Vox AC15CC -- loud enough?

gendefect

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
327
The other guitarist in one of the bands I play in is thinking strongly about picking up a Vox AC15CC, but he's nervous that it won't be loud enough for what he needs. I've told him I think he should be fine, but I thought I would check in with the much more knowledgeable folks here and make sure I'm not giving him bad information.

We play music with a good amount of dynamic range, indie-style rock that goes from fairly quiet to pretty (though not ear-crushingly) loud. Two guitars, bass, synth, and drums. He's going to be using the amp as a bit of a pedal platform, but I'm thinking he will probably want it to be sitting in that sweet spot where the amp is just starting to break up.

Does anyone have experience with this amp? Is it easily loud enough to get over fairly loud drums and play small to medium size clubs (mostly bar-style clubs)? The clubs we play occasionally, but don't often mic our amps.

Any information anyone would have to impart would be most excellent. Thanks!
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,293
I've used an AC15CC in a band setting with a medium hitting drummer. It's a loud enough amp, BUT if he wants super clean tones then it will not deliver. I used mine with the MV cranked and then added in the TB volume slowly until the amp hit the volume level I desired. This gave a nice little "edge of break up" sound and I rolled back the volume on my strat to clean it up. Point of note: P90 or HB pups will make the amp distort more at louder volumes.
 

gendefect

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
327
I've used an AC15CC in a band setting with a medium hitting drummer. It's a loud enough amp, BUT if he wants super clean tones then it will not deliver. I used mine with the MV cranked and then added in the TB volume slowly until the amp hit the volume level I desired. This gave a nice little "edge of break up" sound and I rolled back the volume on my strat to clean it up. Point of note: P90 or HB pups will make the amp distort more at louder volumes.
Hmm, okay. Thanks for the info. He does play with humbuckers, so I guess that's something he'll have to take into account. Anyone else have experience with this amp?
 

Corduroy

Member
Messages
1
I've been wondering the same thing. I want the 15 and it sounds great in the store, but I don't know if it'll cut it once I get it to the practice space. Any thoughts? I'm in a band that, at times, does play pretty loud, but I don't mind distortion at those moments.
 

nezzjo

Member
Messages
93
Originally Posted by FenderBigot
I've used an AC15CC in a band setting with a medium hitting drummer. It's a loud enough amp, BUT if he wants super clean tones then it will not deliver. I used mine with the MV cranked and then added in the TB volume slowly until the amp hit the volume level I desired. This gave a nice little "edge of break up" sound and I rolled back the volume on my strat to clean it up. Point of note: P90 or HB pups will make the amp distort more at louder volumes.


What he said. I've got a AC15CC and use it in practice settings with drums,bass, 2nd guitar
 

vhollund

Member
Messages
3,521
The problem is not beeing loud enought as much having the tonebalance you need with this amp.
It lack alot of bass/lowmids and is voiced very brittle even with treble all the way down.
Wich limits its use abit. But if your guitar is very bassy..
I would go for a AC30CCH
Plenty of bass there and a much fuller sound and
clean headroom enought
 

Rev2S

Member
Messages
1,596
I think it is definitely loud enough. I have it at around 10:30-11:00 and I can't imagine turning it up any louder. Any louder than that, the soundmen and band members get pissed saying it's too loud!
 

gendefect

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
327
The problem is not beeing loud enought as much having the tonebalance you need with this amp.
It lack alot of bass/lowmids and is voiced very brittle even with treble all the way down.
Wich limits its use abit. But if your guitar is very bassy..
I would go for a AC30CCH
Plenty of bass there and a much fuller sound and
clean headroom enought
Ya, the AC30CCH would be nice, but I have a feeling he can't afford that one. I'll let him know though, just in case.

But generally it sounds like he should be able to more often than not get by with the AC15CC, and that's good to know. Thanks for your help everyone!
 

Captain Zero

Member
Messages
721
I have an AC15CC. Yes, it will be loud enough. You main concern is headroom. Using humbuckers is gonna limit this too.

Be sure to buy it from somewhere that has a good return policy.
 

phyrexia

Member
Messages
507
Get one with the Blue and you'll have no worries. The wharfdale speaker pales in comparison to the Blue.

I didn't find mine to be brittle when set up properly, but I performed some simple mods to mine. Bright cap moved to switch, better tubes, better coupling caps, and a "Cut" control (which is present in the circuit, but hardwired to a particular value).

