Thursday, June 04, 2009

Vox AC15

I mentioned before I bought a new amp for my birthday gig. What I didn't mention is that I fell in love with it.

All I was thinking was that I needed a tube combo for the show. My main Marshall would blow the doors off the place. Once I had cancelled a few Hot Toys 12" figures (easy at $150 a pop) I had the money. And since my birthday usually falls on Memorial Day weekend, I was able to take advantage of a huge sale the day before. I thought a Vox might be cute. After all, the Beatles played them. Elvis Costello plays them. Tom Petty plays them. U2 plays them. That's enough heroes to give me confidence.

Now it's been two weeks and I can't stop playing it. I usually leave my Marshall off and play through my digital recirded. That way I can get a decent sound at a background level. But the Vox is infectious. It's all I can do to not plug in a guitar during Ben's nap.

The sound is undeniably British. Clean and loud it's any Beatles song through Revolver. With a little dirt it's pure Heartbreakers. Distorted and with the built in tremolo, it's those EC songs I could never figure out. It's not going to get that big stadium 'whomp' of the Marshall. That's why I'm keeping the Marhsall.

Here's what truly amazes me. I grew up in the days of 100 Watt stacks that were bigger than you. I own a 50 watt Marshall at what I beleived was a good comprimise. Once my lead guitarist dissuaded me from buying a 30 watt Marshall because he said it wouldn't be "loud enough". The Vox? 15 watts.

I didn't know 15 watts could power a bedroom much less cut it with a drummer. At home I can't turn it above '4'. It's a good thing I didn't get the more popular VOX AC30. That would blow me out of the room. In this day and age I don't know why anyone would need a giant stack of amplifiers. Want yes, but need? Not really.

It's not totally perfect. I never liked the look of the Vox. Look at that grill. It's like your grandma crocheted an amp for you. That footswitch is worthless. It's flimsy and only controls the tremolo and reverb. You can't switch from a clean to a heavy sound. I had to change the reverb tank because the echo just kept going and going and going and going. And even at 15 watts the damn thing weighs 50 pounds. I'm gonna need some wheels on it.

But I'm amazed. What I considered to an underpowered practice amp can now be my number one gigging amp (unless I'm playing a huge room with their own speaker cabinets). And it makes me want to get more gigs.


Mark Feigenson said...

"It's like your grandma crocheted an amp for you." heh! dude, that is the funniest thing I've heard in about five years.

Joseph said...


how much you paid for it? in USD of GBP?

and does it say where it was made? still trying to find out now whether AC15 is made is China or UK?

Is yours powered by wharfedale or celestion blue speaker?

I tried it a week ago, but i couldn't hear the diff between celestion or wharf.

but psychologically, it tells me that celestion is a better choice.