Stock AC-15... any good?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by beachwail, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. beachwail

    beachwail Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    Charleston, SC
    I'm thinking about adding that biting vox sound in stereo
    with my "warmer, bouncier" sounding Z-28. I get the
    feeling they could complement each other nicely. The Z-28
    is very thick sounding and I'm hoping for a more scooped
    sound to go along with it for a nice blend.

    I'm looking into a Vox AC-15 for its portability, controllable
    volume (i may have it cranked up) and overall VALUE.
    I've seen them go for like the 400 or so range if I recall.

    So you think it's a good amp to get a nice dynamic, not
    shrill vox top boost kinda sound? I do a lot of cleanish
    twangy stuff, some really spanky country at times, and
    then a bunch of straight rock/ blues with smoother OD
    and light distortion tones. I'm a big fan of riding my guitar's
    volume knob throughout a song, but I also have gain-stages
    in my pedal board for boosts and such. I play all p90's.

    I've been really partial to boutique stuff lately (my top 2
    amps are the Z-28 and Alessandro Doberman). But I'm
    thinking a stock Vox might get me what I want for a good
    price. Portability is essential and reliability is a major plus.

    So, is the Vox AC-15 with that "wharfedale" speaker a good
    representation? Or does a tophat, matchless, hayseed
    blow it out of the water?

    Thanks guys/gals.
  2. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
  3. scott1568

    scott1568 Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    If you are concerned about shrillness, this has been discussed in here before.

    I recall that there is an easy remedy by clipping out the "bright cap" on one of the inputs or something. You can do a search on this forum.
  4. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    If you are seeing them go for $400USD, that must be used, cause they are $600USD new. If you are willing to put some money and work in the AC15CC, than go for it.

    Here is what I would change if I had one:
    -Speaker to Celestion Alnico blue or G12H30
    -Tubes if it is not a newer one with Tung Sol REissue 12AX7's, I would change the EL84's to NOS or JJ/EI if NOS is too much
    -Reverb tank to accutronics
    -Remove bright cap
    -Change Preamp ressistors to 220k (optional)

    Otherwise I would just get another Dr Z or tophat....
  5. HughesP

    HughesP Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    I have an AC15cc (with the celestion blue) and I think it's a great sounding amp. BUT, if you are looking for more of a "scooped" sound, as you say, then the vox is the wrong amp for you. The vox is VERY mid heavy in my experience.

    If you are thinking mid scooped single channel amps, I tend to think some of the blackface fender types of amps are more midscooped...

    ymmv. The vox is still a great sounding amp for the money.
  6. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2007
    North Myrtle Beach, SC
    My AC15CC sounded quite shrill with the Wharfdale at higher volume levels, but the speaker may have just needed to be broken in more. The Alnico Blue DEFINITELY helped. I didn't keep it long enough to try the bright cap mod, but I imagine that would have made it even better -- I think the stock tubes are actually okay, aren't they?
    So, a used AC15CC + used Blue + tubes + tech help <if you can't do the mod> = ~$700 - 800?
    I was able to get a blem AC15 handwired head from MF for $800... that killed, but I had to send it back because of issues. They would have replaced it with a new one. I have also seen them go on ebay for about $850 as well. But, you still need a cab. The HW sound much better to my ears out of the box then the CC's.
  7. phyrexia

    phyrexia Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    did all the mods, like mine (came with the blue) a lot.

    reverb tank, v1 and v2 resistors, i have a bright switch to switch between stock, less bright, off. all NOS tubes. and most importantly
    which I performed by using a concentric 250/500k pot. the stock MV is 500, the cut on an AC30 is 220k (and 200-250 works fine)

    stock it was too bright in a lot of situations.

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