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Every band i like uses a vox ac30...

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Does this mean i should get one? They all use it for their cleans, but to me it seems it would break up way to early. Ive only played one once for like too seconds and it was ok. All the youtube videos on it make the cleans sound amazing. Im into radiohead, black rebel motorcycle club, u2, coldplay, band of horses, mute math, and kasabian. Should i go with a vox for the cleans? is there enough head room? And if not what has the jangley cleans of a vox but with more head room?
thanks for the help guys.

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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 199

i would try one first and see if you like it. If not and you need more headroom, there's plenty of amps out there with great clean channels

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Joined: 20 years ago
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There is one group that used nothing but AC30's and echo to get clean sounds on stage. In fact, the AC30 was developed for this group because the AC15 couldn't handle larger halls.

Listen to a few Shadows tracks and see if they have enough cleans for you.

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Joined: 19 years ago
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Going way back, a lot of the British Invasion stuff was played through Vox amps. Part of the whole promo thing. The acts got their amps for free (according to Bill Wyman) and they were much better than anything they were currently using that was stapled together and thoroughly trashed. Keith Richards supposedly uses Fender Twins now (simultaniously), but I also have read where he's played through one Vox and one Fender at the same time.

I've never played one. My guitar processor (Boss GT-10) I use has a VOX 30 amp model and it does and OK job of sounding Vox-like, or Vox-esque. Whatever. Darned good enough for me in my 10 X 11 cave and no one else listening. If I had the dough, though, I'd probably add one to the stable.

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Joined: 16 years ago
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Well, there is the sound you like and "Your" sound. Might be one in the same, have to try one to find out.

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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 320

I love my AC30. I use it with a channel-switcher so I can switch between the "Normal" and the "Top Boost" channel.

I set the "Normal" volume to about 5 and roll off the guitar volume a bit for a beautiful clean sound with plenty of headroom.

If I turn the guitar volume all the way up I can get a little breakup at just the point I want it.

Then I switch to the "Top Boost" channel whose volume I set at about 7 and it's got a beautiful crunchy overdrive. Plus even in this case if I roll back the guitar volume I can get an almost-clean sound.

Basically I'd recommend trying it out and seeing if you can get the headroom/clean sound that you want, but it works great for me.

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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1247

What application will you be using the amp for?
(Live gigs (mic'd or no mic?), garage band practice, playing in your bedroom by yourself, etc....?)

30 watts isn't a whole lot of power for modern live gig levels, really.... If you are looking for a cutting/clean headroom monster, than you should go with more power (or you can mic the AC30).
A Fender Twin Reverb, which has about 80 watts is very clean/sparkly with tons of headroom.
It uses (overall) - four output tubes to two 12ax7 preamp tubes.

The Vox AC30 uses four output tubes (though, lower power EL-84's) with 3 12ax7 preamp tubes.

The AC30 is by no means a hi-gain amp though.
And 30 watts is plenty loud for a variety of aps, before breakup will occur.

There are also hi/low gain inputs on it.
In fact, there are so many different settings that the Vox can be played on, I would try fooling more with it.

While much has been said of Fender clean tones; there is nothing like the rich, full, 3 dimensional chime of a Vox.
It's 'spooky' sounding! Otherworldly, if you will :D

If you need more headroom, I would suspect that the V1 12ax7 could be swapped for a lower gain 12ay7.

If I'm not mistaken, AC30's use cathode biased output tubes, which would have them fall into the,
'early 60's post tweed era' of amps, like Brown/Cream era Fenders.
That gave them more intricate circuits than the 'caveman' like Tweeds, though not quite as 'sophisticated' as 'Blackface' era amps (which the Twin Reverb is).
And not nearly the overdrive type amps that later British tube amps would become, ie. Orange/Marshall/Hi-Watt.

IMO, you really should go with the gear that most of your guitar hero's use....
If you want a sound like Paul Kossoff, there's only one way to get near that.... Les Paul w/HB's thru a Marshall/Orange.
Though, there is much to what TR says.... I've always coveted Paul Kossoff's tone, and I have never owned a Les Paul (or any other guitar with humbuckers for that matter) and have never owned a Marshall or Orange.
I have my own tone, and I am happy with that.

