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Author Topic: VOX AC4TV Amp?  (Read 3809 times)
Mikeymac
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« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2012, 03:18:43 PM »





I used to have a lefty Heritage 535 that looked exactly like yours - only difference was covered humbuckers...nice looking guitar!
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Tio Kimo
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« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2012, 03:25:28 PM »

used to? did it come up short in some regard? I really enjoy this guitar, although I've only played it out of guilt in the last month. The RS-2 is getting all the love.

Since this photo was taken, I stripped this guitar of virtually everything but the frets, and did a cosmetically retro, technically modern upgrade to all components.

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honorable mentions: Heritage 535, Bourgeois/Washburn D55 "Cherokee"
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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »

Huh, I am actually playing through that very amp right now.
 I also have the combo unit (same amp, just in a cab with an 10 inch speaker.)
 both are quite fun, however, I am told the UHT super 6 is much better....
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« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2012, 10:20:14 PM »

If you DO get it, swap out the tubes immediately.
 replace the 12AX7 with a 12AT7, and just get a better quality EL34.

 the AT7 will give you a bit more headroom, (which a 4 watt amp can always use).
 the Chinese tubes are just crap.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2012, 11:27:11 PM »

used to? did it come up short in some regard?

The guitar was beautiful and well made (but not up to Larrivee's quality standards). It had a couple dead spots on the neck on the B and G strings ... on G and Ab notes. And it could have used a pickup swap (mine had Schallers, I believe), so I decided not to get into all that - sold it, but don't remember what I used the money for - it's been at least 7-8 years ago. But I would certainly consider a Heritage again if the right (lefty!) one came along and I had the $$.
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Strings4Him
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« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2012, 12:11:34 AM »

Headsup where do you get these tubes and is it an easy switch?
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« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2012, 01:55:48 AM »

Headsup where do you get these tubes and is it an easy switch?

 any amp tech will have them.
just unscrew the back panel of the amp, there's two screws on the top as well.
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Thrakazog
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« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2012, 07:03:37 AM »

Howdy,

My AC4TVH and matching cab came in, so I thought I would give my initial thoughts after messing with it some. I've read some of the differing opinions on the amp and reviews, and will address a few points.

1. Is it the best sounding amp ever made ? - No

2. Is it built like a tank, appearing to easily last 100 years ? - No

3. Can I plug my RS-2 into it, pluck the strings, and get a sound from it that puts a smile on my face ? - YES

I knew what I was getting into when I ordered it. An inexpensive tube amp with decent sound that I could enjoy playing with until I can afford something better. And so far, so good.

I went straight for dialing in the sweet spot where it's just barely clean, but a little extra string pluck pushes it over into distortion. The reviews were right. That is where this amp lives, and where the sound is "In the zone".
Unfortunately, I spent so much time at that setting, that I haven't given the pure clean and pure overdrive settings a good try yet. I will say that my brief foray into the heavier overdrive, I think the majority of reviews are right......it would appear to get a bit muddy. However, I think a tube upgrade will help that quite a bit. As far as clean headroom, I suppose that will depend on how you plan to use the amp, and where. For the volume I wanted to play it at, I wasn't able to hit the clean, just about to distort, setting I wanted until I dialed down to the 1/4 watt setting. So, at least for me, I think those extra 3 and 3/4 watts will give me the headroom I need for my situation. Again, this is just my initial findings. I just got the amp, and have lots of playing around to do with it yet. bigrin

I do intend to upgrade the tubes, and then the speaker and cabinet later. I think it's going to turn out to be a nice initial investment, amp wise, and should be fun. I will be updating the results as I upgrade.
I'll also try to get some sound samples if I can get a hold of some decent recording gear.

Strings4Him - Here is site with some info and pics on upgrading both the tubes and speaker of the AC4TV - AC4TV mods

Also, this site has a lot of great info and reviews on different tubes - thetubestore.com

Edit - I found a How-to on changing the tubes in the AC4TVH head. It might give you some extra insight on the tube switch - AC4TVH tube change
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Strings4Him
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« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2012, 11:56:33 AM »

Thrakazog thanks for the review and info.  Happy playing!!
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SMixon
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« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 01:39:49 PM »

