Played one of the new Vox AC30 2x12s - very impressed!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by cg, Feb 9, 2006.


  1. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

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    This was the base model without the Celestion Blues. I was very impressed with the amp! I used a Jimmy Vaughn Strat and a 61 reissue SG straight into the amp. The patented chime was there, the overdrive was rich and harmonic and the master seemed to be very effective. I played it at a moderate volume - certainly enough to get the speakers moving. I loved it!

    IMHO, this is a hell of a bargain at $999. I may have to find a used one.
     
  2. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    I have to agree with cg. I played one while I was in Orlando last month. I really wasn't expecting that much, but I really liked what I heard. I used a Gibson ES335 and a 52 Re-ish Tele. It really sang, even at guitar store volumes. I was able to take it to a room inside the store where I could turn it up a bit more, and it really came to life.

    On the other hand, I have heard that they are hit or miss. Some are just tone monsters and others are duds. A lot of reviews that I have read have not been too pleased with their long-term reliability. They have a reputation for overheating which causes issues with the board.
     
  3. morgan

    morgan Guest

    The few I've played seemed rather one dimensional and flat, at least compared to the tbx and other voxes I've had (ac15 tbx, ac30hw, hayseed). It didn't seem to have the dynamics of the others. It had the basic tone, but it wasn't really magic to me. The first time i ever played a ac30 tbx i was just floored. Changed my whole amp direction after 15 minutes of playing one. The CC's are nice amps, especially for the money, but I'd direct people to the hayseeds, the price is in the same ballpark, but the tone and build quality are superior IMO. I'm sure a pair of celestion blues would help, but I left with a "no urge to move the hayseed" mentality.
     
  4. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Having played both a Hayseed and a CC, I have to agree with Morgan. The Hayseed is WAY more amp for the money IMHO.
     
  5. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    +1 on the above. Though the CC's are probably the best sounding mass-produced amps out there.
     
  6. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    The CC's I've played have been my favorite sounding Voxes since the 60's and as much to my liking as the HW!

    Every person that has played my CC, including some members of this board, say it sounds amazing too so I am not crazy. Yes they have even a/b'd it with so called "high end boutique amps" and have still been impressed.

    I have had the opposite experience with TBX's - nice but not original sounding enough for me - the CC gets that JMI tone, the TBX is in the ballpark. Why? Certainly not because of the circuit - but maybe it's the trannies. The most well know "modder" of Vox amps in the US agrees with this assessment. The higher ups at Korg also believe this to be the case.

    I can't comment of the Hayseed with the new "JMI" mod so I won't. I had one of the 1st hayseeds and it sounded very similar to my TBX - same ballpark as JMI not the same base. This has nothing to do with which one prefers just similarities to JMI - something that some people like me are looking for.

    Which one is worth how much money is a personal opinion. If I found a handwired amp that when a/b'd with the CC sounded identical or so close I would take it. Is the new Hayseed with the JMI mod, that amp? I couldn't say.

    I also know I would not take a PCB amp that sounded further removed from JMI than the CC over the CC. That rules out any future aquisitions of TBX for me, period!

    I know of plenty of TBX's and JMI's that have overheated and needed repairs that never got slammed the way the CC's do - why? I can only presume it is the C word - China. Failing amps from Britain are considered eccentric, failing amps from China are considered crap.

    The reality is that the failure rate on TBX's and CC's is virtually identical according to Vox higher ups.

    All of this imho of course.
     
  7. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I totally agree! My CC SMOKES!! I will put mine up against ANY ORIGINAL or "Boutique" cloner out there! Totally drop dead tones all the way around. The boutique crowd cant cry the usual "trannie" complaint, because Vox went out of their way to make it THEMSELVES, and as close to the originals as possible. As a matter of fact, now the CC lovers can say the botiques sound "harsh", probably because of the wrong trannies. LOL!! The extra features like reverb, the custom eq switch, and the bias adjustments are priceless! Blending the channels with just a flip of a switch, is also fantastic. Amazingly enough, I like mine more with the single 12 "normal" speaker more than with my 2/12 loaded Blue cab! BRILLIANT! :AOK

    KILER AMP for ANY price! VERY GOOD!
     
