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AC30 or Orange Combo?
Old 8th February 2009
  #31
Gear Nut
 
jonsays's Avatar
 

I had an Orange cab w/ a Tiny Terror and it was AWESOME. I got cold feet though and returned it last minute before the 30 day return and picked up the Vox AC15 heritage series. I love my Vox -- don't get me wrong, but I miss the Orange.

Play them both and decide -- no one here is going to tell you EXACTLY the right answer.

Best,

Jon
Old 9th February 2009
  #32
Lives for gear
 
in the red's Avatar
 

don´t know the new oranges, only the or 120, which is totally different to a vox! nevertheless, i would go with the vox in a heartbeat, even if china-made! it sounds absolutely wonderful!
Old 9th February 2009
  #33
Lives for gear
 
Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A LaMere View Post
Agreed that the early 90's ac30's do have 'a sound'. They sound great to my ears as well. It's cool to hear that you got both..

If it were up to me, I'd choose an AC30 over the Orange all day long and honestly...
I'd consider the AC30 waaaaaay more versatile for recording than the Orange.
Although, my guitar player has the Orange... and I am impressed that it's more versatile than I would've originally assumed. It actually has kind of a flat, boxy clean sound that is very cool sounding.
Which of the Orange amps are you referring to? We have Rockaverb50, 2xAD30, 2x Retro50, AD50, 40th anniversary Custom Shop, OR50H, 3 TTs, Bass200. We also have Vox LTD AC30 (white tolex), Vox AC30CC, Vox AC30 Brian May, Vox AC30 vintage (1965). The all sound very diffent. Some of the Orange amps are way more versatile then the Voxes. I think Orange amps have one of the best non-boutique lines out there. The Vox is ok but its just that, an AC30
Yury
Old 9th February 2009
  #34
Lives for gear
 

You might want to consider giving Valvetech amps a look. They're hand built in the US (Indiana), and are very affordable boutique quality (custom build, point-to-point wiring, etc) with a pristine clean to a powerfully throaty mean tonal palette. This incredibly broad range of tones is provided by the unique interactivity of the 2 input channels, switchable preamp tube circuitry, and other controls.

I own a 1x12 VAC 25W combo and have come to really love this amp. It is one of the most versatile amps I've ever played through (and I own original 60's Fender black panel amps & Marshall heads).

Based on my personal experience with the VAC25, I've found this to be an accurate review (from a link on the Valvetech amp site):


25 Watt 'VAC Original'
Reprinted from the Tonequest report, June 2008

At a time when the average price of a "boutque amp" often approaches three grand and gasoline is headed for $4 a gallon, we understand if you've become a little more sensitive about the cost of your personal quest for tone. Well, how about a truly custom-built, handwired 25 watt amp that delivers classic, clean Fender tones and every conceivable variation of distortion imaginable in a 1x12 package for the princely sum of $1050.00?

Rob Pierce builds Valvetech amps in Ossian, Indiana, just south of Ft Wayne,and the class A/B "VAC" 25 watt 1x12 sent to us for review is impressive even without the budget price. Key to the versitile nature of the VAC are the interactive EQ features and input channels, which offer a virtually unlimited range of tones and clean or overdriven voices. The controls seem familiar enough, Ground and standby switches, Master Volume, Hi, Lo, and Mid EQ, two channels with seperate Volume controls and low and high sensitivity inouts, and on the back panel, Presence, Impedance switch, Reverb depth, a 12AX7/12AY7 switch, and an optional Line Level FX send and return. However, the controls on the "VAC" are interactive to an extaordinary level that requires patient experimentation to fully explore their potential...

Tweed Tone

A classic "tweed" clean tone is accessed through Channel 1. With the volume control for Channel Two turned fully counterclockwise, a"click" at the end of the sweep engages a bright switch. Volume for Channel One produces a gradual increase that spills over into rich power tube distortion, and a switch on the back panel allows you to choose the more gritty and ardent sound of a 12AX7 preamp tube, or a cleaner 12AY7 often found in tweed circuits. Nice. The "VAC" exhibits plenty of clean headroom with this setting, plus thick natural output tube distortion that can easily be managed from the volume pot on your guitar, and the vibe is right - organic and natural with none of the talltale brittleness of comparably priced modern (PCB) amps.

