons, it won't be "right". i.e. You can Google what The Edge uses but nobody really knows what mods have been done to his #1 ac30... Sometimes that can be the fun part of the journey as long as you don't let it drive you crazy.


Silver Supporting Member
Well pre 1962 would be the non top boost, and anything after is most likely the top boost-either jumped with the normal and/or vibrato channels.
The whole reason they did the top boost add-on, and then inside production models, were to address complaints that the amp was too dark.
What anybody actually uses in the studio-especially in the 50s/60s/70s, is really anybodys guess, and more likely what the engineers did to make the sounds we hear on the records.

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