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Vox AC30HW. Love/Hate relationship. Share your thoughts.

lenster

Member
Messages
1,061
I've had the Vox for about 6 months now. Absolutely love the amp. But there are days when it just isn't happening, too shrill, so i start to tweak always come back to the Normal channel. Ear fatigue sets in and i just want to sell it and move on, but for some reason i keep persisting.
If i plug into my Laney VC50 it just sounds so easy, it's me i love it. Then i think, the Vox is going, but i can't bring myself to sell it. I keep telling myself the Vox is a better amp than the Laney so i should sell that and try something else, a week goes by , i plug into the Laney and it's there , my sound, pedal friendly, FX loop, it has everything i need, But the Vox is better ????

Any one else go thru this with the Vox? Or any other amp in particular? What are ur suggestions?
Should i just keep both?
Frustrated..
But smiling...
 
Messages
4,964
I'm a Vox nut. I'm attached to my AC-30 more than any other amp i've ever played. That being said, it sounds like you are drawn to the idea of the Vox more than you are drawn to what it's doing for you. Maybe because it's handwired and a decent amp, you feel like you should like it.

I say there are 2 options:
1) View the Laney as your go to amp, and only take the Vox out when you really have an urge to play it.

2) If you don't want to have the money tied up in the amp, sell the Vox. If you regret it, you can always get another. If not, you made the right decision.

What makes more sense to you?
 

lenster

Member
Messages
1,061
Everything u said I've thought of, and it does make sense. It's responses like yours that I started this thread, Hoping a lot of input will either appease my thoughts or encourage me to make a decision that i can't currently make.
 
Messages
4,964
Everything u said I've thought of, and it does make sense. It's responses like yours that I started this thread, Hoping a lot of input will either appease my thoughts or encourage me to make a decision that i can't currently make.
Many guitar players like to switch things up and own more than one amp/guitar/etc.

I don't see anything wrong with having an amp that you don't always want to play. I have SIX amps that I gig with. I mainly use 2 or 3 of them for the most part. But it's nice to have others to mix it up when I want to.

Unless you don't want the money tied up in the Vox, i'd keep it. You seem to like it for the most part. You don't have to think of it as superior or inferior to the Laney. Just think of it as another amp you have, and something you can plug into whenever you want. Take the pressure off, don't worry about whether or not you like it or have to like it. Only play it when you want to. I bet you'll enjoy it more.

-Nick
 

Gretsch&Vox

Member
Messages
2,892
But there are days when it just isn't happening, too shrill, so i start to tweak always come back to the Normal channel. Ear fatigue sets in and i just want to sell it and move on, but for some reason i keep persisting.
I'm not the first to say and experience this phenomenon: VOX amps thrive on heat. I find that if the room temperature is less than 72 degrees, they start to sound a bit shrill and unresponsive. Especially if I have turned down the heat in the winter time. In the summer and spring, they usually sound consistently good.
 

iBloke

Member
Messages
145
..Any one else go thru this with the Vox? Or any other amp in particular? What are ur suggestions?...
I don't have a Vox, but I do love the sound of the ones I've heard.

I do however have 3 tube amps that live in my shed. A shed out in rural Australia, where the line voltage fluctuates between "about" 235 - 245 volts (240 volts is the Aussie standard AC power supply)
Some days my amps sound great. Other days not so great. They don't leave my shed so I contacted the bloke who built my Marshall 1987 clone and asked him about this issue.
He said it was normal for tube amps to sound good in one venue but not another and one of the most common reasons was voltage fluctuations.

I can live with that :)
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,704
Your on the edge, you like it but not quite there. Speaker rolling and tubes might "might" get it to where you can play it without fatigue.
 

Gemini2

Member
Messages
1,701
I live in an area where on any given night I can park my car near the beach and walk for miles along a busy, tourist heavy area full of bars, restaurants and hotels where bands play all the time. I rarely ever see Boutique or expensive HW amps being used. Mostly RI Fender, Peavey Classic 50, etc..

My point is if you enjoy owning the HW Vox simply think of it as your hobby/backup amp and the Laney as your workhorse. Nothing wrong with owning nice stuff or two amps.

My vote is to keep it as selling it in this current market would cause a finacial loss to you.

FWIW, I had a Blackstar Artisan. Sort of a Boutique copy of a ac15. It was really bright and harsh, took a good 40-45 minutes to really warm up and liked certain guitars better. Deffinitely a picky beast.
 

Psyfuzz

Member
Messages
1,372
Experiment with different speakers and tubes, AC30s are very responsive to speaker changes and can completely change the sound of the amp - much more than any speaker change I've experienced with other amps.

Worth a go, the $100-300 dollars you would be spending would still be less than the net loss you'd probably incur selling the amp at this current point - and potentially lead you to the amp you actually want.

