Statement vom AC30-Guide blog:
Seit 2011 betrieben Moritz und Jens in ihrer Freizeit den Blog AC30-Guide.com mit Informationen rund um das Modding der AC15/AC30s von VOX und mit dazu ergänzenden Informationen. Im Januar 2022 haben wir die Webseite des AC30-Guide eingestellt.
Erfreulicherweise hat uns das Musiker-Board angeboten die Inhalte zu übernehmen, damit diese nicht verloren gehen. Da die Webseite auf Englisch geführt wurde, sind die folgenden Artikel entsprechend gehalten.
Wir wünschen euch mit den Inhalten weiterhin viel Spaß !
Dave Peterson from Shere Sound now offers instruction sets for his professional AC30 modifications for little money. It covers differnt models of the AC30 and offers BIAS adjustment, power select and other modifications. For details you can visit his facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/sheresound/
Our AC30s have two speakers. But there are certain situations you may wish to use only one, Maybe you have two different speakers (like me) and you like to have the option to use them separately because of recording someting, drive one speaker harder or just for tonal variation or to reduce the sound pressure in small venues while playing with your band. As you see there are many reasons why it can be suitable only to use one of your speakers, For me, I have a Celestion Blue and a WGS Reaper in my AC30HW now, it´s a good option I can choose if I like.
I like to show you how easy you can modify your AC30 without destroying it and with a little knowledge in wood and soldering to achieve this new feature. As the AC30s a different, I will...
This article provides some information about tubes in conjunction with the AC30 amplifier.
The AC30 is a cathode based amp with auto-bias. This means, you do not have to rebias your amp after you've exchanged tubes - just exchange them and you're done.
You should always get a matched set of power tubes.
Depending on the actual model, accessing the tubes may or may not require removing the amp chassis
Most amps can be improved by changing tubes. In many cases, factory tubes are not the best sounding ones available and the tone can be significantly improved by upgrading to better tubes. However, it might not be an easy task to find the right tubes for your amp and your personal needs. Even different...
A few weeks ago Nik Player told us about his modifications he did on the AC15HW. Because of the fact that the AC30HW and the AC15HW ist nearly the same, I tried his mods at this amp and I really can recommend them. So below you see his mods described and adapted for the AC30HW. Original article of Nik Player is available in his blog.
WARNING - These amps contain lethal high voltages which can remain present even when the amp is unplugged from the mains supply, do not attempt any modifications unless you know what you are doing.
- Reducing the DC filtering capacitor values and using better quality caps.
- Changing to better quality signal capacitors.
- Adding grid stoppers to the Top Boost and Phase Inverter to avoid...
The AC30 is loud. Actually, it is very loud. While there are still many questions along the boards wheather an amp with "only" 30 watts is loud enough for band/gigs, we may remark that watts are not a measure for volume. Either way, yes, an AC30 is loud enough for nearly any application and easily competes next to a 100 watts Marshall stack.
You may have already noticed that the AC30 sounds best when cranked. When we get the chance to play an AC30 at higher volumes, we realize there is a certain sweet spot in terms of breakup, punch, chime and overall musicality which just sounds very good. Unfortunately, this sweet spot usually will be too loud for most situations. And when you get the opportunity to play in a really huge location...
This article provides information all related to speakers. While being the last limb in your signal chain, speakers do have a significant impact on your tone which may be even higher than the impact of tubes. While a speaker exchange is comparatively easy to do, it may be pricey, depending on the speakers.
The classic AC30 combo features two 12” 8 ohm speakers which are usually wired in series resulting in a total impedance of 16 ohm. When you change speakers, it is important to use the right impedance. Speakers usually are sold in 8 or 16 ohm versions. Most AC30s can handle both by switching the impedance switch to the according position. You always have to get two speakers with the same impedance so if you wire two...
Thanks to mAx___ at the Vintage Amps Forum for sharing know-how and experience on upgrading the output transformer and choke on the AC30HW. The original thread is no longer available.
