Vox AC 15 vs Night Train

Flores_68

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
Hello everyone,
I'm looking for a small amp to use at home (my 160 watt Peavey Special is a bit too loud) and I'm in doubt between the Vox AC 15 and the Night Train. I enjoy bluesy rock (think Grateful Dead to Lenny Kravitz) and have read great reviews on the AC 15 and not such great reviews on the Night Train. I live in Brazil so my options aren't that great. I'd like some input on the two fellas mentioned above. Has anyone played both?
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
15,692
Reaction score
12,706
The AC 15 is an iconic amp. Its very much in the vintage mould, with 2 channels that are essentially wholly separate to access (as in you'd need a separate a/b box pedal and 2 extra cables to be able to switch on the fly).

The nighttrain is a lunchbox amp, with a lot of features packed into a very portable chassis. It is a more modern sound with channel switching and separate eq in some models. So if you're buying it to sound like an AC series you'd probably be disappointed. But its very portable and 'space friendly', you can select your own cab and speaker size to play it through....and does other things to the AC line, and can sound 'good' without getting it to window-shaking volumes.
I tried a Night train a while back, and actually ended up with the AC10......a bit less versatile (like the AC 15) but another lightweight package that spans the vintage VOX tone as well as being quite overdriven if you crank the gain.
 

Robert Parker

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2010
Messages
759
Reaction score
377
Well, neither one is exactly quiet. I don't know what you're going for in terms of volume level, but the AC15 is known for punching way above its weight in terms of watt-to-volume. It's just loud.

I actually kinda liked the Night Train, but I've not spent too much time with one. It's probably the better bet if you need to push the amp at lower volumes, because it has the half-power option, but that's still gonna be too loud for bedroom/conversation volumes.
 

LeftyF2003

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
8,208
Reaction score
10,044
AC15, no contest. Barring that do a Deluxe Reverb (but note they're REALLY loud at breakup).
 

pillbug

Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
1,323
Reaction score
994
I have both and I have to disagree. At least, if we’re talking about the AC15CC1X. IMHO, it needs a speaker swap at minimum, and there’s a reason there’s a mod kit for it. Stock it just does not sound great but it does “one sound“ and if you want that sound that’s what you get. I’m sure older vintage original AC15s are a completely different thing.

I had an NT15G2 combo and admittedly I replaced the stock speaker with a Scumback or Avatar or something like that. Great amp with a lot better tones. Sure the reverb is digital vs. the real spring tank of the AC15 but, the tones are much more useable.

Here’s what I mean. They both have Treble, Mid, and Bass controls, but on the AC15 they act as filter cuts or something. In other words, if you turn the treble down, you get more bass. If you turn the bass down, you get more treble. Most people end up running all 3 at noon but then you’re limited in your tone.

The NT OTOH, has very useable tone controls. you turn the treble up, you get more sizzle. You turn the mids down, you get a little scoop. Someone who knows more about amps and tone stacks than me can probably tell you why and how these differences work, but for me, it is definitely more useful.

Next up is the fact that the NT has two distinct channels - both very usable - and on the clean channel there is a switch to bypass the tone stack altogether. Many people prefer this setting as more of a true amp sound. The caveat is that it’s a lot louder and you need to turn down the master volume on doing that comparatively.

I love my NTG2 112 and when the time came that I wanted to do more experimenting with different speakers and cabinets, I sold it and got the NTG2 head version. Couldn’t be happier. It sounds great with a 110, a 210, and a Vox AD212 cabinet equally.

Opinions may vary, but that’s mine and I hope its helpful.oh and also, I briefly had a stock AC10, and it actually blew away the stock AC15CC1X in tone.
 

Flores_68

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
I went for the AC15C1: I just can't believe how good it sounds! It's the warm, vintage sound that I'd only heard on my old vinyl records. Thanks to everyone for all the input I got on this thread!
 

themollusk79

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
Messages
164
Reaction score
305
Is the AC15 not too loud for home? I had one (and loved it) but I couldn't get it past 2 without driving everyone (but me) crazy. Excellent amp and I miss it dearly.
 

Flores_68

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
Is the AC15 not too loud for home? I had one (and loved it) but I couldn't get it past 2 without driving everyone (but me) crazy. Excellent amp and I miss it dearly.
I turned the master volume down as much as possible and then rolled down the channel volume quite a bit as well. It's very close to optimal and what surprised me the most is that despite the low volume, it still sounds big.
 

dc007

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
3,311
Reaction score
8,624
I briefly had a stock AC10, and it actually blew away the stock AC15CC1X in tone.
I believe that. It is a bitchin little amp. My favorite newer model Vox
 

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37,320
Reaction score
66,982
not such great reviews on the Night Train
Awesome that OP scored a sweet amp. But I will counter the comment on the NT. No amp with shit reviews gets a V.2 version. I have the V1 and it's an excellent amp. I deduct marks for lack of channel switching by foot and no loop, but if those don't matter, the NT is a killer Rock amp and it has a gorgeous clean tone. Really loud for a 15W.
 

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
6,694
Reaction score
4,589
I had the Night Train, not the G2 but the original Night Train lunch box and it was a great amp. I did like it better than the AC15 and would really like to get one again. Had that nice Vox chime and a few great features that made it very usable for a lot of versatility.
 

NotScott

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
3,595
Reaction score
8,823
I have the first generation Night Train and it is a great little amp from clean to mild breakup to rock drive, all at any level you want. However, it doesn't sound like a vintage Vox. That being said, I have yet to hear any recent production Vox sound like it's vintage equivalent.

I do have a recent AC15 on the way that is being left to me. I am not sure what model it is but I will report back on it when it arrives and compare it to my Night Train and vintage Vox amps.
 

Flores_68

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
I have the first generation Night Train and it is a great little amp from clean to mild breakup to rock drive, all at any level you want. However, it doesn't sound like a vintage Vox. That being said, I have yet to hear any recent production Vox sound like it's vintage equivalent.

I do have a recent AC15 on the way that is being left to me. I am not sure what model it is but I will report back on it when it arrives and compare it to my Night Train and vintage Vox amps.
One thing that I really liked about the AC15 was the vintage tone: it's got the Brian May, Jimmy Page and Keith Richards feel which is what I was looking for. I haven't tried the NT, but I'm sure it has a great performance as well.
 

efstop

Declining Rotten Apple
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
10,586
Reaction score
26,154
I could have bought a pawn shop Night Train, but I took home the NT 112 cab instead. It's a small, lightweight open back Greenback.
 


Latest Threads



Top