Vox Clones? Definitive answer

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by fenderbender4, Oct 22, 2005.


  1. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    I know there a lot of amps out there that are "based" on a Vox AC30 and such. I'm looking for an exact clone of the best Vox AC30 you've heard. What is the best (most authentic sounding) amp? (to get U2 and Edge tones)? Is it the Hayseed?
     
  2. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    The Snake River is mighty close
     
  3. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Probably should be looking at the Hayseed, the Mayfly and the Snake River
     
  4. fenderbender4

    fenderbender4 Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks. To me, the Snake River and Mayfly look more inspired sort of. Or is the Snake river the real deal? The price tag is what is scaring me away. That's a crap load of money for such a "simple" setup.
     
  5. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Get a Vox. there are PLENTY of vintage ones around. Other than that, have Tony Bruno make you one. If Vox hired him to design the HWRI, he is good enough for you or I.

    :D
     
  6. studio8000

    studio8000 Member

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    the Hayseed and Mayfly are more of the "inspired" amps. the Snake River is as close to Vox as i've seen in any of the boutique amps. it's like having 3 channels of Vox Ac-30. has the Pentode (AC-30 with ef86), Triode (AC-30 non top boost), and Cathode Follower (AC-30 Top Boost). he even uses the same type of Chassis as the old voxes.


    this is not to say the Hayseed and Mayfly arent great amps as i'm sure they are. but when you say "exact clone" the Snake River is much closer in design than any others i've seen/owned.
     
  7. 57special

    57special Member

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    Mayfly isn't that close to an AC30, though it has some typical EL84 sounds. Never played the others. The Kingsley is closer, but again, not a clone.
     
  8. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    Vox AC-30 TBX made in england by Marshall for Vox. They are the clone of clones they are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. I think they were made from the early 90's through 2002 or so. They stopped making them a couple years before the current CC which isn't a clone at all. They sound amazing and have ranked highly at Vox shoot offs over the years.



    [​IMG]
     
  9. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Vox clone? Why not get the real deal?
     
  10. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$....howzat?
    :D


    I've played a Hayseed 30, and was blown away by it.
    I own a Matchless SC30, but if I didnt...I'd own one of the Valvetechs in a hot minute.

    My .02,
    S.
    j
     
  11. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    I played an ac30 cc this weekend . . now I've never played a vintage, but damn if a vintage can sound better than that then they would be worth all the money!!

    The cc is very good . . . and is not up there with the whole boutique pricing . . . I'd plop cash if I had jut enugh and needed that sound in an amp.
     
  12. martins3325

    martins3325 Supporting Member

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    You can definitely find a real nice shape old one for less than the Snakeriver..and I got my '63 Copper supertwin head for less than a used HW Reissue sells for used. So I kinda wonder why bother on a clone..a real one will ..well sound like a real one..and NEVER depreciate. The Hayseed may be wothwile because they are quite cost efficient though.
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    awesome!

    i heard about these... course, been lookin' for one forever now.. :(

    which sound nothing like an AC30, as per my own taste test, and reviews from a few mags. was really disappointed in the so called "handwired" version. heck, are they still being made?
     
  14. procos

    procos Supporting Member

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    Agreed 100%. At least the one I owned a year ago or so. I have been trying to flag another HW AC30 just to give it another shot but the one I had didn't have the chime.

    Chuck
     
  15. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Just as another point of reference, Don Butler is one the the worlds most well known Vox experts, as a collector, player, and repairman. He makes his living at it and has probably played more AC30's than most of us on this board combined. Here's what he wrote about the HW:


    RE:AC30HW review (modified 0 times) Don Butler

    Profile | Email

    Boy.. I sure love mine!! Records great and also sounds incredible for gigs a nd rehearsals.!
    It's most likely the best amp I've got and the best amp I've ever owned since I started playing in 1965.
    BTW, I have a `60 black panel AC-30N combo, a 1964 copper panel AC-30N combo, a `62 AC-15 combo and a `64 AC-50 to use as comparison's. If that's not enough I have a late sixties Marshall 50 watt head and a mid sixties Selmer Treble`n Bass 50 head.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Don Butler
    http://www.tone-man.com



