Stereophonics lead guitarist Kelly Jones uses the Vox AC30 Guitar Combo Amplifier in his perfomances.
“I didn’t want to go for a modern Marshall amp sound,” Armstrong says. “I wanted to do something that sounded more like a classic rock tone. I used a Gretsch guitar, and we figured if we couldn’t find the exact vintage amp we were looking for we would just build it. But I did use a Vox AC 30 and a 1974 Marshall JTM45. We miked the room and captured that.”more
When asked what was the fundamental guitar-sound recipe for the album, There's Nothing Left to Lose, musician Dave Grohl answered: "We focused on not using too many distortion pedals, and went for a cleaner, fatter, more natural overdrive. We used a Vox AC30 for pretty much everything on the record, tweaking the sound so that it broke up nicely when played loud.... We wanted to move back to that huge, warm, sludgy sound and get something a little more garagey -- not something so well-produced and pristine. So rather than play through a distortion pedal and an amp with its volume at 5, we wouldn't use a pedal at all." After being asked if there is any trick to recording natural guitar sounds Dave Grohl explained, "The best way to get a natural guitar sound is to eliminate all pedals and find an amp that has a lot of range. With an AC30, for example, you can go clean, dirty, bright, or fat. It's just the amplifier and the guitar -- the most basic combination." Dave Grohl uses the Vox AC30 amp head in a 2x12 combo.more
In [this interview](http://www.musicradar.com/us/news/guitars/u2-exclusive-the-edges-stage-setup-revealed-223342), The Edge's guitar tech, Dallas Schoo talks about the amp/equipment set up for U2's 360 Tour: "Well, of course we have the main AC30 from '64. Can't do a show without that."more
On page 3 of his interview in Tone Quest Report Vol9 #5 published March 2008 Mike Campbel states "We love them because we love the Beatles and we assumed that they were using AC30s. During the middle years of the band, that was pretty much all we used. In terms of maintenance, nothing major, occasionally a tube will give out. I’m not technical, but our guitar techs keep an eye on things, and sometimes they’ll say, “Sounds like your tube is getting weak” and I’ll say, “OK, change it!” and that’s as involved as I get (laughs). My AC30 is a brown one, and it’s been especially roadworthy." I just put up a generic AC30 since Mike's fawn AC30 could be a black panel with an EF86 pentode input OR it might be a non-top-boost (or rear mounted top-boost factory retrofit) copper top in a fawn box like George Harrison's first Vox.more
In this Keith Richards [interview](http://www.guitarworld.com/archive-rolling-stones-keith-richards-looks-back-40-years-making-music?page=0,3) with "Guitar World", it reads, "'The Stones had an endorsement deal with Vox around this time. Were those the amps you were using in the studio?' 'I have no doubt they were. The AC30's a damn good amp.'"more
Jonny’s first AC30 was a 90’s re-issue AC306TB, which he acquired circa 1997. He has also used a few other AC30’s throughout his career, includng a Dave Petersen Special AC30. He uses Celestion Alnico Blue speakers for all of his Vox’s. With Radiohead, Jonny’s AC30s were mic’d with a Shure SM57 for quite some time. Circa 2008, he switched to an Audio-Technica AT3060. He has used other mic’s for his solo performances. Jonny keeps a direct box on top of his AC30. This is likely used simply to send the signal from his amp mics to the PA. [thekingofgear.com](http://thekingofgear.com/jonny)more
Fender Tweets this image where Ed can be seen using the Vox AC30 in his performance with Beyonce and Gary Clark Jr. at the recent Stevie Wonder tribute concert. In the photo Ed is also playing his [Eric Clapton Crash 1 Stratocaster Electric Guitar](http://equipboard.com/items/fender-eric-clapton-crash-1-stratocaster-electric-guitar). Video from this performance can be found [here](https://vimeo.com/119815910).more
According to this *Music Radar* [article](http://www.musicradar.com/us/news/guitars/rory-gallaghers-gear-the-key-guitars-amps-and-effects-546815) "Rory’s best known amplifier was a remnant from his days in Irish power trio Taste. The guitarist created his searing signature tone by driving the amp hard and using his guitar volume to control his sound. The reverse of the amp bears marks of decades on tour."more
