Vox amp for gigging?

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

  1. BohemianLikeMe

    BohemianLikeMe Gretschie

    Apr 18, 2020
    Prague, CZ
    Best deal of my life was straight swapping a Crate 2x12 120w Combo for a Bandit in the late 90s with a high school classmate. He thought the 120 watt Crate was going to be louder, I wanted something smaller to fit in our garage rehearsal space. God, that Crate was Crap!

    I traded that Peavey for an IC Big Muff a few years later in Chicago, and I kinda wish I held onto it.
  2. NervousJohn

    NervousJohn Electromatic

    May 8, 2017
    I gig a vintage AC-30. It’s a non top boost 1963, so no master volume either. I bought it as a cheap practice amp back in 1989 when no one cared about Vox...

    Yes, it is heavy. 2 flights of stairs is not fun. And it’s loud.

    However that loudness means when you aim for a clean tone, it’s harmonically rich and very pleasing to the ear. Small amps can’t do this as they don’t have the headroom. A big chunk of the loudness is the blue AlNiCo speakers, which are significantly more efficient than the greenbacks normally in amps. I had a loan of a modern AC30 with greenbacks at a gig and struggled to get it loud enough...

    Also if you ignore the top boost channel, it suddenly becomes a really good pedal platform.

    So my recommendation? Blue speakers, then normal channel, then hit the gym to learn how to carry it.
  3. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    To be right up front I’m a Fender amp guy. So that said I’d suggest any Deluxe. Currently I have a 68 CDR and a Tone Master. Love them both and the TM is a fabulous amp.

    You seem to like larger amplifiers. Perhaps give a Tone Master Twin Reverb a try. It also weighs in at only 33 pounds. Less weight than a tube version of a Deluxe Reverb.
    ErickT94, stiv and Trash Kidd like this.
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    yeah now we're in a conversation about difference between overdrive and distortion.

    Having heard lots of your music Nigel (and greatly enjoyed) I've observed you're playing with what I'd call light overdrive mostly - bright trash style overdrive. Sounds great for your style.

    @calebaaron666 stuff is similar.

    I've played lots of Fender DRs (tube one's) and owned a Fender Twin over the years and yes if you crank em they do decent overdrive - not what I call great, but good. But where can you crank a tube DR now?

    You can on the TMDR using the power cut and some reviewers note it doesn't sound the same as the tube DR on overdrive tones.

    But either way, even maxed, it doesn't deliver enuf gain for me, or probly most rock players.
    And it doesn't do what I call distortion.
    That's why people use these Fenders mainly as good pedal platforms.

    That brings us back to pedals and that's why I moved onto Marshall amps, then onto Mesa Boogie in search of a great light weight amp that does almost everything :D

    So for sure your TMDR wud be a a great solution for your music now but not at all suitable for me and anyone who wants to use tube distortion.

    Vox ACs have similar issues but ..... they're just way too heavy to gig with imo - full stop o_O
    But great at home if you're mostly a clean player.
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  5. GlenP

    GlenP Synchromatic

    Jul 23, 2019
    I don't really gig much with my electrics and amp, but feel like I can manage the AC15 fine.

    I am building a pedal board and planning to split my chain in two paths, one for the Normal channel will have some OD/Dist pedals with the amp set clean, and the Top Boost will just use the amps natural drive, but with a Vol pedal as it's own gain stage. I am hoping that will work. I like the Top Boost and the HOT switch, just the natural overdriven sound of the AC15, but also like the flexibility of the clean Normal channel with OD/Dist pedals stacked. But, the Alnico Blue speaker does sound great clean or crunchy.

    Since the gyms are all closed, I have turned my garage into a workout room.
  6. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013

    Agreed. I went ampless onstage years ago. The Fender TMDR is the amp that brought me back to amps.
    ErickT94 and Trash Kidd like this.
  7. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I'd really like to try one of those Cyclones some day myself, but I'm just about sleeping on top of amps as it is...
    ErickT94 and Waxhead like this.
  8. Trash Kidd

    Trash Kidd Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2015
    London U.K.
    Totally get what your saying here..
    Yes I get a great light to mid overdrive sound with the Tone Master but if you’re looking for more of a hard rock/heavy/metal type distortion it’s gotta be Mesa/Boogie or Marshall (or pedals)
    One of the best amps I ever owned was a Boogie Mark 4 combo years ago.. Another one that got away..
    Henry, Waxhead and ErickT94 like this.
  9. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Ah, the MkIV, another amp that felt like it was bolted to the floor and had the highest knob count of any amp I have played! I had to get a flight case with castors for the one I briefly owned. The best Fender amp I have owned was one of the short-lived Pro Tube Pro Reverbs; overdriven it sounded fantastic but, again, it was a 70lb monster. I also have fond memories of a Cornford hurricane (22W) which was mercifully light!
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  10. ErickT94

