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I spent way too much money and got a Vox AC-15HW1V64X

 
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:55 pm    Post subject: I spent way too much money and got a Vox AC-15HW1V64X Reply with quote



Yeah, I paid a fortune for this one. Hehe. I don't mind. Anyway, this would be the Vox AC-15HW1V64X hand-wired AC15 w/ a custom "Vintage 1964" cabinet and a Celestion Alnico Blue (UK-made) from North Coast Music. I haven't really played it very much so I don't really know how all the settings and stuff work, which means I'll avoid doing a demo until I get a real feel for the amp, but I had it at a volume where I could hear the Alnico chime, and that was nice. So let's take inventory of my Vox amps! Most of these are pretty new. I had a different group of Vox amps before. The Pathfinder has stayed constant, though.


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benecol
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh, very nice. What do you think of it versus your old AC15C1?
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to the demo!

Also curious about the C1 comparison... I'm leaning towards an AC (probably 30 by the end of it), and the C1/C2 models are most affordable (in a classic valve setup)... kinda curious if I should save the extra 50%+ for a handwired or what have you.
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benecol wrote:
Ooh, very nice. What do you think of it versus your old AC15C1?
It won't be a fair comparison regardless, the Alnico Blue makes it sound like a completely different amp, IMO. It's much, much chimier than the AC15C1 ever was.

Ankhanu wrote:
Looking forward to the demo!

Also curious about the C1 comparison... I'm leaning towards an AC (probably 30 by the end of it), and the C1/C2 models are most affordable (in a classic valve setup)... kinda curious if I should save the extra 50%+ for a handwired or what have you.
This video does a good job, I think:


Link


Both of them have the G12M Greenback in this video, so it's a good A/B comparison, and I do actually think the HW sounds actually better in this.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the HW sounds better on the clean channel, but not always in top boost.
Looking at specs, I assumed the HWs had reverb and tremolo... which are features I want. Guess they're not the amps for me.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll see a bigger difference by changing speakers, that's for sure. I think a decent set of JJ power tubes and an AlNiCo blue in a C1 will get you the Vox tone you want. I got a HW because I wanted something that would outlast me, and I mostly prefer the Normal channel anyway, and I did feel the differences were something I liked.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I just started looking into the price difference between a C2 and the C2X, with the Blues... Which is ~$200-250. Gonna look into the price of just buying a pair of the blues, see if it's cheaper to just buy/replace the greenbacks of a C2.

EDIT - dang Blues are expensive; $270-300 each... Definitely cheaper to just buy the C2X!
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benecol
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have a good go on the standard one with the Greenbacks first, if I were you. I think they sound knockout in the AC15.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plan to... My local shop doesn't (if the website is right, it often isn't) carry the C2X, but there's a C2 in stock... I just hate being that guy in a shop... That said, I will be when seriously considering a purchase. For the most part, I don't expect to hear an appreciable difference, though, in reading, the blues offer a better dynamic range/response when playing something like a 12-string that isn't as apparent with a 6... While i currently don't have a 12-string (I intend to get one eventually), I'm thinking the inherent brightness of a Jaguar might benefit as well.

In the end, though, I'm sure I'll go with the cheapest option... That's what I tend to do Razz
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, the differences aren't even remotely minor, they are a completely different beast altogether.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Greenbacks. They're a great speaker, and they do a great job of giving you a Vox sound. I tried my Night Train and AC4 with some other speakers, and really, Greenbacks do a very good job. However, Blues are completely and utterly different. I won't say better, because I think it's up to your taste. But to think you won't hear the difference... you DEFINITELY will. When you crank up a Greenback, I find that it has a rep for early breakup, but really, it's not very early IMO. It stays relatively chimey and clean until it starts to break up, and then it does, then you get Greenback crunch, which is what Marshalls are known for. It's loud, brash, and in your face.

Alnico Blue is just completely different. When your volume knob is at 1 or 2, sure, it sounds like any other speaker, but as soon as you start pushing any real volume into it like 3 or 4, it has a chime. The chime is in your face and bright, but somehow still pleasing and warm, the natural Alnico compression is there. You know how ceramic pickups get loud and louder but Alnico pickups start fighting your playing a little bit? It's almost like that. The speaker is almost fighting your volume but in a very positive way. As you distort the speaker, it has a smooth breakup that is still very vibrant and present and forward. They're also 2 or 3 dB more efficient than a Greenback.

But really, it's not even a matter of which speaker is better or worse. I just think Alnico Blue is the Vox sound, and Greenback is the Marshall sound. I wonder why they chose a Greenback, really. I mean, it's a great speaker, but I would have thought that a Vintage 30 has more of an Alnico Blue-esque kind of sound. In fact, Vintage 30 probably gets the closest to Alnico Blue of any ceramic speaker.
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Ankhanu
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, with that endorsement, AlNiCo Blue sounds like exactly what I after Razz
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have both, too, so when I do sound clips, I could demo the difference.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ankhanu wrote:
Well, with that endorsement, AlNiCo Blue sounds like exactly what I after :P
I made a comparison clip of my AC15VR and my AC15HW1. Of course, a large part of the difference in tone is the amp, but a lot of it is the speaker, too. The VR has a Celestion Century Vintage, a neodymium speaker, whereas the HW has the Blue.


Link

Sparkle: VR (0:00), HW (0:48)
Crackle: VR (1:44), HW (2:31)
Singing: VR (3:21), HW (4:38)
Driving: VR (5:55), HW (7:05)

In particular, in the "Driving" tone, I feel that you really hear the difference between the speakers, VR sounds like a typical overdriven channel, but the HW gets a boost from that AlNiCo compression. If you plug in that amp into any other speaker, it doesn't get that sound. It's very smooth yet present, it's not harsh yet it'd never get lost in the mix. You just don't get that on a Greenback.

In the cleaner sections, the Alnico definitely chimes more, but it's more apparent in person than in recordings.
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