According to ex-Oasis guitarist Gem Archer in this Guitar World interview, he plays "through the Fender Deluxe and a VOX AC-30. One's for the top end of the sound and the other is for the body, and that's about it. I think the AC-30 is rented." Full article [here](http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-former-oasis-guitarst-gem-archer-discusses-beady-eyes-new-album-different-gear-still-speeding?page=0,2)more
"I run the rig in stereo between one of the new Vox AC30 amps they're coming out with that I had never really played but I just got them brought over and I loved 'em," Tim says, in [this interview](http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/interviews/interviews/tim_smith_noel_gallaghers_songs_are_great_and_hes_a_great_songwriter.html).more
On the [Gear page](http://www.billyduffy.com/gear/vox-ac-30-amplifier/) of Billy Duffy's website, he says, "Quite often if there have been Matchless amps that are available to hire they just don’t sound as good, and often they’re usually beaten up. So the Vox was always a better choice in that situation and it’s partly behind my choice to use them going forward as these AC-30s are widely available anywhere around the world we play."more
John, along with the rest of the Beatles used a Vox AC30 for the first half of his career with the Beatles. Confirmation of Lennon's use of this amp can be found in this [*Guitar World* article](http://www.guitarworld.com/guide-songs-and-instruments-featured-beatles-rubber-soul-album) where they write "McCartney used his 1962 [Epiphone Casino](http://equipboard.com/items/1963-epiphone-casino) and [Epiphone Texan](http://equipboard.com/items/epiphone-texan-ft-79) acoustic, both of which he still performs with today, and his 1963 Hofner 500/1 bass. McCartney played through a Vox AC100 amp and a Fender Bassman while Lennon and Harrison played through Vox AC30 and AC100 guitar amps."more
Snowy White says, "I used to use a Fender Twin Reverb, but for many years all I’ve used is the Vox AC30. I switched to Vox because it was more complimentary to the sound of my Les Paul. With Roger, even on big stages, I use an AC30. I’ve got two, and I kick the second one in only for solos—that’s it," in [this article](http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/snowy_white_wailing_on_the_wall).more
"You know, my life changed when I found the Vox amplifier. I tell you, I've had SoundCitys, which were garbage, Marshall, which I found unreliable and kind of loud, Roland Jazz Chorus 120s - I've used those live with the distortion button turned on - and I had a Music Man amp for a while. And then along came an old battered AC30, which Lance, my guitar tech, gave to me. He said, 'Man, look, this is the amp,' and from that point on I didn't look back.more
A Guitar & Bass magazine article on how to sound like Jimmy Smith from Foals indicates that he plays through a 1970s Vox AC30. Later on in the article Jimmy Smith says, "Also get rid of your Marshall amp and get one with a clean sound". [Guitar & Bass magazine](http://www.guitar-bass.net/news/foals-how-to-sound-like-foals-mathletics/)more
In [this interview](http://www.vintageguitar.com/2914/lenny-kravitz/) from Vintage guitar, Lenny Kravitz says this about his usage of AC-30's: "How did your studio gear differ from the gear you use onstage? It was completely different. We just go for a more of a basic thing onstage. I’m using a stack of newer Vox AC30s right now and that’s really it."more
"I have a vast array of amps that I use and always spend a lot of time experimenting with different sounds. Each song you work on may need a different approach and I have ENGL amps and cabs, Marshall amps and cabs, Line 6 heads and combos, Mesa's, Crates and various combos including VOX AC 30's and Cornell's. They all have a use and mic'd up in the right way all can sound good as long as they provide what the track needs."more
In this [article from *Drowned In Sound*](http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4148399-planet-gear--bombay-bicycle-clubs-drums-guitars-and-studio-set-up), Jamie says "and because we wanted to keep a lot of the guitar takes from his original demos – we often re-amped the parts from Guitar Rig through my 1990 Vox AC30 at Konk Studios."more
In this September 2014 interview with JDB, at his studio in Cardiff, James Dean Bradfield says, "So I used a Vox AC30 a bit more on that album and this Gretsch, and it really helped with what I was trying to achieve, guitar-wise."
