Vox AC15 vs. AC30 vs. HW vs. clone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Gasp100, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Is the AC30 sooooo much more versatile and killer sounding to justify the increase in price/weight/wattage? I'm already convinced that the Verb is NOT good in either (which is okay, I can live without verb) and the trem is actually nice for my tastes.
    I ask because I have played an AC15CC1 locally with the stock Vox speaker and I liked it and the price of these used is right. I could over extend myself and go for the AC30CC2 used with Vox speaker, but it would be tight (and the amp is about 70lbs).
    Once I get into that price range, I could conceivably spend even MORE MONEY and move to an AC15 handwired head.... (I think those have the EF86 channel too?). Plus, getting into that range starts to hit used Hayseed 30, maybe even Top Hat territory?

    Arrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!! This is IMPOSSIBLE!!! :BOUNCE

    Finally, if I went cheaper with the AC15 would it make any sense to consider an Alnico Blue as a replacement speaker? I like 1x12's and 2x10's... 2x12's get heavy (although this probably won't move that much). Let me know, getting ready to buy!
    :BEER
     
  2. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    That amp is a pain to lug around. I'm glad I have a head.

    If you like the 15 watter and can live with the lower power, why not buy the inexpensive amp that you like a lot. The regular AC-30's are a dime a dozen. If you feel later that you want to move up, no big deal. Big market for both amps.

    The Celestion alnicos are fantastic. An expensive but excellent upgraded.
     
  3. Donbo

    Donbo Member

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    I agree, a difficult choice. I was in the same situation. Would love to get either a HW Vox anything, or a boutique top-booster..but needing a new kitchen and getting the daughter's car fixed take priority (ah, life's wonderful commitments! :rolleyes:) so those were out of the question for now. In addition to that, I like having a little spash of reverb, and tremolo on board, without using pedals...and plugging straight in to the amp. The HW, AC15TV or whatever that model is, despite being an awesome amp, does not have verb or trem, which I need. And, after talking with some Vox players I respect, they said the AC30 is just too loud to crank up to where you can get a sweet OD tone without blowing the rest of the band offstage, and damn heavy to lug around.
    I found a used 2006 AC15CC1 with the Wharfedale for I think about $425-450 a few months ago, and bought it. Have been relatively happy with the sound for what it is--everything else I have ever owned, which is only a few amps, have been PTP HW, Class AB, either vintage Fender, or boutique Fender circuits. This is my first venture into Class A territory. So I have played thru it at many practices, and one gig, and have been pleased. I play either an EJ Strat or a 1985 '62 MIJ RI Tele thru it, keep the master dimed, and the top-boost volume on about 2 o'clock, with bass at about 1 o'clock and treble at about 8 o'clock (way down), and control everything else on the guitar, which is just so much fun to be able to go from jangly clean to sweet OD rhythm, and on to lead OD volume with a minor dial-in. The Tele tone knob is way down, too...I was a little worried that the AC15 might not have enough punch on stage with only 15 watts with live drums, but it cuts thru just fine. Just yesterday, I put a Celestion Blue in it that I purchased on TGP, and despite not being broken in yet, simply blows the Wharfedale outta da water. Can't wait to try it in practice and a gig with this speaker. So, the moral of my thin-wallet story is, for $700 invested over about 6 months, I am really happy with the results (as are my fellow bandmates). I didn't want to purchase a new AC15CC2 with the Blue for the extra bucks without really trying out an AC15 in my band situation to see if I liked it at all... and, I don't worry about a herniated disc.. HOWEVER, I still have designs on someday either getting a HW 15, or a similar boutique model, because there is never enough Beano to handle these GAS attacks!! :AOK Hope this helps!!
    Donbo
     
  4. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    "If you like the 15 watter and can live with the lower power" -- yes, that is what I'm leaning towards. It's still a pretty loud beast to my ears with a lot of clean headroom. I guess I've just heard that the AC15 is actually a very different circuit than the AC30? I don't believe either one (of the cc models) has the much heralded EF86 anyway. But, they are both Vox's and sound like such as well. Maybe an AC15 with the Alnico upgrade is the best of both worlds for me...
     
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow, Donbo this helps INCREDIBLY! Thank You, this is why TGP is such a great resource.
     
  6. Flying Panda

    Flying Panda Member

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    Yup, Donbo's got it exactly right...it's just what I did!:AOK Although I got my AC15 new off the floor for $550. Then I got the Accutronics reverb tank, which makes the feature at least usable ($25), re-tubed with JJs ($40), and last week got the Celestion Blue ($250). It's everything I need right now in an amp. I still can't figure out how Vox sells any of the AC15ccX with the Blue for $900, when you can get the Wharfedale version, buy a Blue, save $100 AND have a spare speaker to keep or sell. Anyway, IMO, it's a great amp with definite Vox character. Mine's held up well with local gigging (no road use) and I love playing it.
     
