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Peavey Classic 30 vs. Vox AC15VR?

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I am now looking to invest in a tube amplifier. I have narrowed it down to these two amps, which both seem to regularly fall into my budget range (250 - 400). I know some of you have experience of one, if not both, so any advice, recommendations or criticism is very welcome.

In terms of what I am looking for, I like to have control of my mids, so the Peavey edges it for me on that count, but I have used bigger Vox amps and fucking loved them (namely the AC60 stack and combo). I tend to use just a clean channel on the amp and let my pedals give me the distortion and crunch I am looking for, but that's only due to necessity because I currently play through a Marshall solid state, for all my sins. I'd like the amp to do the work for me to get the distorted and crunchy tones I want, with occasional use of reverb and delay to smooth the distorted tones out when necessary.

In terms of power, I know this isn't especially important with valve amps, and as it tends to be mid-to-large venues I play, the amp is always mic'd up, so these amps will deliver the power I need, plus some. But I do sometimes play smaller venues with no amplification mic'd, so I'd need to ensure the amplifier cuts through drums on these instances.

I also like an amp that will provide a pretty meaty gain on the clean channel. I think that, again, the Peavey might edge the battle on this count. But I also like to utilise a crisp clean tone, with plenty of clarity, which needs the right amp because I use a Fender Jaguar HH with two humbuckers. I've struggled to find the perfect clean tone with this guitar on my solid state, and I'm pretty certain one of these amps will give me what I'm after.

So yeah, thoughts or advice?

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It's kind of personal preference but I'd probably steer towards the AC15. Less wattage is an advantage in my view and if you've had good experience with AC60 before - you have some idea of what to expect.

I also like an amp that will provide a pretty meaty gain on the clean channel. I think that, again, the Peavey might edge the battle on this count.

Although the less wattage of the AC15 might be an advantage?

But I also like to utilise a crisp clean tone, with plenty of clarity

I'd say a Fender amp would you serve you well for that although perhaps not so much your other requirement. Both the amps you mentioned are on the darker sounding side of the tone spectrum. Some of the guys using AC30's etc. use treble boosters (Brian May), which now comes as a feature in some of the AC series. Some also use a lot of delays etc. (The Edge), which tend to brighten up the sound.

edit: didn't notice the Vox AC15, being referred to was the 'Valve Reactor', which has no EL84's - which is often thought to be part of the Vox sound. The sound demos sound good but a lot of my basis for recommendation that Vox AC15/30 is long established name/design and super-standard amp that you probably wouldn't go wrong with. It may also 'feel' quite different from the Vox amps you've tried before.

I was thinking of this.

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I'm far from an amp expert, but I've got a Classic 30 and I love it.

As you say, it's more than loud enough for gigging. I tend to use the clean channel, which you can get an amazing warm tone out of. If you crank up the volume it breaks up quite nicely into a kinda 'natural' distortion-y sound. I use the built-in reverb quite a bit too, it's quite subtle.

Funnily enough, I play your old Nashville Tele through it! Sounds great. It sounds totally huge with humbuckers - I've played Les Paul and an Ibanez Artcore through it and it's capable of being really punchy and loud.

Sorry this is in layman's terms, but for what it's worth I've got one and it suits me very well!

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It's kind of personal preference but I'd probably steer towards the AC15. Less wattage is an advantage in my view and if you've had good experience with AC60 before - you have some idea of what to expect.

Although the less wattage of the AC15 might be an advantage?

I'd say a Fender amp would you serve you well for that although perhaps not so much your other requirement. Both the amps you mentioned are on the darker sounding side of the tone spectrum. Some of the guys using AC30's etc. use treble boosters (Brian May), which now comes as a feature in some of the AC series. Some also use a lot of delays etc. (The Edge), which tend to brighten up the sound.

edit: didn't notice the Vox AC15, being referred to was the 'Valve Reactor', which has no EL84's - which is often thought to be part of the Vox sound. The sound demos sound good but a lot of my basis for recommendation that Vox AC15/30 is long established name/design and super-standard amp that you probably wouldn't go wrong with. It may also 'feel' quite different from the Vox amps you've tried before.

I was thinking of this.

Cheers for your input. I'd really fucking love a Fender amp, but they tend to go for amounts above my current budget range. I may still try and save for a little longer and go for a Fender if I can find one at the right price. I am constantly looking.

The EL84 tubes are featured in the Peavey amp, if I remember correctly. I do really like Vox amps, but the AC30 is the one I'd really like, but again, it tends to go for amounts out-with my budget.

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I'm far from an amp expert, but I've got a Classic 30 and I love it.

As you say, it's more than loud enough for gigging. I tend to use the clean channel, which you can get an amazing warm tone out of. If you crank up the volume it breaks up quite nicely into a kinda 'natural' distortion-y sound. I use the built-in reverb quite a bit too, it's quite subtle.

Funnily enough, I play your old Nashville Tele through it! Sounds great. It sounds totally huge with humbuckers - I've played Les Paul and an Ibanez Artcore through it and it's capable of being really punchy and loud.

Sorry this is in layman's terms, but for what it's worth I've got one and it suits me very well!

So you're getting on well with the Tele? I really miss that guitar. The action was so high that it played almost like an acoustic guitar, but still had a bit of grit about the tone. I suspect the action has been lowered since, though. That was just a set-up that I favoured at the time, as it suited my technique.

