VOX AC10 TWIN AND VOX AC15 CLONE

AC4, AC10, AC10 Twin, AC10 Reverb Twin, AC15, AC15 Twin, AC30 Twin, AC30 Super Twin, Top-Boost, Non-Top-Boost, AC50, AC100, 710, 760, 7120

VOX AC10 TWIN AND VOX AC15 CLONE

Postby dangonjim on Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:25 am

Hello, everybody!

After selling my Vox AC30 TB (made in 2000), I´ve decided to begin the hard but satisfying task of doing myself a 59-60 VOX AC15 clone (really impressed with the wonderful job of Beus, Johncorth and BLC). I´m quite excited about the whole home-brewed thing but meanwhile, accepting that the clone would not be complete till next springtime-summertime I fancied the idea of getting an inexpensive Vox combo amplifier. First candidate was a late 60s-early 70s Vox Ac30, but I sold my korg reissue because of weight issues and prices would not be under 500 pounds, never. Why not grab an original AC15 twin? well ... not so much cash indeed (2000-3000 pounds).So then comes the AC10 twin in all its glory: small wattage, light combo, supposed tone to die for, best tremolo ever, all valve, all hand wound, and inexpensive ...ja, no way at least in 2001.

Well, no long after came the internet research and EBAY. I found some AC10 twins but prices where higher than I expected, much higher indeed:

http://cgi.ebay.com/1964-Vox-ac10-twin- ... dZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/VOX-1960s-AC10-HEAD ... dZViewItem


And then the great opportunity, but no chance:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &rd=1&rd=1

Always comes the one with a nice price that just would do the job, till you read: ships only to united states....s**t. Auction has no ended for this item and looks clean and fine:

<Vox AC10 guitar amplifier. Original speakers, no mods. I do not know what year the amp is. Serial number: 2435. I will take the tubes out of the amp for shipping. Amp comes with a hand drawn tube chart. I have big supply of vintage tubes for this amp. Let me know if you are interested in buying them with the amp. Insurance is required on this item. I will only ship the amp to the lower 48 states. No international buyers.> starting bid: US $1,000.00, that could be, the deal.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :WNA:US:12

Finally I got myself one AC10, but spending a little more money than expected:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... &rd=1&rd=1

I just can t wait. And the top boost added is a must, yeah...

When amp arrives I will post some pictures.

I am planning to use the ac10 for recordings and home use, and wonder if it could do the rehearsals job aswell ( I play in a pop band with some 60s70s influences, some Americana, some pub rock too for good measure; you know, Brinsley Schwarz.Nick Lowe, Spongetones, Ducks Deluxe, Leopards, Kinks, Beatles, Flaming Groovies, NRBQ, Long Ryders, Jayhawks, Smithereens, et al). I wish it could have a better bass response and more volume, loud enough for rehearsals and I´m sure I could mess a little bit with filter caps, resistors, capacitors, and probably modified the normal channel close to AC15 specs, but I´m pretty sure that changing the low wattage Elac Speakers for a couple of more proficient speakers would improve the volume a lot.

I contacted Weber telling him exactly what I tell you above and he suggested very kindly (do I need to say weber speakers are among the best on earth for guitar playing) some nice options to get more loudness and dinamics:

1) Use a mixture of 30 watt ceramic blue pup and a 30 watt ceramic silver ten speakers for the most dynamics and punch as well as loudness.

2) A couple of ceramic blue pup 10"s. that would be brighter, still dynamic.

3) One alnico blue pup and one ceramic blue pup, 20 watt AlNiCo, 30 watt ceramic.

The three options seems fine but I am not sure if the third one would have enough volume and headroom. I should be sticking with the idea of the two ceramic speakers, one silver, the other blue, as Ted suggests me.

What do you think?, Which one do you think could be the best combination of 10s?. Any suggestions with the chassis (only subtler mods please, dont wanna destroy the amp, specially the tremolo channel, and remember that my ac10 has the top boost unit installed)

best wishes,
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Postby mudster on Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:33 pm

I think the idea of one blue and one silver would give you another option when you mic the amp in the studio and would sound good too. I haven't played an amp with the weber blues that I recall, but I have played a couple amps with the silver bell and I really think that is a great sounding speaker.
BTW, I have just purchased an AC10 as well, so congratulations and let's hope both our amps turn out to sound great! I'm excited!
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Postby domino on Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:17 pm

- remember reading a thing by mitch colby I think, about how good the early ac10s sounded with ef86, you could do some small mod I think to raise the vol, apparently very similar to ac15 quality...if you're tech savvy maybe you could look into that - or even an add-on ef86 boost unit if you want to be less invasive....not too familiar with the ac10 setup, so that might all be completely wrong..! - but good luck anyway.
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Postby Mr. dB on Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:45 pm

Never heard of an add-on Top Boost for the AC10 before, especially one with Treble, Mid, and Bass!!!
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Postby Sonic Romp on Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:07 am

Congrats! The AC10 is perfect for me; recording, mainly.

