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MF MD HG Labor Day Inclusion 8-22-14

Vox VOX HERITAGE AC15HTVH 15W HEAD  

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    Vox

    Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Vox guitar amps, this hand-wired amplifier boasts a magical combination of vintage looks and tone.

    Make no mistake, the AC15HTVH is no dizzy blonde. Inside that pretty head is a hand-wired masterpiece of tone that can transport you through the golden age of Vox tone. It combines the prized EF86 preamp channel of 1958 with the legendary 1963 Top Boost channel in one masterfully designed amplifier. With its modern tone-shaping control enhancements, you've got one of the finest Vox amplifiers in the company's 50-year history.

    The EF86
    The magical Vox tone. But what is it that makes EF86 based Vox amplifiers some of the most collectible in the world? Maybe it's the way the amp naturally overdrives, almost breathing with a life of its own. Perhaps it's the transparency of tone that flatters a premium quality guitar, or the way it dynamically responds to the subtlety of your picking. Or maybe it's the raw power of the creamy distortion as you crank the amp all the way up. Whatever it is, there is an undeniable magic about this period of Vox amplification--an age when the most simple of circuits produced some of the most complex and musical of tones. Now in short supply, the EF86 Pentode tube is at the heart of this elusive tone. Fifty years later, the magic returns.

    The AC15H Head
    A detailed look. The 15-watt AC15 hand-wired head features two channels of unmistakable Vox tone. The valve complement is made up of 1 x EF86, 3 x ECC83/12AX7, 2 x EL84, and 1 x EZ81 (rectifier).

    Channel 1 is the EF86 Preamp channel, and features two inputs wired in the traditional way providing a 6dB gain difference between them. A two-position Bass Shift switch is included, with position 1 voiced to the original vintage-correct bass response and position 2 voiced to tighten the bass response and reduce any muddiness during high volume use. The three-position Brilliance Switch provides flat response when in the off position. Position 1 is a new position voiced like the early AC30 "Treble" amps, while position 2 is the original brilliance circuit, which acts as a dramatic bass cut. The EF86 Mode switch re-configures the EF86 valve from Pentode mode to Triode mode. Triode mode will give a lower gain tone with higher headroom. Pentode mode is the famed original mode and has a very sweet high gain tone with less headroom.

    Channel 2 is the Top Boost Preamp channel. Like Channel 1, this channel includes two inputs wired with a 6dB gain difference between them. The Treble and Bass controls are from the 1963 Top Boost circuit and are extremely interactive. Very minor adjustments of these controls can yield dramatic changes in tone color. And true to Vox form is the Top Cut control, which cuts high from either channel end as it's turned up.

    Flexible power
    The O/P Switch adds even more flexibility to the AC15. This switch changes the power output valves from Pentode Mode, which is the normal operating mode of the power amplifier, to Triode Mode that halves the power output to 7.5 watts and at the same time offering smoother tonal characteristics.

    The finishing touches
    Great care and research went into the cosmetics for this special amplifier that perfectly blends authentic vintage styling with contemporary attributes. These touches include vintage "TV Front" cabinetry, pre-1960 logo placement, and vintage-inspired cream vinyl covering.

    Features
    • 15W hand-wired head
    • 2 channels: 1958 EF86 channel and 1963 Top Boost channel
    • 1 EF86 preamp tube (EF86 channel)
    • 3 ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes (Top Boost channel)
    • 2 EL84 power tubes
    • 1 EZ81 tube rectifier
    • Historic EQ controls with modern enhancements
    • 2-position bass shift switch
    • 3-position brilliance
    • switch

    If you're a Vox player or collector, this amp belongs in your arsenal. Put it in the cart.

     

    VOX HERITAGE AC15HTVH 15W HEAD Specifications:

    • Dimensions:
    • Height: 22.5cm
    • Width: 53 cm
    • Depth: 26.5 cm
    • Weight: 31.52 lbs. (14.3 kg)
    Customer Reviews
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    Review Snapshot®

    by PowerReviews
     
    4.6

    (based on 11 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (10)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    NO WAY TO GO WRONG, KILLER TONE!!!