"Tweedy’s electric guitar amps are a [Texosound Bernie Colin Cripps](http://equipboard.com/items/texosound-bernie-colin-cripps-amplifier) and a Vox AC 30 with a [Radial Switchbone](http://equipboard.com/items/radial-switchbone) switcher. Jeff also used a Fender Acoustic amp." - [*Austin City Limits*](http://acltv.com/tag/gear/).more
John Scofield’s preferred amp is a VOX AC30. In this Premier Guitar interview, Scofield is quoted as saying at (0:58), “Well I like Vox AC30s, and I always ask for them on the rider. We don't bring our amps with us, we just bring our pedals and guitars when we play fly dates. Where a lot of times on a bus, we'll have our own amps, and I have an older AC30 that I really like. I like the reissues up until about 2006, and through the '90s. I like those reissues. It's called AC30, TB model. These are the new models, and right here that they got for me, but they're good too.”more
Jake Snider says at 8:43 of this "Rig Rundown" with *Premier Guitar* "started kind of playing them in Europe as rentals actually - and then wanted to get one at home so I tried out the [hand wired](http://equipboard.com/items/vox-hand-wired-ac30hwhd-30w-tube-guitar-amp-head) one but the lead time on getting one of those was too long and the tour was coming up so I just got the regulars."more
In 1964 during the blues fad in in the UK spearheaded by the stones, yardbirds and bluesbreakers, Sister Rosetta toured Europe as part of the Blues and Gospel Caravan alongside greats like Muddy Waters. I could not recall the date, but I have seen footage from this tour (she owns that SG Custom, ya gotta hear it) and I know this picture is from that concert. Wikipedia states that "a concert, in the rain, was recorded by Granada Television at the disused railway station at Wilbraham Road, Manchester in May 1964. The band performed on one platform while the audience members were seated on the opposite platform." In this still from the aforementioned concert Tharpe can be seen playing her White SG Custom through a Vox ac30 amplifier that was obviously rented for the tour. Because the footage and stills were black and white it is impossible to tell whether it was a copper panel ac30 with brown diamond fret cloth or a grey panel with black diamonds.... If I recall 1964 was a transitional year cosmetically and the amp in question may not have been a brand new model. Judging by her tone I suspect she may have had a 62 or earlier model as she does not sound like she is through a top boost channel, but also does not sound like she is playing through an ac30 bass model. Though with such a grainy recording I could just be talking smack here. As a Philadelphian guitarist I am a real Rosetta Tharpe kinda guy and as a vox lover I just really wanna figure it out!more
"The band tours nearly 300 days a year so to keep things running as efficient as possible Barakat uses a Kemper Profiler so he can quickly access all the band’s recorded tones and even shared settings given to him by Mark Hoppus of Blink 182. For his clean tone he’s using an AC30 model that’s miked with a Royer R121 ribbon microphone and for the more aggressive stuff the core tone is sampling from Barakat’s Budda Superdrive 30."more
Rossi used to use the Vox AC30 as his main amp, he still uses them but through a mic'd signal from the back of the stage. "In the old days these were loud enough to be the main stage amps but now the mic'd signal is sent out front to give the sound that extra fatness" - Official Quo website.more
"A hybrid 730 – the Revolver/Sergeant Pepper amp. There’s an AC100 that I got in ’78; I put it in a flight case and have taken it out three or four times to record with it. It looks like a time machine. Those amps were overpowered and underventilated, so they always blew up. There are probably very few examples left, let alone one that’s mint. I own AC50s, AC30s, and Super Beatles."more
"Also, a good friend of mine named Jon Gries, here in Los Angeles, has tons of vintage gear. He brought me all kinds of microphones and pedals and guitars, including a vintage Les Paul. He also brought a vintage Vox AC30 and an AC15, and a bunch of old pedals" – Bingham in an interview with Gibson.com in 2012.more
"My main guitar is a ‘72 [Gibson SG](http://equipboard.com/items/gibson-sg-standard-electric-guitar). I’m really comfortable with the neck, and I perform the best on that guitar in the studio. So when I want a different tone, it’s usually a matter of changing the amp around, or plugging in a different pedal. Sometimes, we’ll crank up a Fender Champ or an old Ampeg for natural amp distortion. I’ll also use my main stage amp—a Vox AC30." - [Carrie Brownstein](http://www.guitarplayer.com/miscellaneous/1139/gp-flashback-sleater-kinneys-carrie-brownstein-and-corin-tucker-february-2003/21814).more
