questions about a Korg era Vox AC30TB with blues

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by radialaced, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. radialaced

    radialaced Member

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    I remember playing a new Korg AC30 with blues about 15 years ago and I was floored! I played it loud and I've never heard anything else sound like that since. That being said I finally bought a 1995 Korg reissue AC30TB with blues today.

    Here I am 15 years later, finally with my own Korg AC30TB with blues. I don't care if it's heavy. I don't care that is doesn't have a gain knob. I don't care that it doesn't have reverb, or that the tolex is beat up. All I care about is that when I played through it I heard that exact tone that was in my head from 15 years ago.

    So I got it home tonight and played it for about an hour with and without an OCD. I got yelled at by my wife because the sound was coming up from the basement and that's all they could hear. It's loud, really loud.

    Then I carried it up to my bedroom and almost killed myself. It's heavy, really heavy.

    I tried my pedal board with it. This is the same pedal board use with my DRRI every Thursday and Sunday. But with the Vox it hisses. In fact the Vox is hissy.

    But this amp sounds unbelievable! I must find a way to make it work for me. Urgh! Loud, heavy, hissy. What can I do?


    [​IMG]

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  2. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    Without hearing the level of "hiss", it's hard to know for sure? Vox amps have a higher frequency that is pronounced (than on Fenders). I think the hiss could be from the extra top end that you're maybe not used to hearing? I know when I switched from Fenders/Boogies to Dr. Z amps, it took some getting use to the brightness.

    Could be a tube, cap or pot..... But I'm just wondering if it's just the "new" frequencies that you aren't use to hearing.
     
  3. radialaced

    radialaced Member

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    I understand. I can dial-out the hiss with the cut knob. Perhaps that's the high end of a Vox that you speak of. But there is still an operating hum. Reminds me of the hum from an old Blackfack amp that you could remove by lowering the bias. Haha some of the old amps used to call that screw the "hum adjust".
     
  4. Prerequisite

    Prerequisite Member

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    That looks gorgeous! I've always liked the worn-AC30 look.
     
  5. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    That's easy to achieve with the 6/tbx era amps; look at them and they peel.

    Op, that hiss that is affected by the cut control is par for the course with these amps. At least in my experience it is. The CC series model I just got rid of had it worse, and the C2 I've been using seems to have gotten rid of it altogether, plus the addition of a good sounding master volume. The 6/TBx is one loud and lovely sounding mother.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. melven62

    melven62 Member

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    ^
    So what do you think of tbx vs c2?
     
  7. Gretsch&Vox

    Gretsch&Vox Member

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    Congrats. I had one of the first reissues, circa early '94.

    Please----don't use the standby switch and use a good rectifier tube.

    It's a great amp. The filtering (filter cap values [22uf]) is quite low like a vintage VOX which makes for great, spongey feel/sound. As a compromise, you'll hear more hum.

    Those alnico blues have quite a shimmery and cutting top end. I'll bet that they are well broken in and sound very sweet and rich.
     
  8. patdeezel

    patdeezel Supporting Member

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    These are beautiful sounding amps. I own a '99 AC30 and it hums as well. You ever jumped the normal and brilliant channels? It sounds amazing.
     
  9. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    These comparisons are only my opinions, having owned one of each. The difference in speakers must be taken into account as well, though I feel I'm quite familiar with the circuits/sound/behaviour of the different models.

    6/TBx (blues)

    - best sound I've ever possessed for clean/verge-of-breakup rhythm playing
    - if you don't believe in the terms "blossom" or "bloom" in regards to amplifiers, then you haven't tried this circuit with a pair of blue alnicos
    - forward/aggressive sounding at higher volume, maybe a little brash.
    - with the help of an overdrive (Sparkle Drive/ Hot Cake in my case), it sounded pretty much identical to the overdriven guitar tracks on the later Spoon albums, which imo is pretty fantastic. Those ODs were sold shortly after I sold the tbx. I was also using it with a '73 ES335-TD
    - generally too loud for most circumstances.
    - trad. vox vibe/trem is neat (& noisy), but not often useful.
    - back-breakingly heavy.

