If you are a fan of Vox AC30, you have probably celebrated the day when they’ve decided to start producing compact tube amps. One of the models that is capable of delivering that same Top boost tone we love so much, is Vox AC4 Classic Limited Edition. The latest iteration of this amp comes with some upgrades, which make it one of the best choices in the $500 price range. Let’s take a closer look and see what this thing has to offer.
The beauty of an old school tube amp is its inherent simplicity. Vox AC4 Classic Limited Edition follows this policy pretty well. When you look at the control cluster located at the very top of the amp, you will see a rather small number of knobs. Labels above them read gain, bass, treble, and volume. In other words, you get a two band EQ in addition to the standard volume and gain controls. The only other control is the power switch located to the right. Although somewhat limited, these controls are more than enough to dial in a killer vintage guitar tone. With that said, it would have been awesome to see a full, three-band EQ, but everything worked out pretty well in the end.
What makes this Vox model so awesome is the fact that it packs some 4 Watts of power that is delivered through a single 12 Inch speaker. Vox has decided to install two of the 12AX7 tubes in the preamp stage, while the power stage is being taken care of by a single EL84. The speaker we have mentioned is a Celestion VX12 that is custom voiced. That piece of information alone should tell you exactly what kind of performance you can expect to get. If you look at the back side of the amp, you will find a speaker output. The only real drawback here is the fact that it is a 16 Ohm output. Overall, Vox has kept things pretty conservative with the AC4 Classic Limited Edition.
No matter how far the technology has advanced, it is still hard to beat the tone of a true tube amp. Especially if that amp is made by Vox and belongs to their legendary AC line. What AC30 offered back in the day was revolutionary in many ways. Preserving that type of performance is something that Vox has been working hard to do. Vox AC4 Classic Limited Edition will bring you that legendary tone, in a somewhat attenuated package. While it is definitely not something you would want to use on a gig, having that custom voiced 12 Inch Celestion definitely helps reproduce a sweet vintagesound. This amp is your reasonably affordable ticket to the major leagues when it comes to tube tone.
At the end of the day, what AC4 Classic Limited Edition offers is a well-balanced tube experience with a flavor of their older, widely popular amps. It still remains in the category of practice amps, but AC4 definitely packs a decent amount of heat. If you are looking for a great amp that also offers a piece of rock history, AC4 Classic Limited Edition is the way to go.