The cut control was probably the best mod.
 

Captain Zero

Member
Messages
721
...and a "Cut" control (which is present in the circuit, but hardwired to a particular value).

The cut control was probably the best mod.
Where did you put your cut control knob?

I want to do this mod, but don't know where to put the knob. I use my reverb a little, so putting it there isn't an option. Same with the tremolo.
 

phyrexia

Member
Messages
507
Do you mean where to place the potentiometer in the circuit, or where to physically place the potentiometer on the amplifier?

I used a small hacksaw and removed part of the control PCB. Then I hardwired a concentric pot (250k/500k) for my Master Volume and Cut, and mounted it where the Master Volume previously resided.

I'd have to dig up the schematic to tell you which part it is in the circuit, but if I recall correctly R23 is a 220k resistor which you replace with a ~250k variable resistor.
 

Steve73

Member
Messages
5,010
Ya, the AC30CCH would be nice, but I have a feeling he can't afford that one. I'll let him know though, just in case.

But generally it sounds like he should be able to more often than not get by with the AC15CC, and that's good to know. Thanks for your help everyone!

Yeah, I would go with a AC30cch in this case. I have used both and the AC15 breaks up pretty quick when it's pushed with humbuckers. I found a used AC30cch for like $600. Have him buy used, you can get one very reasonably.
 

billboneys

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
770
These amps aren't known to take pedals well (aside from the Rat). I have one and I agree that the Rat sounds great but my other distortion pedals, not so much. What did help was doing the bright cap mod and changing the stock tubes to JJ's from Eurotubes. Just a thought.
 

Captain Zero

Member
Messages
721
Do you mean where to place the potentiometer in the circuit, or where to physically place the potentiometer on the amplifier?

I used a small hacksaw and removed part of the control PCB. Then I hardwired a concentric pot (250k/500k) for my Master Volume and Cut, and mounted it where the Master Volume previously resided.

I'd have to dig up the schematic to tell you which part it is in the circuit, but if I recall correctly R23 is a 220k resistor which you replace with a ~250k variable resistor.
Where you placed the pot on the amp. That is a really good idea, with the concentric pot. I would have never thought of that. Thanks!!!

To the post above this one. Once I removed the bright cap. My amp really opened up to taking pedals. Especially dirt, it was good with modulation and time based effects, from the start.
 

diaz

Member
Messages
385
I am getting an AC15 - I have tried it in a band situation with a 6505 4x12 as a second guitarist, and I admit the AC15 had nowhere near a clean tone by the time I matched our volume outputs - BUT, my tone was kicking all kinds of ass compared to the halfstack.

I later plugged in the 4x12 to hear the difference.. there was -A- difference, but the clean was still breaking a bit. But then again, I use it for dirty tones and I completely fell in love with it.

My main amp right now is a vypyr tube 60, which has more clean headroom, but the AC15 completely rapes it in terms of tone. Even the other guitarist prefers the AC15 to his 6505. Although the 6505 does amazing high gain work, the AC is so sparkly and full of pure tone.

Completely worth the mic'ing if you have to.

-BUT-

Without a second guitarist, the AC15 handles itself QUITE well if the drummer hits the drums reasonably. It sounds great in the mix. I would sit it on top of another 1x12 cab though. Anyways, I fell in complete love with the top boost channel.

-D
 

diaz

Member
Messages
385
Oh, forgot to mention, I use to own a Traynor YGM-3, 20 watt with 2xEL84's.

I never had enough clean headroom, until I bought an Eminence wizard speaker. It kinda sounds like a smoother vintage 30, but louder. It made just enough difference so I could keep a nice spanky clean at jam volumes...
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,321
If you want the AC15CC to handle dirt pedals in particular, then I would remove the bright cap.

As for loudness, if the AC15CC is not loud enough, just mic the amp. The Vox AC15TBX I used to have got buried in band practice, but I often find that at gigs I actually play softer than at practice, plus I can mic my amps. The Sound person can always turn it down or off...
 

diaz

Member
Messages
385
If you want the AC15CC to handle dirt pedals in particular, then I would remove the bright cap.

As for loudness, if the AC15CC is not loud enough, just mic the amp. The Vox AC15TBX I used to have got buried in band practice, but I often find that at gigs I actually play softer than at practice, plus I can mic my amps. The Sound person can always turn it down or off...
I put the bright cap on a three way switch - Stock, Off, In-Between.
No such mod was done on these... no? :idk:



 




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