Vox amp for gigging?

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by ErickT94, May 21, 2020.

  1. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I have an all tube 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and a TMDR. The TM is as much like the real thing as you would want minus the tubes and the weight.
    Also, with the TM you have the option of changing the wattage from the full 22 watts down to 12, 5, 1, o.5, or even 0.2 watts.
    So one could crank the volume on that baby for edge of breakup or full on OD and then bring the over all volume down as far as bedroom levels.
    Pretty cool!
    Oh, and yes, a DR has MUCH better tone than a DeVille.
    ErickT94 and Trash Kidd like this.
  2. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I'll second a Morgan AC20 as a nicer built, more portable option to either the AC15 or 30s. The 1x12 one I had (well still have but is up on the block) is a bit more muscular sounding than the AC15C1 or AC30CCH I had but also seems an order of magnitude better put together.

    Another alternative (maybe?) roughly in the same price range as the Morgan is a Dr. Z Maz Jr. I'd put it somewhere around a 50/50 (maybe 60/40) mix of an 18w plexi & Vox chime/jangle by my ears. Built like an absolute tank & probably slightly more portable than an AC15C1 in 1x12 combo form. Great dynamics & w/ a bunch of EF86 goodness in the preamp. It seems like most of the interwebz like the non-reverb versions better, but the one I have is a really great old Ampeg style spring setup & my only complaint is it's always inline because of the nature of how it spans the whole preamp in the circuit.

    The NuTube options (either the MV50 or the Mini Super Beetle) are quite good too IMO & super light & compact & pretty darn affordable. I don't like that external power supply w/ the anemic power lead on the DC side to the head, but there are ways to make that work w/ a long IEC cable & some velcro/zip ties.
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  3. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yeah I'm sure it sounds great ....... but it weighs 50 pounds for 15 watts and has the same problems matching well with overdrive/distortion pedals. It's a great stay at home amp.

    The Morgan AC20 is lighter, much more versatile, has 20 watts, pairs well with pedals and costs about the same. Same with the Mesa Boogie TA-15 - it's 25 watts - the head weighs 12 pounds. It does great Vox, Marshall, Fender Tweed and Boogie tones :)

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  4. Winnie Thomas

    Winnie Thomas Gretschie

    Jun 13, 2011
    Cochise AZ
    Ask Sychro about his AC15esque 15 watt amp :)
    Sid Nitzerglobin and MTurner like this.
  5. salvatore

    salvatore Electromatic

    Nov 29, 2017
    Durham, NC
    My 15 watt solution is the Vox 50th Anniversary AC15H1TV two channel (EF 86 and Top Boost channels) amp head through the Celestion Blue.

    I have many amps to play and this is the one that I feel is my number one or two. It rings rich and sweet with a depth and natural harmonic I can’t find anywhere else.

    The luxury of having two distinct channels , and a 7/15 watt pentode/ triode switch in a hand- wired head seals the deal for me. A4056AF2-BD1C-4F7B-9D8E-02D55B655643.jpeg ATTACH=full]138944[/ATTACH]

    Attached Files:

    Sid Nitzerglobin and ZackyDog like this.
  6. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Very nice. What is the weight of the head?
  7. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    I Love the Vox tone when it fits the sound that I'm after.

    My AC10C1VS has been a great amp. Home use only, don't do any gigging, so it fits the bill for me.

    If I was looking at an AC15, and would have to highly consider, and probably be swayed for this:


    Something to seriously think about. Hand built by a forum member, and nothing but good feedback by owners.
  8. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    The 65 Fender Deluxe and Vox AC 15 (if it's British made) are both great gigging amps.
    I don't care for the Chinese AC 15 amps.
  9. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I do not have a ac 15 or ac30. I do however have a original right when released Vox Nightrain and love it. I see them pop up reasonably priced quite often. I think they are and underrated Vox amp. Tonally, at least in sound clips I have heard of the 15 and 30 I think it grinds closer to a 30 than a 15 but it is very Voxy to my ears. Maybe an alternative to look at if the opportunity presents itself.
    Henry and Waxhead like this.
  10. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yes agree another good light weight alternative :D
    Bertotti likes this.
  11. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Weight-wise, I’d follow the advice of my mates Caleb and Trash Kidd and jump on a Deluxe Reverb Tone Master. There’s no price for a gigging amp that you could carry on the road without breaking your back. And, as a bonus, has a great Fender sound in any situation.
    Tone-wise, I second that Vox aren’t very fair with distortion/overdrive pedals. I’ve had a cc2 AC30 (but I bought it because I had to play an AC15 on a venue backline and it stunned me) and never bonded with none of my pedals except fuzz and boosts, with any of my guitars. On the other side, I think that the Vox voice, at the right volume, sounds heavenly with no need of any overdrive box.
    About dragging the weight on the road, we’ll... I’m an Hiwatt guy. There’s very few amps that scared me on tour... ;)
  12. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yeah that's all fine Stiv if you're primarily a clean player.
    I'm not so neither the Fender TM or the Vox ACs are suitable for me.

