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Microphone Month

Amp of the Day: Vox AC15 Custom Tube Combo — Limited Edition Red

In 1958, recently formed Jennings Musical Industries launched the Vox AC15 guitar amplifier and history was made. With the addition of the now-iconic Top Boost circuit in the early ’60s, the guitar-tone landscape was indelibly altered and Vox’s fame cemented in the minds and ears of all guitarists. The Vox AC15 Custom Tube Combo carries the torch forward with a blend of vintage and new features in the Vox tradition.

This latest version of the AC15 features 15 watts, a Normal channel and a Top Boost channel, reverb, tremolo, and a Celestion V-type speaker. Three 12AX7 preamp tubes and two EL84 power tubes generate the AC15’s tone. The Normal channel has all of Vox’s sonic signatures: clean chime with a throaty midrange at lower volume levels and complex crunch at higher volumes. Plug into the Top Boost channel and there is simply more of everything including immediately increased gain and volume, plus a noticeably scooped midrange. The volume levels from this amp defy its 15-watt rating. The Top Boost channel also gives you separate treble and bass controls. This amp has a master volume control and a master Tone Cut. The Tone Cut is wired at the output section of the amp, between the preamp and power amp sections, cutting high frequencies as it is turned up without affecting gain structure.

Sonically, the Celestion V-Type speaker maximizes all of the attributes of the AC15 Custom. This 70-watt-rated speaker has a slightly accentuated upper-midrange and treble but still retains the punchy lower mids necessary for higher gain settings, thereby achieving balance all across its tonal spectrum.

The British Garnett Red tolex covering and Tygon grille give this limited-edition amp a unique look that still has the classic Vox vibe. (It’s also available in Limited Edition with an Alnico Blue Speaker, and as the Standard Edition.) The rear panel of the AC15 Custom has output jacks for an external speaker and an extension speaker, plus a jack to connect the optional VFS2A footswitch for switching the reverb and tremolo off and on.

Chimey clean tones, crunchy break-up and singing full-on distortion, the Vox AC15 Custom Tube Combo offers the best of the British Invasion and beyond!

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