Which AC30??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by dewman, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    I love AC30s, but have never owned one and was considering saving up for one.

    Vintage is likely out of the question, too much $$$.

    Should I be looking at 80s or 90s AC30 with circuit board? New handwired version?? New Chinese version??

    Should I go for an AC15 handwired instead??

    How close to an AC30 is a Dr. Z Stangray?? Other boutiques available (like JMI) and have good price/performance.

    Which AC30s sound best?? Which ones are the best Vox tone for the $$
  2. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    My opinions based on the ones I've tried:

    - The AC30CC is a great sounding amp even if it is made is China. The reverb is really bad and the trem is too slow. The price for used one's isn't too bad, although for a mass-market build PCB amp, it's probably not the best deal in the world. All in all I think it's worth, though. I'd advise a Blue or two for speakers (I like the Weber Blues just fine). I have never tried one of the British ones (AC30TBR/TBRX) from the 90's, but as a reference, I think the AC15CC sounds way better than the AC15TBRX, although it costs much less (note: I don't really like the AC15CC much at all compared to the AC30CC, either). I've heard of reliability problems with the first run, but I had one for a while (a head) and never had any issues.

    - The Valvetech Hayseed 30 is killer sounding, and when you compare it to other hand-wired amps, it's probably a much better deal than the AC30CC. The reverb is better than the AC30CC if you get it, but it's not great. The trem is better, too, but it's a little noisier than I'd like. The master volume is very nicely done, as is the half-power switch. The ability to get an EF86 channel is very cool, too. The Hayseed is very solid and nicely done, and you get only the options you want for a great price.

    - The new Heritage series AC15 sounds great. You can decide for yourself whether it's really hand-wired or not. I would need a master volume, though, even for the 15, so I ended up not keeping the one I had. No reverb or trem, either. I'm assuming the Heritage AC30 sounds similarly nice. I'd have to go with the Hayseed over either one though. Component quality and build quality on the Hayseed is much better.

    - I have only briefly tried the Vox-ish Z's, and they sounded very nice, but it didn't seem like the master volumes worked very well.

    So in my opinion, I'd stay away from the 90's Made in England PCB ones and the AC15CC. Aside from that, I don't think you'll be disappointed, really.
  3. drift_boat

    drift_boat Member

    Apr 23, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta
    Check out the new Vox Heritage AC30 that is just out. If it sounds as good as the Vox Heritage AC15 does, which I own, it should be a good choice. I think Snakebite Music had one on their website for $1900 but it's sold now.
  4. hamfist

    hamfist Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    THe new Heritage AC30's are awesome, and they work well with a Hotplate. You will need attenuation with the amp unless you always play either very clean or very loud !
  5. Teahead

    Teahead Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    I've heard the CC beside my 2003 UK made AC30tbx and if my Vox blew up tomorrow, which it does frequently, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a CC as replacement. New the TBX models sold for £1150 with Blues, the CC with Blues can be had for around £400 less than that and it sounds equally good. Factor in the master volume and it seems like an even better deal.
  6. musicsoma

    musicsoma Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    I'm a big fan of the Brit made reissues. I believe they had a run from the late nineties to around 2002. You can still find them on various auction sites or community posting sites. I do recommend the Top Boost with Celestion Blues.

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