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June 2017 Giveaway

Vox AC15HW1 15-watt 1x12" Handwired Tube Combo Reviews

5.0 stars based on 6 customer reviews
Questions about the Vox AC15HW1 15-watt 1x12" Handwired Tube Combo?

Questions about the Vox AC15HW1 15-watt 1x12" Handwired Tube Combo?

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  • from Wenatchee, WA April 5, 2017Music Background:
    Music Pastor, Teacher

    Absolutely Perfect.

    I bought this amp a few weeks back. It's unreal. I've played my strat and tele thru it a ton and I'm in awe. I shouldn't even need to explain how amazing and iconic the sound is, as that should be obvious with a handwired Vox. The features you get at this price point are what did it for me.

    I can plug into the normal channel with the master volume bypassed and it's just flat-out blissful simplicity. One knob. Boom.

    I can EASILY dial in bedroom-level top boost chime by switching it to 7.5 watt mode, plugging into the cool channel on the top boost section and dialing it in with the master volume.

    It's crazy versatile. And it's "the" sound that everyone else can only imitate. I haven't tried the other version with the alnico blue speakers, but at this point I'm not even remotely tempted to change a thing!

    Try it. Buy it. Ask for Ben Porter at Sweetwater. He's the best. Terrific. Yuuuuge. Believe me ;-)

  • from Denver March 25, 2016Music Background:
    Recording Artist, Worship Leader, Industry Professional

    Not just an AC15

    Have had my eyes on this amp for a while now. Finally pulled the trigger and I am glad I did. I have owned some boutique amps that don't have the same build quality as this. Don't worry about it being built overseas, they are great at what they do. Tolex is clean and well done, no visible seams. The attention to detail on the construction is great. I am personally a fan of StudioSlips covers, nothing else quite compares and neither does this cover. It will protect from dust and that's about it. Not expecting a great cover just some honest feedback there.

    Moving on to the sound, this amp really sings. My title is honest, this amp will do the Vox AC thing like you expect, but it has some tricks up it's sleeve. Starting with the Normal Channel; this channel is my personal favorite. It's dark by nature like it's supposed to be but Vox was smart enough to do a bright switch on here. It may be to bright for a Strat, but get some dirt in front of it and this channel really takes off. It will help you to cut in a dense mix without being too overly bright.

    Move over the Top Boost channel and some real old school Vox magic starts to happen. The EQ on this channel is dynamic by nature so it may take some finesse to get what you are looking for. The EQ is however great at getting something different out of the amp. The sweet spot is between 10-2 o'clock on either knob. The Top Boost channel also has more gain than the Normal channel which is nice. Flip the Hot Switch and it will disengage the tone controls and give you some agressive gain. This is what makes this amp more than a typical Vox. Love this feature for goofing at home. The Master volume really makes the possible.

    Overall the AC15HW is what you expect it to be. A big sounding ac15 that sounds nearly as big as a 2x12 AC30. Immaculate build quality and one great looking amp. If you have been searching for this sound and going boutique without quite getting what you expected, give this amp a serious look, you wont be disappointed!

  • from Columbus, OH September 18, 2014Music Background:
    semi-pro musician, always a music student

    Why Imitate?

    Modeling amps all seem to have the 'British 15 watt' in some form or other. The Vox AC15 is what they're referring to. Why emulate it with you can play the real deal? Why get boutique with you can have the original? Get a handwired one and it's forever fixable/rebuildable. There are handwired Fender amps from the '50's still doing it on stage and studio today. I repair and restore those amps, and custom-build tube amps, and I can honestly say the Vox handwired amps are the best bang for the buck on the planet. Oh yeah - from smooth to overdriven, it sounds killer...the reason WHY they're emulated all over the place.

  • from Los Angeles March 29, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Recording Engineer, Guitarist, Pro Musician

    A New Classic

    This amp is something special. As a producer and guitarist with a variety of vintage Fender, Marshall, Vox amps, it's hard for me to be impressed by a new amp.

    An artist I was working with brought his AC15HW1 into the studio and I recorded him for a couple of days. From clean to crunch to highly overdriven this amp consistently sounded great.

    A couple of days later I listened back to the tracks. I was still so knocked out by the quality and the variety of sounds that I called my friends at Sweetwater and ordered one. I have continued to be satisfied and inspired using this amp. I couldn't be happier with it.

  • from Baltimore, MD July 1, 2011Music Background:
    Amateur musician


    My quest for tone is over!! There's so many amazing tones on this amp, it's hard to pick one, two, or three! Match it up with an ABY pedal to switch from Normal to Top Boost, or to mix the two. From SRV, to Queen, to Soundgarden in a couple of clicks. Give it a shot, and you won't be disappointed!
    Sweetwater was amazing - Nate brought the amp to my attention, was awesome to deal with, and I had the amp in two days shipped to my door. Doesn't get any easier...

  • from MD, USA September 17, 2016Music Background:
    20 years of playing guitar

    The best Voxes produced in many, many years

    A note on my perspective as a reviewer: I use this amp to play and record rock, ambient, indie and jazz.

    Looks: 5/5 -- The amp looks as good in person as it does in the pictures. WOW.

    Construction: 4.5/5 -- Big, solid cabinet. Quality hardware and chassis. A Celestion Greenback. Hand-wired! I think this thing will outlast me, with proper maintenance. Minus 0.5 stars because there actually *is* a PCB inside that, from what I can tell, controls the footswitch.

    Features/versatility: 4/5 -- Every jack, knob and switch on this amp is quite usable IMO. It's not the most feature-packed amp, but every feature that was added seems like a great choice. Everything you need, nothing you don't. Use the normal channel for a big, full clean or overdriven sound. Switch to the top boost channel for a tad more mid-focus on the cleans, and a tighter, more focused overdrive. The half power switch lowers the volume a bit. The hot switch kicks the gain up a few notches and still sounds balanced. I love that the master is bypassable! Two speaker out jacks: one to defeat the internal and one to run in stereo. Nice touch! Minus 1 point because I do miss having an effects loop for reverb and delay.

    Sound: 4/5 -- To me the amp sounds great, but honestly, I kind of wish I had sprung for the ac15hw1x version with an AlNiCo Blue; if I had, I might give it a 5/5 here. The cleans aren't quite as chimey as I was hoping. But the Greenback shines for rocking, overdriven sounds, so there's that. If I'm playing clean I prefer the normal channel, with the bright switch on, and the master bypassed. It has a very sweet, round and full sound. No tone controls needed. For overdrive I switch to the top boost channel and kick the master back into the circuit. Adjust gain and volume to taste. It's easy to get a great sound out of this thing.

    Value 4/5 -- There aren't many handwired 15 watt combo amps around this price point. It's not cheap, but it's built to last a lifetime.

    Overall 4/5 -- I think the post-2010 handwired Voxes are the best thing the company has put out in at least a decade. The amps have a classic soul and classic sound. They also have enough features to be useful and versatile, without anything gimmicky. They struck a great balance with these amps and I think it shows in their popularity.

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