I have heard nothing but good reports about the Peavey and I really think it's the amp for me just now, but I'm very keen to hear more thoughts, and especially any negative remarks about the Peavey, as it seems to have very little criticisms.

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I think the Classic 30 is a massively underrated amp. I think the reliability and build quality of new Vox stuff is somewhat questionable.

There's a Japanese company that make AC15 clones that are amazing, as used by Deerhoof. I can't remember their bloody name though, which is, of course, nae use.

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There's a Japanese company that make AC15 clones that are amazing, as used by Deerhoof. I can't remember their bloody name though, which is, of course, nae use.
Feb 01' date=' Joe Naylor asked:

You played a great inspiring set at ATP in England in December. Your guitarist was playing a tiny little amp through a speaker cab... what is that?? Not because I'm a muso, but in the hope that it might be cheap enough for me to buy!

Joe from Bearsuit

Answer:

Thanks! John has been traveling with a ZT Amp. It's a tiny amp with a 6.5 inch speaker and can also be used as a 200 watt head. We both have been trying to find the smallest amps to use when we have to fly. I have an Orange Tiny Terror head which I think is great and I can throw that and a single 12" cab in a suitcase.

ZT Amplifiers - The Loudest Little Amps in the World

When we tour the US and don't have to worry about flights we both use custom amps our friend Dave made for us. Those are truly AMAZING!

Myspace

You may not be a gear nerd but I think I just showed myself to be one!

Ed

I have no idea how relevant that is.

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Looking at the Vox page, the AC 15VR is definitely not a pure valve amp, as it has a solid state power section, and only the preamp is a valve, which leaves the Peavey the only choice given what you want. Another Peavey in a slightly cheaper price range you may wanna check is the Windsor Studio combo, 20 watts, all valve, 249, haven't heard it, but it's meant to be good, at the price, and a good platform for upgrading, worth trying.

Have heard good things about the ZT amps, but they are 100% solidstate, if that's important. Ultra portable though.

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Peavey Windsor's are great amps. I borrowed the 50watt head version a few times. It was single channel, but it really kicked out a great tone that was very easy to tweek to get exactly what you want as each of the controls were incredibly responsive. Quite a night bright sound, and seemed to take FX pedals very well. It was absolutely hideous to look at though.

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I have no idea how relevant that is.

Hmm, they did at one point as I remember, perhaps not now. Those wee ZT amps seem really cool despite being SS.

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So you're getting on well with the Tele? I really miss that guitar. The action was so high that it played almost like an acoustic guitar, but still had a bit of grit about the tone. I suspect the action has been lowered since, though. That was just a set-up that I favoured at the time, as it suited my technique.

I have heard nothing but good reports about the Peavey and I really think it's the amp for me just now, but I'm very keen to hear more thoughts, and especially any negative remarks about the Peavey, as it seems to have very little criticisms.

Yeah, it's great thanks. Strangely enough I got it set up a wee while back to get the action a bit higher, sounds like it'd been lowered considerably by the time I got my paws on it. It's amazing the 'ring' you can get out of it through a clean channel. Yum. Although your new guitar isn't too shabby at all...

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I can recommend the Peavey.

This probably applies to all EL84 amps, but to get the best sound, let the EL84s work hard by keeping the master volume high and adjust the volume with an attenuator. Unfortunately this will mean you'll have to get an attenuator, which can be a bit pricey.

example: Dr. Z Brake Lite

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I think Alan Badge has a nice Fender for sale aeround that price range.

The Classic 30 is a good amp as well especially if you can sourse a matching ext cab.

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Thanks for the plug Bri but the Fender has been sold.

Id go for the Peavey, i owned the Classic 50 for years and it was great. Im sure like all stock valve amps it would benefit hugely from a good valve upgrade and speaker upgrade. Also in my limited experience a good valve amp always betters a solid state. ( can of worms surely opened!)

Probably mods out there as well to make it even better.

If i was looking for an amp and had the cash your looking to spend idol wild then id negotiate for the one on this forum.

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Thanks for the plug Bri but the Fender has been sold.

Id go for the Peavey, i owned the Classic 50 for years and it was great. Im sure like all stock valve amps it would benefit hugely from a good valve upgrade and speaker upgrade. Also in my limited experience a good valve amp always betters a solid state. ( can of worms surely opened!)

Probably mods out there as well to make it even better.

If i was looking for an amp and had the cash your looking to spend idol wild then id negotiate for the one on this forum.

no probs al. aye whistle tester also has one but it might be a bit more doh than the op is willing to go but it would be worth it i think

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If you're unsure what to get and don't have gigs lined up where you need to provide backline. Keep saving your money until you can get precisely what you want with trying it out first also involved.

Also, remember that amp companies (and peer pressure) are quite happy for us to buy bigger amps than we really need. With the rise of smaller touring systems in the professional circuit, due to airline luggage restrictions etc. some people have been really cutting their rigs down and proving that you can do this with a lot less, especially when using a PA system.

Something i've noticed some discussion about on other forums is the number of volts going across valves seems to determine quite a lot of what sort of sound you end up with.

Higher voltage = super crystal clear sound

Low Voltage = gritty and overdriven

Typically 6L6/6V6 have been used to provide super crystal clear tones (i.e Fender) whereas El34/EL84 are more often used for gritty overdrive and crunch (Marshall, Vox).

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