Vox AC15 Comparison
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 at
In this video, I review and compare these two excellent Vox AC15 amps, the AC15C1 Custom, and the AC15HW1 hand-wired.
These amps are similar in many respects:
same Celestion Greenback G12M speaker
same preamp and power amp tube complement (3 12AX7’s and 2 EL84’s)
same two channels: Normal and Top Boost.
same tone cut and interactive EQ controls
same weight – 48 pounds. Handwired is larger but birch plywood is lighter than MDF
same AC15 legacy and tradition
However, there are some obvious differences:
cabinet size: the Handwired is about 4 inches taller
cabinet materials: birch plywood in the Handwired. MDF in the Custom
Handwired has a high frequency diffuser over the speaker
circuit construction: turretboard handwiring versus PCB in the Custom
rectifier: tube EZ81 in the Handwired. silicon 1N4007 in the Custom
orientation of control surface text. Handwired faces back, Custom faces front.
differences in the features:
Custom has tremolo, reverb and standby switch
Handwired has additional low-gain inputs, hot/cool switch, bright switch, power switch, and master bypass on the Handwired
And of course the price- the Handwired is twice as expensive as the Custom
In the video, I switch between the two amps at a number of different settings, to compare the sound. At some settings, especially on the clean jangly sounds, the two amps are uncannily similar. On the other hand, especially at higher gain, the sound can be dramatically different. The larger more resonant Handwired’s cabinet provides a bit more low end, and is a bit rounder or softer in general. That high frequency diffuser really does roll off a bit of the highs. And I find the Handwired’s overdriven sounds to be more pleasing to the ear.
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Tagged with: AC15 • G&L ASAT III • Video • Vox
Filed under: Guitar