Zvex Box of Rock with handwired Vox AC30?

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by TonyAsh, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. TonyAsh

    TonyAsh Senior Member

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    Lately I've been wanting to get something slightly more akin to a vintage Marshall sound, i.e. JTM-45. My current amp is a handwired Vox AC30 with a Celestion Alnico Blue and a G12H30. I don't want to sell or trade the amp because I really like it. So I've been looking into the Zvex Box of Rock as a pedal to run into the Vox to achieve something closer to JTM-45 tone. I won't be able to try one out before buying. Anyone ever used one of these with a Vox? I'm wondering if it'll do what I'm wanting. Voxes are sometimes picky about overdrives. I'm also open to other Marshall voiced pedals if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
     
  2. Chicago John

    Chicago John Senior Member

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    Check out Catalinbread's "Dirty Little Secret." It really sounds close to a Marshall...
     
  3. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    BOR is a great pedal and does a great job pushing Fenders in more of a Marshall direction, though I have never tried it with a Vox. Have you searched for videos online of this combination?
     
  4. Brocko

    Brocko Senior Member

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    You would want a fairly clean channel to run it into to get the BoR sound. I suspect you might not get what you want.

    In my experience with Vox amps, they aren't pedalboard friendly - don't get me wrong, they sound great and a good boost pedal sounds amazing in front, but they tend to colour everything you check in front of them.

    Why dont you look into an EQ pedal to tailor the Vox sound into what you what (stick it in the loop if it has one so you are shaping the preamp sound)
     
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  5. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    Many pedals do require a nice clean platform......others work better by having the amp a bit hot then goosing to provide the Marshall tone.

    When I had an AC 15 I could never get what I liked out of the pedals that worked for my more Fender Blackface platform.
     
  6. tolm

    tolm Bigsby Junkie Premium Member

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    Used my Box of Rock with a standard AC30 in our rehearsal space last Thursday. Sounded great. It's my favourite pedal for that medium-gain Marshall thing. I have a Wampler Plexi-Drive for higher/tighter gain and a Euphoria for lower gain (although it will do sooo much more) but the BoR just has "something" about it. Fabulous overdrive pedal.
     
  7. Valkyrie

    Valkyrie Senior Member

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    Marvel Drive is a great pedal also that does a good Plexi thing
     
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  8. Hector Arcadius

    Hector Arcadius Senior Member

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    I owned one for a couple of days and I had the chance to try it with my Vox Nightrain, my Blackstart HT-1r and a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 at the shop. I only bought it because it was dirt-cheap, although it did not impress me with the H&K at the shop. At home with my own setup, I disliked it even more. I could not get rid of the massive low and mind you that I do like my pedals to have a solid low end. I traded it away a couple of days later. Not for me.

    Nowadays, for Marshall crunch, I use a Rockett Animal. For comparison purposes, I dial the bass knob at 3 o'clock, so you can get an idea how much of it the BoR had and could not stand. I would look at this one (they come out with a newer version of it, as well) and the new MI Effects Super Crunch Box v.2.

    But... admittedly, everybody else likes the BoR, so there is that...
     
  9. Brocko

    Brocko Senior Member

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    You might also want to try the Supro Drive.

    Its not quite a MIAB sound (as it is based on the Supro@) but better in my opinion. Has two flavours - one is a more open and glassy sound, the other is more gainy and compressed.
     
  10. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    I have a Zvex Distortron (JTM/JCM BOR without the boost). I think it is very vanilla on its own. Stack another pedal in front (fuzz/OD/Treble Boost) and it comes alive. But then you are getting the sound of a vintage Marshall with a pedal, not straight vintage Marshall.

    Putting on my M&M hat; if you want a great vintage Marshall tone with master volume capabilities, get a 2204 head or a 2104 combo. I like the JMP versions, M&M likes the JCM800 version.

    The Avatar 45 is a good choice, too. And the Marshall Vintage Modern.

    I get better vintage Marshall tones with a fuzz set to low gain and with a tube screamer in front for a boost than with any Marshall in a Box pedal.

    The Tech 21 British pedal does a glorious JTM45 tone into a powered PA speaker. Through an amp, not so much.
     
  11. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    To add to what Brocko said...

    I've never played through a Vox amp but one thing I've noticed about them is that the EQ controls are very limited - generally, you don't get a full compliment of knobs like Bass, mid, Treble, Presence. So, I think that's why Brocko is suggesting the the EQ, especially if you're overall pleased with the grind you're already getting out of the amp.

    If you're thinking about running the amp clean and uses a pedal for all of your dirt, the XTS Atomic Overdrive has a very flexible EQ section and sounds great, especially for hard rock and metal tones though I don't think that more mild overdriven sounds like earlier Marshalls is its strongest suit.



    My favorite pedal for older Marshall sounds is this one. My version 1 probably isn't as flexible in the EQ department as the new version 3 being offered, but it's awesome for those mild to medium gain Marshall sounds.

    Here's another Pete Thorn demo. This guy sounds great playing through anything but I find his demos to be very honest and representative of what you can expect from a piece of gear.



    It's a tough call because of what Brocko mentioned - limited EQ control in a Vox. Picking a pedal for pure old school Marshall gain and worry about EQ later? I'd go with the Marvel Drive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  12. Valkyrie

    Valkyrie Senior Member

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    I have the V1. It’s incredible. Doesn’t work as a boost at all though so I use an OCD for that. But running a clean channel the Marvel Drive is wonderful. Set the clean channel to a little grit and it will go right into 800 territory.
     
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  13. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    100% agree - it's a GREAT amp-in-a-box pedal through a clean amp.
     
  14. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Though you're getting some good recommendations for Marshall-tones-in-a-box effects, the guys who are telling you that the Vox design itself will impede the result you want are correct, because it will. I'm a (former) Vox owner, and my experience was consistent with what others report here. My EL84 tubed amp sounded great, and worked well with some pedals, and I liked it lots, but it was never going to sound like a Marshall, and it did not respond wonderfully with various pedals. I do relay on pedals for some of my go-to tones, and I find that using various Fenders (set for clean) and Mesa/Boogie (with the "clean" channel retubed to actually BE clean) I can get the wide range of sounds I want via pedals. The BOR is a great pedal and sounds fantastic in my setup in a way it did not with my Vox. This is an era of great pedals, which makes having a clean amp more desirable than it maybe used to be, when we had to rely on amp distortion and amp reverb -- as is no longer the case.
     

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