Top Boosted Jangle

Plugging into Channel Two with the master Volume wide open produces a very jangly British voice that becomes progressively chunkier with intense sustain as the volume on Channel two is increased. In either channel, the second, low sesitivity iput yields cleaner tones with less gain.

Boosted Power Tube Grind

This platform is the quintessential launching pad for those of you who enjoy he sound of a gonzo, cranked up amp at variable volume levels. Working out of Channel Two with the provided footswitch on, the volume control on Channel One sets the drive level, Channel Two volume controls the boost contour, and the Master Volume stes output level and compression. It is also important to note the funtion of the back panel Presence control, which controls the treble level in the power amp section. It can be used to round off and sweeten distortion on high gain settings, or add a chimier character to clean settings.

Pre-Amp Distortion

The "VAC" can also develop a blend of intense Boogie-esque preamp and power amp distortion by plugging into Channel Two with the volume for Channel One and Two dimed, the master at roughly 10 o'clock and the boost switch on. The Master volume drives the power amp section,and varying the volume levels on Channel One and Two produces an extremely wide range of distorted voices odtained by mixing the level of preamp and power amp distortion. These aren't settings that can be nimbly or quickly explored on the fly on stage, but the "VAC's versatility is undeniable for less urgent situations, and the dual 6V6 output tubes with the 5U4 rectifier create the perfect foundation for mining the capabilities of the VAC. Futher, using a patch cord, the four inputs can be mixed, and unplugging the boost footswitch disables the boost circuit, allowing you to operate the VAC in the old-school 4-hole tradition.

We ran the VAC through all the essential pickup combinations, and it performs brilliantly with them all. Weaker stratocaster pickups can be easily boosted into bluesy grind or heavy distortion and sustain without the assistance of a pedal, our Nocaster thrived on the VAC's clean tones and thick output tube distortion, and the magic of marrying a great 6V6 amp with humbucking pickups was in full bloom. The VAC is simply a remarkably toneful, exceptionally versitile and cleverly designed hand-wired amp that ranks among the most unique and toneful designs we have ever encountered.

Of course, at $1050 (add $75 for reverb), those of you accustomed to paying more may be skeptical...Don't be. Yes, Rob Pierce is a small builder which is the only way he can build amps at these prices. He may not have the overhead of a big company,but we failed to detect and viable or audible shortcomings in the VAC whatsoever. Since he also works in the aviation industry from his home shop in rual Indiana, Pierce seems happy simply chasing the tone he heard in his head, and in his words, "building an amp that musicians can afford." Valvetech requires a whopping $150 deposit when an order is placed, and since rob Pierce builds every amp himself, the current lagtime for delivery is 3 to 4 months. In our opinion, the VAC is absolutely worth the wait. See the website for other models and options. TQ

This reveiw was written before we improved the amp with the 09 revisioins. The amp is EVEN BETTER now. Any old VAC can be upgraded. Call or e mail for info.


Valvetech Amplifier Company
Valvetech Guitar Amp Reviews: Harmony Central® - User Reviews
Old 9th February 2009
  #35
Here for the gear
 

anyone here said 65 amps london yet?
Old 9th February 2009
  #36
AC30 or Orange Combo?

I don't know what it is, but I've played through a few of the new vox amps. Not knowing what year they were. Thing is I didn't like them at all. I expected so much more. Sounded and felt fake to me. I was disappointed. I don't think they should be able to call it an AC30. It's not the same. I'm sure it's completely usable for something. Wasn't for me and certainly wasn't like the original.

--m
Old 10th February 2009
  #37
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
I've recorded/played on an AD30, a 90's Vox reissue and an original JMI top boost AC30. Haven't looked into the new reissues, with that killer old Vox I don't see the need. I've heard them before and they sounded OK.

I don't like the Orange much for whatever reason. It's cool, but it didn't have the vibe I wanted, and I don't like the way it sounds when recorded compared to some other amps. I've had the same experience recording Matchless amps, DC-30 for example.

