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Antother "which is the ultimate AC-30" thread:)


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  • Antother "which is the ultimate AC-30" thread:)

    Okay, I'm just curious, I'm not really in the postition to buy a $2K amp atm. I just like to know this sort of stuff in case I win the lottery or something

    Actually, I've been gassing for another AC30 so hard that I've been thinking of selling a bunch of my gtrs/amps to maybe fund a high end AC30

    Let's start by limiting it to these three please:

    VOX AC-30 HW2X: The flagship in the current vox catalogue, gets great reviews pretty much everywhere. Not sure if it's worth the extra dough over the C2X though.

    VOX AC30 H2L 'limited edition': Was there actually a good reason these didn't go into full production? Is the current HW2 like an improved version of the H2L?

    JMI AC30: Can't find any prices for these, but something tells me they're WAY over $2K, and not even an option even if I DO win the lottery.

    Spare me even more suggestions please, I'm aware there's a lot more boutique style AC30 clones out there. Availabiliy/affordabily in Europe is usually an issue with the popular boutique AC30 clones I've looked into.  

    I know, apples vs oranges blablah. Just give yer opinion, tell me which gets your vote and why, compare to a vintage vox if you can, take about build quality, reliability, features (half power mode would be nice btw), etc...


  • #2

    There are so many different AC30s, all with different features and sounds. The ultimate AC30 is whichever one makes you happy when you play through it, and that's the truth - there is no substitute for trying out a bunch and seeing what you like.


    I have a HW head and matching 2x12, and that amp is absolutely ****************ing awesome. But then, I would say that, because I own it haha. It's got a very lively sound, plenty of clarity and cut but also it's a very full sound - a surprising amount of low end. So much of the sound of an amp is in the quality of the cab the speakers are sitting in, and Vox really got it right with the HW stuff.


    In comparison to the CC it replaced, it's just plain louder for one, has more girth and clean headroom, both of which allow it to take distortion pedals better, and the master volume is more effective. And I did really like my CC.


    The only downside to UK'ers is that the power transformer is the Euro-standard 230v. The UK runs at 240V, sometimes higher depending on time of day+ location. Technically that's fine, it's within legal tolerances. But AC30s run the tubes close to their limits anyway, and those extra 10-15 volts at the wall might equal another 20 volts or so on the power tubes, and that makes it eat them quite fast. Like, I'm going through sets about every 3 months. So in the long run that's something you'd probably want to sort, at the moment I'm looking for a decent and not too expensive 240v transformer to drop into the amp.


    So it's not perfect haha. And of course there's no reverb, trem, etc. It's just a very very basic normal and top boost circuit. Also, the power filtering is relatively high to keep ghost notes at a minimum. Part of the sound of vintage AC30s is the lower filtering which gives you those wierd undertones, flabby bottom end and lower headroom. Not a difficult thing to change yourself though if you feel brave.


    But it does sound like sex. :catwink:

    Originally Posted by telephant

    Tone is really half the argument. We both know ultimately it means nothing. Write a song. Write. A ****************ing. Song.

    UK based band;