During an interview on thewonder.co.uk during the first Television reunion tour in the 2000's, Richard Lloyd revealed the elements of his tone both live and in the studio. "Richard Lloyd still plays the same '61 Stratocaster with jumbo frets that he played on Marquee Moon and Adventure, although he takes a '62 reissue Strat and Tele on the road. On the new album's "Rhyme", he played a rare black f-hole Gretsch. Lloyd tends a stable of vintage Fender amps, including a '50 Deluxe, a '52 Pro, a '55 Tremolux, and a '56 Princeton. He also uses a '59 Ampeg Jet, a Vibraverb reissue, and a '65 Supro. Live, he relies on Vox AC30s: "You can change the current wherever you are without a transformer, so they're good the world over, and they have a nice high-end bite." Save for a few dinosaur pedals, Lloyd avoids effects, citing the dangers of "processors that make your guitar sound like Velveeta." And though he's a die-hard fan of amp distortion, he admits, "I'm always fighting to get a combination that won't really distort the tonality of the guitar, but will just give you the edge you're looking for."more
Teppei seen in this video with his Vox AC30 (@2:31): “I just use my AC30. That’s it. . . I mean I’ve had this amp for so long that I feel like I know how to battle [producing the right tone] . . . I mean there aren’t a lot of options. There’s literally like a volume, a treble, a bass, and a cut; and I don’t even use the cut, so really just with those three notes I get all my tones. So keeping it simple”more
Now Enter the Vox AC30 Custom Classic, that I feel, is responsible for the majority of the AC guitar tone. I used it once and immediately went out and bought it with money I didn’t have. No need to describe it because it is the only amp used on “Parrot Flies”. It’s Little brother the AC15 was used the the “Fun” epmore
"Yeah, I noticed that when we saw the laundry list. I noticed that one right away...And then, the next one I would run in after would be my 1957 Gold Top, that was Jimmy Ripp’s guitar before I bought it, and he used it live on pretty much all of the Mick Jagger solo touring. The guitar has been on, like, 45 different records over the years, recording-wise. I think the last record it was on before I acquired it was the last Jerry Lee Lewis record. I have had a lot of people play that guitar through clean amps, through dirty amps, and everything in between, and the response from just about everyone is that is the best-sounding Les Paul they have ever heard. It’s just a beast when you put it through distortion and, man, if you plug it into an old Vox AC30 or an old Fender, the clean tone that you get out of it is ridiculous." As mentioned in this [Gibson interview](http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/aaron-lewis-0820.aspx).more
From Grants Facebook discussion; "Mainly a 60's Vox Ac30 and a 70's Fender Twin and my old Marshall for some tracking .. I used to use an old ADA guitar preamp and various Electro Harmonic , MXR and Boss pedals. I still use pretty much the same with Feeder but not using the ADA anymore."more
In [this article](http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Interview_James_Williamson_Return_to_the_Raw) on the making of the Stooges' album *Raw Power*, Williamson's gear at the time of recording is explained as such: "Armed with a 1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom driving a Vox AC30, as well as a Martin D-28 acoustic—the latter two of which he borrowed from the studio—Williamson dove headfirst into the recording process. Although he hadn’t previously tried the Vox-and-Paul combo, he was delighted after plugging in. 'That driving sound on the record is a combination of the way I play and the sound I was able to get with the combination of that instrument and that amp. It’s definitely a good sound.'"more
I have two pedalboards, one I control with my hands and another I control with my feet. My guitar goes into a Lehle D.Loop SgoS Effect Looper/Switcher, which has two loops. Loop A contains a Prescription Electronics Experience Octave/Fuzz, a Dunlop wah, a Boss OD- 2 Turbo OverDrive, and a Rat distortion. Loop B contains a Boss DD-5 Digital Delay, an Alesis Bitrman ModFX multi-effects processor, a Z.Vex Fuzz Factory, and an Electro- Harmonix Micro Synthesizer. The output of the Lehle goes to a Morley volume pedal, an Eventide PitchFactor, a Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, and a pair of GigRig HumDinger signal splitters that I use to send a mono feed to my amp—which is usually a Vox AC30—and a stereo feed to a MOTU Traveler FireWire Audio Interface and a MacBook running Ableton Live. I also have three Roland EV-5 expression pedals: One controls Feedback and Delay Level on the DL4, another controls various functions on the PitchFactor, and the third one is connected to a Logidy USB foot controller that I use along with a Korg nanoKONTROL to make real time adjustments in Live.more