The 90's reissue was super nice but nothing like like the vintage one.

The original sounds unlike any of the others and is about fifty times better imho. The first time I plugged a Les Paul into it, it was the 'sound' right there. Smooth yet aggressive, fits right in the mix like it's supposed to.
Old 10th February 2009
  #38
Lives for gear
 
kosi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theknipper View Post
anyone here said 65 amps london yet?
Yeah, I had a Tiny Terror for 3 months and after one day with the 65 London I sold the TT immediately, he was nice, but the 65 was so much better and versatile and expensive...ahem.
never mind, I'm happy
Old 10th February 2009
  #39
Lives for gear
 
Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by litepipe View Post
I don't know what it is, but I've played through a few of the new vox amps. Not knowing what year they were. Thing is I didn't like them at all. I expected so much more. Sounded and felt fake to me. I was disappointed. I don't think they should be able to call it an AC30. It's not the same. I'm sure it's completely usable for something. Wasn't for me and certainly wasn't like the original.

--m
Interesting. To tell you the truth I cannot tell a huge deal of a difference (not very audible one) between our all original '65 AC30TB and the current HW Custom AC30 currently produced in China. Thats once the speakers have broken in on the new amp. The standard model sound abit different, not bad but different. Most players in the studio prefer the current HW Custom AC30 to both the other amps, maybe because of its versatility (2 very different channels).
Yury
Old 10th February 2009
  #40
Gear Addict
 
JSRogers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indie View Post
I had a Limited Edition Vox (purple color) and it was absolutely killer. It was made around '96 i think. Had and sold Dr.Z maz 38 and maz 18jr...great amps. But when I tried Bad Cat amps, well, that's when I sold a lot of my amps.
Just personal preference -- because they're all great.

A few months ago, I tried out some Orange amps. I REALLY like the AD30 and the Rocker 30 was so so to me.
I ended up buying a 76 marshall combo...which KILLLS.
Micah
Wow. I own one of the purple AC30s.Never ran across anyone else who had one. Im told they only made 150 of them. Mine sounds like the voice of GOD!! My old Orange AD30 and my MAZ38 Studio Lead were also great amps. But the Purple top boost has some kinda magic mojo that can't really be explained.
Old 10th February 2009
  #41
Lives for gear
 

You must TRY them!

Many of the amps mentioned in this thread are far apart soundwise. You got to get into a store and try to see which ones you like. I like Orange, I also like Vox, but the two are different. Someone might feel the exact opposite. Try before buying.
Old 10th February 2009
  #42
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judah's Avatar
 

Worked with a band a coupel years ago and the guitarist had an AD30 single channel. An amazing sound and he was a superb guitar player who fully understood what his role was and what he had to play (and that makes much difference than amp, guitar, mic, pre, crap, comp and AD DA).

Recorded an album a couple months ago (another band) and the guy had a brand new Vox AC30 CC2 with Alnicos. Mind you I had the pleasure to work with very few Vox in teh past but this specific one sounded superb to my ears. We used it Telecaster, LP, SG, Danelectro and Casino and it always delivered. Beyer M160 and SM7 or 57 and a cheap TBone RB500 (modified), all thru Hardy's preamps. He was a good player too, a bit too shy abotu his playin' (had to push him more than a bit) but in the end they were very happy.

Just sold my Tiny Terror.
Old 11th February 2009
  #43
Gear Maniac
 
sweetmojo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosi View Post
Yeah, I had a Tiny Terror for 3 months and after one day with the 65 London I sold the TT immediately, he was nice, but the 65 was so much better and versatile and expensive...ahem.
never mind, I'm happy
The Soho too! Have my mind set on one of those for a long time to fill the AC30ish/versatile amp category we have a big null in right now. My only issue is, of course, brand name recognition. Clients coming to the studio would know and recognize the AC30 instantly!
Old 25th February 2009
  #44
Gear Addict
 
JSRogers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by huarez View Post
I wouldn´t consider wether an ac 30 nor an orange as high end......
WTF? What does that even mean?
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