VOX AC30C2 – Tone Monster for the Bedroom or Stadium?

Vox AC30C2, Flexible, Credible and Muscly!!

Okay, So I like a nice subject line to capture the interest, but seriously the AC30 has killer tones, and is being used by such greats as ‘Snowy White’ (man he makes the AC30 weep) ‘The Edge’ (come on, admit he has done well on one!!) as well as many others.



Heavy as an ox, with quite a range of tones that you can squeeze out of it, like its smaller brother, the AC15, the AC30C2 is definitely worth reviewing. The original VOX AC30s came out slightly later than the AC15s, and it was around about 1965 when people were starting to use them.

If I could have only 2 or 3 amps, then this is definitely on the list, and possibly my ‘desert island’ amp!

We all have those ‘why did I sell it‘ type of amp regrets, and for me, I really did love the tone and the vintage look of my AC30C2. Now I have personally had one for 12 months without a problem, and other reviewers also mentioned that although made in China, they held up in quality to English made units. But I say it again, perception is a powerful thing.

Let’s take a look at some specs, that you can also find on VOX site too…

  • The amp is all Class A circuitry, 100% all Tube (3x ECC83 and 4x EL84 and 1 GZ 34) which can get loud enough to fill a stadium if miked up (thinking of the Edge!)
  • Two channels (they are not footswitchable sadly) with that fantastic clear ‘autumn morning‘ clean and the well known top boost channel. There is also a ‘Brilliance’ switch that is available on the clean channel (same as the bright switch in Fender).
  • Fairly normal EQ with treble, bass and custom/standard toggle. When in Custom mode it doesn’t affect your tone that much as in the ‘Standard‘ mode. You have the Master section for Volume and Tone, and the tone will be an overall voicing (more bass or more treble) not so different to your tone on your guitar!
  • The reverb on board is usable, very subtle and not as rich and lush as a Fender type of amp.
  • The tremolo (with speed and depth controls) is a nice extra feature. It features a cut control and most importantly a master volume!
  • There is an effect loop for your delays and modulated effects/chorus to go into (I love Effects Loops) with true bypass and extension cab output (as if you’re going to need an extension cab??)…

VOX 1964 JMI AC-30 Top Boost Black Gray Panel [Blue Alnico] #626-7401-9596

End Date: Monday Aug-26-2019 1:21:47 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8,385.92
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I admittedly mostly played a Strat through this amp, both at home and in front of 200 people most Sundays at church (no, not 200 year old hymns either!). I always found it rich and full, but yet with the hard to define sparkle and clarity that VOX amps are legendary for, but yet without the icepick. The ‘Edge‘ describes this quality as ‘Toppiness‘.

VOX AC30C2 Controls

VOX AC30C2 Controls

I could always play a wide range of styles, from light picking with slight chorus and delay, to hard rock ‘Turn n Burn‘ type of numbers. It handled a Boost pedal and any Distortion / OD pedal I was using at the time very well (I used the MI Audio Blues Pro, CMATMODS Ratified etc to great effect).

You can play this amp at home in the bedroom, believe it or not! You just have to use the master volume control, but I don’t really need to tell you that you will not be getting much ‘juiced‘ tone as it is meant to be pushed harder.

Vox amPlug 2 AC30 Headphone Guitar Amp Barely Used Perfect

$29.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Sep-1-2019 17:45:03 PDT
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I don’t know why, but although I know ‘logically‘ that a small amp is better for the bedroom, (say like a Laney VC!5 Old English White, which was awesome when I tried one in the shops the other day) there is something comforting about a big amp!

As long you don’t have to move it, because for the safety of your back, you really need help to move this amp properly. Be gentle too, because VOX amps do have a little bit of a reputation for breaking down easily, but then again moving valve amps around a lot (unless their like Peavey or something indestructable!!) is not the best thing for them sadly.

I really wanted Celestion Alnico Blues, the classic speaker for this amp, but for an extra $500 or so, I just didn’t have that type of coin. So the model I owned had the 2 x 12″ Celestion G12M Greenback Speakers. A lot of these models have Wharfdales which are pretty good too, but Greenbacks are awesome in this amp, esp for rock tones.

So in summary the AC30C2 is a wonderful warm and soulful amp  that just oozes tone, vintage class and is an extension of your manhood too!! The downside is that it is heavier than an elephant’s tockley on heat, but if you have the space and a few dollars then you can’t go wrong with the AC30C2!

VOX 1964 JMI AC-30 Top Boost Black Gray Panel [Blue Alnico] #626-7401-9596

End Date: Monday Aug-26-2019 1:21:47 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8,385.92
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

VOX 1964 AC30 Super Twin "Copper Panel" #626-7869-10766

End Date: Monday Aug-26-2019 1:21:59 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7,626.64
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VOX 1965 JMI AC-30 Top Boost Black Gray Panel #626-9941-15946

End Date: Monday Aug-26-2019 1:22:12 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7,049.58
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VOX AC-30 1964 #626-5775-5531

End Date: Monday Aug-26-2019 1:22:13 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6,408.13
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VOX AC30HW60 60 #626-6567-7511

End Date: Monday Aug-26-2019 1:22:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6,180.40
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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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