Every electric guitarist knows the Vox AC30 amplifier. For almost 60 years it has been hugely popular with the most famous guitarists in rock-n-roll history, beginning – of course – with Hank Marvin, the man responsible for the Vox AC30 being invented in the first place. Perhaps the guitarist most closely related to the Vox AC30 is The Edge.
He has used the very same Vox AC30 on every single recording that U2 made during their long and illustrious career. So what is it that guitarists love so much about this tube amplifier? Two things make it so popular.
The first is simply the tone it offers; the second is the versatility in terms of that tone. You can get anything from jangling, reverb notes to distortion-heavy overdrive when playing the Vox AC30.
The Vox AC30 C2 is part of the Vox AC30 custom series, first put onto the market in 2010. It features two Greenback speakers made by Celestion. It's these speakers that are so significant when it comes to amplifying the vintage tone that the Vox AC30 C2 provides.
The Greenback speakers were pioneered by Celestion back in the 70s, and if it hadn’t been for them, then we wouldn’t have the high-powered guitar amplifiers as we know them now. These speakers sound fantastic, and they are a stable component of the Vox AC30 C2. But the luscious, famous tone that you get from the Vox AC30 C2 isn’t down to the speakers. Three 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL84 power tubes are the reasons as to why this is such a beast of an amplifier.
The AC30 C2 features two different channels, where you have a choice between the Normal channel and the Top Boost channel. Each has its own controls. There are also two different in-built effects. Both the Tremolo and Reverb effects can be switched on easily with a foot pedal. For the Tremelo effect, there are knobs on the amplifier for Speed and Depth. And for the Reverb effect, you can control Tone and Level.
At 30-watts, you get a vast amount of power from this amplifier, mainly because it is a tube amp. The output jack means you can plug it into a larger speaker setup. This will switch off the two Greenback speakers inside the Vox AC30 C2, meaning that you’ll still get the same lovely tone from the preamp and power tubes, just at a louder volume.
Overall, this is an outstanding amplifier that has stood the test of time. It's one of the most famous tube amps in the world for one reason: tone – and the range of tone you can get out of the Vox AC30 C2 – is the main reason this amplifier is so well-regarded.
+ The three 12AX7 preamp tubes and the four EL84 power tubes produce the exceptional tone this amp is famous for. The range of tone available to you is stunning. It will appeal to fans of the British Invasion sound, just as much as it will to Indie fans or old fashioned rock-n-rollers.
+ The on-board Tremelo and Reverb effects are easy-to-control and sound great too. If you have a footswitch, then you can quickly switch them on and off during a performance.
+ Foot pedals can be easily incorporated into the amplifier setup as it has a true bypass effects loop.
+ The two Greenback speakers help to enhance the sound. But if you want more volume, then you can plug in bigger speakers, and the Greenback speakers will switch off.
- This isn’t the cheapest guitar amplifier on the market, but it's one of the best amplifiers around. This amp is the choice of serious guitarists who want versatile tone and an amplifier to last a lifetime. After all, The Edge has been using his Vox AC30 for almost four decades now.
Why We Like It
There’s a lot to like about the Vox AC30 C2, but the tone is its greatest feature. Tube amps offer you the sort of sound you cannot get from a solid-state or modeling amplifier. Tube amps cost more money than other types of guitar amplifiers.
You certainly get what you pay for. And when it comes to the Vox AC30 C2, the price tag is definitely justified. You pay a lot, but you get one of the best guitar amplifiers in history.
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