The Vox AC15 Custom 1×12

Although ideally most of us would be practicing through a 50 Watt Marshall stack everyday, few of us have living situations that permit such awesome noise levels.  Sure, you can get an attenuator, but still, size, price, and general inconvenience are issues.  That why it’s important to have a bedroom amp – a smaller, quieter amp suitable for the apartment building or close quarter living.  But just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t rock!  That’s why I picked up the Vox AC15, a bedroom amp that doesn’t make me feel like I’m putting on the world’s smallest performance for the local spider population.

Truth is, the AC15 C1 is more of a hybrid bedroom amp.  Today, almost every venue you play at is going to mic your amp and run it through the PA.  You can have a Fender Blues Jr. and it’s gonna come through the PA as loud as a stack.  50/100 watt amps are essentially pointless, unless you’re doing a stadium tour – but they are still awesome.  Nonetheless, bringing a smaller amp to a gig makes transportation easier, and as long as the amp sounds as good as a larger counterpart, will perform equally well when mic-ed through the PA.

The Vox AC15 C1 is a great, little amp that gives you bang for your buck.  With just 15 Watts of tube power, this amp has one 12″ Celestion Greenback Speaker and offers the full array of classic Vox tones.  It has built-in analog Tremolo, spring Reverb, a “Tone Cut” knob and full EQ for the “Top Boost” channel, giving you a lot of tonal flexibility.  I use it mostly for “chimey” clean tones and  dirty blues sounds, but have found that it breaks up nicely when pushed, without being overly loud.  It’s just a great amp for getting awesome tones at quieter volumes.  That being said I have used it on multiple gigs where it was mic-ed, and it sounded fantastic – nobody even knew it was a little 15 watt box.  The major downsides are no Effects Loop, and although foot-switchable, it doesn’t come with a foot switch, but at around $520 it’s hard to beat the quality and versatility of this classic amp.  Plus, the aesthetic of Vox is iconic, and their amps looks great on stage, subconsciously forcing the audience to draw connections between you and little band called The Beatles – not bad!

For more on the Vox AC 15 C1, check out the Vox website.

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9 thoughts on “The Vox AC15 Custom 1×12

  1. whowhatwoof says:

    great pictures!! Nice to have a good review of a smaller amp 🙂

  2. Frederik says:

    Nice review.

    I remember going with my friend to buy a new amp. He had no intention of buying anything but still ended up walking out with a VOX, even though he didn’t need it…

    There’s something tasty about the sound of a VOX. You’re right about the dirty blues tones… You’re right about a lot of things. Which is awesome.

    I have a VOX 15 watt practice/bedroom amp and I rarely if ever have to push the volume past a certain point. To do so would probably break all the shoddy windows in my my tiny apartment block… One thing is for certain, those guys at VOX know how to literally make the room shake…

    I have this vision of the future where people are simply wheeled in front of a massive amp, the “doctor” plugs in, adjusts the levels to acquire a certain tone, then throws out some licks to break up a cancerous tumour or strengthen the heart… Whatever, y’know: healing through music… Hospitals will become the loudest (and grooviest) place in any city… And musicians will get more work… haha, yeah… well, it’s fun to ponder possibilities…

    “This man has been shot seventeen times!”
    “Just get the G screaming from any solo and follow up with some smooth reggae… He’ll be fiiiiine…”

    • Thanks Frederik – you’re right, they’re doing something right over at Vox, and have been for quite some time! That’s a nice vision for the future, I know I feel better when I’m pushing air through a righteous amp! Maybe one day . . .

  3. I love my VOX Heritage AC15H1TVL! The addition of an oiled mahogany cabinet makes it beautiful, although less portable. But, the hardwood cabinet makes the hand-wired all tube amp sing.

    Great review. Thanks for posting.

  4. kristobaldude says:

    Great post bro! I recently sold 2 amps, one was really similar it was the Vox AC30 Custom Classic. It was a great amp but It was too Zepplin-ish when I needed more Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix tones. But if you are looking to play mostly 50’s, Beatles, or Old-School blues/Motown, you can’t go wrong with a Vox Custom Classic Combo.

    -Kristobaldude

  5. ajarvis75 says:

    I vividly recall attempting to use a 40 watt Fender Hot Rod Deluxe as a home practice amp back in my more naive days….

    Presently, I find 15 watts to be more than sufficient in the form of my Super Champ XD. That Vox looks pretty sweet, though!

  6. mrubin454 says:

    Reblogged this on Six Strings & Beyond and commented:
    Another good review of an AC15!

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