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getting the AC30 tone at lower levels
Old 3rd July 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
rodrigo's Avatar
 

getting the AC30 tone at lower levels

Hi. I'd like to get the classic AC30 tone but at lower levels, for recording only. I was thinking of getting a Vox 212 cab (the cheaper one) and swap one of the speakers for a Celestion Alnico Blue. When recording I'd use the mic on the Celestion speaker.

I'd like to get close to the AC30 tone with the V212BN and something like a Night Train, or an AC4, AC15. Has anyone tried these and compared?

I just want a cheaper way to get close to that tone, but at lower volumes and the added versatility of a head and cab, for tweaking at the control room.

Any help is appreciated,

Cheers!
Old 3rd July 2009
  #2
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octatonic's Avatar
You could try a power soak- THD Hotplate is the best of the bunch.
Failing that check out Bad Cat amps.
Not exactly the AC30 tone, but pretty close, arguably better- more money though.
Old 4th July 2009
  #3
Deleted User
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Check out the AC4TV - it's Vox all the way. I really like the sound of the 10" combo, but I'm also using it with a 12" extension cab that I have used with my AC30. They really sound alike, but without the assault of the AC30. One thing is that the AC4 breaks up a little early (especially with humbuckers that have a little higher output), so if your looking for the really clean punch, it may not work out.
Old 4th July 2009
  #4
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

The difference between the 15 watt 2XEL84 and 4XEL84 is the clean headroom
for normal performance and more power to push the speakers.

Even so, at lower volumes the 15 watt circuits do a really good job as long at
you are running it through an Alnico Blue.

The last great sounding 15 watt EL84 circuit I heard was the Bad Cat Hot Cat 15R

Great sound, surprisingly heavy for a 15 watt combo.

Last year, I caught The Pete Best Band and they were running Industrial Amp 15's
IMHO ugly amps, but a great sound.

If you already have an AC30, another option may be an isolation box.
Old 3rd August 2009
  #5
Maybe consider a Matchless Spitfire - 15 watts and smaller cabinet but killer tone. Like the Bad Cat mentioned above, not exactly an AC30 but I think it would work in all the same places and they are great amps. There's one for sale on eBay now (I'm not affiliated with the seller although I did consider buying it . . . )
Old 5th August 2009
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
sethmeister's Avatar
 

Valvetech Amps makes an AC30 style amp - the Hayseed Thirty - which can be had in a head and cab format and comes with a half power switch and a very useable master volume (as master volumes go).

I have one and like it.
Old 5th August 2009
  #7
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucks View Post
Check out the AC4TV - it's Vox all the way. I really like the sound of the 10" combo, but I'm also using it with a 12" extension cab that I have used with my AC30. They really sound alike, but without the assault of the AC30.
I'm VERY interested in this amp. This would only be for recording , I definitely will get an AC 30 at some point but can't afford it right now.

Does anbody have any recording experience with the AC4TV or could even post a sample ?

Thanks!

EDIT: I just checked out the demo by the VOX dude ....man, does that sound like ASS!!!

Old 5th August 2009
  #8
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octatonic's Avatar
I love how he goes out of key when he plays that Vai-esque lydian thing.
b2 over Lydian?
I don't think so, buddy.

How you doing Andi? Long time no speak.
Old 5th August 2009
  #9
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I love how he goes out of key when he plays that Vai-esque lydian thing.
b2 over Lydian?
I don't think so, buddy.
heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
How you doing Andi? Long time no speak.
Hi James, I'm doing o.k. Plenty of stuff that happened, especially one very 'special' recording experience with a talented young singer that decided to use his father as his manager at the last minute. Conclusion: Plenty of airplay and possibilities for gigs but no more artist available........ But I got some new projects happening and a lot to do in general.

How's London? A friend of mine just moved there for a new job in the City so I'll have a place to stay whenever I'm there. I think it's gonna be towards the end of the year but I'll give you a call!
Old 5th August 2009
  #10
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

If you want the AC30 tone in a 15 watt version, I would take a good hard look
at Mike Moody's Magic Amplification Brit MKII.



Exceptional build and attention to detail loaded with Blues and surprisingly affordable.

While you're there listen to his Supro circuit as well.

Magic Amps - Home
Old 5th August 2009
  #11
Registered User
 

stick a hotcake in front of it.
Old 6th August 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
58lespaul's Avatar
 

Here are a couple of clips of the AC4 if that helps. They were simply a bad room --> Epi Les Paul with 57 Classic pick ups --> AC4 --> SM57 --> Firestudio Project --> Cubase --> Geaslutz =]

I put a Boss DS-1 in front of the distorted tone since it was kind of late and I didn't want to crank the amp to get it's sweet overdrive.

You can hear the clips here:

Guitar tone, amp modeling
Old 6th August 2009
  #13
Registered User
 

This is one of the best Vox Tones ive heard, very meshed, listen to the parts out the end of the video

YouTube - Vox AC15 Handwired (AC15H1TV) demo
Old 6th August 2009
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
58lespaul's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tringboy View Post
This is one of the best Vox Tones ive heard, very meshed, listen to the parts out the end of the video

YouTube - Vox AC15 Handwired (AC15H1TV) demo
I just listened to that and I can get very similar tones to that AC15 through my AC4TV... at much softer level, of course. My one complaint of the AC4 is that the tone knob isn't as sensitive as I would like but I play a Les Paul so I get plenty of control over the tone settings on the guitar itself.

