Recently we published a review of the Tech 21 Liverpool Pedal : Vox in a Box and it got me thinking, Just how many Vox sounding pedals are out there?
So I thought I might have a bit of fun and list as many Vox in a Box Pedals as I can find. Now this list is by no means a comprehensive one, and I personally can’t vouch for the accuracy of their tone, but it should be interesting to see just how many pedals that claim (or have been rumored) too emulate that classic British sound in a stomp box.
Wherever possible, I have linked to both the manufacturer’s page where you will find a detailed description of the pedal and an eBay listing so you can see it’s current market value. A lot of the pedals listed below are either no longer in production or very hard to find, so If you find any of the links are broken or incorrect, please let me know in the comments below and I will update or remove the links. Also feel free to suggest any pedals that I may have missed.
I have tried to group the listings by manufacturer in alphabetical order. Here we go…
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??)…
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
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!).