    At least the Fender TM is a good pedal platform and light but I much prefer my overdrive and distortion coming direct from tube amps. And that saves you more weight having to drag pedal boards to gigs. Much lighter if everything you need is already inside a light weight tube amp :D
  13. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Back in those days when we had gigs to play, I relied on the natural breakup of my Deluxe Reverb for drive, and I never play clean. Best OD in the world!
    I haven’t gigged with the TM yet since I bought it during quarantine, but just playing it at home I can tell you it breaks up just as well as the tube version.

    As an aside, being under quarantine has made me experiment with clean tones more than I probably ever have before.
    I gotta say, I’m kind of enjoying it.
  14. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Or, and this will be anathema to valve purists, get a decent modeller. I used a Boss Katana 50 for a while which sounded very good, was intuitive to use (no menus, sub menus, LCD displays or weird stuff you'll never use to navigate through), and light weight. The rather excellent Roland Blues Cube is also well worth auditioning.
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  15. BohemianLikeMe

    BohemianLikeMe Gretschie

    Apr 18, 2020
    Prague, CZ
    Modelers have come a long way. And solid state amps have their own charms, depending on the sound you want to get. That said, here's a possibly sacrilegious idea-- what about a Vox Pathfinder + extension cab? Pathfinders are super underrated, very light, cheap, and the 90s/2000s ones with a speaker out can drive a 2x12 or larger well enough to be used in a loud band. Less ideal if you'd want a sparkling clean sound, but, if you're going for Voxy raunch, it's not a bad idea.
  16. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    My main gigging amp for several years has been a Peavey Bandit 112 Transtube. While I like valve amps and have owned and gigged more than I can remember (including a back-breaking AC30), I like the consistency of sound with the Bandit, and the fact that it isn't subject to the fluctuations of mains voltage which can ruin your tone, plus its utter reliability and toughness is legendary.
    Ricochet likes this.
  17. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well, we could have different points of view on distortion/overdrive but one thing I’m sure I wouldn’t define ‘clean’ is the sound of a dimed AC15 or Deluxe Reverb... don’t forget that overdrive pedals have been created just to simulate a dimed amp... so the first overdrive pedal it has to be a dimed amp. ;)
    A DR at 8 has distortion in spades. Sure you couldn’t shred with it but you just need a boost (or a compressor) to get there very easily, an so does an AC15.
    Try (if you dare) to play my 50w Hiwatt with both master and volume at 9 with any cab, add a Micro amp on top of it and EVH would materialize in the room wanting to play Eruption...:D:D
    Fer sure if I had to choose from a Vox or a Fender for my pedals I’d head towards the DR as Vox has a kind of peculiar tone that doesn’t bond with everything (or doesn’t do it as good as a Fender).
    But both of them are ‘only clean’ as you want them to be.
  18. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    There’s no problems getting a dirty sound out of the Tone Master Deluxe Reverb at all.
    I very rarely play clean.
    The built in attenuator knob on the back of the amp is like a notched master volume. I’m getting some great overdriven sounds from this amp & I don’t use overdrive/distortion pedals... preferring natural break up.. ;)
    calebaaron666 likes this.
  19. BohemianLikeMe

    BohemianLikeMe Gretschie

    Apr 18, 2020
    Prague, CZ
    Bandits are great. They got a lot of crap for years because people were hung up on the no-tubes thing, but they're one of my favorite amps for noisier, punkier projects and touring, simply because they're cheap, sound decent, and ultra reliable.
    stiv and snakestretcher like this.
  20. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    The Bandit 65 has been the first amp I plugged in EVER.... I could barely play barre chords then.
    I remember the band that was using the rehearsal room before my band... they were a bunch of punk/skinheads and their guitar player tried to teach me how to play God Save the Queen (not the national anthem :D) with power chords.
    Great memories. :)
    ErickT94 and BohemianLikeMe like this.
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