    This amp was made in 2007 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of VOX guitar amplifiers. Limited edition of Heritage Collection of hand-wired amplifiers. This amp transports you through the golden age of VOX vintage...Read complete review

    This amp was made in 2007 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of VOX guitar amplifiers. Limited edition of Heritage Collection of hand-wired amplifiers. This amp transports you through the golden age of VOX vintage tone. All tube. The fact that is handwired really makes a difference in tone. Lots of options in a vintage package. Two channels but no master volume as this is totally vintage. You can choose to play through the EF86 classic Vox preamp channel design of the 50's or the Channel 2 which is the Top Boost preamp channel. Both channels have two inputs wired for 6dB gain difference between them. In addition, it has a switch were you can select 15 watts or 7.5 watts of output. Both channels have bass and treble controls. Another cool feature is the option of Pentode and Triode modes in channel 1. It re-configures the EF86 valve to provide less or more headroom. The triode mode will give a lower gain tone with higher headroom, meaning that you can increase volume on the channel to a level were pentode mode will be already distorting. If you love the classic Vox tone of the 50's and 60's you'll love this amp. No reverb or vibrato though. It breaks up heavenly well to that grit sparkly Vox sound. It is a very loud 15 watts amp! so it will perfectly deliver in a band rehearsal and small venues. To get the best out of the tone of this head you will want to use a cab with celestion blue alnico speakers (not the greenback)!

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    School of Hard Vox

    I was so excited about this amp, simplicity with features at its best, and I was not disappointed. It sounded fantastic - that beautiful mid-rangy jangly Vox sound. Sounded great with my...Read complete review

    I was so excited about this amp, simplicity with features at its best, and I was not disappointed. It sounded fantastic - that beautiful mid-rangy jangly Vox sound. Sounded great with my pedals. However, there was some kind of short regardless of which of the four inputs I used. So I sent it back and got another. The second offering would power-up, tubes glowing, but no sound at all. At least all this happened at home and not at a gig.

    Reviewed by 11 customers

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    NO WAY TO GO WRONG, KILLER TONE!!!

    By blue_alnico

    from Toronto, CAN

    Pros

    • Premium Vox Tone

    Cons

    • Not Much Clean Headroom

    Best Uses

    • For All Styles Not Metal

    This amp was made in 2007 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of VOX guitar amplifiers. Limited edition of Heritage Collection of hand-wired amplifiers. This amp transports you through the golden age of VOX vintage tone. All tube. The fact that is handwired really makes a difference in tone. Lots of options in a vintage package. Two channels but no master volume as this is totally vintage. You can choose to play through the EF86 classic Vox preamp channel design of the 50's or the Channel 2 which is the Top Boost preamp channel. Both channels have two inputs wired for 6dB gain difference between them. In addition, it has a switch were you can select 15 watts or 7.5 watts of output. Both channels have bass and treble controls. Another cool feature is the option of Pentode and Triode modes in channel 1. It re-configures the EF86 valve to provide less or more headroom. The triode mode will give a lower gain tone with higher headroom, meaning that you can increase volume on the channel to a level were pentode mode will be already distorting. If you love the classic Vox tone of the 50's and 60's you'll love this amp. No reverb or vibrato though. It breaks up heavenly well to that grit sparkly Vox sound. It is a very loud 15 watts amp! so it will perfectly deliver in a band rehearsal and small venues. To get the best out of the tone of this head you will want to use a cab with celestion blue alnico speakers (not the greenback)!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Finally, the perfect amp

    By Voxlover

    from Upstate, NY

    I have been playing for nearly 40 years. Years ago, it was easy to acquire an amp with the ideal sound. Versatility with that 60's British sound as well as cranking it up with the US 70's sound. But like so many, I sold those wonderful amps for trinkets. Since then, I've gone the way of Mesa (disappointing)and expensive boutique amps(a waste of money mostly). Newer & reissue Fender amps? Not there either. A friend mentioned Vox amp and after much study, I purchased the AC15HTVH although a bit expensive. My initial response was WOW, now that's the long lost sound that I have been looking for so many years. Quiet, powerful enough, very well built and real tone options not that fake garbage boutique amps give you. This one is a no-nonsense studio quality pro amp. This one is a keeper! If it got stolen, I would order another one before I did anything else! Try it you'll love it!

