Saturday January 14, 2012

Vox AC15 Practice Amp Combo

What hasn’t been written about the Vox AC15 isn’t worth writing about. This classic amp originally appeared in 1958 and became synonymous with The Shadows and The Beatles. Part of the “Holy Trinity” of amp tones with Fender and Marshall, the Vox jangly sound defined the British Invasion that rocked the world.  While later overshadowed (no pun intended) by its younger but larger sibling the AC30, the AC15 has remained a much-loved amp of tone addicts.

Flash forward to today and the Vox AC15 has morphed into several variants and hybrids. The latest reincarnation of the combo is the ($599.00). This is not intended as a reissue of the original, but rather a modern day recreation incorporating a number of tweaks to fall in line with the successful Custom Classic AC30 amps.

Vox AC15

Vox AC15

The combo’s 15 watts are driven by three 12AX7 tubes for the preamp stage while two EL84’s in the power amp push the single 12" Celestion G12M Greenback. Most Vox fans will be pleased as this is an improvement over the Wharfedale driver found on the previous Custom Classic.

However, in contrast to the vintage single channel the Custom now has a ‘normal’ and ‘top boost’ channel. The ‘normal’ channel has a solitary volume knob while the top boost has volume, treble and bass controls. A global reverb, tremolo depth and speed, master volume and tone cut controls in the Master Section gives the amp more flexibility and tone shaping choices. The optional VOX VFS2 footswitch controls the reverb and tremolo.

If you are tired of the time-honoured black tolex and tan diamond grille cloth Vox now offers an AC15C1-RD Limited Vintage Red Edition. The recent Vox range are no longer built in the UK and now are produced in China, whether Vox has succumb to the economic climate or are just making their amps affordable to compete with the boutique market may prove quite interesting. Regardless the Vox AC15 is a great reasonably priced take on the vintage classic and without the volume and weight of an AC30.

Other Vox AC15 Models

  • Hand Wired Series
    • AC15HW1 hand-wired combo amp; one Celestion G12M Greenback speaker $1,199.00
    • AC15HW1X hand-wired combo amp; one Celestion Alnico Blue speaker $1,449.00
  • AC Custom
    • AC15C1: 15 Watts Single 12" Celestion G12M Greenback Speaker $599.00
    • AC15C1-RD Limited Vintage Red Edition: The AC15C1 limited Vintage Red edition $649.95
  • VR Valve Reactor
    • AC15VR: Twin channel, guitar amplifier with 1x 12 inch VX 12 Celestion custom made loudspeaker and digital reverb $379.95
  • The Vox AC15 Custom Classic AC15CC models have been discontinued, possibly due to a number of teething problems reported by users:
    • AC15CC1: Loaded with the VOX / Wharfedale custom GSH12-30 speaker
    • AC15CC1X: Loaded with the VOX / Celestion AlNiCo Blue loudspeaker

    VOX AC15C1 Custom Specifications

    • Valves: 2xEL84, 3x12AX7
    • Dimensions (W x D x H): 602 x 265 x 456 mm / 23.70 x 10.43 x 17.95 inches
    • Weight: 22 kg / 48.50 lbs.
    • Output Power: 15 Watts RMS into 16 Ohms
    • Speaker: 1 x 12" 16 ohm Celestion G12M Greenback
    • Inputs: Normal input jack, Top Boost input jack, Footswitch jack
    • Outputs: External loudspeaker jack, Extension loudspeaker jack
    • Options: VFS2A Footswitch

    Video Review

    Back to The 21 Best Practice Amps


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