Vox AC30 or /13 RSA31

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KennyM, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Really having a need for AC30 tones for a couple of upcoming projects. The question is should I look for the real deal and buy vintage or order up a RSA31 from Fred. My FTR37 is one of my favorite amps ever and I know all his amps sound great. I also have a 65 Amps London and while I think it's a great sounding amp, it's not really giving me the AC30 thing I'm looking for. I think I need something with a little more headroom.

    Any vintage Vox users that have a/b'd an AC30 with the RSA31? Will the /13 do it for me or should I just go get an old Vox?

    Thanks,
    Kenny M.
     
  2. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Get a Vox CC. You will have better tone than either and more flexibility. Buy another guitar with the money you saved.
    :BEER
     
  3. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

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    Depends on the day.
    Maybe Procos will chime in. He seems to think his RSA hangs with his vintage vox all day long. Plus it will do more than the Vox thing.
     
  4. themusicboxstudios

    themusicboxstudios Member

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    and when did you play an rsa 31 tag?
     
  5. Third Stone

    Third Stone Member

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    Kenny, just got a hayseed head and love it. Great AC-30 tones! I noticed someone is selling one in the emporium.....I'd snatch it and send it to Rob for the EF-86 option to be added. Good luck whatever you choose.
     
  6. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    The guy wants Vox tones babe! You aint out Voxin a VOX CC! I guarantee it! :AOK
     
  7. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    I played a Vox CC today and it is a far cry from the great AC30s I have played. It was thin and harsh sounding. I would check out Bad Cat, if only for the sake of much better reliability. Keep looking!
     
  8. GasMask

    GasMask Member

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    I guess you aint out fendering a fender then???

    Oh wait! I forgot about Brunos :jo


    LOL :D
     
  9. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    I have played several, and they've ALL sounded good. Get the AC30CC.

    EP
     
  10. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I have always said, if a guy wants a Fender clone, buy a Fender. Brunos are not clones. This guy wants a Vox sound. Buy a Vox. If he wanted a Vox *TYPE*, I would HIGHLY recommend the Bruno UG 30. :AOK
     
  11. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    The problem with most AC30s is their lack of reliability. I love the way good ones sound, but they are legendary for letting you down. Do you think the Chinese-made ones are any better? I hope so.
     
  12. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    They can't sound good! They are made in China! :D ;)
     
  13. shuffle

    shuffle Member

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    Wow don't know which amp you tried out....

    The CC's are FAR from thin and harsh. I A/B'd one with an old school ac30, not sure which year, but was pretty beat up looking, either way my overall opinion was that i would easily choose the CC than the older one. I also tried a 90's ac30 which i found sounded great, nice and trebbly, plenty of grit, went back to the CC and found i can get exactly the same sound.

    Its honestly a great amp, versatile, and sounds identical. in a live situation, you wouldn't tell the difference between both amps.

    If your after vox tones, buy a vox. If you want a reliable vox, with modern funtions and old school tone, get a CC. Dont bother with the old ones. You'll run into trouble. All you ned to do is change the preamp valves when you buy it and your set.

    Cheers
     
  14. 8nthatK

    8nthatK Supporting Member

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    I Haven't owned the RSA31, I did have a ERT33 though...so maybe this will help.
    I had a AC30 CC and it was a great sounding Vox, and it did sound like a Vox AC30, no mistake. It wasn't as great sounding as some of the vintage ones I've had, but that could be due to a number of things, speakers, wear in, etc. But it would please any AC30 fanatic IMO...however it did go down and I got out of it. My particular one wasn't the pre-amp tube thing many talk about, but a hard part failure. I've been kinda waiting for the QC issues to be sorted out, when I feel they are, I will have another.

    The ERT33 didn't really sound like a Vox though it had some characteristics of the AC30, but much tighter bass and, well, just a different sound then an AC30, but it was a fantastic amp.

    I will buy another AC30 CC where as I won't buy another /13, much of that has to due with the cost of each, but in all honesty, if they cost the same and everything else being equal, I would probably still go for the Vox.

    -K
     
  15. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    I've heard Chuck's AC30 (sweet), owned an RSA 31, and played a RSA 23 for sometime. If AC30 tones and road-worthiness are what you're after the RSA 31 is the right choice.