Those Britt MKII clips were awesome BTW. The Vox video clip does not do the AC4 justice, that video sounds like ass.
Old 8th August 2009
  #15
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
heh

Hi James, I'm doing o.k. Plenty of stuff that happened, especially one very 'special' recording experience with a talented young singer that decided to use his father as his manager at the last minute. Conclusion: Plenty of airplay and possibilities for gigs but no more artist available........ But I got some new projects happening and a lot to do in general.

How's London? A friend of mine just moved there for a new job in the City so I'll have a place to stay whenever I'm there. I think it's gonna be towards the end of the year but I'll give you a call!
London is great- loads going on here.
Definitely let me know if you make it over here.
I may be recording in Berlin next month- I am driving over as I need to take a lot of gear so I might come past.
Old 9th August 2009
  #16
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 529 Pro Audio View Post
I wouldn't judge an amp by a handycam recorded clip on youtube.
Well, of course I took the handycam audio in account but watching quite a few other clips on YouTube just made me realize that I really don't like the sound of the AC4. To me it sounds like a tiny amp and that's what it is really. The Vox signature sound is there but that's also true of my AC30 amplug........

The first word that I always thought of when listening to these AC4 clips was 'cardbox'.

Maybe I'm just not into the Vox sound in general, I really want to to do a proper test in a room with the new AC15 and AC30 from the same series soon.
Old 9th August 2009
  #17
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
London is great- loads going on here.
Definitely let me know if you make it over here.
I may be recording in Berlin next month- I am driving over as I need to take a lot of gear so I might come past.
Cool, I'll let you know! I'm going to visit San Franscisco and Hawaii in October first but I plan to come to London later in the year.
Old 9th August 2009
  #18
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A LaMere's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodrigo View Post
Hi. I'd like to get the classic AC30 tone but at lower levels, for recording only. I was thinking of getting a Vox 212 cab (the cheaper one) and swap one of the speakers for a Celestion Alnico Blue. When recording I'd use the mic on the Celestion speaker.

I'd like to get close to the AC30 tone with the V212BN and something like a Night Train, or an AC4, AC15. Has anyone tried these and compared?

I just want a cheaper way to get close to that tone, but at lower volumes and the added versatility of a head and cab, for tweaking at the control room.

Any help is appreciated,

Cheers!
It surprising to me how often I hear someone say "I need a Vox tone"... and then how often everyone suggests other amps.

The new handwired series is incredible and relatively inexpensive.
The AC15 - handwired sounds absolutely incredible.

I own an AC30 handwired head/cab combo and it's also an outstanding amp.

If you can afford it, the newer handwired AC15 is an amp you might buy now, and NEVER sell. You can't say that about a lot of gear.
Old 9th August 2009
  #19
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
The first word that I always thought of when listening to these AC4 clips was 'cardbox'.

Maybe I'm just not into the Vox sound in general, I really want to to do a proper test in a room with the new AC15 and AC30 from the same series soon.
There is no doubt that the AC4 can in no way compete with either the AC15 and AC30 - the kick and presence of those amps in a live or recording situation. I start the AC30 with everything at noon and work up from there. What the AC4 does is give you a good Vox tone and feel, but dialed way back from it's bigger brothers. It is 'a little amp' and is suited well for practice and quieter home situations.
Old 9th August 2009
  #20
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucks View Post
There is no doubt that the AC4 can in no way compete with either the AC15 and AC30 - the kick and presence of those amps in a live or recording situation. I start the AC30 with everything at noon and work up from there. What the AC4 does is give you a good Vox tone and feel, but dialed way back from it's bigger brothers. It is 'a little amp' and is suited well for practice and quieter home situations.
Thanks, that's really helpful. I think I will go for the AC 15 at some point, hopefully soon. Even though I like the coolness factor of having an AC 30 it seems that the AC 15 would be perfect for recording and smaller gigs.
Old 10th August 2009
  #21
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

If you've ever messed around with old British sports cars, it will help you understand
my reluctance to recommend Vox amps.

Yes, when they are working right, they can sound wonderful, if you can keep them
working right. Sort of like working on an old MG or and old Jaguar with Lucas ignition.

This may be easier at home or in the studio, but standing in front of a few thousand
people in a live performance, I'd want something far more reliable.

/13, Bad Cat, Matchless, Star Amps, are where they are today because
of their reputation for quality.

Vox reliability is a total crap shoot, some fine, some downright horrible.
Most people touring with them can also afford back-ups.

Not to mention paying so much for inferior Chinese build quality and components.

The original U.K. built amps are far better than anything they sent us in the states,
but even those vintage classics had issues with overheating and built inconsistencies.
Old 12th August 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
If you already have an AC30, another option may be an isolation box.
OT: Do you happen to have a link to a good box?

I wouldn't mind calming my AC30 a bit (or a lot)...
Old 12th August 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
If you've ever messed around with old British sports cars, it will help you understand
my reluctance to recommend Vox amps.
Ha, yeah... I can only speak of the new ones, but the reverb is pretty bad on those, and the tremolo is absolutely useless (mine sounds like an old boat).

The cleans are gorgeous, though.
Old 17th August 2009
  #24
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octatonic's Avatar
I've been rocking a 65 Amps Soho lately.
A different voicing to an AC30 but in the same ballpark.
I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Old 18th August 2009
  #25
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
My vote: THD hotplate or maybe a Fulltone OCD - amazing "amp-like" pedal even when the amp is at very low volumes.
Old 5th November 2009
  #26
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Gie-Sound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
You could try a power soak- THD Hotplate is the best of the bunch.
How do you connect the powersoak? Does the AC30 have a speaker-out? (that I am not aware of)
Old 5th November 2009
  #27
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
You'd need to adapt the combo's spkr cable and have a jack soldered to it.

My friend did this to enable him to use his AC30 with a 4 x 12
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