Should i keep my ac30cc2x?


I bought an ac30cc2x a little over a year ago now. It has continually confounded me - at times it sounds great, other times, the sound is slightly lacking - partially for probably subjective reasons. And its poor construction/made in china cheapness has shown through rather strongly. Either way, i love the ac30 sound in general, and the celestion blues sound amazing. I couldn't play any other style amp at this point.

My sense is that basically i have a chance to sell it now while its still valuable and try to upgrade to a handwired, better version - either the Ac30HW, buy an old TBX, or get a hayseed 30 with ef86 (this option is what i am more inclined to do at this point).

Construction wise, my ac30cc2x has had two main failures. First of all the grill cloth and little metal piece above it has started to come apart in a very annoying way. It leads me to believe that 5 years down the road the entire thing is going to fall apart. Secondly, about a year after i bought it, it stopped working, and it turned out (i think) that the rectifier tube and fuse had blown, which ended up costing me 250+ to repair. It seems difficult to access the tubes in this model amp. there is nothing that gives me confidence that more events like this won't happen in the future, and as i look towards heavy touring this summer i get pretty terrified.

Sound wise, i am both extremely impressed and a little disappointed. The clean tone on this amp tends to sound a bit thin and "plastic-y", while the reverb and tremolo are useless (although i expected this). The top boost breakup sound and the normal/top boost blend channel and brilliant channels are all great. But i feel as if i could get a fuller el84 clean sound from a more finely constructed vox or vox clone. I'm not expecting fender glassy cleans, but there is a tendency for paper thin/plastic sounds to come from the clean channel or the un boosted top boost.

Are there any vox experts out there? My question basically is are there any common sense modifications i can make to my cc2x to make things sound better/last longer, or am i in for more of the same? In this case, which ac30 model will fit my needs and be of a higher quality (considering i am unable to afford a vintage 60's model). Will the clean sound on a hayseed be a bit fuller? I'm afraid of boutique clone's sounding almost TOO good in a fake kind of way. This fear may be unfounded however.


Hey I can tell you I have sat right where your at trying to make that same decision. Ultimately I made the decision to sell for the following reasons.
It is a beast... it was really heavy and awkward and hard to handle.
The tubes were just really a pain in the butt to change. I always felt like I was one step away from damaging chassis screws etc. anytime I needed to get inside of it. It seemed to go through tubes pretty quick as well.
It sounded great though.
My thoughts were just that there are to many amps out there with a little more thought put into the design of some of these types of elements. Hayseed, Top Hat, Dr Z etc. that it didnt make since FOR ME to hang on to it when I could get a similar and sometimes IN MY OPINION a better voice then what I had. My Vox was a good one. No problems I had the blues in it.
I ended up going with a Top Hat and a DR Z MAZ 18 1x12. I have absolutely not one bit of regret. I sat trying to make the same decision you are for quite a while and am glad I moved away from.

All of this of course is just an opinion.
Good luck with your decision


not meaning to disagree with Budokahn but i have slightly different opinion. i have a dr z maz 18... love it to death. absolutely great amp. it's got some vox flare, but i want a little more. i totally love that classic vox "chime"...the z doesn't have quite enough of that for me. i wont be selling my z anytime soon at all, but i will be picking up an ac30 soon. i would find a better one and hold on to it. thats just me.


I just picked up a used AC30CCX and have taken out the Blues to use in my '63 JMI AC30 so I can preserve the original blues for recording.
I put a pair of Jensen RI C12Q's in basically to get rid of some wieght which it has done, way lighter. And it doesn't sound bad at all. I wanted also to cut down on the volume. The Blues are so efficient that the amp is loud out of the gate. The Jensen's are quite inefficient comparitively so I can drive the amp a bit harder.
Haven't gigged with it yet but it's going out next time. I'll see what this setup sounds like in the real world.

I'm a bit nervous as well about the reliability end but I don't gun my amps anyway. I'm usually happy running about 40 to 60 percent output.
I guess a rectifier replacement seems to be prudent out of the gate.

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