    RE:AC30HW- is VOX almost done making them? (modified 0 times) Don Butler

    Profile | Email

    Guys: I will have my AC-30HW head @ VoxFest V. It sounds just as good or better as my old AC-30's (a `60 & a `64) which will both also be at VF. Come listen for yourself!! This is an incredible amp that's worth every cent I paid! I've gotten more great comments from bandmates and sound guys on the tone, quality and sounds of this amp than I have from any other amps I own and all my amps sound pretty damn nice. This one just tops them all! It's truly a work of quality, integrity and love!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Don Butler
    http://www.tone-man.com
     
  16. Sir EL84

    Sir EL84 Member

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    You know, I almost started believing that my AC30HW was not chimey enough or somehow didn't really capture the essence of an AC30 from all the talk around here.... then I turned the computer off and started playing. Guess what, mine chimes all day long. It crangs, it roars, and just sounds plain great all the time. It not an exact clone of an original, that's why there's a shiny gold emblem that says Limited Handired Edition.

    Sure the filtering cap values are not original spec= but niether is the lack of hum and buzz. Otherwise, the preamp is pure Top Boost, and the Output is classic AC30. The tonestack is just a little less interactive granted. I actually rewired my HW to the original configuration (just lifted 1 ground) and preferred the HW version better.

    Undoubtedly, some of you gents have had great luck w/ the Korg RI's. I owned two of them, and found them the most unreliable amps I ever owned.

    Sorry for being so cranky.........
     
  17. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I played the HWRI next to three vintage ones as well as the "normal" RI at a local GC, as well as at Ultrasound. To my ear, the HW could do everything they could, and WAY more. My favorite Vox ever.
     
  18. procos

    procos Supporting Member

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    Was that before or after you knew Tony Bruno designed it?:D

    Chuck
     
  19. pjs ire

    pjs ire Member

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    I had an AC30 RI with Blues for a year. Almost out of the box it crapped out on me. After that, it was difficult for me to trust it in gigging situations. It was a very sweet amp, and I do miss the chime and ungodly roar that it was capable of on a minute's notice. But like most people, I didn't want to wonder if it was going to fire up when flipping the switch. On the other hand, I did buy an AC15 RI and had Don Butler: change the transformers to Mercury Magnetics, put a MMag choke on it, and change the signal path to carbon comp materials. I trust this modded RI in any situation, and don't feel a need for a back-up amp at a gig. If I have a need for more power, I will definately look at the AC30 hand wired amp. When I hung out a lot on the Vox board, almost everyone with a vintage AC30 would leave them at home when gigging. It wasn't so much a question of reliability- it was a fear of having the thing stolen!
     
  20. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Before. I have told this story already. I went to Ultrasound to pick up my Cowtipper 45 I had ordered. By pure luck, Tony Bruno was there to repair some Marshalls that had blown their output transformers as usual. :D (LOL!) I talked to him and Gene for a minute, and Gene went into the storage room to get my Cow for me to check out. I was plugging into several different amps, and came acroos the HWRI. I had never even heard of it back then. I plugged in and my jaw hit the floor. The thing KILLED! Gene came back in the room, and I said this amp SMOKES!! Its one of the best sounding amps in the entire room! Tony looked over and said, of course it is, I designed it! I laughed, and thought he was joking..... Gene then went on to tell me it was in fact true, and the story behind it. Looking back, I see Tony was right. That probably IS why it sounds so good. I had never really liked vintage Voxes anyway. WAY to thin, harsh and bright for me. The HWRI is finally the amp that could nail all of those old Beatles tones everyone loves so much, and had been so elusive. It can go from silky smooth and fat, to chime king depending on how you set it. I loved the way it ate the Matchless amps that were right beside it for lunch! GREAT amp! :dude
     

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