    ErickT94 Electromatic

    Feb 13, 2020
    Los Angeles
    This thread is giving me serious GAS. I’ve never tried Tone master in person now I feel very inclined to see what the talk is all about. I definitely play mostly clean tones and need something with head room. Sounds like a deluxe reverb or tone master would do great..and kinda bummed to find out vox amps are picky with some pedals.
    Waxhead and Trash Kidd like this.
  11. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I used to gig with a late '60s Super Beatle.
    Anything is lighter and easier to carry. The solid state was OK as I was playing a Farfisa thru it. Loud as all get out tho.
    ErickT94 likes this.
  12. ErickT94

    ErickT94 Electromatic

    Feb 13, 2020
    Los Angeles
    Vox should hop on this digital modeling wave and make a light ac30 :D
    Trash Kidd likes this.
  13. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Well Eric - Vox don't need to go digital to make a much lighter tube AC30.

    Other amp companies make great light weight tube amps so Vox can certainly make an AC30 under 40 pounds with 1 speaker and non el cheapo Chinese parts. They could also make an AC15 under 30 pounds.
    Vox made a great light weight tube amp in the Night Train so they could clearly do it with ACs.

    Vox AC re-issues have chinese speakers and other parts and don't sound as good as the vintage ACs.
    And Vox has clearly chosen not to go lightweight with their AC amps and remain the kings of heavy.

    Plus, Vox have already tried the modeling option a few times and failed to reproduce anything close to their AC tube tones. The little MV50 AC is the closest they've come and that's nu-tube technology - not digital.

    Fender appear to be the 1st amp maker to convincingly reproduce their tube Twin and Deluxe Reverb clean amp tones in the new solid state Tone Master amps. Everyone I've heard says this of the TM clean tones - but not so the overdrive.

    If you're a clean player with few needs who wants light weight then the TM Deluxe Reverb would be a good option. But so are the Roland Blues Cube Artist and Stage amps imo. All expensive solid state amps.

    But for around the same price you can also buy better sounding and more versatile light weight tube amps.
    So there's no need to go solid state, or modeling, at all imo because there's many great tube amps around that deliver what you want in a light weight package. :D
  14. ErickT94

    ErickT94 Electromatic

    Feb 13, 2020
    Los Angeles
    I wonder how this Roland compares to a Tone Master. I absolutely love the aesthetics of the Blues Cube.
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    The Roland Blues Artist and Stage are the best solid state amps I've played.
    Much more versatile than the Fender TMs.
    You should go test out all these amps plus many light weight tube amps :D
    ErickT94 likes this.
  16. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    My old '93 AC30TBX.


    It was a lovely amp and sometimes, I miss it. I did 3 little gigs with it in 1997, when I was younger and physically stronger. But never again, but only if it it had a separate cabinet and amplifier head.

    VOX would soon release the AC15TBX, which was a bit more schleppable (yes, that's a word).

    Waxhead and Trash Kidd like this.
  17. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Gretschie

    Nov 1, 2019
    Columbia, MO
    If you can always mic the amps don’t overlook the AC10. Top boost tone and only 27 lbs. Very loud for 10 watts.
    BohemianLikeMe and Thass like this.
  18. ErickT94

    ErickT94 Electromatic

    Feb 13, 2020
    Los Angeles
    theres a guy selling a blues artist for 400 bucks in my area...feel like buying it now then selling both my fender hot rod deville and yamaha thr since the blues cube could do both. my only reservation is that i haven't heard it in person! I doubt i wouldn't like it though from the vids and word of mouth it is a great amp
    Groutsch likes this.
  19. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Any reason why you can't test one out 1st in LA ??
    Wouldn't like to see you disappointed :)

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    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  20. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    Take a look at a Winfield Cyclone, which is very similar to and AC-15, much lighter and the price is very friendly.

    It’s similar to the early AC-15 circuit with a single EF-86 pentode up front. This gives it a very different gain characteristic, which I find mor controllable than the 12AX7 based preamps. It will do the crunch of the Beatles and the crystal clear sounds of the Shadows, not to mention being pretty amazing at Country sounds. No need to use a pedal, for overdrive, either. It has a master volume that lets you drive it as hard as you desire.

    Gretsch guitars and the Vox circuit are a perfect match. IIRC, there was this skinny kid from Liverpool that proved that for all time.
    Waxhead and MTurner like this.
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