vintage 60s "holy grail" Vox AC30 experts... which one of current Vox lineup nails that sound?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dirtytony, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    I have 4 AC30 OTs on hand, including a '62 Haddon. I know some sound different and I would be surprised if any of them sounded the same. One is modeled after old Haddons. There's one out of the four I am not crazy about but the other three all sound great. Different yet great. Conclusion: a good modern OT is capable of great results, just like a good old transformer is capable of great results.
     
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  2. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    With "old", which was omitted from the quote, it's a saying in North American English. It just means "old." The donkey is just emphasis.
     
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  3. Funky54

    Funky54 Member

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    My 65 is cleaner than that. Maybe the tubes though. I always went for clean and added pedals after I blew the original tranny.
     
  4. silvertone

    silvertone Member

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    I agree - Original speakers are a huge part of it. I have a pair of Reissue Blues in a Cab, broken in for 20 years or more, still don’t sound as good as the originals. Transformers as well. I had one OT blow. Tried a Mercury, and ended up with a Merren, which I liked better, but still not as sweet as the original. And - I’ll stick by my previous post, a vintage AC30 is not necessarily much more than a boutique version. A quick search on gbase, just now, I found an original Matchless DC 30 Head for around $4000, and a 64 AC30 combo with original speakers for $3500. Just sayin. But, shoot, maybe I should keep this to myself
     
  5. dumbell78

    dumbell78 Member

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    I agree some of the boutique stuff (especially new)isnt that far apart from the real thing. Issue is if you are looking at the Korg era stuff compared to the vintage, you get further apart. Just a quick example here in Australia, just did a quick search:

    Korg era $1200 ask
    Vintage JMI era $3800

    I've gassed hard for a vintage one but always wanted to try the Korg era AC30, its a big difference I cant ignore. I imagine lot of guys will stop and think about it as well.
     
  6. plumberstrummer

    plumberstrummer Fatal3Records.com Supporting Member

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    ^ agreed. Nothing really comes close to a good ac30, but of modern amps - even boutique - the 60th anniversary AC15 handwired at least has its own "thing" that is closer to the "thing" the old ones have than others. My two cents
     
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  7. feet

    feet Supporting Member

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    the new guys can't replicate the old circuit properly
    the circuit isn't complicated at all
    years of use is what makes them special
    the old ones sounded that way new
    it's the old speakers that have the magic
    i got that sound with new speakers
    no two old ones sound alike
    you can get that sound from any old one
    the new ones can't come close
    you can get that sound from a modern one

    i'm glad there is a consensus here. we really got to the bottom of it as a team. :confused:

    i asked in the other thread but i'll ask in this one since we're all here: any thoughts on the tayden ace 25 speakers? how does it compare to other alinco speakers, both old and new?
     
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  8. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    What sort of condition?

    That's less than I expected.

    I was thinking for an all original, clean one down here you'd need $6K+.
     
  9. robyogi

    robyogi Silver Supporting Member

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    Anyone have any experience with the Nolatone Chimey Limey? Had my eye on these for a while. Not sure if the 30 watt 2 channel version is an AC30 or AC15 variant though. Not a clone, but the clips always sound good to me. They don't seem as overly bright as many other variants on this type of amp do.





    Rougher clip with some cleans:

     
  10. dumbell78

    dumbell78 Member

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    Have no clue, just quickly did a search on Gumtree. I'm on my phone so didn't really read the listing. Probably not original or some mods maybe?
     
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  11. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Based purely on the price that would be my assumption.
     
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  12. jdel77

    jdel77 Member

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    I paid $4K Australian dollars on the nose for my '64 Top Boost 3 or 4 years ago.
    Our drummer has his Dad's '65.
    Both sound identical - just like what old Mesa IIC+'s and Eddie's Plexi reputedly have, there's that sag, compression and 3D richness to the tone that I couldn't get out of my Korg era TBX.
    The difference was something like what's between an old Marshall and a Hiwatt - the TBX was fast, clear and immediate, whereas the '64 has that push/pull going on in the feel while being incredibly clear and punchy - it's flipping addictive.

    Transformers? Components like mustard caps and carbon comp resistors? Vintage and super broken in original Celestion Blues? Who knows. Nothing new sounds like it though, that much I know for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  13. scott

    scott Member

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    Transformers make a big difference. I wouldn’t have thought so until I blew a tranny in my 18 watt Marshall. I had a James Peters put a Hammond in it and I couldn’t believe the difference. It was way louder and cleaner.
    With that said, I understand the desire to have an original but after the band kicks in and you got your groove going who cares about the little nuances between the two. As long as it’s loud enough and getting you in the ballpark beautiful music can be made.
    Then again I’ve never cared about “vintage correct” or trying to sound exactly like someone else. I just like a good sound.
     
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  14. hogy

    hogy Member

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    You guys with all your vintage AC30 talk made me drag the old girl to the bar gig last night. Let me say this one more time, with the experience fresh in my mind, there is NOTHING like a good AC30.

    Taking it out to the gig again tonight.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. teleluvver

    teleluvver Member

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    I can see your point about speaker cone material, but most of these facts (tubes, component drift, etc) also hold true for old Fenders. I’ve owned many tweed and blackface Fenders, and have gigged some of the best sounding examples ever built. I used to believe the same way as you about vintage, but my mind was changed. I found modern builds that sounded as good as any old Fender I’ve ever played, and they had many modern features that made them more flexible (effects loops, great volume control, etc). No old speakers or nos tubes, just world class tone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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  16. murraythek

    murraythek Member

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    Ah ok. His comment about closing shop on Facebook indicated he had been difficult to deal with at times.
     
  17. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Jealous once again Hogy.
     
  18. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    I have an AC30 C2, bought Vox UK factory modded with UK Celestion Blues.

    It sounds very AC30 and chimy to me.

    I bought it because I was a big fan of The Edge, Brian May and Paul Weller.

    I have not been disappointed, and it gets as close as I could have hoped and has been very reliable.

    Others tell me they sound nothing like originals. They maybe right, but I have never laid hands on an original... so its a case of ignorant bliss for me.

     
  19. tinkercity

    tinkercity Supporting Member

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  20. murraythek

    murraythek Member

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