AC10 or AC15

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

  1. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    Sorry Waxhead the Mesa TransAtlantic amps are nice but to my ears they don't sound anything like a 60s Vox AC30. Bottom line all those added controls and components kill the openness and punch a real AC30 has. All those extra controls are tone suckers.
     
    pmac11 likes this.
  2. bhatta

    bhatta Gretschie

    378
    Jun 29, 2020
    Bangalore
    HNAD! Enjoy the new amp and come up with your fixes to make it sound like you want.
    If not, there's always options!

    Cheers
     
    epimetheus81 likes this.
  3. Andrew Griffin

    Andrew Griffin Synchromatic

    771
    Oct 22, 2015
    I have the 10 and I only play at home. I love it. It can be louder than I'll ever need, but sounds great at the volume I prefer. I prefer a very clean sound.
     
    Mark W likes this.
  4. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Congrats on the new amp!

    I've been quietly watching this thread with a lot of interest, because I'm trying to make the same choice. My AC30's just too big and the Pathfinder 15's not big enough. Something in the middle would sure be nice, but which one?

    Decisions, decisions ...
     
    epimetheus81 likes this.
  5. NowEarThis

    NowEarThis Gretschie

    Age:
    70
    231
    Jun 23, 2021
    Northern Rivers NSW Australia
    Have you tried the HW series?
     
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  6. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Not yet, but only because I haven't stumbled across one at a shop.

    How 'bout you? Do you have one and was it worth the extra money?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
    GlenP likes this.
  7. NowEarThis

    NowEarThis Gretschie

    Age:
    70
    231
    Jun 23, 2021
    Northern Rivers NSW Australia
    Yes and yes.

    The HW1:
    Made in Vietnam
    Birch ply cabinet
    All JJ tubes
    Tube rectifier
    4 inputs
    No reverb or vibrato
    Celestion greenback speaker​

    The HW1X has the Vox blue speaker - Chinese made but they’re using the UK made original cone and they’re just as good as the UK built speaker.

    If you want that Vox chime then the blue speaker does it. And it’s louder that the celestion.

    I’ve got the AC15HW1X and it blows me away. It’s on another level. Buckets of volume and pure Vox tone. It’s probably the best amp I’ve ever owned.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
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  8. NowEarThis

    NowEarThis Gretschie

    Age:
    70
    231
    Jun 23, 2021
    Northern Rivers NSW Australia
    I should add that I was really after an old AC30 but they’re hard to find and expensive. The HW satisfied my expectations.
     
  9. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    yeah I never said they were comparable to a vintage 1960s AC30.
    I'd have no chance of A/Bing anything against one of those anyway so couldn't make a judgement.

    Only ever said the re-issue models.
    And as we know the Vox re-issues don't sound near as good as a 60s vintage one either.

    I see the extra EQ controls on the TA-15 as a big plus :)
     
  10. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Country Gent

    Age:
    72
    Nov 26, 2019
    Greybull, WY
    I received my AC10 and it will be more than loud enough for my home playing. Only had a chance to run my G6120T Players Edition through it so far. Sounds great, money well spent in my opinion.
     
  11. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    To those players out there who are looking for a real traditional AC30 sound those controls are not a big plus because although they may add some additional sound choices they destroy any chance of getting a traditional Vox sound. The original AC 30 circuit design along with the original British made transformers and the British made Alnico blue speakers are vital to achieving that sound. When you vary from that the sound changes drastically. I've owned and played through dozens of original JMI Vox amps and many of the new amps - they are worlds apart in sound.
    Every time Vox strays from that original design the sound of the amp suffers.
    Cheap Chinese components and transformers will not get you there.
    I owned a 1991 Vox AC 30 limited addition - only 1000 were made. It was a good sounding amp but did not sound like my 65 AC 30.
    I think Mesa makes some great amps. I've owned and used many of them in the studio over the past 35 years. I said this before but I own a Mesa V-Twin tube preamp pedal that I use all the time. I can add that vibe (and do) to all my amps. It kicks the front end of my Ampeg Gemini 1, Fender and Vox amps. But when I want that traditional sound I just plug the guitar straight into the amp and crank it up. No modern amp can get that sound.
    The closest I ever heard was a Matchless 30 watt combo amp with alnico blue speakers. It had more grunt than the AC 30, not as much chime but got closer than any of the other Vox style amps I've heard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  12. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Price point.

    There's a little difference between $500 and $5k.

    While modern Vox's may not sound just like a vintage Vox, they have that Vox vibe.

    They sure as heck don't sound like a Fender or Marshall.
     
  13. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    You are right. In the end it really doesn't matter what you use as long as you get a sound you like.
    A volkswagen will get you where you are going but some people want something better.
    The problem is when people try to say things like "my new Chinese $500 Vox sounds just like a JMI Vox from the 60s". That just doesn't fly with someone who's owned both and knows better.
    It gets even worse when they start the modeling amps vs tube amp debate.
    If it works for someone that's great. I've had guys bring tiny Crate amps in the studio that when they were miked up they sounded really good for that project.
    Did it sound like a cranked Mesa or Marshall - hell no but it worked.
    So I'm no amp snob - you can't argue if it works.
    Would a different amp of worked better - maybe - life's too short to bother.
     
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  14. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Cool. I'll be on the lookout for one. Don't know if I can justify the extra cost, but only the ears will tell me. Thanks for the heads up!

    Congrats Dana! At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is whether or not you like it. It's your amp! Everything else is academic. Hope you enjoy it!
     
  15. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    ok all I ever said was that imo Mesa TA-15 / TA-30 sound almost the same, and just as good, as a Vox AC 30 re-issue, when using the same speakers with both.

    The extra controls on the Mesas are a huge plus to me as compared to a control poor AC30 re-issue.. They turn a non versatile Vox amp into a very versatile Mesa one imo. I don't know the technical reasons but my ears tell me the extra controls do not make the Mesas sound unlike the Vox re-issues. Provided you use the same speakers.

    I don't think anyone could tell the difference in a blind A/B test until you crank the gain levels on the top boost channel. The Mesas have more gain on tap than the Vox re-issues. Another feature that makes them more versatile.

    But none of this will matter if all you ever do is play clean and use pedals.
    In that case you might prefer the non versatile and much heavier Vox re-issue.

    But for me it's chalk and cheese just on the 2 Vox voices.
    The TransAtlantic amps of course do 60% more.
    Add on switchable voices for Fender Tweed, Marshall overdrive and Boogie lead in a 12 pound 25 watter :)
     
  16. NowEarThis

    NowEarThis Gretschie

    Age:
    70
    231
    Jun 23, 2021
    Northern Rivers NSW Australia
    It’s horses for courses.
    At the end of the day, all of us have different wants, needs and expectations out of an amp. One guitar player’s nirvana is another player’s woe. They’re all good amps/choices.

    In my limited experience spanning years, I concur modern AC30’s lack that genuine Vox tone. And hot rod amps don’t cut it for me, I much prefer an amp that can give me a good, solid sound that cuts without screeching and can sing when you push it into overdrive. My faves for that are Fender deluxe reverb (never owned one) and AC30 (never owned one). However, my blues jr with cannabis Rex speaker does what I need and my AC15HW1X sounds as close as I remember to an older AC30. I did upgrade the filter caps and bypass caps with good quality caps and some slight resistor tweaking to my personal liking. Just my 2c worth.
     
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  17. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Australia
    Yeah I agree - from a sales point of view Vox ACs are a great success.
    I just never wanted one for the reasons already discussed :D
     
    pmac11 likes this.
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