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Here's a Vox that has seen some remodeling, and it does seem that all the work done has resulted in my ability to present you with one amazing amp!
Where do I begin...
Well, when I first was presented with the opportunity to purchase this amp I was somewhat skeptical, but it came from a good friend and customer so that eased my hesitation. 60's Vox amps are always difficult to authenticate, and I knew this one would probably take the cake. Nonetheless, I dove in and it worked out.
At first glance you can tell it is gonna kill it. Whomever recovered the amp did an amazing job. Yes the piping will come out if you goof with it, which is an unintended stock feature of an original AC30, but everything just looks so well done.
The original copper panel shows the true age of the amp, despite the ultra clean cabinet covering. The same is true for the silver speakers, which have their original cones and gaskets, showing February 1965 codes. Vent plates are metal and do appear to be original.
Diving inside the chassis reveals the original boards and many original circuit components.
Where this amp gets really interesting is on the back side of the chassis where the transformers are mounted. A previous owner had this part of the chassis chromed, along with the original transformer bell covers. The transformer paper is still intact. The chassis shows the typical bends and warps where the transformers are mounted. I'm convinced that it is all original equipment, but clearly this is a big change and something you won't see every day (or ever!). Tube sockets are clearly original - look at the patina in the pics.
Another interesting area is the rear-facing boost section. The faceplate and mounting bracket appear to be original, but the components and wiring look recent. Many solder joints within the amp circuit are original - you can see the red sealant on many solder points. The solders where the wiring from the boost circuit connects to the circuit are clearly new.
The power cable has been changed to a grounded one, and the speaker cable was changed as well, with a cool feature included. The cable ends in a beefy female jack, and the cable from the speakers ends in a male plug. This allows for easy connection to a separate cab.
In the end it is all about the tone, and this amp does not disappoint. The circuit and the speakers sound really strong and 100% vintage. Plugging into the #1 input on any channel results in searing gain as you ramp the volume, but it responds well to backing off the volume on the guitar to ease the output gain. I love amps that operate well like this, giving you infinite variability from clean to lead tones with just your volume knob. The vibrato does what it should, however inflexible it is it sounds so cool.
Shipping is high for this item, and the purchaser should be prepared for some assembly on arrival. Too many Vox amps are ruined in shipping de to the chassis and cabinet design. I will remove the chassis and ship it separate from the cabinet.
- Color: Recovered, red tolex
- Dimensions: 21.5"h x 27.25"w x 10.25d
- Weight: 72lbs
- Watts: 30
- Date: 1965
- Where date is noted: Original speakers, front gasket
- Speaker 1 brand/model:? Silver JMI/Vox Celestion
- Speaker 1 Code: T1088 16BK
- Extension speaker out?: No
- FX Loop?: No
- Reverb or other effects?: Vibrato/Tremolo
- Power tubes: EL84 (Sovtek)
- Preamp tubes: ECC83 (Yugoslavia)
- Pots: All changed to Alpha pots
- Tolex: Recovered, red tolex
- Grille: Replaced
- Knobs: Original - Boost circuit on back has newer knobs
- Handle: Original. One handle has new metal tie down straps
- Power cord: Replaced - 3 prong
- Notes: Chassis chromed, along with original transformer bells. See pics.