Vox AC30C2 vs Blackstar Stage 60

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by killTheMoonlight, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. killTheMoonlight

    killTheMoonlight Member

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    I have a chance at getting either a Vox AC30C2 or a Blackstar Stage 60 and I was wondering what your opinions are for the tones that I am trying to achieve. I'm looking for an amp to get me sounds such as Band of Skulls, Queens of the Stone Age, Television, Arctic Monkeys, Minus the Bear, My Morning Jacket, and Weezer.

    For guitars my main guitar is a Gibson SG, and I'm not against using drive pedals (I have a rat and a big muff).

    I'm looking for an amp with a nice clean that allows me to get tones such as those (or at least close to) with a decent low end that also doesnt sound so bad a lower volumes.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bbutler123

    bbutler123 Member

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    I've never been able to care for an AC30 because it seems too bright and harsh for me. I have had that Blackstar amp though, and I thought it was fabulous. It is full of bass and sounds good even soft. It is VERY full, and sounds a lot like my Marshall DSL which sat right next to it for months, in my studio. I also think the build quality was excellent.

    I trust Blackstar a lot.
     
  3. Drmojoxl

    Drmojoxl Supporting Member

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    I would go AC30 all the way. I had a horrible experience with Blackstar. My HT-5 died not long after I got it. The circuit board went bad and needed to be replaced. The board cost almost as much as the amp did. Build quality on the AC 30 is much better and with the right pedals you can cover a lot more ground. The Blackstar is not very versatile IMHO.
     
  4. killTheMoonlight

    killTheMoonlight Member

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    Seems to be 2 polar opposite viewpoints. I've heard horror stories about AC30s as well though and im not sure how similar the HT-5 is with the HT60.

    Anyone else have any experience with either or both amps for the same styles of music that I listed?
     
  5. Godspeed64

    Godspeed64 Member

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    I would actually get a HW 15 watter, because the AC30 is too much amp for many situations.

    And for your influences, I'd say the indie jangle of a Vox is for you. Voxes never disappear in the mix, but plenty of people tend to say how Blackstars disappear in a band setting.
     
  6. killTheMoonlight

    killTheMoonlight Member

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    How does the AC15HW act on the low end?

    I'm not always looking to "cut through" but rather sit in the mix (might be the same term). I'm the only guitarist in the group I play with.
     
  7. sacakl

    sacakl Silver Supporting Member

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    I used to have an AC30 w/Celestion Blues and I've used a Blackstar Stage 60 as a backline. I prefer the AC30 by a mile, especially for those types of bands (big Weezer and Arctic Monkeys fan). I agree that even through a 4x12 cab, the Blackstar got a little lost. The overdrive channel was all-out and I had problems getting an edge of breakup sound, so I just kept it on clean and used pedals. I imagine it's great for metal, though.
     
  8. geek-mo

    geek-mo Supporting Member

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    The Vox AC30, properly dialed in, is neither "too bright" nor "harsh." They have a scooped mid-range that helps them stand out in a mix, but they are warm, thick and sweet when run properly with the right speakers. Of course, you can dial them in so that they are overly bright, but you can do that with a Marshall or Fender as well—any amp, for that matter.

    If you are looking for an AC30, don't get an AC15. They are an entirely different amp and not just a "quiet AC30." Vox AC30s do come with a volume knob and I have successfully used mine as a bedroom amp on several occasions. They sound best when loud, but they sound great at all volume levels. I certainly agree that the hand wired is the best choice, if that fits within your budget.
     
  9. Godspeed64

    Godspeed64 Member

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    The Handwired AC15 is closer to an AC30 than any other AC15 though, hence the recommendation.
     
  10. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    I would say it's the opposite; they have a very pronounced mid-range.

    I agree with your assessment though regarding bright / harsh. dial it out. that's what the EQ knobs are for.
     
  11. .

    . Senior Member

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    SG through a Vox AC is spectacular. Teles too. You can dial out brightness. An AC30 is a lot of amp. Why not try an AC15 twin? Had one and loved it. Just wish it was switchable from top boost to normal.
     
  12. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    If you decide to go Vox, and if you decide to go hand-wired, which in the long run will be a better investment, think about getting the AC30 head and separate cab. The AC30 HW has a 30-15 watt switch, and you can taylor the amount of bass-treble you desire to your specific needs that way and preserve your back in the process.