Tubes are very, very easy to change.  Easier than changing a light bulb.(In most cases) I know some like modeling solid state amps, but what I'm hearing you say is that you want all tube and if that's what you want continue on that path.  I'm a die hard all tube person.(Just personal preference)  If you buy the vox, plug it in an play until you get some newer tubes.  Also check out the Fender Pro. Jr. These can be found on Ebay for a decent price for 15 watts.
I've owned one, and used it for practice and even mic'd with great results live.
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Tio Kimo
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« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 02:29:22 PM »

yep, swapped in NOS tubes in two of my three tube amps Friday night. Took mere minutes. Nothing could be simpler, unless a compact design limits access, but still, the act of removing and installing tubes is simple.
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It is never too late to be what you might have been. - Eliot

2004 LV-03/Fishman Ellipse
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honorable mentions: Heritage 535, Bourgeois/Washburn D55 "Cherokee"
Thrakazog
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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2012, 03:11:35 AM »

Well, I ordered some tube replacements today. I'll be trying out a Tung-Sol 12AX7 and a Mullard EL84.

I guess we'll see how they sound when they come in.  whistling
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Thrakazog
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« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2012, 07:08:30 AM »

My new tubes finally came in. That was a Tung-Sol 12AX7 for the pre stage, and a Mullard EL84 for the power stage.

I opened up the AC4TVHead to make the switch. The EL84 it came with was actually a Sovtek, made in Russia. But, the 12AX7 was a Chinese made branded Ruby.

I pulled both of them out, and placed the new ones in. After everything was together again, I powered up the amp to let the tubes warm up.

So far, I'm very happy with the results. The new tubes reduced the muddiness that the stock tubes had, and also really smoothed things out.

I like the tone much better, as well. It sounds good enough, that I think the only way I could improve (tube wise) would be to put a $60 Northern Electric 12AX7 in there. Don't think I'll have to, though.

Looks like the next thing to upgrade will be the speaker. I'll report back when I get that upgrade started  bigrin

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Strings4Him
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« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2012, 11:50:48 AM »

Cool.  Thanks for the update.  I did get this amp and love its sound.  I am good with the tubes at this point.  It's good to know that swapping them out is pretty easy.

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bacchus
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« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2012, 04:24:16 PM »

Awesome!  I have been pretty curious about the AC4 series myself.  I have a 15W Vox style amp and I love it to death, wouldn't trade for anything, but man that thing is LOUD.  Not that I need any more gear though...  What kind of speaker are you looking at?
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Thrakazog
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« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2012, 07:09:06 AM »

Strings4Him - Yeah....if you feel comfortable, say, switching out a video card in a computer......then the tubes should be a breeze. Unscrew, carefully pull out the unit, pull back the retention clips, gently work out old tubes, gently work in new tubes, pull retention clips back on, place unit back in, replace screws. Just relax and take your time, if you ever want to try some different tubes. I do agree, the stock tubes sound pretty decent.

bacchus - I got the separate head and cab version, so I'll be getting a 12" speaker. It will most likely be the Celestion Blue. It costs about as much as the AC4 did, but that's fine. The whole plan was to get a decent amp I could play on and enjoy right away, and then upgrade as budget allowed. So far, so good. I know some will say the AC4TVH cabinet is particle board, sucks for sound, etc.......and anyone who wants to donate a nice hardwood cabinet to me, feel free    For now, getting a nice speaker will do. Then, down the road, I can get a better cabinet and move the Blue over to it.

If anyone has any questions about the AC4TV, or about the tube change, please ask. I'll do my best to answer them.
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2012, 09:35:31 PM »

Is there not some bias setting that needs to happen when changing out tubes?  I don't pretend to know much about it, but I've read about changing bias settings for different tubes to optimize their output and also prolong their useful life.  Can anyone elaborate on this?

Cheers, Kurt
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Thrakazog
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« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2012, 09:37:27 AM »

Hey L07 Shooting Star,

The page I'm linking explains tube bias fairly well. The same site also has info on the bias type of a lot of different amps.

Different Types of Amp Bias
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2012, 02:52:25 PM »

The page I'm linking explains tube bias fairly well. The same site also has info on the bias type of a lot of different amps.

Different Types of Amp Bias
+1  One of my favorite Internet sites!!!
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2012, 06:12:55 PM »

Hey L07 Shooting Star,

The page I'm linking explains tube bias fairly well. The same site also has info on the bias type of a lot of different amps.

Different Types of Amp Bias

Thanks for the link, Thrakazog.  Very helpful.
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
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