    C2 (Greenbacks)

    - Does the above mentioned cleans 90% as good (speakers?) without the hiss. Lacks some of the "bloom" of the tbx.
    - does rock/crunch more readily, and perhaps more naturally, with the greenbacks.
    - Nice quick response feels like you're in complete control of what comes out of the speakers
    - dynamic and touch-sensitive (a huge plus for me)
    - reverb & trem are ok in moderate doses. I use them both often.
    - sounds good from slightly-above-home-volume all the way up to loud drummer volume. Nice useable master volume.
    - back-breakingly heavy

    CC

    - good cleans at "bedroom" volume, though more in a mass produced modern Fender kinda way than the other two, pretty good but not great.
    - Way overly bright and harsh sounding at higher volumes with band.
    - sagged/compressed too much to the point of not being able to hear leads and feeling as though I was playing rubber bands for guitar strings.
    - didn't seem to overdrive naturally/pleasantly, and OD via the master volume sounded like ass
    - I liked both the reverb and trem on this one, though from what I've read most would disagree.
    - back-breakingly heavy
     
  10. Gretsch&Vox

    Gretsch&Vox Member

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    Indeed.

    If you have the budget, I'll bet Mojotone (http://www.mojotone.com/cabinets) could make you a nice, VOX-upholstered cabinet for the head/amplifier portion of your amp.
     
  11. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Supporting Member

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    There is a known level of hiss with these amps -- it's said to be the preamp heater wires, they just sort of float above the sockets and board and could stand to be wound tighter. A tech should be able to reduce that hum just by cleaning up the wiring.

    Jumping the Normal and Brilliant channels is awesome -- that's how I've been running it. I've also been using a Dr. Z Brakelite to shave off a few dBs with my AC30TB/6 with very good results.

    Cheers,
    Carl
     
  12. televox

    televox Member

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    There is a fix here:
    (http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/tbxservice.html) scroll to the bottom of the page.
    You may want to try it, I remember doing this when I first got mine over 12 years ago and I think it helped.

    I love my UK Vox ac30tbx, it sounds amazing everytime.
    They are inherently noisy, you don't hear it live though.
     
  13. MoCo2k

    MoCo2k Member

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    You may take a look at this site: http://www.ac30-guide.com/

    I'll suggest doing the london power scaling modification to handle the volume issues.

    To adress pedal capability, a bright cap mod might work.
     
  14. radialaced

    radialaced Member

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    Can the Morgan AC20 come even close to the sound of these TBX's? Say that you had a Morgan AC20 head and a lightweight 2x12 cab with some old blues in it? Is there any chance of that setup taking me to where the TBX can take me?
     
  15. Purplexi

    Purplexi Member

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    I so miss my Korg era AC30 with trem. I would just crank it, and love all of what I heard.
     
  16. televox

    televox Member

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    Also, try using the lo input. It can help make the volume a little more controllable....still freakin loud though.
     
  17. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    For sure. I had a late 90s AC15TBX that the tolex stayed true, even when moving the chassis in and out several times to change the rectifier tube.
    But my 2002 or so AC30TBX the tolex on one side just "came off". One day it was fine, the next day...without moving it or anything...it had a small rip. Crazy.
     
  18. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    By the way...and I overdo this (meaning saying such on more than one VOX thread)...the current AC30s are Korg-era too. I think the main "issue" is Brit-built vs. Chinese-built.
     
  19. MoCo2k

    MoCo2k Member

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    The current handwired 2010 series sounds excellent; even better with some modifications. Throw in the power scaling, some high quality transformers, change some filter caps, some new tubes and these amps are killer, even though they're not built in the UK.
     
  20. radialaced

    radialaced Member

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    Hi Jay, thanks.

    I notice the standby switch causes a huge pop. Is that why you advise against using it?

    And yes the blues sound fantastic.

    Another question Jay, should I be careful when using overdrive pedals to not hurt the speakers? Could the extra umph from a pedal like an OCD push the AC30 so hard that it damages the blues?
     

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