"’93 Vox AC30 6TB: This was the first amp I bought, and i love it. It is UK Made, and has Celestion Vintage 30?s in it, and is my favorite Vox I've ever played. The Top Boost reissue’s of the 90's have a great sound and though I burn through tubes about every 8 months, it really deliver’s an awesome sound with pretty good headroom and that classic AC30 breakup. I usually have it turned up to about 11 o clock, and always go through the Brilliant channel…"more
Ok, guitar set up. 2 Vox AC30 amps linked to JT45 marshall head and 4x12 cabinet. Peddles in order : Boss compression, tremolo, overdrive, reverb, delay, line selector, Mesaboogie pre-amp distortion unit, chorus and delay (lineselector splits the board into a clean side and distorted side and reduces the need for the whole board being used simultaneously reducing noise). Guitars : 2 Telecasters (70'), SG (60), 335 (70), 2 Strats (80), 1 Dobro, 2 Gibson acoustics (J100 & J45) and a Takamine somewhere.more
This was a part of Nathan's rig until early 2014. There are photographs of him playing through a white AC30 although this may be the same amp but with a different body, here is an example: http://www.circulation-mag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1454937_10152450203269745_630864261_n.jpgmore
David runs his signal through Boss Vibrato, Chorus and Octaver pedals, a T.C. Electronic distortion box, and a master volume pedal. Though he owns a Vox AC30, a Roland JC-120, a 60/100-watt MESA/Boogie, and a small Gallien Krueger, Rhodes often defers to the engineer when it comes to making amp choices: “He knows the room and the sound he wants, so I’m happy to work with whatever he plugs me into.” Preferring the sound of worn strings, Rhodes uses gauges .010 through .046 for electric and .011 through .052 for acoustic.more
As a die-hard Vox amplifier enthusiast I feel compelled to answer d_foster14's question, "Is the Price justified?"
Yes the price is justified for the right model from the right year. While there are a variety of AC30 variants vintage and modern that do different spins on the vox tone (and I really dig some of the variants I've played more than the amps people view as quintessential Voxes), the AC30s to have to get 'THE top-boost sound' are (in order of tastiness) the following:
1) coppertop (AKA candy panel) JMI, early 60s (I plan to be buried with mine if my son doesn't take up the guitar)
2) grey panel JMI, mid-to-late 60s (if you are looking at a coppertop with the treb and bass controls on the faceplate then its pretty much the same amp as a grey panel so save a few beans and scout out a grey panel because only crazy collectors will care about what color the control plate is... even the grey painted speakers are pretty much the same as the blue painted ones from the coppertop period (some will argue) and even the RI blue alnicos sound fab once they break in... if the tone controls were added to the back of the amp, then your coppertop will be a little different and I have a definite preference in this regard)
3) black panel AC30HW2x Korg, current production (I would not sell mine to you, you would have to trade me something better and I already have a coppertop and don't really need a grey panel)
4) candy panel AC30/6TBx Korg, 90s (this is really a tie for 3, I only give the HW2x the edge for its reliably repairable turret contruction and spiffy 'hot mode', but if a PCB doesn't worry you and you want closer accuracy to a JMI for features and voicing get a 90s RI)
5) grey panel Dallas Arbiter, 70s (no tube rectifier, but that's why Brian May likes them, can Brian May be wrong? that's its own forum topic, right there)... I recently acquired one of these but it needs some love as it appears to have been on the road continuously since it was made without being serviced at all. To its credit it still works, its just beat to shit and sounds a bit unhealthy. Defintiely a 'firmer' sound than y other 2 voxes, but a different feel than the matchless. Once I work on her I'll be able to really get a sense of what sets her apart from a JMI and a reissue.
6) grey panel Rose Morris, 80s (multiple PCB facsimile of the Arbiter version... these AC30s can sound quite good and seem to be pretty reliable)
http://equipboard.com/jimmarchi1/photos in 4th and 5th gear porn photos you can see my 2 favorite ac30s, the HW2 and the recently serviced 1962 bass model (not good for abss guitar, just a fatter voicing, it came in treble and normal until about '65.... all front panel top boost models are normal though).... you will also see a photo of the 'JMI product' logo on the control panel. if you see an affordable ac30 with this logo then snatch it up, even if its in bad shape it will be worth your while to restore it. If it has a similar logo with the word vox instead of JMI then it's a crap shoot and you could be looking at 1 of 3 or 4 newer models raging in quality. If it has a VSEL logo then its pretty much made by vox employees with leftover JMI parts and its a winner... if it has no logo under the mains switch then it could be an arbiter, rose morris etc and you'd better do more investigating.
The Vox AC30 is a classic, versatile amp that pairs well with pedals and applicable to a wide range of musical genres. Investing in a tube amp of this caliber has elevated my interest in music while making me sound more professional. I use this amp for guitar playing ranging from loud, Foo Fighters type rhythm based rock and roll, to thin lead parts like that of the Front Bottoms and other post-hardcore bands. Overall, the best amp money could buy on the market, highly recommended.
I have one of this Vox AC 30s. Mine is 1965 reverb head and i converted to tob boost. I have 2X12 GreenBack AC 50 Cab that the head goes to cab. In the past i sold 1969 ac top boost. So this one is my second Vox. This amps are great sounding all style amps. EL 84s make the amp very recognizable in the mix and if you have write tubes you get nice "cranked amp crunch distortion" sound out of it.
This is a great amp with nice, clean tones but gets gritty when you need it. Sounds great in combination with my Les Paul Custom. Not much to say, highly recommended. Purchased in 2015 new to replace a stolen one from 2009.
Though it is known for its brilliant jangle, it is a versatile amp that can get dancehall loud if you want it to, but sounds good too at apartment volumes, and can cover just about any style of music. Great reverb and that famous tremolo make it a really nice amp to play with and from. Not a really swell amp to move around. For one person it is borderline hernia-heavy. I loaded it in and out of my car. Once. It is not cheap but there are fine used ones out there.
Although this amp isn't really mine, I did use it to play the Rufus Stone gig at the Glenn Club in Watford. This amp took the wah pedal and boost pedal very well providing me with a warm fat guitar tone.
This Guitar Amp is such a legendary Heavy and clean sounding tool for any guitar. Easily one of my favorite for soft and clean tunes, Even any type of tunes will fit in with this but the power and softness combined is this tool is just magical.
I don't think there is anything I can add to this. I use all sorts of things and I like the top end option. I can always dial it down. Plus I do a lot of stereo imaging and it is to easy to use a pair of these. For some reason I actually like the open back as I am not a metal player and know my role. Let the bassist play the bass parts. I have noticed guitars trying to go way too low with their tones. Which is cool.
I am not a metal guy but I love Dream Theater. However, I haven't actually heard the bass parts on an album "clearly" in over 17 years. 6 string 7 string. The guy is a beast on the bass, I can guess he is playing what the guitar is.
I might like the 3 pieces, Rush or the Police. But Why? Interesting bass tones. Sting with the fretless thing. Geddy with the aggression. Imagine how much cooler a band like Dream Theater might me if they gave the attention to tone as they do all of the other sounds. I am not complaining, merely posing a question for the universe. There are 5 virtuosos in that band, but I can only clearly hear 4. No one had every complimented him on his tone, that's all i am saying.
My point is this amp is great if you are a guitar player who want to be in a rock band with a 6 string guitar and not try and cover the entire 20 to 20k spectrum. If your bands is loud, you will probably ned a Marshall or equivalent, think 100w, go from there.