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    This is one killer amp period.

    By Rock n Roll Cole

    from Niagara Falls, Canada

    I have been putting this AC15HTVH thru it's paces and let me tell you, It's an absolute tone monster and by far the loudest 15 watts I've ever heard and very easily gigable. It can overcome the heaviest drummer, but for the studio it's a dream. The Top Boost channel can deliver that pure amazing Vox sound dripping with all kinds of different tones, just by varying the EQ or Cut knobs. The EF86 channel is a mind blower, holy sh#t, It has an absolute killer overdrive at half volume and up and with my 1958 VOS Les Paul a simple roll back on the guitar volume and your in dream clean tone, that to my ears equals or betters a Fenders. I understand why Vox couldn't keep the Reverb and Tremolo circuits in this package by having the 1958 EF86 circuit and the 1963 Top Boost circuit together in this vintage box, but a couple good pedals can solve that. With all that said though the amps size is bigger than I imagined, and just looks great. The fit and finish is perfect and upon opening her up I found the inside amazing. The transformers are way better than I ever thought, no need to ever upgrade them. A great aluminum chassis, everything is hand soldered and hand wired (though it still uses modern boards). The stock tube selection was interesting as it had an EF86 pre-amp tube with a rubber boot on it to tight to remove, so I'm unsure of the brand. The Top Boost channels first pre-amp tube was a Tung-Sol (which I highly recommend next to an NOS tube like a JAN-Phillips, etc.) The second pre-amp tube and the phase inverter tube were both Sovteks which I immediatly changed to Tung-Sols. I might change them all to NOS tubes but the Tung-Sols really do sound great for now. The 2 EL84 power amp tubes are both Electro-Harmonix and I will change them to a better tube make or an NOS brand. Finally the rectifier tube is a JJ's which I shall keep for now as well. The baltic birch box's build is top notch as well as the tolex job etc. Looks killer, sounds even better, and really I am hugely impressed and more than happy to get one, especially at this price. 3 years ago when they came out you couldn't get one for under a grand.Lastly the half power switch is a really useful and functional tool for the studio and/or practice especially on the Top Boost channel. It really takes down the headroom and volume but doesn't mess with the tone or gain. The EF86 channel being such a raw and simple old design doesn't really lose much volume but it does take down the headroom on half power.Altogether I am more than shocked at how great of an amp this AC15 is and again brutally loud. For comparison I own and used my Marshall Plexi (50 watt), a Marshall JCM2000 DSL100, an Ampeg VL502, a Crate Stealth GT50 and a St. Louis Music VFX5212 combo, all of which are all tube amps and I imagine will not get used very often now that I have this killer Vox AC15HTVH.Do yourself a favour and jump on one of these heads (or the combos with the Celestion Blue speaker in them) before there gone. If your going to do big gigs then maybe the 30 watt version but for me this 15 watter is all I could ever need. Did I mention how loud they are? They were made in 2007 for Vox's 50th anniversary and were their top line of amps for that year and haven't and/or won't be made again. When their gone their gone.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Great recording amp!!

    By Vintage Vox owner

    from Los Angeles

    I bought this head and cabinet for recording purposes. I have lots of vintage amps, including a 1964 AC30 Top Boost, and some boutique amps too. I read a review on this amp in Guitar Player. My favorite boutique amp builder didn't want to build a Vox style amp with an EF86 channel so I tried this just to check it out. From the minute I pulled it out of the box I loved it, so does every engineer and producer that's heard it. I did swap the Russian EF86 with a NOS Amperex and put in a NOS set of GE EL84 power tubes but the stock tubes actually sounded almost as good. Not a lot of clean headroom here, although if you try the lower inputs it cleans up a lot, but all the classic Vox sounds are here. Wish it had tremelo but that's just me. If it were lost or stolen I'd go out and find another one tomorrow morning. My famous amp builder buddy took a look at its insides and gave it a thumbs up. I hardly use my '64 AC30 anymore, this thing is so great. Its probably not loud enough for a live gig but they do make its big brother, the Heritage AC30, which I haven't tried. For studio work I absolutely love this little amp and highly recommend it. Boutique quality at half the price. Have never had one problem with it in 2 years.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Sick