    One other suggestion which may or may not be in line with your wallet...3rd Power makes a compact AC-Vox amp with 40 watts, a Marshall version, some american sounding versions and a 2 channel amp combining different versions as well. I only mention this as I have been researching for over 4 months, which new amp I might buy this year. I finally found that the most recent 3rd Power MK II amp line is exactly what I wanted. The hybrid master volume they have will get you the volume from 1 watt up to full power...40 watts. In the end, the investment will pay for itself, imho. Happy hunting no matter what. :)
     
  13. bbutler123

    bbutler123 Member

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    I respect that you like Vox. And not to argue, :) but my viewpoint is that if I approach an amp and set everything on 5, it should sound about normal and sound decent. I WANT to like the AC30 and the AC15. I really do. I've tried many times.

    I just sold a really great Bad Cat because it was just too bright unless the treble was on 2 or less. That just isn't balanced. I think an amp should be able to go from TOO bright down to TOO bassy. Not from WAY TOO bright down to not-really-what-I'd-call-bassy. :)

    ....kind of like finding a woman. If she's not great on her average day (everything set on '5'), and you have to "dial her in" to get her to the point that you like her....

    That's a joke, the parallel is not exact. :)
     
  14. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    bbutler123,
    Your example is excellent and true. I was interested in Bad Cat amps but after months of research and asking questions, I found what you say to be true. One of the only amps that sounds "normal" at "5" has been any Diezel amp.

    I know there are others, but that one stands out in my mind.
     
  15. Godspeed64

    Godspeed64 Member

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    No offense but I find that silly.
    I feel that everything should be set with the ears, and never the eyes.

    Same goes for Mesa Boogie with their bloated bass and mids, Hughes & Kettner where the treble must be dampened down; I love the Normal channel on a Vox with simply a volume control.

    We have so many cases on TGP where people want to sell a pedal because the sweet spot is too low in the sweep of the pot, or too high, etc. The pedal functions perfectly for them but they're uncomfortable with where the knob sits.
     
  16. killTheMoonlight

    killTheMoonlight Member

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    Thats kind of how I feel with amps and pedals. I know I feel silly for it but it always feels like a waste if I the sweet spot is hard for me to dial in. It feels better when I don't have to worry exactly where the knobs are set before I start playing.
     
  17. superdave2001

    superdave2001 Supporting Member

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    I understand the point, but don't completely agree with this. I don't think it's solely because of the optics of it. I read somewhere that Robert Smith (Cure) sets his army of Boss pedals often at the "mid" setting for every knob because he likes the visual aspect of it. Now that is a little silly. But who is the silly one....since it actually works sonically for him, very successfully I might add.

    But to say settings are "too low" isn't necessary silly if your argument is that it limits the potential SWEEP/RANGE of that setting. Yes, if you are just happy with the one position and set-and-done, then fine. It's not an issue. But a lot of people tweak, and a setting too close to the end of it's range is limiting potentially. My $.02.
     
  18. Godspeed64

    Godspeed64 Member

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    That's a fair point, but that would mean the range would be wider in the spectrum one is interested in, but overall the range is a lot smaller than the initial large sweep.
    I personally find it uncomfortable if the volume knob on dirt pedals hit unity at just slightly above nothing (an annoying modern trend at the moment).

    But my point was mostly for those who want the exact same tone, just at a different knob position, even if it means trying a different pedal when the one you have already does what you want.
    Also, the point is to show how that advice (set with the ears and not the eyes), is ironically an eye-opening one for myself. I read that on TGP and since then I've had a much easier and successful time tweaking backline amps. Likewise for my other guitarist who found new love for some older pedals, and also an overall easier time tweaking amps to his liking.

    Another advice regarding VOX amps, which I only thought of cause of the above advice, was how I jumped the channels on my HW and saw it as a 4-band EQ.
    On the Top Boost channel, I get bass (which I put at extreme settings), and I treat the Baxandall treble as a reversed mids (turn it down and things fatten up). I treat the normal channel as my treble to mix in back those frequencies. Lastly the Cut knob is my reversed Presence.
     
  19. SciFlyer

    SciFlyer Supporting Member

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    I was torn between those exact two amps. They cost about the same new. Had the opportunity to play them side by side at a band practice to compare. The other guitarist uses a Fender HRD 410 which is super loud. The Vox got a little lost in the mix, the Blackstar was loud and clear. I went with the Blackstar. I loved the Vox on its own, but the Blackstar just sounded bigger and better than the Vox with the band.
     
  20. superdave2001

    superdave2001 Supporting Member

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    Fair points too. Good discussion. :beer
     

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