If you dig it some days and not others then it shows it's got qualities you definitely appreciate, a different speaker can accentuate these positive aspects and change/remove what you don't like - depending on what speaker you choose of course.
 

dave12

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,878
To the OP - It sounds to me like you want to love your Vox, but even though you like some of the tones, you don't love it as a whole.

Let me go ahead and tell you the hard truth- at some point, you're going to sell it. This has been my experience with any gear I've had doubts about like that. It might as well be sooner rather than later. Trying to convince yourself you like it enough to keep it is going to be an exercise in futility. I would cut your losses and try to find something you do like.

I'm not the first to say and experience this phenomenon: VOX amps thrive on heat. I find that if the room temperature is less than 72 degrees, they start to sound a bit shrill and unresponsive. Especially if I have turned down the heat in the winter time. In the summer and spring, they usually sound consistently good.
Sorry, but I'm not buying this. In what way does a cold room make your amp sound lifeless? A warm room isn't going to heat your amp any more than the output tubes will. It's like saying your toaster works better in a warm room. It may not heat up as fast in a cold room, but assuming it's working, it will eventually get hot enough that the room temperature won't matter.

The one exception I would make is if you were playing outdoors in either end of the extreme spectrum of heat or cold (like freezing or in the 90's), it might affect your speaker's elasticity, but even still, I think the effects will be minimized the longer you play. And in that case, I think humidity would probably have more of an effect than temperature.
 

jlott

Supporting Member
Messages
527
I have never heard my VoxHW sound thin or shrill. In extremely dry Winters oreextremely humid summers it sounds great.
 

mAx___

Member
Messages
957
OP, have you had the chance to break in the speakers? It makes a big difference when it comes to shrillness. If not, I'd try that first.
Also, I'd suggest you connect the AC30 to the Laney cabinet and see if you like it better through the same speakers as your preferred amp.

Shrill is the last word that comes to mind when I think of my HW2, and I use Strats only.
 

crazyneddie

Member
Messages
3,283
From my experience, if I have to work at liking an amp it isn't going to work out. I think you should hit the stores, and play a ton of amps. You'll know when you strike gold. With me it was a Tweed amp. I never expected to like them as much as I do. Now I wish I had tried them years ago. Once you find what you really like, sell the Vox and don't look back!
 

satria

Member
Messages
24
just got an AC 30 CC2 last week, and it's my first Vox amp after 15 years playing vintage marshall and fender amps. Now, if you are - like me and most guys here - so used to to Fender & Marshall sound coming from a strat or tele, you possibly won't like the sound coming out of an AC 30. To my ears, my SSS strat sounded almost like acoustic steel string with a piezo pick up. Too stiff & shrill, even with treble and tone rolled off.

Just by coincidence, I re-strung my ES 335 and tested it thru the AC 30…...Voila!!! that's the sound!! It's a good foundation tone! The Classic 57 humbucker on my 335 sounded a bit too dark for my taste but easy to compensate with eq or dirt pedal. It's so warm and chewy and 3D, and at that moment I finally got it why Vox guys always use the word "Jangly" or "Chimney". The notes really jump out and sing. My Les Paul sounded also very nice. The tremolo is awesome too.

The AC 30 is also very dynamic amp, much more than my fender and marshall amps, so I use a light compression to compensate my playing style

My subjective conclusion so far, AC 30 will sound good w/ humbuckers. With single coils I need to do some more experiments. I know a lot of people use Filtertrons equipped guitars w/ Vox but I don't have a Gretsch or Rickenbacker.

The boost channel sounds nice but in conjunction with Classic 57 PU I have almost no headroom, even with volume knob turned almost off the sound is still distorted. So right now I just use the normal channel + pedals if I want some dirt.

Don't give up your AC 30 yet, try another guitars & pedals!
 

DV52

Member
Messages
6,025
I have a Vox AC30C2. I also feel ear fatigue. It sounds great with my strat and tele, terrible with my Les Paul. I am thinking about a Marshall 1974X combo or a Germino LoVO .Maybe you or I don't bond with class A amps.

But I will say the tone with the Strat or Tele is very nice.
 
Messages
4,964
I have a Vox AC30C2. I also feel ear fatigue. It sounds great with my strat and tele, terrible with my Les Paul. I am thinking about a Marshall 1974X combo or a Germino LoVO .Maybe you or I don't bond with class A amps.
You're in luck, because the Vox AC-30 isn't Class A. :aok

-Nick
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,363
My .02 is that the vox may just not be the sound you're after. That's okay. If you like it sometimes, you might keep it, then just play it when you do, then play the laney the rest of the time. Nothing wrong with that. Or you could try it in a dual amps rig with the laney.

I know the vox Hw series are one of the "cool things" around here, but it's okay to say it doesn't work for you.
 






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