    One of the most exquisite sounding amps ive ever used. I expected the usuall "boutique" build quality, and its there. I also expected the usuall "boutique" high build quality, but idiosyncratic and limited sound - and got incredible versatility and range. This amp can provide circa 1960 Tal Farlow - like brilliance and definition (expected that) or Peter Green - Like Honk and growl (expected that) but crank it up through the EF86 channel and you get raunchy Billy Gibbons Marshall-esque, crank it up through the top boost channel and get the super smooth Brian May - fried AC30 sound, and roll off some of the top end with the cut knob, boost it with a good transparent OD pedal, = Jimmy Pages' SLP/Orange stage rig. I was not expecting that. True,Its not going to give you the black metal drone but Every other magnificent rock n roll era is in this little gem. The build is genius, and incorporates the best aspects of handwired circuitry with a few of the most effective and useful features of PCB construction (point to point turret wiring of critical components with some solder trace inter-board connections: having no rats nest of wires cuts down on noise. best of both worlds). You have to admit the thing is drop dead good looking. If i could only ever have one amp it would have to be this one. Any smack talk is absurd nonsense.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Best amp for the money!

    By thepriks

    from Detroit

    I was able to play this next to some very overpriced supposed "Boutique" amps. This one for my personal taste, just sounded better. I run the head through a cab loaded with two blues, and it sounds great. The best ever for me. I have ran the heck out of this thing for almost a year and it sounds even better. Never had one problem. Bought a NOS ef-86 tube. Everything else is perfect. I Run this thing hard. I have gigged with it. It always performed perfectly.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Yeah right

    By Solerso67

    from baltimore

    I have found this amp to be, probably the best value in the "vintage" category of currently available tube amps. It has the best features of two early AC15 models ,it is point to point wired and it looks gorgeous (unless you only do black). Quality control at VOX in my experience, is tight. I find the electronic products made in Vietnam to be higher quality than those made in China generally, and VOX amps DEFINATELY. If your VOX amps are breaking down (especially the expensive, handwired, flagship models) one after the other, i would say you need to find a new music store.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    One of a kind amp

    This amp is truly one of a kind in terms of what's available today. I can't overstate how much I enjoy all the options on the EF86 channel. I wasn't sure how practicle some of the voicing options were on the EF86 channel but they all have thier place depending on the sound and pickup configuration you're looking for. Either channel takes my Fulltone OCD very well (much to my surprise). A very good amp and pedal combo. The more familiar Top Boost channel offers the very interactive bass and treble tone controls that's unique to this circuit. And remember that you can blend the channels with a jumper or use an AB/Y switch like I do. If something happened to this amp I would have to replace it quickly!

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Back to Basics 101

    By Tommy Rebel

    from Austin, TX

    I have an expensive hand made amp. The Vox is 1/3 the cost, and has a lot of personality. It has a really fat sound. I would suggest to any one that loves a good & solid rock sound to purchase one of these. This amp allows your guitar to reveal itself in all its glory. It is hard to find a pristine clean sound, but that is OK with me.

    Comment on this review

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    School of Hard Vox

    By CapitalSuspect

    from Austin, Texas

    I was so excited about this amp, simplicity with features at its best, and I was not disappointed. It sounded fantastic - that beautiful mid-rangy jangly Vox sound. Sounded great with my pedals. However, there was some kind of short regardless of which of the four inputs I used. So I sent it back and got another. The second offering would power-up, tubes glowing, but no sound at all. At least all this happened at home and not at a gig.

    Comment on this review

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