Good luck,


Oh, and here's Rory G., who always played straight thru an AC30....
What was his quote about turning it up to 7 - 9 and having it hop around on the chair!? lol!

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begins to live more simply without"
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Compared to Dr. Zs, Divided by 13s, Marshalls, Oranges, the Fenders I've played/owned... NOTHING compares to the tones and "recognizable" tones I get out of my AC30. I spot AC30s in all the music I love too... If it's not "heavy" enough for you, find the right pedal - Fulltone OCD or the classic Rat. But the flexibility you get out of the warm clean tones (and btw - there are NOT a bunch of amps out there with a good clean tone) and the brittle chime, AND the warm drive you get out of either blending the two channels or just going with the top boost is hard to come by with any other amp. As I said, I've put this amp up against some of the best amps out there, in the studio, rehearsal, and live it's hard to compare. If that is the tone you like - run with it. If you have a taste towards a different amp - go get it. I would by no means say that any amp is a "win all"... Amp tone is such a personal thing... that's why it's so beautiful. :D happy hunting!!! ---- it's part of the fun!

Alexander Dunnett
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1

Does this mean i should get one? They all use it for their cleans, but to me it seems it would break up way to early. Ive only played one once for like too seconds and it was ok. All the youtube videos on it make the cleans sound amazing. Im into radiohead, black rebel motorcycle club, u2, coldplay, band of horses, mute math, and kasabian. Should i go with a vox for the cleans? is there enough head room? And if not what has the jangley cleans of a vox but with more head room?
thanks for the help guys.

Radiohead are my favourite band, I love U2 and coldplay, Mute Math are amazing as well. You seem to have very similar taste in music, we should collaborate. 8) Check out Minus The Bear, Death Cab For Cutie and Cursive if you like those bands.

I'm thinking about getting an AC30C2. Not the exact model that all the artists below use but I'm hoping it will be the one for me.

Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Jet Harris of The Shadows, for whom the amplifier was originally developed during early 1960s before Beatlemania.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison of The Beatles
Keith Richards and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones
Pete Townshend of The Who
Brian May of Queen
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo
Paul Weller of The Jam
Robert Smith of The Cure
The Edge and Bono of U2
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
Noel Gallagher of Oasis
Bernard Sumner of Joy Division and New Order
Tom Petty and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Peter Buck of R.E.M.
Rory Gallagher
John Scofield, noted jazz/fusion guitarist
Joe Strummer of The Clash
Jim Albrecht of Hoi Polloi
Matthew Bellamy of Muse
Snowy White
Joe Satriani
Kenny Howes
Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues
Jonny Greenwood, Thom Yorke and Ed O’Brien of Radiohead
Hans Magnus Ryan a.k.a. Snah of Motorpsycho
Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol
Phil X of Powder, The Drills and Fretted Americana
Carl Barat of The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things
Nic Cester of Jet
Jamie Hince of The Kills
Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols
The Pigeon Detectives
Cage The Elephant
James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers
Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother
Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian
Jan Paternoster of The Black Box Revelation
Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon
Andrew White of Kaiser Chiefs
Brendan Benson
Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World
Tony Bevilacqua of The Distillers
Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age
Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters
Jeff Beck
Marc Bolan
Bernard Butler of Suede
Arctic Monkeys
The Black Angels
Dave Davies
Grant Nicholas of Feeder
Topher Mohr of Mayer Hawthorne & The County
Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tom DeLonge of blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves
Billy Lunn of The Subways
Rose Hill Drive
The Horrors
My Chemical Romance
Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi of Thrice
Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics
Greg Hill, former guitarist for MUTEMATH
Dan Kroha, guitarist and vocalist of garage punk band the gories
Nick Broomham
John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls
Andy Latimer of the prog-band CAMEL
Jeff Tweedy of Wilco
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala