Serendipity or Tonal Destiny...You decide.
The story goes, in 1962 Beatles manager Brian Epstein struck a deal with JMI Corporation's (the original manufacturer of Vox amps) Thomas W. Jennings. Epstein sold him and amplifier designer, Dick Denny on the idea that the Beatles would be a major show business success and that if the company gave the band amplifiers for free, Vox would receive enormous publicity. In addition, Epstein promised the Beatles would use Vox equipment exclusively as long as he was their manager. Dick Denny liked the idea, but Jennings did not. In spite of Jennings' objections however, Denny authorized the "gifts". As it tuned out of course, Epstein was right, very right.
John Lennon and George Harrison had no idea that pairing their respective guitars, Lennon's Rickenbacker 325 and Harrison's Gretsch Country Gentleman (among others) with the Vox AC15 and subsequently AC30 would produce the totally unique sound that is the early Beatles. They were happy to scrap the junk they were used to playing with for new, more powerful equipment. And since it didn't cost anything, more the better.
But what happened was serendipitous at least or destiny at best for the sound of those particular guitars through the Vox amps is now the stuff of legend.
Though the circuitry has been modernized, the tone remains the same or as close to it as is humanly and technologically possible. Don't let the fact that they're made in China scare you off either. Anyone can assemble the thing, it's the parts that count (I'm paraphrasing of course).
To put it bluntly, the thing is a beast, I mean loud, but in the best of all ways. I play a Ric 350v63 through it and yes, it comes across precisely the way it should, ringing, jangly, chiming, whatever adjective you want to apply a la Beatles. But I also play a Strat and Gibson SG through the thing and again, the AC30C2X does not disappoint in any way. It is solid too, well constructed. Weighs a ton, so I put it on a furniture dolly, problem solved.
Is it an amp for your living room? No. It's an amp for maybe your basement or your garage if you need, but it's a stage amp for sure. It isn't necessary to detail the tonal controls, needless to say it's like all really good amps, there are enough control goodies for you to play with to get "that" sound you want which is perfectly subjective as we all know.
If you're like me, looking for the old Beatles sound, you'll be more than pleasantly rewarded for the money you'll shell out for this thing. I have a Fender Deluxe Reverb as well and it compares nicely with the AC30C2X with the exception that the blue alnico speakers in the AC30C2X are unbelievable, just something about them that words can't describe, only your ears can.
I gave the Vox AC30C2X a 5 not because of the "Wow! Blown Away" thing because I wasn't wowed or blown away. It's better than that, I'm totally satisfied, no buyer's remorse, no, "D**n, I shouldn't have spent all that money, nothing like that. How often in your life do you spend a grand and say, "I'm really glad I spent that money"? You will with this amp.
Is the Vox AC30C2X the perfect amplifier? No, there's no such thing. But if you're looking for big sound with a unique voice, one that cannot be duplicated by any other amp even those claiming to have several models built in, this is it.
Play on my brothers.