  7. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    check out the new AC15 Heritage! It is amazingly versatile and plenty of options for whatever situation. It is loud but you can tame it on half power, plus you can change the amount of headroom you want. Ultimately, as someone that's played all the Vox stuff I've kept this one as its the most usable!
     
  8. Mitch T

    Mitch T Member

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    The AC30CC1, often overlooked, is a very nice amp. The neodym Celestion Century speaker is very nice sounding and very light, which makes it an easy to lug around combo an although it may not be 'classic' AC30....it's damn good and very useable. I thought it was just me, but then I saw a buddy of mine (incredible pro-player ánd cork sniffer) use one and I was convinced :AOK
     
  9. JStizz

    JStizz Member

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    if im not mistaken the AC15 and AC30 have different voicings, right? maybe im wrong. im in love with AC30s, and im all about hauling gear, so weight is never an issue. but i always thought AC15s sounded way different than their big brothers. i dont think its just a wattage thing that changes the tone, i honestly thought the circuitry was very different. can anyone clarify this for me?

    sorry if i hijacked the thread.
     
  10. anathema

    anathema Member

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    Both AC15s and AC30s have the 'top boost' channel. The AC30 has the normal channel too, but the AC15 top boost and the AC30 top boost channel should sound about the same IIRC.
     
  11. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    You owe it to yourself to at least listen to the TopHat Supreme Sixteen.
    The Head and Cab option takes care of the weight concerns and gives you more options. I've Used 2x12 blues, 2x12 GB's, H30 & a Blue and a 4x12 Marshall Cab w 2 GB's & 2 H30's.

    The TopHat SS plays the strengths of all of these drivers. The TH version of the top boost circuit is very versitile and the AC 15 channel is in the zone.

    Bullet proof Quality and Build that will take on all comers.

    take a look under the hood

    [​IMG]

    I know its a chunk of change but it is Vox Tone without peer except a very early 60's AC15 in my opinion.

    EnJoY ThE MuSiC
    GrooVey Records
     
  12. dave s

    dave s Member

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    The AC30CC2 is 78 lbs. A few lbs shy of a Twin. Ridiculously heavy to carry around. My CC2x (with Blues) is more horsepower than is needed even on large stages at outdoor gigs. Can't get it 'cooking' at all. Just too loud!

    I wasn't crazy about the quick breakup of the AC15CC either. Not enough clean headroom stock. Maybe with the Celestion Blue and better tubes all the way around.

    The AC15H1TV is an excellent amp. Obviously much more pricey than the two CC models, but a much nicer sounding, more refined amp. It will keep up at the couple of gigs its seen already, so that's not an issue.

    IF you feel like lugging around a CC2, the Celestion Blues and new tubes all the way around will make it a very reliable, tremendous sounding amp that will stand up to the rigors of gigging if that's what you need.

    Home playing only: I'd go AC15CC, do some upgrades or the hand-wired AC15 head or combo.

    dave
     
  13. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm going to go for the AC15CC. It's enough Vox for me right now (My Winfield 18/30 takes care of all Marshall needs - and anything else, really). This is for home use, recording and possible small jams/gigs. If I feel I need something higher notch in the future I will sell and save for a Heritage HW. If I win the lottery I'll shoot for the Top Hat.
    Thanks for all the recommendations! Now I can buy the Reverend I've been gassing over too :AOK
     
  14. scottlaned

    scottlaned Member

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    I would like to hear a bit more about some different AC30 inspired amps, to branch this conversation a bit more. Having sold AC30CC2s a few years ago when I worked in a shop, I know their notoriety for breaking down. I don't really have any interest in multi channel amps, top boosts, or any frills. I like single channel, reverb, optional trem.

    While not spending 3000 dollars, what are some different 1x12 AC30ish clones. I'm familiar with the Hayseed, which seems to be an amazing value. Anything else that has value + tone quite like that? I'm trying to get into EL84s.
     
  15. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    Hayseed 30 by Valvetech...simply sublime.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Could I stop by :dude
     
  17. blondeorphan

    blondeorphan Member

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    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
    THE PUP...wow... now THAT is what heaven will look like... NICE!
     
  18. aksman

    aksman Member

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    THE PUP...wow... now THAT is what heaven will look like... NICE![/quote]


    how do you have floating pedals?????? haha... wtf?
     

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