Vox AC15c1...am I missing something?

Dal575

Member
Messages
21
I hear people go on about how great this amp is...what am I missing?

I purchased one along with a Peavey Classic 30 the beginning of this year. At first the Vox seemed to have a smoother, more organic, overdrive. Now after the Peavey speaker has been broken in I have been comparing the two amps at much higher volumes.

Humbuckers (Heritage 150)- The Vox seems to get good overdrive but gets very flabby on the lower strings. The Peavey, however, maintains a nice tight definition in the lower strings while also providing a very smooth overdrive.

Single coils (G&L Legacy) - The Vox is very "Ice picky"...I have to roll the tone cut almost all the way up. It also doesn't overdrive that well, except with pedals (understandable for single coils). The Peavey, however, provides a nice warm clean...much more mid range. I also learned if I roll the mids all the way down I get sort of a scooped (Fender) sound. I'm not a huge fan of that sound (otherwise I would own a Fender)...but just something I noticed.

Anyone else have this experience with the Vox? I am seriously considering selling it.
 

Gretsch&Vox

Member
Messages
2,892
It could be the difference in tubes and speakers.

The most midrangey and bell-tone/jangly tubes and speakers (to my ears) are the JJ ECC803S. JJEL84 and Celestion Blue Alnico (CBA). If you are pursuing the classic/original VOX tone/sound, you need a CBA. Tubes like the JJs are another important part of the equation.
 

Dad love mom

Member
Messages
1,780
What are you missing? For starters, you are playing an amp that is essentially based on an older circuit. Vox, Fender, and amps of that ilk are often characterized as being bright and ice picky in the high midrange. Although guitars, pickups, and speakers can add slight tweaks to this unfavorableness, the fact remains that a lot of what you are hearing works well in a band mix. You won't get lost with the drummer's snare. Alone, yes, you may not like what you're hearing.

Let's take it to the Mesa Lonestar. Another great amp, that is loosely based on a Fender clean tone, but with more low mids and bass in the tone. It sounds great alone, sure, but it also doesn't sound as "present" in the mix. Basically, before you go swapping tubes and whatnot, I'd consider getting a more modern amp.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,886
Which channel are you using? Have you upgraded the cheapo Chinese tubes yet?

A major thing to remember on the TB channel... The EQ is interactive with each other and the cut knob is very important as you increase volume.

As a Fender fan boy, I think the C1 is a great amp for the money.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,951
The raves for the AC15c1 are often focused on its "value".
It is a lot of bang for <$400 used.
Upgrade speakers go a long way in that amp. And if single coils need the cut turned up, then turn it up- the knob goes that far for a reason.
 

MmcGrouty

Member
Messages
3,853
I think it's a great sounding amp. Especially with a telecaster. I can't get those tones with any of my other amps. I also cant make the Vox sound like a fender or a marshall. It is what it is.
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
12,099
I have a used 2x12 AC15 with JJ. Fun at first it never really did it for me. Not enough head room heavy as hell for 15 watts, my JMP Combo or Super reverb were lighter.It nailed the 70's Tom Petty sound and seemed to have a less pronounced lower mid like my Marshalls or Fenders that I really missed . Try as I might I never got a great early Beatles tone, I had some celestion T652 ri in a 4x12 and they helped but realized I'm not a Vox guy.
 

talbotpat

Member
Messages
192
I think it's a great sounding amp. Especially with a telecaster. I can't get those tones with any of my other amps. I also cant make the Vox sound like a fender or a marshall. It is what it is.
:aok

This. It's definitely its own thing. Not for everybody, and certainly not all of the time, but when you want *that* sound, magic. Nothing else quite does it like that. I love my deluxe reverb for the same but different reason.
 

Coldacre

Senior Member
Messages
9,839
I love the sound of mine. clip the bright cap though, that makes it a lot more usable.

for the ultimate overdriven tone - point the Top Boost to noon, open the master volume up as much as you can, treble at 2 o'clock and put a Hot Cake pedal in front with the volume up high and the gain at 10 o'clock.

magic!
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,001
I love the sound of mine. clip the bright cap though, that makes it a lot more usable.

for the ultimate overdriven tone - point the Top Boost to noon, open the master volume up as much as you can, treble at 2 o'clock and put a Hot Cake pedal in front with the volume up high and the gain at 10 o'clock.

magic!
I was going to mention this as well. Clip the bright cap. I think it is C13 in the circuit.. Makes the amp warmer but it still sounds like a Vox.. The amp will then be more overdrive pedal friendly as well...
 

