Vox AC30HWHD 30-watt Handwired Tube Head

30W/15W Amp Head with 2 Independent Preamp Circuits and a Half-power Switch
Vox AC30HWHD 30-watt Handwired Tube Head image 1
Vox AC30HWHD 30-watt Handwired Tube Head image 1
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Vox AC30HWHD 30-watt Handwired Tube Head
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A Classic Handwired Vox Amp

The 30-watt Vox AC30HWHD handwired guitar amplifier head transports you through the golden age of Vox tone. A retro oxblood grill cover and vintage fawn-colored vinyl give the AC30HWHD classic style. It's a traditional 2-channel design, with both a top boost channel that has a hot/cool switch and a normal channel that has a bright switch. At its heart, the AC30HWHD sports a painstakingly handwired turret board assembly containing three ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes, four EL84 power tubes, and a GZ34 rectifier tube - all of which are matched Ruby Tubes, which provide impeccable tone and extended dynamic range. The AC30HWHD's OP mode switch cuts the output power level in half, letting you get the classic tone you want at a lower level.

Vox AC30HWHD Guitar Amplifier Head Features at a Glance:
  • 30-watt power output
  • Handwired turret board construction
  • Birch-ply cabinet features solid bracing and a natural high-frequency diffuser
  • All-tube design including 3 x ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes, 4 x EL84 power tubes, and 1 x GZ34 rectifier tube
  • Fitted with matched Ruby Tubes for extended dynamic range
  • Traditional Vox 2-channel design
  • Top boost and normal
  • High and low inputs for each channel
  • Normal channel provides an additional bright switch
  • Top boost channel provides a hot/cool switch to achieve even more gain
  • Master volume/bypass switch completely bypasses the master volume section
  • OP mode switch cuts the output power level in half
  • Vintage fawn-colored vinyl, reminiscent of the 1960 classic AC30
  • 2 x 1/4" output jacks for extension cabinets
  • Included VFS1 footswitch controls the top boost channel's hot/cool switch
  • Premium, custom-fit dust cover and high-performance VOX custom speaker cable included
Get the sound of the Vox AC30 the way it was meant to be with a Vox AC30HWHD guitar amplifier head!

Additional Media

Guitar Amp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Type Tube
Number of Channels 2
Total Power 30W/15W
EQ 2-band
Preamp Tubes 3 x ECC83/12AX7
Power Tubes 4 x EL84, 1 x GX34 (Rectifier)
Inputs 4 x Instrument
Outputs 2 x TS
Footswitch I/O Yes
Height 10.24"
Width 27.76"
Depth 9.84"
Weight 41.5 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number AC30HWHD

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
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Best amp for cleans

The purpose of this review is a review of the amp plus a crucial trick! The amp comes with chinese ruby tubes and I tried with the stock tubes, the sound may change when replacing them which I will definitely do. This is the dream amp for clean guitar sound! Absolutely the last amp you would buy for clean guitars of any genre! I tried it against fender blackface, tweed, clean channel of all the amps I have (marshall 1987x, bogner twinjet uberschall, hughes&kettner tubemeister 36, vox ac4blue and orange cr100 head) it simply and with no further comment embeds them 100 miles under the earth! I don't want even to spend words for this comparison, it just proved me that the comparison was b....sh.....! However never mind the youtube videos regarding this amp for overdriven sounds! They are completely fake or intentionally modified! This amp can not do that british crunch sound without the help of a pedal or pedals! I had to use two overdrive pedals to simulate the sound on youtube videos and the final result is way far from a marshall 1987x. Buy this amp only but only if you are after the best clean sound. It kills every other amp available for human kind! Now the trick: Try to connect it to an attenuator and connect the line out of that attenuator to a studio monitor but not to a guitar speaker! I use koch loadbox, it has a line out and I connect it directly to tannoy reveal 502 which is a reliable studio monitor. What you get is the sound you have been hearing since your childhood from all those famous records. After trying this, I started to question the use of guitar speakers! They are only for crunch and overdrive but they kill the clean sound of any amp! Try and see yourself! I hope this helps you guys!
Music background: Sound engineer

A "real" Vox amp - Made for the Stage

I'm not going to compare the amp to other amps manufactures products like Marshall, Fender, or some boutique amp because that is simply a players taste in the voicing of the amp. Every amp is different and some will work better than others amps in certain types of music or even recording parts of song. So I will go into detail for someone looking for a Vox and the sound that only a Vox can produce. I will start of saying that this Vox amp is the best Vox amp product they have put out since JMI owned them in (1957 - 1968). It really is close in capturing the voicing of those amps built by JMI in the hay day of Vox amplification. The blue alnico speakers are a large part of the sound and I would highly recommend these speakers because they are very similar to the original bulldog speakers. Sure the vintage amps are the real deal in the sound, but this amp is much more versatile than the vintage amps. It is also is way more stage friendly than the vintage amps because of the master volume that does not kill it's tone. This is why this amp is a great stage amp and will keep the Vox tone. The amp is a 2 channel amp. I will explain how to set it up so keep reading. The way Vox set it up to be a 2 channel amp with it's foot switch really doesn't work. The foot switch only works on the gain channel and will switch the gain channel from "Hot" to "Cool." In the picture of the panel you will see a toggle switch with "Hot and "Cool." The problem is that there is a jump in volume when going from "Hot" and "Cool." It's quite a bit of volume spike between the 2 so it's hard to work with playing live. So what you need to do with this amp, (and what makes it great for the stage) is you will need to get an A/B channel switch. Run one channel to the Normal channel of the amp. Then run the other channel to Top Boost. You will switch between the amp channels. I use the Normal Channel to run more of my effects. I pretty much leave the Top Boost as a high gain for that Vox distortion. Also, if you are wondering what happens if you press BOTH A/B on the A/B channel switch. The amp does not blow up which was my main concern. I'm not sure if it is causing any damage or stress on anything internally amp, that I don't know. I really just did it because I knew eventually playing live I would hit BOTH rather than OR on the foot switch. I didn't get any cool blending of the 2 channels. The Top Boost channels over powers the tone. So I try to step on OR rather than BOTH. The amp really does a nice job capturing the vintage JMI Vox sound. I have recorded a lot of tracks with vintage Vox's in the studio. The problem is that the vintage amps were made before master volumes were common on guitar amps. You really have to turn them up around half way to get that killer distortion. So using these amps live on stage has always a volume problem. Specially in smaller stages and rooms. You loose tone turning the vintage amps down. So the master volume on this amp actually works well like a modern boutique amp. You don't loose tone at a good stage volume. This is another reason it's a great stage amp. There is a switch to lower the wattage. At 15 watts, from what I heard, it really doesn't do it. At 30 watts to me the amp just sounds better. I see some complaints about lack of EQ (Treble, Bass, Mid) for the amp. I find this kind of funny, because it's the whole reasoning behind the "Top Boost" feature in the 60's. There was never an EQ on the vintage amps. There was a Trem jack (tremolo), a Normal jack (had more bass), and then a Top Boost jack that gave more "brilliance." The Tone knob or the Tone Cut is really the key to any Vox amp ever made. This dials in how dark and how bright you need the amp. It just works perfect on these amps. To me, finally a Vox that can be used on a stage. The CC2 models before it never really dialed in right for me. They were to "touchy" when trying to dial them, the distortion to me wasn't the Vox distortion from the past. The Marshall era 6TB were made well, but the voicing was off because of the speakers, and were loud as heck on stage. This amp is a great rendition of the vintage Vox sound and can be used while performing live.
Music background: Rock n Rolla

Dream Amp

This amp just has good pure tone. If you play metal, look elsewhere. I got the matching cab with celestion blues. The speakers DO make a difference. I tried the head with a 4x12 cab with 75 watt celestions. It did not sound as good as the alnico blues. You can get a wide range of tones on the top boost channel by manipulating the volume/master volume. I could not find a bad tone. On the normal channel it also sounds great, but i prefer the top boost for EQ control. The foot switchable hot/cool mode acts like a boost for solos that works great. It adds a little treble and volume. You can drop it to 15 watts with a flick of a switch, but i prefer the full 30 watts sound. Big shout out to Delvin Wolfe for hooking me up here. I like dealing with Sweetwater.
Music background: Played in several bands

Vox Amp

This is a really nice sounding amp and is user friendly i am very happy.
Music background: Only playing just over two years

This amp is a secret weapon!

I am a professional studio owner and the proud owner of an amazing amp collection. This amp is the best value of any amp I have purchased hands down. The amp is quiet (No Noise) even when cranked and the tone is second to none. It delivers that classic Vox sound that has been imitated by many and some very well but if you want that classic sound everyone knows don't waste your money on any other amp. This amp could cost more than double its selling price! Best deal on any amp I know and an essential tool for any working studio. As a head configuration it works well with the studio setup we use and allows to experiment with many different speakers. Alnico's take you to the promised land and EV/JBL style high power style speakers really let the amps hand wired perfection and character shine. Rented a Matchless 1994 DC-30 Combo a client wanted for a session and we took it back after he tried the Vox ;)
Music background: Musician / Studio Owner / Engineer
See also: Amp Heads, Vox, Vox Guitar Amp Heads