AC10 or AC15

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by epimetheus81, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    Well after reading this thread and wanting to add a Vox amp, I just ordered an AC10.
    I'm an at home player so the 10 should be plenty for me.
    Thanks everyone for the reviews.
     
    bhatta, Archtops, wabash slim and 3 others like this.
  2. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Let us know how you like it!
     
  3. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    I've had an eye on the deluxe, the twin is HUGE (but i've always wanted one). I'm traditionally a Fender guy, but they're more expensive here in the EU and I'm a fan of a lot of Vox players. One day i'll have both?
     
    Mark W and Xochi2 like this.
  4. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Ok, local listings fell through, but I've got a bid out on an AC10. Feels like a good starting point while I get the living situation together and keep working on my chops. We'll see how it shakes out.
     
  5. Xochi2

    Xochi2 Gretschie

    279
    Oct 5, 2020
    Wisconsin
    Go for it! (Which ever one that makes you happy!) :cool:
     
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  6. Xochi2

    Xochi2 Gretschie

    279
    Oct 5, 2020
    Wisconsin
    Thank you for being patient with my lack of observation...I should have noted that you were in the EU. (Our daughter lives in España.)
     
    epimetheus81 likes this.
  7. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yes but Not exactly.
    The Normal Volume dial is a master volume only for the Normal Channel.

    To get edge of breakup gain on the Normal channel you crank the Volume dial on left.
    You can then reduce that volume using the Normal Volume dial on right but this does not produce what I call overdrive. It'll go a bit past edge of break up is all.

    Plus the Normal Channel on AC 15 has no EQ control except the Tone Cut dial.
    This will only roll up or down the top end freqs.
    On an AC30 or 15 with alnico speakers it's what delivers the famous Vox chime/jangle.

    But AC10 doesn't even have this - all it's got is a Top Boost channel plus gain, bass and treble dials. And without alnico speaker it can't deliver Vox chime/jangle anyway.

    To get real overdrive you need to use the Top Boost channel.
    But AC15 doesn't have any master control for the Top Boost channel so to produce overdrive you have to crank the volume dial and then imo it's too loud for most apartments.

    Add on you can't switch between the Normal and Top Boost channels (and the weight issue) and these big limitations were the reasons I never wanted to own any Vox AC amps. Too non versatile and heavy for me :)
    They are suited to clean players who mainly want to use a good clean Normal Channel..

    The Mesa TransAtlantic amps resolve all these Vox limitations, are light weight, and used, they cost same as a new Vox AC15 custom model. But TA-15 is 25w and TA-30 is 40w both with various wattage options. They both sound as great as an AC30 when cranked, but better than any Vox on bedroom level volumes. Plus this Vox AC thing is only 30% of what the TA amps do. They also deliver Fender Tweed, Marshall and Boogie lead tones on 5 different voices :)

    https://www.mesaboogie.com/amplifiers/electric/transatlantic-series/transatlantic-ta-30/index.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
    wabash slim and BatmansGretsch like this.
  8. BatmansGretsch

    BatmansGretsch Gretschie

    171
    Dec 3, 2019
    Earth
    Vox seems to be stuck in Marshall's old adage that guitarists will spend on the 100W if they really want it. Friedman took that misguided view and ran with it. From amp modder to amp brand. Marshall only wised up with the Studio series. DSL had some good selling points, 40c budget Marshall goodness, and 100W DSLs were good also. Everything in between was meh and certainly not Plexi or JCM sounding. They literally miniaturized everything for the Studio series. Vox seems to have done something of a DSL on these sub-15W combos. So where is the Friedman of Vox? Until that comes along there is really no pressure for Vox to give people what they really want. AC15-30 as a power staging combo that can go 1W, 5W, 15W or 5W, 15W, 30W with optional attenuator integration with the speaker. It won't be as efficient as the AC15-30 but then people will get the big brother amps for that, just like they will get the big brother Plexi and JCMs.

    Just my opinion on the matter.
     
  9. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Can you clarify this for me @Waxhead ? I thought the contrary...you have preamp volume through the normal Pot and Post on the master. So I would either raise the normal for gain and cut the master if I wanted some breakup, or lower the normal gain and raise the master for clean.
     
  10. Cyclebilly

    Cyclebilly Electromatic

    23
    Sep 3, 2019
    Bristol, UK
    The AC15 is quite a popular gigging amp. Loud enough for small pub gigs unmic’d and plenty loud mic’d on larger stages. So perhaps too loud if you want natural breakup at home with attenuation.
     
    epimetheus81 likes this.
  11. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    So i'm watching an AC10 with a Greenback and J tubes (ECC83 1 x Balanced ECC83 2 x Matched EL84). What do we think?
     
