Yea i was thinking about the CC but it got a few bad reviews on here and i havent gottent to play one yet, but i did get ot play a '66 AC30, all orginal, got to crank, it with a '68 Gibson ES-335 at GC, i tohught id died and gone to heaven, god that tone is orgasmic. Too bad it was $3900
I too am looking, but I don't know of any at that price range, repeated names for the "best Vox AC30 clone" on this forum have been,1) Bad Cat Black Cat/ Trem Cat, 2) Divided by 13 ERT 33, 3) Valvetech Hayseed, 4) Bogner Metropolis, 5) 65amps London and many more, has any magazine done a shoot out of boutique amps for best el84 tones , el34 tones, 6L6 tones,??? e.t.c. I am still looking for my vox clone as well, I do own one but want another to gig live with... and I am sure all the amps listed above and others not mentioned are all good amps. Must find a store in the U.s.A that has a good selection of boutiques to go and try out!!!(hopefully in new york they do) In Canada eh, we don't have such places as of yet, (that carry a wide variety of boutique amp lines.)
- AC30/6 TBX-RI
As far as I know, the AC30/6 TBX-RI is still the closest clone of an original JMI-era AC30/6. I don't think anyone is building an exact clone of the three channels, and now that the TBX is out of production, I don't think anyone can claim that title. A good condition used TBX will run about $1500.
For current production amps, and depending on your budget, I'd look at:
"Normal channel with volume and shelving tone control.
Top boost channel with volume, treble, and bass controls."
"The BC30 Electric guitar amplifier is about tone and reliability without compromise. We started with a great sounding classic amplifier, the VOX AC30 and made it our own.
"We improved the tone and touch response by adjusting the preamp gain and voicing. We improved the cut control to better dial out any upper harmonic harshness. We improved the normal channel by added a shelving style EQ. We made the circuit quieter by carefully designing the layout and grounding paths.
"We custom designed our own output transformer. We carefully selected the resistors, capacitors and tubes for the best tone and reliability. We increased flexibility by adding a master volume control, a standby switch, a speaker impedance selector, and an optional effects loop. We improved reliability by solving one of the classic problems of the AC30-heat dissipation.
"We reduced the bias current, reduced the plate voltage, oriented the tubes and transformers above the chassis, and drastically improved ventilation. We added other reliability features, such as output tube current sensing resistors."
"The amp has two channels; Normal and Bright. Each channel with a low and high input. The Normal channel has great warmth and smooth overdrive which 'Cleans" up nicely when backing down the guitar's volume knob. The Bright channel incorporates the infamous 'Top Boost' to provide higher headroom and gain. Also a very interactive Tone Stack to dial in the sounds that have eluded you for far too long!"
"The ACEY-THIRTY is tube rectified, unlike many other versions of this amp. This increases sustain and interaction between the amp and the player. It is very sensitive to pick attack, palm muting and other playing nuances.
"The tone stack is built true to the 1964 schematic with period correct values . Many changes to this circuit have occurred over the years. The 1964 version is considered by many to be the very best."
The Snake River might be considered a 'best clone" in the sense that it has 3 AC30 channels (Pentode/ Triode/ Cathode Follower), but not 3 from a single era AC30 amp. Better to think of it as having one channel of 3 different era AC30s available:
Pentode - AC30/4 with EF86 front end
Triode - AC30 non- topboost
Cathode follower - AC30 top boost
- TopHat King Royal
From threads here:
"King Royal is its more "Brilliant" sounding top boost channel, its really alive, and mid scooped in a very musical way, while still retaining AC30 qualities, The Tophat King Royal is more true to the AC30 upper mid thing, more bark and chime."
"I think the King Royal has got the most Upper Mid character like an AC30"
- Also, forum member "MASCO" has built himself an AC30 clone (2 channels, instead of 3), but I'm not sure he's in production. You might want to contact him.
I have a AC type head I build.TB but no trem.Mercury Magnetics transformers,.09 aluminum chassis,1/8" G10 turret board.I don't have the camera at the shop today but can post pics tomorrow if interested.I don't do a line of amps just one offs but this one has been popular.
Sorry for the shameless self promotion.
I'll 2nd that and add that if one loves trem I don't think the trem on ac30 is the way to go (cough...brown fender...cough again).
Hayseed is a great clone imho. Sounds like many a JMI that I have owned. Through a 2-12 old silverdog cab it is indistingushable from the JMI's actually.
As for the CC getting bad reviews on TGP can someone point me to where? The CC has been getting glowing reviews from almost every person that has bought one. The only reason to not buy one imho is if you are afraid of PCB construction.