Coldacre

Senior Member
Messages
9,839
I was going to mention this as well. Clip the bright cap. I think it is C13 in the circuit.. Makes the amp warmer but it still sounds like a Vox.. The amp will then be more overdrive pedal friendly as well...
yep. and it doesn't sacrifice any of the top end sparkle either (which is most people's concern). you can still dial in "too much treble"... it just makes the sweet spot sound so much better. another benefit is the treble control suddenly becomes a lot more interactive. there is a wide amount of change between having the treble control 1 o'clock and 4 o'clock.

awesome mod if you ask me :cool:
 

crambone

Member
Messages
18,012
Bright cap mod
JJ tubes
Mod reverb tank

~$100.00 or so and you've got a much better sound. I am going to upgrade my speaker soon but since I started playing direct I don't use an amp near as much so it kinda seems like a waste of money right now.
 

Schroedinger

Member
Messages
2,125
YOU MUST LIKE IT! IT IS TGP APPROVED!

Just kidding of course. I had one for about a year, and while I can see the appeal I never really bonded with it. Tried new tubes, switched the speaker out for a Blue, etc. My experience was the same as yours; shrill, grainy, flabby. Unnatural sounding reverb. Also unreasonably heavy for what it is. I think my ear just prefers the Fender blackface sound; I've gone to a Princeton Reverb and a Deluxe Reverb, both of those sound like what I want to hear.
 

scmavl

Enjoyer
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,573
Bright cap mod
JJ tubes
Mod reverb tank

~$100.00 or so and you've got a much better sound.
^ This. I had one for awhile and really liked it after new tubes and tank. Also played a gig to a 6500 seat room this summer and that was the backline amp I chose to use out of the 3 the company provided. Sounded great turned up about 2/3 of the way (and mic'd, obviously).
 

Trotter

Member
Messages
6,676
I've owned a couple Vox AC15 C1's... Trust me on this one, get some good tubes and speaker in there.
 

Johnny2013

Member
Messages
849
have you compared it to high quality clones or the HW series? maybe you just don't like vox-sounding amps

I hear people go on about how great this amp is...what am I missing?

I purchased one along with a Peavey Classic 30 the beginning of this year. At first the Vox seemed to have a smoother, more organic, overdrive. Now after the Peavey speaker has been broken in I have been comparing the two amps at much higher volumes.

Humbuckers (Heritage 150)- The Vox seems to get good overdrive but gets very flabby on the lower strings. The Peavey, however, maintains a nice tight definition in the lower strings while also providing a very smooth overdrive.

Single coils (G&L Legacy) - The Vox is very "Ice picky"...I have to roll the tone cut almost all the way up. It also doesn't overdrive that well, except with pedals (understandable for single coils). The Peavey, however, provides a nice warm clean...much more mid range. I also learned if I roll the mids all the way down I get sort of a scooped (Fender) sound. I'm not a huge fan of that sound (otherwise I would own a Fender)...but just something I noticed.

Anyone else have this experience with the Vox? I am seriously considering selling it.
 

kiki_90291

Member
Messages
4,253
My experience with Vox circuits is that if it has a master volume, you really have to have it you have it cranked and use the gain and your guitar's volume knob to control volume and crunch. There's something about driving the power section that really gets that topology to sound right. But it is most certainly it's own sound - it may just not be your thing. I currently play a Mesa TA-15 which cops pretty good AC-15 and Blackface or Marshall tones - switching between the two is pretty illuminating. I can see why, even in a band setting, some people might prefer the more traditional BF or Marshall tone. For some stuff ( a lot of what I play - i.e., power pop), the Vox tone is exactly right.
 
Messages
178
You really have to like the Vox tone and not try to make it be something it's not. It suits my playing style well, but it really doesn't work for some people. In the same way, a Fender amp just doesn't work for me. I don't own an AC15 but will soon.
 

billyjett

Member
Messages
642
It could be the difference in tubes and speakers.

The most midrangey and bell-tone/jangly tubes and speakers (to my ears) are the JJ ECC803S. JJEL84 and Celestion Blue Alnico (CBA). If you are pursuing the classic/original VOX tone/sound, you need a CBA. Tubes like the JJs are another important part of the equation.
I would agree with all of this. There are inexpensive mod kits you can purchase for the AC-15 that can, along with a speaker swap, make it into a great sounding amp. finding the right pedal can be a challege sometimes with the AC-15 IMO.
 






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