Brian May's guitar tech shows us the Queen guitarist's onstage setup. May's rig incorporates three Vox AC30s, positioned at an angle and pointed off stage to slightly isolate the sound. "We have to stop the nasty reflections," May's tech says at (27:35). According to May's tech, "the center amp is straight through the rack, so there's no effects on the center amp. The wet stuff is all wet on the left and right [amps]." “I went with Tim Staffell, who was our singer in Smile, and Roger I think, to a shop called Take Five in Tin Pan Alley that was full of second hand amps, including a few AC30s. "By that time I had a Rangemaster treble booster – I thought that if it worked for Rory it would work for me – so we pulled a few out, plugged in, and there was the sound. “I traded in my Burns transistor 60-watt amp and bought two 30-watt AC30s.They were very beaten up but sounded perfect, with that deep, throaty sound, and that was it forevermore for me.” You can also see May talking about the AC30 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyyTBeAmZIc.more
While discussing the song he recorded with Keith Urban "Start a Band," and Keith's gear for the session, Brad goes on to say " I used my ’68 Tele with the ’62 AC30 and Z-Wreck for the first half, and the second half is the Trainwreck and Z-Wreck together, to get a bit grittier. The song starts with my typical clean guitar sound." Please forgive me for not adding a new entry for a 62 ac30B, the 2 amps are identical until the top boost controls get added to the front panel in 64 and it becomes the ac30TB. Seems like a waste to have a special entry for every year of JMI ac30.more
JMI ac30B/6 with rear top-boost module. She can be finicky and unreliable, but she has quite a sound. Mine's pretty similar to Brad Paisley's from what I understand. Got her around 2001 or 2. The pine cab is rebuilt and recovered and the previous owner loaded her with a pair of 16ohm pre-rola g12s speakers wired in parallel for 8 ohms, but all those little things coupled with her being the unusual bass voiced model just contribute to this particular ac30's unique voice. Unmistakably JMI, yet thicker and, dare I say it? YES! Gooier than your average grey panel. This amp gets HOT and has caught fire at times when in need of service. However, the danger is part of her charm. Did I mention she has the best sounding vib/trem channel ever? I'll put my ac30B against any other 6 input ac30 of any era any day of the week. This vox really rocks.