    It's hard to beat the sound of Chuck's AC30. I'm just not sure how reliable it would be on the road, if that's what your intentions are. If it's strictly for studio work I really,really like the AC30. I've heard Chuck's (copper panel) and Topcat's w/ a new OT (grey panel) and compared Topcat's side-by-side with my RSA 31. Tones were very, very close. Actually to my blown out ears, I couldn't tell the difference. All amps had mucho chime and sparkle...exactly what AC30's are known for.

    Now if you want modern amp reliability, kick ass AC30 tone, and a nicely handwired boutique amp, the RSA 31 is the way to go. I can't comment on the reissue AC30's 'cause I've never played through one.

    Now you have to consider also that both the vintage AC30 and the /13 RSA 31 will hold it's value, the AC30 more so but the /13's are still selling with minimum discounts on the used market.

    If you went with the RSA 31 I would highly recommend the small box version. Only because you could get everything you needed (I'm assuming) from the one channel. The click channel, at least for me, didn't provide much use on this particular amp. It's much different than the click channel on my FTR 37. I never used it because there was already so much available with the regular channel.

    -Rich
     
  16. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

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    I've got a '64 treble model. Buy the real thing...you'll never regret it.

    PS I wouldn't take my '64 on the road...no way.
     
  17. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Hey, thanks for all the opinions - exactly what I was looking for.

    Regarding reliability and roadworthyness, my amps very seldom ever leave the studio. I'm not pretty enough to be seen gigging much anymore :eek:

    I had a CC to compare to an old AC30 piggyback which we rented for a couple of sessions. The CC compared well while listening in the room, but going to tape (hard drive) it just wasn't as good as the real deal even through the old speakers. As a benchmark, that old Vox is exactly what I'm looking for.

    As for other amps, I had an old Matchless and have heard some of the others mentioned, but they all seem close but don't seem to have that "thing".

    The only other amp I've been intrigued about is the RSA31 which I have never heard. All of Fred's amps I have heard are phenomenal and I've never had an amp that recorded so well as my FTR37 and as my signature line states I did own and play a Dumble for a number of years back in the 80's as well as some other great vintage Fenders and Marshalls I have. If the 31 does sound like a great vintage AC30, I would consider this just to alleviate the pain of finding the Vox. I go insane trying to keep all the folklore of which AC30 is "The" AC30 to get (what tranformers, weather conditions, was it made by a guy named Ian, etc.). Getting a RSA31 is easy.

    At any rate, I'll probably end up going the Vox route unless I hear from a few more guys that have had a chance to compare the two. I find it peculiar that out of all the amps I've had, I've never owned a Vox. This is especially baffling since it was seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan that got me interested in playing guitar in the first place.

    Thanks for the expressed views.

    Kenny M.
     
  18. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Can you post those clips? That would be really cool to hear the vintage one and the CC together in a pro studio. I can get them to sound pretty much exactly alike. I would love to hear the two you had. It sounds like you have them recorded already. VERY GOOD! I can host the clips at my soundclick site if you do not have a place.
    :BEER
     
  19. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, we didn't track the CC. All these listening tests were conducted while we were taking a couple of days of pre production getting all the drums and guitars etc. setup. The only Vox we tracked with was the old one as well as my FTR 37 and my old Marshalls and Fenders. I can't post any of those clips because it's some new songs for a major artists new record. I could play them for you, but then I would have to kill you. :D

    Tag, you seem like a big fan of the new CC. On initial listening live in the room, the CC seemed to hang with the the old AC30 really well. We were all impressed. In front of a mic however, the old one had something almost unexplainable that we liked better. Even after swapping mics, speakers, etc. there was something just a little more pleasing with how the midrange was. We did blind listening with the engineer switching back and forth between the two and everyone picked the vintage one everytime. I will admit that this was a great AC30 and that we might have had the same opinion even if we A/B'd it with another vintage AC30. I think the CC is a pretty great amp just not better than the one particular vintage one we rented.

    Thanks again for all the great info.

    Kenny M.
     
  20. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, I knew there would not be any clips. :D However, what you are saying makes perfect sense. The thing is, every amp (both old AND new) are a little different. You could have had the exact same experience with two brand new CCs. One will have a little more mid, another a little more bottom, one smoother etc etc. My point is that it is not old or new, its amp vs amp. The CC will hang with ANY vintage Vox amp for vintage Vox tones. If a person can, like with any amp or guitar, they should line up several of them and choose which one they like best. There will always be those one off magical ones that just sound better than the identical amp sitting next to it.
     

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