This is the process I used to replace the OT and Choke:
1) Remove the back cover and bottom of the chassis.
2) Cut the nylon ties that secure the primary leads to the chassis. Take out all the screws of the turret board and lift it till you find the three cables in the picture. The OT has six leads that need to be unsoldered to remove the existing transformer. The choke has only two. The red one in the pict comes from the primary side of the OT and the black and white from the choke. Unsolder all three. Remove the choke.
3) Unsolder the brown and...
Thanks a lot to Lyle Caldwell for sharing hix experiences on modding AC30s to vintage specs.
I work on a lot of Vox AC30s, from the '60s to now. They all have peculiarities. I'll start off with the Custom Classic series.
First, I'm not slagging this amp in the slightest. It's extremely well made and designed and can sound fantastic. In many respects it is a much better amp than the previous made in UK TBX series (I'll get into that later).
But it has a few drawbacks.
First, there was so much chattering on the net about "jangle" and "sparkle" and "Beatles" that Vox voiced this amp differently from other AC30s, to appeal to those who thought the amp should sound a certain way (even though AC30s don't sound that way at all).
After you have bought a new amplifier, chances are that you like it very much and it's your new baby. However, after the first euphoria, you may find some things that could be better... Here are some suggestions how to improve your personal sound on an AC30 (and other amps if you have), no matter which model you´re playing.
1. Yes, the amp might be new, but try to resist the seduction of tweaking it in the first few weeks you´re playing. Take enough time to really get used to your amp. Give it enough time for speakers to break in and to get used to all possible settings. Also try different guitars to enable yourself to differentiate which parts of the sound are related to the guitar and which are based on the amp.
2. Nearly every amp...
Thanks to Donpaul McAllister for providing this article and his effort in revealing this issue, gathering information and finally getting Vox to fix it for new production series. Also thanks to all other helpful people at the Gear Page and Vox forums.
This article provides a fix for a known issue with some (older) models of the AC30HW series. This issue has been acknowledged by Vox and listed in the Vox service updates (available to authorized repair centers) as "modification to prevent noisiness when a brand of EL84 output tubes are used that are any other than the original Ruby brand of tubes" (info provided by authorized tech). The update has been tested by Vox and requires no additional parts.
The issue was first found when...
This modification is suggested for and works with all AC30/15 models of the CC series. It may or may not be of use/application for other series
- Soldering experience and a soldering iron
- Desoldering wick (optional)
You might have noticed that the AC30 is kind of a bright amp with lots of high frequenceys. When using overdrive pedals, especially in the top boost channel, the distinctive bright character of the amp can become an issue leading to a harsh and screechy distortion in the worst case (especially in the CC series). Fortunately, there is a simple and effective way to tame the brightness of the top boost channel: the bright cap modification (also known as treble-cap mod). This mod replaces or even completely removes a...
In no particular order, this is a list of artists and bands that have used or still use an AC30.
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...
We got some great news for you! BBC One released a 30 minutes film about Vox and their history in music (especially AC30), called: "VOX POP: How Dartford powered the british beat boom"
We recommend to watch this. Beside the historical facts some famous musicians from the 60s and today take part in this.
It´s available on YouTube.
VOX POP: How Dartford powered the british beat boom
Excellent ! Thank you BBC !
In the past few month there were discussions about a tube issue accuring on the AC30HW (2010) when replacing the standard power tubes with non Ruby Tubes. In the official Vox UK forum they call it the "McAllister thread". ...
After long discussions and mailwriting they did a fix by changing the position of 4 resistors (complete fix describtion here soon). If you´re interestet in the whole story, you can read the several threads in the forum.
Some time ago Vox posted an official statement (Original thread)
Posted by the Vox Administrator "vox_max_usa":
"I'm posting this on behalf of VOX Amplification, LTD.
Hello VOX Community,
As has already been discussed, we have identified an issue with some AC30HW amplifiers...
