Vox is a brand whose tube amplifiers have shaped the way we see rock music. Their AC30 is by far one of the best tube amps ever made. Following that legacy, Vox has released AC15C2 combo. This amp packs a bit less power than the model it was inspired by, however it offers that same quality tone. If you are looking for a vintage sound with some pedigree for under $1000, AC15C2 is among the best models you can get at the moment.
When it comes to controls, Vox was never a brand that made it too difficult to dial in a good tone. Their controls are usually divided into clusters, which is also the case with the AC15C2. The first group of knobs is labeled master and includes master volume as well as tone cut knobs. Next is your tremolo section with depth and speed controls, which are followed by a reverb section with its level knob. Next up is the top boost cluster that includes bass, treble and volume knobs. Finally, we have the normal or clean channel volume controls. Vox AC15C2 comes with two inputs, one for top boost and one for the normal channel. On the back side, there is an impedance select switch.
Vox AC15C2 is not a regular AC15 combo. That C2 designation means two things. First that it is a custom version of the AC15, and secondly that you get two speakers instead of one. That’s right, this combo comes packed with two 12 Inch Celestion G12M Greenbacks. One more thing you can figure out from its name is the amount of power it offers. The 15-watt output is delivered to the speakers via the three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp stage and two EL84 tubes in the power stage. AC15C2 brings that very same bulletproof circuitry Vox has been using for a long time. The only difference comes in form of some upgrades that make it even better.
The whole deal with Vox AC series has to do with their impressive cleans and a rather organic overdrive. Back in the day when rock was just starting to hit the mainstream, there was rarely an amp that could produce anything similar to what AC30 could. Ever since then, Vox tube amps have gained a very powerful reputation. AC15C2 offers that exact tone that is only made better thanks to the presence of an additional 12 Inch Celestion. On top of that already known tone profile, Vox has included a very natural sounding reverb as well as a tremolo effect. Sure, you have to wonder how far can 15 Watts really take you. However, the amount of volume you get with this combo is more than appropriate. You can easily use it for gigging, especially considering the fact it allows for cab extensions.
If you are having a hard time finding a vintage AC30, this AC15C2 we have talked about today will be the next best thing. It offers that same vintage tube sound only a proper Vox can, all while costing only a fraction of the price of an original AC30. The power output might be a limiting factor with this amp, but it is more than good enough for a variety of applications.