  8. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    Vox/Korg spent a bunch of time and money getting the OT right on the CC, and it paid off. Once the new facility production quality issues are worked out, it'll be a killer amp (if it isn't already).

    I still think they should lower the price of the CC2X, though. Why pay an extra $600 for Chinese Celestions, when you could get a CC2 for a grand, buy a pair of English Blues for $500 (or less) -- saving a hundred bucks and gaining two spare speakers in the process???


    And yes, according to Mitch Colby, sometime in the last six months, the AC30CC2X quietly got Chinese-made Vox "Blues." The first few hundred had English ones, but the new ones area all made there (and apparently sound killer). Which makes sense from a production standpoint. However, I think the consumer should reap the benefit, don't you?
     
  9. morgan

    morgan Guest

    I didn't love the HW either FWIW, I thought it was too smooth and not as chimey as a TBX (ac15 or 30). The CC actually probably nails the stereotypical "vox tone" (if there really is one) more than the HW, it was definitely chimier. But it just seemed to lack body and girth. Personally, I'm not after an exact match to JMI tone. I like the extra/tigher low end my hayseed has so the new mod doesn't interest me much. Nor am I hung up on ultra boutique amps (my main amps are the hayseed and a beat to hell '68 bassman, i have an ac15tbx that stays at home). I could care less where they are made (hell, I have an eastwood MIK airline copy that I love) as long as it's well made. I just felt like the CC lacked some depth and complexity. I completely agree that the feature set on ac30cc is awesome and perhaps if I heard one with blues I'd really dig it. And it is A LOT of amp for the coin these days. But based on my experiences with them so far I'll take the hayseed.
     
  10. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    Yes, personal taste should be the biggest determining factor for sure. I always found the TBX too bright for my tastes, and brighter than I was used to with JMI amps. The HW is considerably darker and the CC is probably somewhere in between the TBX and the HW in terms of brightness, right around the JMI as a matter of fact. If that JMI sound is not important to people than I can definitely see that there is no need to go with a CC when TBX's and Hayseeds (at least the early ones) are available (especially if you want a handwired amp the hayseed is great value).

    I would have to hear the new hayseed mod to see if it hit my JMI G spot ;)
     
  11. Tapp

    Tapp Member

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    I just got a used TBX, I think a '99 or 2000 model. As far as build quality, I like the PC board and the chassis is really sturdy. It's full of 1/4W resistors and that's a weak point IMHO. I have been working on mine; upgrading components (OT and choke), twisting filament leads, etc. The tolex rips if you look at it wrong but other than those details I think the older UK reissues are well built and can be worked on fairly easy. I'm hoping for a big payoff in tone!

    tapp
     
  12. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    are these amps made in the UK totally?
     
  13. morgan

    morgan Guest

    Yeah, I do tend to go for brighter amps. The normal channel on the hayseed is too dark for me (although I do like to jump them). And I really think the alnico blues has a lot to do with the vox sound (or at least as I perceive and like it). When I got my ac15 it had the bulldog speaker. I liked the amp, but didn't love it. I slapped the blue in and it's magic. But I guess we're lucky that there's so many options out there.
     
  14. morgan

    morgan Guest

    The ac30HW was the same way. Scuff marks just seem to appear on it. The hayseed seems a bit better, but I still want to get a roadcase for it.
     
  15. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I am talking strictly about nailing vintage Vox tones. It is almost impossible to find a great old one. The Custom Classic IS a great old one tonally! There are lots of other amps with different flavors. I thought the Hayseed was suppose to be a clone. If it has tighter bass and other things than a vintage Vox, then it is not a clone. The Matchless and some ToHats are other Vox types that are different takes on a Vox as well as the hayseed I guess.. The CC is not a take on Vox, it IS a Vox! Thats what I love about it! :)
     
  16. morgan

    morgan Guest

    Well, I haven't a/b'd the hayseed and a vintage vox. But it is much more a vintage vox than any matchless or tophat mayfly, any of those. It does have a litte more and tighter bass response than the recent tbx's I've played and more than the cc. Spankier is maybe the word. But it's definitely firmly a vox. More vox than the hw by far. Like i said above, my gripe is more with the mids and higher end on the CC's. I'm just glad we have a lot of possibilities that everyone can be happy with their choice.
     

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