AC30BM by Mike Ryde - www.mikeryde.com
In 2006 Vox released a limited edition (500 pieces) of the AC30 with Brian May specifications. It´s not in production anymore and curios, you can´t find any information about it on the official product history sites.
The AC30BM is very special with it´s features and usability. It´s built more or less only for Brian May and Queen fans to recreate that sound. It´s as close to Brian May´s AC30s as an unmodified AC30 never was before. His amplifiers were modified a lot by different techs over the years so the AC30BM only features a normal channel and it only has ONE knob, the volume control of this channel, no master volume, just a switch to change between the use of 4 power tubes (30W) or 2 power...
This 2007 launched Heritage Handwired series was a short life AC30 series and is not in production anymore. It will happen that you can find some in music stores or in auctions. It has been "replaced" by the 2010 AC30 Handwired (AC30HW, Heritage Handwired is AC30H). The Heritage Handwired model has some special features which are very different from the other AC30s you can get.
You will find two channels, a usual top boost channel and a normal channel. The normal channel (channel I) works with a EF86 pentode instead of the ECC83 dual-triode. This is the way the first AC30s were built. The "magical" EF86 gives a special chimy tone and has more gain than the ECC83. Also unusual in this channel I is a 3-way-bright-switch, a...
This 2010 launched amp is an attemp to create the Vox-Tone in a combination of one preamp valve with a solid stage design. In difference of the all-tube AC30 amps this offers channel switching by a external food switch.
It also delivers more different tones with higher gain than the classic AC30s and modern tone controls.
In comparison of the AC30s made today (AC30HW and AC30C) it seems to be a cheap and affordable alternative to the AC30 Custom for those who cannot afford the all-tube amp. It´s not really an alternative to the handwired AC30HW but usefull as a backup or rehearsal amp. Until now there are no known issues, if you have issues please report. As you can find in the net until now most people are satisfied with this amp...
This is the replacement of the 2004 released AC30 Custom Classic. Launched in 2010 there were made some major changes compared to the Custom Classic models.
- Adjustment possibilities
- Solid State Rectifier
Now the cab is made of MDF (medium density fibreboard) instead of birchplywood on the CC models. Internal chassis construction is different, tubes are now hanging overhead into the speakers part of the cab.
Tremolo and spring-reverb are available on both channels and foot-switchable. Other features are summarised in the table above or available on the official Vox product page.
From time to time different limited editions are available, mentioned in the table above. In most stores these editions...
These are the amplifiers recently produced under the brand of "VOX". In 1992 KORG becomes the new owner of Vox that was sold by Rose Morris. Under the KORG ownership some restructuring took place and the AC30 was brought back near to 1960s specifications.
Years and models according to the Vox History (sadly no longer available) on their webpage and online research.
Books about the Vox Story named "The Vox Story: A Complete History of the Legend" and "Vox Amplifiers, the JMI years" are hardly available in stores or online auctions.
This is the newest handwired model of the AC30 launched in 2010. Some major changes were made compared to the last handwired heritage model.
- Normal and Top Boost channel (no EF86)
- Bypassable master volume
- Different adjustment possibilities
The AC30HW is now "real" handwired in a solid quality. It also seems to have a higher quality level at all in comparison to the heritage amps. It´s more similar to the cheaper consumer models AC30C than the heritage model was, but basically features pure tonal improvements with and easier service. Maybe this amp is the best AC30 for touring at this time and more practicable than others and the only AC30 available as head. It´s delivered with a dust cover and a foot switch for...
Official Vox-Forum (english) - closed by Vox
Official Vox-Forum (german) - closed by Vox
The Gear Page
Service Engineer's Guide to the AC30
German AC30 User-Thread
Lyle Caldwell (Reissue "JMI"-spec modifications) - no longer available
Mike Ryde (Studio and Brian May gear page)
AC30 Handwired 2010http://www.voxamps.com/forum/
This site provides you with information, know-how and user experiences related to the Vox AC30 amplifier. This site is the attempt to create a blog-style-website with detailed information about the AC30.