    Tony65x55 likes this.
  12. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    @BatmansGretsch was asking about AC15.
    AC10 is different and much less versatile.

    On AC15 Normal Channel you can do it either way, ie use the Normal Volume dial on right 1st, or the Volume on left first ist. Either way the amp will have to be very loud to get light overdrive on the Normal Channnel. Normal Channel will go to edge of break up at around 2-3 oclock.

    And the only EQ control you've got on Normal Channel is the Tone Cut dial. Adjusting this to near zero delivers the Vox chime/jangle provided you've got a good Alnico speaker. Once you move the Tone Cut dial above 9 oclock you lose the chime and the Normal Channel loses its sparkle. Imo this makes the Normal Channel very limited in tone options. Basically a 1 trick pony, although better than most Fenders :D

    If you're sold on getting an AC15 this video may help you to get it sounding better at low volume. The pedal options this guy recommends would work but .... too many pedals for me. Plus the added cost of them doesn't add up when you can just buy a more versatile amp to begin with and not need pedals :)

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
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  13. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Much appreciated , my man. I play mostly in a gospel/jazz/folk resgister so it feels like that puts me on the edge. Gonna save and work towards palying these nicer amps. But it's a good start.
     
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  14. BatmansGretsch

    BatmansGretsch Gretschie

    171
    Dec 3, 2019
    Earth
    What other amp can do the Vox AC30 distortion tones at more manageable volume levels?
     
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Go to page 1 of this thread - I named 3 I know of (and posted videos) and there's probably more.

    Morgan AC20, Mesa Boogie TransAtlantic TA-15 and TA-30 all much better amps for many different reasons imo. And a used TA-15 is cheaper than a new AC15 custom - around $600 in US.
     
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  16. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Winfield. I bought a Typhoon and for band levels you mic it. Or their bigger cyclone I think it’s called. @Synchro will know better then me. I have never owned an ac30 so maybe they aren’t close enough for you but give them a look you may be surprised.
     
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  17. epimetheus81

    epimetheus81 Electromatic

    48
    Mar 2, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    AC10 got in today and I'm loving it so far. It's honestly not too loud for the room to get the tones I want, though I can tell it likes to be pushed. I'm getting a lot of fun out of that stout push about halfway up the gain knob. It's also nice with the master open and the gain around 9. I think full overdrive would be too loud for the space.

    Supposedly, the last owner put JJs in it, but I need to get the back panel off to verify. That'll be for tomorrow.

    only a couple of concerns so far:

    1) The SG is way hotter, so we'll see how I feel about the volume once I plug it in.

    2) I'm missing the effects loop for my delay and trem. I think both sound better after the preamp EQ. Plus, I'm getting mad noise from the delay, though that may be because I used my cheap adapter rather than the Ojai. Fingers crossed.

     
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  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yes agree - Vox have no incentive to improve anything on their AC amps cos they sell well as is and mainly appeal to clean players anyway.

    As stated several times Mesa did all the innovation and resolved all the issues with Vox ACs in their TransAtlantic amps. They solved all the problems while making them sound just as great on both the normal and top boost channels. But for reasons unknown they didn't sell well and are now out of production.

    This history with Mesa would not have encouraged Vox to change anything and they're not a company interested in innovation anyway :)
     
    BatmansGretsch likes this.
  19. pmac11

    pmac11 Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2018
    Toronto, Ontario
    Vox has no incentive to change anything because their product sells well, and the people who buy the ACs don't think there's anything wrong with them. With decades of success under their belt, and the likes of The Edge showcasing their product, why fix what ain't broken?
     
  20. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Since I own 2 British made Vox amps (65 AC 30 & 98 AC15) I can tell you I am not a fan of the junk coming out of China with the Vox name on it these days. I've owned a few Chinese made Vox amps over the past 10 years and they were noisy, cheaply made and just didn't sound good to me. Yeah the AC 15 is heavy but if you can find a British made one with the master volume in good shape it would work fine in a bed room situation as well as on some fairly large stages. My brother who is the drummer in my band is a heavy hitter when the song calls for it and the AC 15 with an alnico blue never had any problem keeping up with him even at large outside events. I won't lie my favorite Vox is the 65 AC 30 but it's just too loud for most situations these days. That's the reason I bought the AC 15 back in 1998. It doesn't have quite the punch the AC 30 has but never the less it still has that chime and jangle the AC line is know for. The AC 10 is a nice amp but it lacks some of the chime and jangle it's bigger brothers have.
     
    pmac11 likes this.
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