Vox Ac30 normal channel question?

nickguz

Member
Messages
22
Okay so I know this is a pretty stupid question, but I just want to ask it to know for sure.

I'm thinking about getting an AC30, so when using the normal channel, there's no eq at all? It seems like the bass and treble controls are only for the top boost channel. I'm a little concerned about no EQ (as I plan on using pedals so the normal channel will probably be what I would use), so can anybody with an AC30 help me out here?
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,546
Yes. Normal channel is a volume only. And the treble and bass controls is to contour the top boost channel...... However...

.... The cut control effects both channels. Cutting treble. Which can be quite effective.
 

TheKermitC

Member
Messages
993
there is no need to be concerned the Normal channel works great too ...and yea the tone cut helps... cant put a finger to it ..but I found the normal channel takes pedals well...
 

Cirrus

Member
Messages
2,429
It's one of those amps where you kind of take it as it comes. It's raw and basic. You can do plenty with the cut control to get the tone to a place that works for you... assuming the amp works for you of course!
 

jlott

Member
Messages
496
Not sure which model AC30 youre getting. But i find the normal channel of the new handwired series to be voiced so perfectly i do not miss the lack of control. The normal channel also takes pedals better than anything ive heard! You have a bright switch for darker guitars. I turn it off for a tele. It is a beautiful thing.
 

nickguz

Member
Messages
22
Alright thanks. Another question. I played an AC30 in the store the other day, and it sounded really dull and muddy and weird. I didn't have it very loud in the store, so maybe that's why? I've watched videos of AC30's online and they all sound great, but the one I played did not sound great...
 

dave12

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,937
Alright thanks. Another question. I played an AC30 in the store the other day, and it sounded really dull and muddy and weird. I didn't have it very loud in the store, so maybe that's why? I've watched videos of AC30's online and they all sound great, but the one I played did not sound great...
Sorry, I'm not seeing a question in there.

Are you asking if you have to turn it up for it to sound good?

I don't know how loud you had it, but with most tube amps, their (clean) sweet spot is pretty far up on the dial and it will sound much better as you turn it up the closer you get to that spot.
 

nickguz

Member
Messages
22
Sorry, I'm not seeing a question in there.

Are you asking if you have to turn it up for it to sound good?

I don't know how loud you had it, but with most tube amps, their (clean) sweet spot is pretty far up on the dial and it will sound much better as you turn it up the closer you get to that spot.

Yeah I know that, but does the ac30 sound particularly dull at low volumes? Or was there something else going on with that amp?
 

mAx___

Member
Messages
948
I will get one with a defeatable MV (like the AC30HW2), bypass it and use a good attenuator instead. This amp needs to be turned up a good deal before it delivers its best tone. The stock master volume is "good" but you will never get those EL84s to contribute to the sound unless you are pushing the whole amp to its sweetspot and not just the preamp.
To me it was like getting a new, much better sounding AC30 when I started using an attenuator instead of the MV.
 

dave12

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,937
Yeah I know that, but does the ac30 sound particularly dull at low volumes? Or was there something else going on with that amp?
Well, how low do you want to play it, I guess is the next question?

If you need a low watt amp, I would go with an AC15. Don't plan on buying an AC30 and expect to play it at really low volumes and get your money out of it.

The point I'm trying to make overall is that the AC30 is a great amp when you can turn it up, but just like any tube amp, the lower the volume you play them, the less articulate they are going to sound. Thus, if you need low volume, go with a smaller amp.
 

nickguz

Member
Messages
22
Well, how low do you want to play it, I guess is the next question?



If you need a low watt amp, I would go with an AC15. Don't plan on buying an AC30 and expect to play it at really low volumes and get your money out of it.



The point I'm trying to make overall is that the AC30 is a great amp when you can turn it up, but just like any tube amp, the lower the volume you play them, the less articulate they are going to sound. Thus, if you need low volume, go with a smaller amp.