What kind of output transformer has it got in it? That will be an important implication on the sound in conjuntion with the speakers.

I think that alot of folks are simply afraid to ship amps 'cos of the potential damages in shipping.

Good luck -- it looks like a beautiful amp!

PS> Had a friend sell one on Ebay last year for $2.5K here in the states and by that measure - you got a pretty good deal! Enjoy!
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Postby domino on Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:54 am

- I was thinking of a unit someone does here, don't think it's a top-boost per se, it adds an ef86 pre - channel to a later (non-ef-860) amp......think that's the score, like I say I could well be completely wrong. There should be details in the archives...think it's Roger Allcock......? - actually just checking, I presumed the ef86 got dropped, but did all ac10s have it?
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Postby domino on Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:28 am

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Postby dangonjim on Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:45 am

-Mudster, you got a great deal, and I´m sure you will love your new amp, just like me!!! I´m atracted with the idea of mixing one ceramic and one alnico speaker.

-Domino, yes I´ve read about the Roger Allcock unit, and could be a bright idea. I haven´t still verify this but I really think the ef86 is still there. The top boost unit would work in the normal chanell, well, I suppose. Thank you so much for those well selected topics, very valuable info!.

-db, I never saw another add-on Top Boost unit like this before, (with Treble, Mid, and Bass). Must be a lot more of those units over there.

-Sonic Romp, no idea about the output transformer, and I tell you this, I´m more than afraid with the shipping/payment issues, I´m intimidated with the idea of loosing the amp.

thank you boys
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Postby Lyre-crunch on Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:33 am

Yep, great price for that one. I remember seeing one like that with the top boost add-on on ebay before. I would also expect the TB to be on the normal channel; the vibrato ef86 channel is it's own top boost IMO. In the pictures the ef86 is the far left tube, and I'd say it's there.

It looks like yours reads Albion on the choke, so maybe the other transformers are the same, which means they are good and original. Most of these mid 60's ones I've seen have had Parmeko trannies. Good luck!
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Postby dangonjim on Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:32 pm

Lyre-crunch wrote:Yep, great price for that one. I remember seeing one like that with the top boost add-on on ebay before. I would also expect the TB to be on the normal channel; the vibrato ef86 channel is it's own top boost IMO. In the pictures the ef86 is the far left tube, and I'd say it's there.

It looks like yours reads Albion on the choke, so maybe the other transformers are the same, which means they are good and original. Most of these mid 60's ones I've seen have had Parmeko trannies. Good luck!


Albion means better than Parmeko?
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Postby Lyre-crunch on Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:52 pm

Albion means better than Parmeko?

Don't know really. For some reason it seems that in AC30's Albion has a better reputation than Parmeko.

I meant to wish you good luck with the amp in general, but it might be good luck with the trannies too.
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Postby Blind Lemon Chitlin on Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:55 pm

Great Score there !!!! What a nice amp it is ..... The deals are still there if you hunt for them..... Congrats....
"The Little Amp Builder" who "Big Brother" V*x / K*RG thought needed to be "Policed"

"Big Brother is Watching You"
George Orwell's - 1984
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Postby dangonjim on Sun Dec 17, 2006 3:19 pm

Hello BLC, how you doing?

Sometimes ebay´s like a gold mine.
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Postby dangonjim on Sun Dec 17, 2006 4:47 pm

Lyre-crunch wrote:
Albion means better than Parmeko?

Don't know really. For some reason it seems that in AC30's Albion has a better reputation than Parmeko.

I meant to wish you good luck with the amp in general, but it might be good luck with the trannies too.


thanks, Lyre-crunch.
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Postby Beus on Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:31 pm

congrats with the AC10. I never realised that an AC10 has a normal channel. with the added top boost and the other channel with the EF86 tube you have a nice amp!

the weber blue pups are nice speakers, I have two in a fender bandmaster 2x10" combo. I tried and heard several other weber 10" speakers and most/all of them have this sound which after a while starts to irritate. a kind of paper(ish) sound. the blue pups don't have this.

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