VOXAc30cc2

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by C.J., Aug 16, 2017.

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  1. C.J.

    C.J. Senior Member

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    I just ordered a complete retube kit for my Vox AC30CC2. One of the 12AX7's is balanced but I don't know what slot the phase inverter is: V1, V2 or V3?
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    Apparently: V3 is the phase inverter? Not sure though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  2. C.J.

    C.J. Senior Member

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    Ok all re-assembled and gig'd yesterday. It is in fact V3 for future reference.

    Also .. oh my GOD .. what an amazing sound these things make with Celestion Blue's.

    Played the Dead Man theme by Neil Young with full reverb and in the absense of a delay pedal I used a wad of trem on the top boost channel and it just screamed. All setttings were what sounded best to me, which when I looked them up after in the manual, were all the 'vintage AC30' settings. Not hugely surprised!

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    Its not without issues though: had problems with the power switch, the effects loop switch not seating properly causing it to cut out completely and a cold solder joint somewhere causing complete loss of sound and other intermittent problems. Only seems to happen if I use the FX loop though. I can live with that. :) Get an AC30 CC guys they're immense. I paid $500 and it came with UK Celestion Blues. Cost me $120 in new tubes. Not sure what other mass produced amp you can get for that which sounds as immense cranked. The headroom on Normal is ridiculous and the edge-of-break-up tone with the channels linked via my LP Deluxe was just pure sexual healing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
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  3. chef

    chef Senior Member

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    I have the head version of that... used with closed and open vintage 30s, lead 80s and p10q

    Good amp but loud.


     
  4. TheDevice

    TheDevice Senior Member

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    I have a couple of those and LOVE me. Rarely get to play em though.
     
  5. chef

    chef Senior Member

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    Anyone ever try one through a Marshall 4x12?
     
  6. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    I have the head version of that amp. It also had issues right out of the box, popping noises. The warranty guys couldn't fix it and kept it for months, they put in a new reverb tank I think. Still wasn't fixed. Don't use them if you can help it, in Los Angeles on Venice Blvd just west of La Cienega. I ended up at my regular repair guy, he fixed it. Mine seems to go through rectifier tubes. It used to sound great but I stopped using as i was struggling to get a good sound out of it. Might need to change out the EL84's, they were probably put in during the repairs years ago.

    How many hours do you guys get out of your EL84's?
     
  7. C.J.

    C.J. Senior Member

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    I get great tone out of mine .. I know the internet is full of guys saying stuff like that but I really do. It has the alnico blues though, which really help add depth and midrange clarity etc. Like most amps I find that when truly cranked it quickly just turns in to a wall of noise unless you dial back the treble.. but from 0 to 'too loud' its great.

    I re-valved it with JJ's when I got it. The phase inverter (V3) was selected and tested to be balanced for which I paid a little extra. Likewise the EL84's were all tested and matched (also costing extra) but short of buying a £200 tester myself I couldn't see any way round that. Also given the inconsistencies inherent in modern valves, especially JJ's, I figured an extra £20 to make sure they all work properly and compliment each other was worth the cost.

    Just want to say, I'm a pretty thrifty guy, but since it came with NOS tubes originally which all still worked, I have A/B'd them and there absolutely no doubt the NOS tubes are light years better sonically/tonally. They just sound like all your favourite old records do; so yes, money can buy happiness. Sadly I ain't got $$$$'s to waste of light bulbs. :)

    The rectifier issues tend to come about through use of the Standby switch - I'm sure you're aware of those issues on this model. Basically I never use that now and always just let the rectifier manage the warm up cycle as God intended. One thing I always make sure to do is zero the volume knobs before turning off. I may just be showing my age but I was always mindful of turning gain/volume knobs to 0 before powering down or removing cables.

    These amps do eat their EL84's. The AC30 always pushed them way beyond their specs, by design, and unless you are rich enough to able to afford NOS tubes, you can expect them to 'go flubby' eventually. How long? I've heard 6 months of daily use or, for us mere mortals, probably every year or so. Its completely dependent on how you use the amp and how many hours they are on (this version of the AC30 sadly tortures its tubes in every position regardless of gain etc). You can mod the screen resisters to 220k etc which I intend to do at some point, this helps extend tube life ..
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  8. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    You are right about power tube life. I had a set of matched Ruby EL84's laying around. I put them in and the amp sounded a lot better. Got some crackling noises. Opened up the amp and cleaned out the dust and spider webs and used contact cleaner on the tube sockets - all fixed.
     
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  9. C.J.

    C.J. Senior Member

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    I can't really afford tubes to go out on me - I even remove them when I'm driving to gigs and fit them back in during sound test lol. Such is the lot of a poor dude trying to be cool. :)

    I can say that I picked up the 10" comob version of these last month for £130 ($160) on fleabay: http://www.voxamps.com/ac4tv

    I put two of the those NOS tubes in it and by God that thing rocks my world. I was so blown away I picked up the head and a cab that had been modded with a Celestion Creamback 12" at 8ohms (the amp is only rated 16ohm) and I enjoy them both immensely at 4w. It amuses me that the Chinese tubes in the 10" combo sound pretty much exactly like my AC30 dimed. The NOS tubes in either the combi or the head/cab sound like nothing else I have ever heard. Its sort of midway between a VOX and a Marshall 50.

    Anyway, my point was: those little amps take 2 tubes. Much cheaper and just as loud (because they get louder than you can stand anyway). This probably sounds pathetic but I find that, like making love to my wife, the AC30 is best if I don't do it every night and actually look forward to it.. and there is no better mistress than an AC4TV. She's cheap, she doesn't like anything clean and she's loud af.

    Pics: https://photos.app.goo.gl/I4I3oRcFlVb2zosr2

    Its a bit sad those tubes will spend another 20 years in a box because I can't afford to use em lol.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  10. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Premium Member

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    My AC4 started sounding crappy after years of use and the tone knob stopped working so I gutted it and put in a hand wired Champ and 10" Weber alnico speaker. That was a fun project.

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  11. Dryz

    Dryz Junior Member

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    I loved my ac30 but gave it up for my fenders for reliability. I had tubes fail, fuses blow, cap problems....all within the two years of owning it. My other amps just need tubes changed once in a while.
     
  12. C.J.

    C.J. Senior Member

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    Mine definitely has a lot of problems itself. That said it isn't badly made, there is no way I can say that sincerely just to be 'edgy' on the nets. Its one of the most solidly constructed pieces of mass produced amplifier I have ever seen. The components are not the best but not the worst either. The chassis is built like a tank. I guess its the same old story - you do sometimes get what you pay for, but just in case, know how to solder. :)
     
  13. Dryz

    Dryz Junior Member

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    it is a great sounding amp when it's operational. Luckily, it always failed at home and not a gig. I probably should have kept mine, I loved the responsiveness.
     

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