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.