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Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Trash Kidd, Sep 3, 2019.
Hey what's an EF86 channel and what does it do - thanks
Both are great amps and very different sounding from each other. I've owned my AC 15 for 21 years and would not get rid of it to buy a Princeton. That said a Princeton is next on my list....
The EF 86 channel was in the original Vox ac15 & ac 30s from the early 60's. I built the channel using diagrams from the 1960 AC 15 and an AC 15 from about 10 years ago that had a couple extra tone shaping controls. I put it on an angled plate the way the first AC 30 top boosts were added before it became part of the internal board. It's bolted to the back of the amp and I rewired input jack 2 to plug into the EF 86 channel. The Top boost channel is unaffected and I wired the output of the EF 86 channel to the unused side of the inverter tube. I'm very proud of this mod - it sounds great and very different than the top boost channel. I love both channels for different reasons. It's like having two different Vox AC 15 amps. If I ever want to put the amp back to stock I just unsolder a few wires and remove the plate and reconnect the input 2 jack to factory wiring. That said I will never be doing that cause I love the versatility of the two different channels. The breakup on the EF86 channel is sweeter than the top boost channel.
hmm not sure you answered the Q
So is the EF86 another separate channel that sounds different to the top boost- yes/no
Does it convert an Vox AC into a traditional 2 channel amp - yes/no?
Can you change to the EF86 with a footswitch - if no - how?
Does it have independent EQs or gain dials?
How does the EF86 sound - is it another clean channel, an overdrive - what?
Okay. The added EF86 channel is tied into the inverter tube so it's a separate channel. You can use an A/B box and switch between the two channels. You can setup the top boost channel one way and the EF86 channel the other way just like you would do on a typical Fender 2 channel amp. It has it's own tone & volume controls. My 1998 British made AC 15 has a master volume and that controls the overall volume of the amp. So you can get different tones and levels out of both channels.
The Ef 86 is a warmer sounding preamp tube than a 12ax7. The breakup you get when you drive the channel is sweeter to my ears than the top boost channel. I really don't like one better than the other. They both have their own character much like one Fender amp vs another. You can hear this sound on early Shadows records before they started using AC30s with top boost. Vox stopped using the EF86 as their preamp tube because they can be more microphonic than a 12ax7. I haven't had a problem with that but it was a big enough issue to cause Vox to make the switch to the 12ax7. The EF86 has a sound of it's own and lots of older Vox users preferred them. About 10 years ago Vox issued a version of the AC 15 that had an EF86 as the preamp tube. They only made the amp for a few years and it was pretty popular. I can't remember the model number but it was made in China. Their resale value is much more than any other Chinese Vox amp.
Noice! Congrats on that beauty!
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okay thanks for the extra info.
I'd never heard of an EF86 preamp tube previously