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Overview

The Vox AC-30 has a tone that resonates with people, from the jangly tones of early Beatles recordings to Brian May’s epic wall-of-Vox lead and riff work to the vocal, funky jazz fusion of John Scofield. That these examples span such different points on the musical spectrum is a testament to the staying power of the most iconic 2x12 combo amp ever built. The current Vox AC-30C2 lives up to the legacy.

Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • AC30C2 30-Watt 2x12 Guitar Combo
Finish
  • Black
Year
  • 2010s
Categories
Speaker Configuration
  • 2x12"

From the Price Guide

Reviews for the Vox AC-30C2 30W 2x12 Combo Amp
10
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  • Best amp I've owned.

    Verified Purchase

    I just bought this for my studio for my clients to use, but it has become my favorite amp!!!

  • Verified Purchase

    Clean and dirty and handles all my pedals without any noise issues. Will upgrade the tubes to the JJ's.

  • Hardwared, shmarwired

    Verified Purchase

    Hardwared, shmarwired, this thing sounds just as good. Dont be pay the extra cash for point-to-point. I've played both, and i cant tell the diff.

  • Not Quite Accurate in the Description and Questions

    Few discrepancies found within the review and question/answer section. First off. the AC30 CC2 does NOT use EL34, but uses EL84's, like the current C2. Secondly, the description claims that the newest C2 version is more accurate to the original design, than the CC2 - again, not so....The CC2 use…

  • Verified Purchase

    The cleanest cleans and dirtiest tones can be achieved. A near perfect creation.

More Information

Why would you be interested in in a Vox amp? Because you’re not looking to melt faces with the creamy crunch of a Marshall, and you’re not playing the type of country or blues that really capitalizes on the punchy twang of a Fender. Because you don’t feel like wading through the forest of boutique options (or paying for one), but you still want a versatile amp with presence and character, something modern and reliable that you’re not afraid to gig with, but something that still has history to it. Something that isn’t a digital preset on a modeling rig. That’s why.

No other brand is more associated with British invasion of 1960s than Vox, with the Beatles notably playing their amps before and after they got famous. The original AC-30 Twin design has a sound that resonates with people, from the jangly tones of early Beatles recordings to Brian May’s epic wall-of-Vox lead and riff work to the vocal, funky jazz fusion of John Scofield. That these examples span such different points on the musical spectrum is a testament to AC-30's staying power.

For many Vox fans, the AC-30C2 represents a return to form, moving away from the redesigns of the late ‘70s and ‘80s and employing the original tube and speaker configuration. While there will always be purists who scoff at anything but the original, this Korg-owned Vox reissue provides the sound that made the amp famous in the first place: treble-heavy, glistening articulation.

Read more about the history of the Vox AC-30 here.

Great. Where does this fall in the parade of AC-30s we’ve seen over the years?

If you discount the corporate tomfoolery of the 1980s, then you can look at AC-30 in two batches: the original AC-30 family with Top Boost, Reverb and Piggyback variations [1960 - 1972] and the reissue family starting with with ‘90s models and flowing into the current AC-30C2 [1993 - present].



How does the AC-30C2 stack up to the original?

The latest iteration tries to adhere to the original formula of 12AX7 tubes for the pre-amp and EL84 tubes for the power amp (whereas its predecessor used EL34s here). The main difference is that the new version uses only three tubes in the pre-amp stage, as opposed to the original’s five, and uses Celestion G12M Greenback (ceramic) speakers, whereas the original used alnico speakers. The AC-30C2 is available with Celestion Alnico Blue speakers, which will get you closer to the original sound than the mid-boosted Greenbacks. The only other difference is that the most recent version has only two channels with onboard reverb and tremolo, whereas the original had three channels with reverb as a separate unit.

How does it differ from the Vox AC-30CC2?

While they look nearly identical, the AC-30C2 and its immediate predecessor differ in their number of inputs, choice of power tubes and speakers. The AC-30CC2 only had two inputs, used EL34 power tubes and featured Celestion GSH12-30 speakers, whereas the C2 has four inputs, uses EL84 power tubes and features Celestion G12M Greenback speakers. Both include onboard reverb and tremolo. Bottom line: this newest iteration is a bit closer to original and offers more input options.

What about the ‘90s reissue AC-30? I hear that was pretty good…

If you’re referring to the 1993 - 2004 model that preceded the AC-30CC2, it actually used the same speakers as the current model, but did not have onboard reverb or the same pre-amp tubes...or the same wattage, technically. The ‘90s era AC-30 featured three channels and relied on a separate unit for reverb, just like the original. However, it used EC882/83 pre-amp tubes and ended up with a 33 watt rating.

Neat. What about pricing for all of them, though?

If you’re looking to spend $3k or more, go for the original early 1960s model. The ‘90s era reissue and the current model fall a bit above $1k, while the AC-30CC2 can be had for under $1000. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll end with a stage amp that has cred, vibe and amazing tone.