Vox AC15CC1 Review: An All Time Classic Tube Amp

Hands up if you have never heard of the Vox AC15?  Chances are, if you are a guitarist who appreciate a great tube tone, then you will know Vox, either for the AC15 or the AC30 (coming up next!)

Vox AC15CC1 Review

Vox AC15CC1 Review

The Vox AC15 first came out in January 1958 (associated with JMI company) with the brand becoming popular when bands like the Beatles (The ‘British Invasion’) and the Shadows started to use them.

Fast forward a few years, chuck in some indirect advertising by people like the Edge and Snowy White (using Vox AC30’s) and you have a brand that is now solidly planted in the upper echelon of tube amp Royalty.

Known for their ‘jangly’ & chimey cleans that have a bit of a bite to it (especially when pushing an alnico speaker) they are regarded as one of the true classic amps.

They are great for cutting through in a band, and bond very well with a single coil guitar (my opinion and many other guitarists) but also take a humbucker guitar quite well, and I personally think it adds some presence to some guitars that can come across a bit dark.

Let’s look at some dry techy facts about the Vox AC15CC1.

In terms of tubes it features 2 x EL84/6BQ5 and 2 x 12AX7/ECC83. It has a silicon rectifier with passive SAG circuitry, which gives you 15 watts of power through a standard 12 inch Wharfdale or Greenback speaker. You can upgrade to the famed Celestion Blue Alnico (I have played all three and liked the Greenback a lot, although I do love an alnico speaker but you pay for it though!).

Vintage 1960 Vox AC15 TV Front 1x12 Two Tone JMI Jennings Amplifier Amp PLAYERS

$4,647.13
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The construction of the cab, although built from MDF is very solid and will stand up to anything a gigging muso could throw at it. The hardware, including the jack sockets, chicken head control knobs, corner protectors, etc.. are made from plastic, but I found that these were by no means a detriment to the quality of this amp.

In the past there has been some reliability issues with fuses blowing out regularly but this fault was addressed after 2007 and apparently since then all is good now. I experience no such problem with my amp.

This amp’s features may seem limited at first, but I’ve found that they prove suitable for most styles of music, with the exception of metal and heavy rock, which one would require a pedal for.

Vox AC15CC1 Review Top

Vox AC15CC1 Review Top


Vintage 1966 Vox UL4120 JMI Bass Guitar Amplifier Head w/ Flightcase SERVICED

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The spring reverb is subtle, and a lot of reviews don’t always like it. It does the job but I personally think it could have been a lot better as it gets too ‘boingy’ and starts to take away from your tone after the 12 mark on the dials.

The bass and treble controls work well enough, although I did find that it took some time to get used to the ‘tone cut‘ features. I think the Vox AC15s are really good for getting that sweet spot and leaving it! They do that pure, sweet, clean sound best, and dare I say it, they are a one trick pony, but honestly that is what the AC15 is best for. Although if you can crank it and get it to break up, then they can sound very nice too.

As you tube purists know, don’t be fooled by the 15 Watts power rating as it is loud enough to do small gigs with. Another thing I really noticed is that the AC15 has a much more treble focused tone, and I don’t mean ‘thin‘ or ‘icepick‘ but it really brings out the upper mids and trebles.

I personally found myself leaning more towards an AC30 for a more ‘fatter‘ richer tone, but the AC15 is still very nice.

This is not traditionally a “Heavy Rock” amp, if you want more grit in your sound you will need to rely on pedals. It does take pedals well, not as good as a Hiwatt or Laney, but still good enough. I used this amp with both a Fender Strat and a Humbucker loaded Les Paul type guitar and it sounded great with both.

Anyway, I hope my Vox AC15CC1 Review was helpful and I can honestly give a big thumbs up for the Vox AC15CC1 (most variations I have played of the AC15 have all been good, just differences in speakers). I think that something like an Eminence Cannabis Rex would smooth out the high trebles and bring some fat tone to this amp! This is a speaker often recommended for Fender amps that can sound a little bitey at the top end, and it brings a ‘Smoky‘ smoothness to the tone.

Just have in mind the style of music you want to play, if you want a classic respected foundation tone, with strong upper mids and great definition then this is for you. If you want a chugging Italian mother-in-law of an amp that can pump like Kerry King would, then this isn’t it! But if you’re in a guitar shop, try one out and hear that clarity chime!!

Vintage 1960 Vox AC15 TV Front 1x12 Two Tone JMI Jennings Amplifier Amp PLAYERS

$4,647.13
End Date: Monday Dec-11-2017 5:43:36 PST
Buy It Now for only: $4,647.13
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Vintage 1960 Vox AC15 TV Front 1x12 Blonde JMI Jennings Amplifier SERVICED

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Vox AC15HW60 Limited Edition 60th Anniversary AC15 Tube Combo Amplifier

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Vox AC15HW60 - 15W 1x12" 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Tube Combo

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Vox AC15 HW60 60th Anniversary - Handwired in UK

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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

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