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Vox Ac15: A Legendary Amp

By: Reuben Kaufman

If you want loud and in your face tone you need this amp. The vox ac15 is a legendary amplifier used by the likes of the Beatles and Brian May of the band Queen. It has a very unique sound that has been replicated by many other brands but vox is still the king of that classic British rock tone.

The amp itself originated in the late 50’s and was used by a lot of musicians but eventually bands like the beatles needed something louder (to be heard over all those screaming girls) so vox made a 30 watt version (with two 12 inch speakers as opposed to the ac15’s one 12 inch speaker) called the ac30 but if you’re not playing stadiums and have roadies to carry your gear for you (it’s 75 pounds) it is completely unnecessary.

The ac15 features 3 12ax7 preamp tubes and 2 el84 power tubes which gives it a very loud sound that only starts to sound really good when it’s loud enough to blow your head off. It does however feature a legit spring reverb tank and it sounds great as well as tremolo and they both sound great. It features a celestion g12 greenback speaker which is very loud and sounds very nice with gain.

In a practice situation while it is a bit heavy to carry around at 50 pounds it cuts through the mix and with the volume at 2 is more than enough for normal rehearsal. For gigging it will be more than loud enough for most venues but anything bigger you will be mic’d up anyway so it’s perfect for that as well.

I play predominantly pop punk music and this amp cuts through the rest of the band like a hot knife in butter. So since that is pretty much all that I am playing at the moment I can’t say if it’s any good for other genres like jazz but for any kind of rock music it is amazing.

The only downside is that the tubes that are put into the amp won’t last as long because they are not made of the best quality components but they sound more than fine for however long they last, but if you don’t like it you can always change the tubes. Transporting it from gig to gig is a little hard cause of the weight but it is built like an absolute tank and for the tone that comes out of it it is more than worth the weight.

One sort of weird thing about it though is that the carrying handle is sort of slippery so you have to grip it very tight as not to drop it.

It features ports in the back of it that allow you to run up to two extension cabinets with it to make it sound absolutely immense that would only make sense in huge venues though, so most owners of this amp don’t use it because it isn’t necessary but it’s good to have just in case you need it.

Overall this is an absolute legend of an amplifier and with it’s good looks, sturdy construction, and classic tone it is great for rock and will do everything you need it to do and for 650 dollars it won’t break the bank either.

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