Recently we acquired a new Vox AC15C2 Twin Custom. This is a 15 watt amp, loaded with 2 Celestion Greenback speakers. The amp features a normal channel, and a top boost much like the old ’60s Vox amps. Included are reverb and tremolo to add some different sounds to the mix. As well, this is a master volume amp, allowing you to push the pre-amp tubes at lower volume.
My first impressions of the amp was that I was able to get a nice tone, clean or dirty, and at a reasonable volume for either. So flexibility is a great feature of this amp. Another first impression was just how heavy this amp is. I’ve already had the opportunity to gig with it, and it is a bit of a pain. But I suppose you got to expect that with a 2X12 combo.
What initially attracted me to the Vox AC15 Twin Custom was the Celestion Greenbacks. The result is close to the classic Vox chime, but when overdriven, it is more of a smooth Marshall roar reminiscent of a Marshall Plexi. Just the kind of overdrive I love. The benefit of the two speakers is a nice fat and full sound. One thing I hate (personally) is when my tone is thin in the solo sections. Doesn’t happen with this amp as you can dial in very thick sound.
As the speakers broke in, I still found myself not totally in love with the tone I was getting (I’m very picky!). There was still a bit of ear piercing highs, and muddy lows. When I took a look inside the amp, I saw that they were just using cheap Chinese-made tubes. I decided to put a NOS Mullard 12AX7 made in 1966 in V1 of the pre-amp section. Once I did, the difference was huge. Much more warmth, less ear-piercing, and more musical sounding. Definitely was starting to feel some of that vintage Vox tone. Can’t wait to change put some NOS tubes in the other pre-amp slots and some NOS power tubes.
The Reverb is actually pretty good on this amp, though I would have liked if there was more than one control for it to really be able to shape it to taste. That being said, it is a large reverb tank (found in the AC30) since there’s room in the twin cab. So you can get a whole lot of verb and cop some nice surf tones.
The Tremolo is a nice little addition. With controls for speed and depth, you can dial it how you like. I like to turn the speed up and dial just a hint of the actual effect to add an extra bit of sparkle to chords. Would love to try it with a Rickenbacker!
All in all, for $799, this amp is a good deal and I am quite happy with it. It has a good sound, with touch sensitivity, and is extremely flexible to accommodate a wide variety of tones. I definitely recommend it.
View the Vox AC15c2 on Amazon.