Tried an AC30CC / Bought a tremcat

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by iluvstrats, May 9, 2005.


  1. iluvstrats

    iluvstrats Member

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    I've been wanting a 4 x el84 amp with reverb and tremolo for a long time so I've been excited to hear the AC30CC ever since I heard they were going to be built.

    I finally got to try out an AC30CC with blues last week. Sounded good but not as rich or 3D as I had hoped for. My real hope was to have it sound closer to a Matchless (ala John Jorgenson) It's just not there.

    A couple of days later, I went and demoed a Bad Cat Trem Cat. Just no comparison in the 2 amps IMHO. The Bad Cat is the richest most 3D amp I've ever played. Very much like a Matchless but more lower mids. I bought it!

    I played two gigs with it this weekend and loved it. It's not super loud but it fits so well within the mix. My band mates couldn't stop commenting on it.

    It's expensive but I don't know of any other amps besides Sampson designed amps that have this richness.
     
  2. sabbath90

    sabbath90 Member

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    i agree about sampson designed amps. they just have something special.

    however, i feel that the ac30 is a phenomenal amp for the price (the regular one that is, the one with blues is waaay overpriced). 30 watt 2x12 bad cat and matchless amps are a lot more expensive.

    basically, i feel that bat cat and matchless are definately in a class of their own, but the new vox ac30CC's are incredible amps for the price.

    i'm glad you got the amp that makes you happiest though. that's the only thing that matters really.:dude
     
  3. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    Is it the 1x12 combo? I would really like to hear one of them. Maybe we can get KLB to host a demo. I can bring a Blackcat 30, it would be interesting to see if the ef 86 channels sound the same. Congrats on a cool amp.

    Clark
     
  4. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Enlightenment sought, please.

    Are Bad Cat and Matchless voiced like, and are they intended to sound like, a true AC30?

    The reason I ask is almost everyone I've heard from on this tells me no on both counts. In which case, seems to what guys like you, iluvstrats, are really saying is, "I wanted a Bad Cat, not a Vox and so that's what I bought."
     
  5. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Bad Cats and Matchless amps are Vox-like, but not clones. Obviously a $1000 Vox is not going to have the quality build or tone of a $3000 Bad Cat. Duh. The Trem Cat is a very cool amp that is a further evolution of the Vox 4-EL84 design.
     
  6. Scott_F

    Scott_F Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the transformers on the Trem Cat 2x12 I used to own were as heavy as a 1x12 Vox AC30CC!

    Those trannies were HUGE. Great tone. For the small amount I played it, I couldn't justify keeping it though. I am going to give the AC30CC a try though. you just never know...
     
  7. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Congrats Joe. I see you didn't win the e-bay auction.
    Instead, you supported your local boutique guitar shop.
    Way to go.

    I'm game, Clark. Let's do that. It would be fun.

    I've tweaked the Germino Club 40 with the latest caps that Greg is using, along with another minor circuit change. I put the Tone King "1891" speaker in the red combo cab. I think it sounds better than ever now. I'd like you guys opinion.

    Clark, I lucked out and scored the Tone King Meteor II 1x12 combo that was posted in the GP forum yesterday. It may be here by the weekend. Dare you bring yours and we hook them up in stereo?

    You guys let me know when it would be good for you to come by.
    This time we can have some southwestern food at Sundown Cafe.

    - Ken
     
  8. Kenster

    Kenster Member

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    Thats what I would have thought but at a recent little tone fest
    we had an AC30CC Head and 2 12 Wharfdale cab up against
    an Aiken Invader MKI 18 W, Constellation, Gabrial 18 Watt, London 65, Germino Club 40 and a Two Rock and I gotta say it held its own just fine. Definetly not the build quality but dont hold those AC30CC short in the tone dept. I've been playing mine
    for almost a month now and it aint going back to the store.

    Gotta say though after opening these up they look well built
    "for a high volume production amp". Kudos to Vox for designing
    a classic sound with modern features and hiring a manufacturing
    facility familiar with electronics audio production that can do it for an affordable price.

    Something quite addicting about those Vox tones:dude
     
  9. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i dont think so. i think they were based off of similar designs but i can honestly say i havent played a vox i liked yet. but every bad cat and matchless ive played made me smile. some more than others but they were all good amps to me
     
  10. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    Stereo would be interesting. My schedule is probably the most open, so whenever it looks good for Joe it will likely be good here.

    Clark
     
  11. Gril Grissom

    Gril Grissom Member

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    congrats iluvstrats

    glad you and your bandmates enjoyed your new amp sound.
    If it inspires you (and bandmates) that's great!

    Good job on going back to the store with fresh ears and making your choice.
    Thanks for the report, and as stated before, not a surprise. :p :D

    Gril
     
  12. iluvstrats

    iluvstrats Member

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    I agree that the AC30CC is a fine sounding amp if you like the Vox sound but I think that I'm just not a Vox guy.

    I think Sampson designed the Matchless's (i.e. BadCat)to be kind of a super hi fidelity, hi quality 4 x el84 amp based on the Vox but I don't think they sound that much like Voxes that I've heard.
     
  13. Kenster

    Kenster Member

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    Makes sense. I have never played a Bad Cat. Not so sure I want
    to now.:)

    As its been said before you cant equate tone to $$$. You really need to play an amp and decide for yourself if it works. To me, after that you then decide what build quality , looks etc
    is worth to make the right decision.

    Cheers
     
  14. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    This post makes sense to me. Voxes, Badcats and Matchlesses sound diffferent and go in that order in terms of increasing midrange response. As you add midrange response you get more of that swirly harmonic thing going on, and the net result is that Matchlesses swirl more than Badcat more than Vox. That swirliness is what many people describe as 3d tone. In short Voxes are mid scooped compared to the matchlesses and badcatsand if you crave that mid satisfaction the badcats and matchlesses will make you smile and the voxes will not. The CC sounds like a great Vox, but does not sound like a great Sampson designed amp. Apples and oranges. I like to sample both on occasion.

    And congrats on the tremcat, that is one of those amps that I wish I could have at some point.:JAM
     
  15. Sir EL84

    Sir EL84 Member

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    I agree that the Voxes are a bit more mid scooped than the Bad Cat and Matchless, but compared to almost everything out there, they are still very present in the mids. All the amps share the basic Top Boost preamp. The Matchless bumps the 500pf coupling cap up to 1200pf and changes the "bright cap" from 100pf to 180pf . Aside from a few other tweaks, those two things alone increase the mids substantially.
     
  16. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    I agree
     
  17. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Im not sure, but maybe the trannies are why a Matchless sounds absolutely nothing like a Vox AC 30?? There is no where near the amout of compression or "give" that a Vox has. I MUCH prefer a Vox over a Matchless DC 30. The Matchless is thicker sounding, but the Vox is WAY sweeter sounding to my ear.
     
  18. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Tag, I believe in giving credit when credit is due. I commend you on 4 full sentences, in the context of an amp comparison, with not even a single Bruno reference!

    :p

    :D
     
  19. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    :cool:
     
  20. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    What, are you friggin' BLIND, Jon...?!? :eek:















    :D :D :D
     

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