I don't plan on playing it quietly at all, but I'm not gonna blow up the store.
I plugged into the ac30 and it sounded incredibly dull, and then I plugged into a fender hot rod Deville and (at the same volume) it sounded a lot less dull. Is that just how the ac30 is or does it need to be turned up more than a fender before it starts to sound good?
 

chance0

Member
Messages
960
My AC30HW normal channel is full and bright at the same time. No EQ knobs necessary when the bright switch is on for most applications. That said, I put an EQ in front if I want to get the sound of a tone stack or I have some serious recording EQ going on.
 
Messages
4,676
Yes, the AC-30 needs to be cooking pretty hard to sound right. Dull is not an adjective I would ever use to describe that amp. Either something was wrong with it, or you weren't playing it anywhere near loud enough.

-Nick
 

dave12

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,937
I don't plan on playing it quietly at all, but I'm not gonna blow up the store.
I plugged into the ac30 and it sounded incredibly dull, and then I plugged into a fender hot rod Deville and (at the same volume) it sounded a lot less dull. Is that just how the ac30 is or does it need to be turned up more than a fender before it starts to sound good?
Well, they're definitely two different animals, and the AC30 is definitely gonna need to be turned up louder than the Fender to get a good sound.

I will also say this, AC30's are actually a little difficult to get the hang of dialing in. They're different from Fenders. It takes some practice and some coaxing. I'd look up some popular AC30 settings and try them the next time you play the amp.

Also, never judge a tube amp from low-volume playing. Even if you can't turn it up on the showroom, don't think that because it sounds bad at a low volume, it doesn't sound good when you turn it up. If your local shop has an amp room, try it out in there to get a feel for it.
 

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,770
In general, at low volume the AC30 can sound a bit dull.... The magic happens when you can turn it up some and get the tubes cooking. I remember trying out an AC30 at the music store many years ago and I HATED what I heard and I didn't try another AC30 for about 6 or 7 years, and I still didn't like it in the store... Then I took a chance and got a used one in a trade. After my first gig with it, I was totally converted to AC30 (voiced) amps!

A few things to consider...
* Speakers make a HUGE difference in the tone. Celestion Blues are a big part of the magic, but these also sound better turned up some and if they're new, they usually take a few months to break in and not sound or feel stiff. Greenbacks would be my 2nd choice of speaker.

* Which version of AC30 was it? To me, the stock AC30CC isn't the most lively sounding AC30, even when cranked some. I'd recommend blending some of the top-boost side with it to help some. The AC30H2 uses an EF86 in the normal channel.. this tube doesn't come to life until it's cooking some (not even in my Hayseed).

To truly know if you like AC30's, you need to try one at gig level. An AC30 right between clean and dirty is pure bliss!

Just my $.02 worth
 

misa

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,654
I love me some Normal Channel with a Range Master type treble booster. It tightens up the bottom, can get your upper mid eq just right (I prefer RM variants with a sweepable range), and doesn't really change the high highs (and the cut control would take care of that anyways).
 

mAx___

Member
Messages
948
I don't plan on playing it quietly at all, but I'm not gonna blow up the store.
I plugged into the ac30 and it sounded incredibly dull, and then I plugged into a fender hot rod Deville and (at the same volume) it sounded a lot less dull. Is that just how the ac30 is or does it need to be turned up more than a fender before it starts to sound good?
What exact AC30 model was it? There's big differences in recent production series. Even between the C2 and HW2.
 

Fireball XL5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,958
What exact AC30 model was it? There's big differences in recent production series. Even between the C2 and HW2.
My question as well. Not sure how the newer AC30's are, but I've owned several AC30TBX's and if you plug into the Normal channel on one of those the tone is quite dark and dull (even with the Cut control set at it's brightest setting & regardless of the volume level), and it's also not as loud as the Brilliant/Top Boost Channel at equal settings. The Brilliant channel had no lack of volume or brightness at lower levels though. I may be wrong, but I think vintage AC30's are the same.
 
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nickguz

Member
Messages
22
My question as well. Not sure how the newer AC30's are, but I've owned several AC30TBX's and if you plug into the Normal channel on one of those the tone is quite dark and dull, and at lower levels it's not as loud as the Brilliant/Top Boost Channel at equal settings. The Brilliant channel had no lack of volume or brightness at lower levels though.

Well the one in the store, I have no idea what it was, but I'll probably get an ac30cc2 used, if I get one.
 




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