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Rating and Reviews: Vox AC4C1 BL Guitar Amp

With all the legendary Top Boost sound of classic Vox amps, the 4-watt Vox AC4C-1 is a compact, cool blue amp that shines in the studio.

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"Vox AC4C1 BL" submitted October 24, 2013

By Scott L in Girard, IL
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Musical Background: Off and on for 30 yrs
Music Style: If it's played on a guitar I'll try to play it.
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Overall: I received the amp today. It took two days from placing the order to my living room. It came well boxed. Three boxes to be exact. When I plugged it in and started to play first with my Epiphone 60s tribute plus Les Paul with the classic 57s humbuckers. It sound pretty good but a little bit harsh. I knew it had to be Chinese tubes in there and there was. So I replaced the tubes. I have a JCA 20H so I had plenty of spares. That did the trick. Sounds just like a Vox. Lol :) I see no need to change the stock speaker it just sounds wounderful.
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"A Little Vox to Call Your Own" submitted August 6, 2012

By bigG B
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Musical Background: 48+ years playing; was pro, now hobby
Music Style: anything but rap/hip-hop
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Overall: As an intro: I am a Vox lover. Since I took up guitar in 1963 and gigged for the first time in 1964, in one of the many bands I would be in on thru 1983, I have preferred, and only used, Vox amps. From the Royal Guardsman to the Bristol, the Super Beatle to the AC15, unless we were using a backline supplied by someone else, I only used Vox. I was delighted to see Vox back on the map as I got back in to playing regularly in 2006. I no longer play out, and live in an apartment, so I'm relegated to 4 -5 watt tube amps, or higher watt amps w power attenuators. Of the seven amps I own, two are relevant to this review: the AC4C1-BL I recently purchased from Zzounds, and my Vox AC4TV. Compare and contrast, eh! Neither amp is better, but they are different. If you need more clean headroom and like to overdrive the power tube, at 1/4, 1, or 4 watts output, go with the AC4TV. The AC4C1-BL, on the other hand, has less clean headroom (although it gets to a respectable volumn - the interaction of the master volume and gain knobs really have ALOT to do with it), but it does have that gain knob, which overdrives the pre-amp, adding a version of that sweet Vox Top Boost, thus giving you a more realistic Vox AC15/AC30 tone. You really can't overdrive the power tube in the AC4C1-BL (well, you can, but you can't hear it or appreciate it) because to get up to higher volumes, you must turn up the gain knob, thus overdriving the preamp long before the power tubes begin to audibly saturate. (Also of note: the AC4TV's one tone control only muffles or brightens the high-mids and treble, whereas the AC4C1-BL has real bass and treble tone knobs.) So, I have both of them - running in stereo out of my Zzounds-purchased TC Electronic Nova Repeater Delay pedal - and, needless to say, I suppose, I am in Vox heaven (at apartment-living volume levels!). And, here's a very cool trick: if you are volume challenged, as I am, pick up a Boss ST-2 Power Stack pedal and put it in front of your little Vox (or whatever low-wattage amp[s] you have). You really can get Marshall stack overdriven sounds, in an apartment, with a little (or a couple of little) 4 watt Vox tube combo amps! Just set the pedal's level to match your clean amp volume, and kick it in when you wanna sound like Jimmie or Jimi or Pete...you know - stadium quality Marshall rippin' tones that won't get you evicted or have the neighbors calling the cops! You gotta try it, it's quite unbelievable. I've floored many of my musician friends with this set up! So, in the end, neither little Vox is truly a mini-AC15 - the AC4TV has more clean headroom and goes nicely into power-tube saturation at three different power settings, whilst the AC4C1-BL has separate tone controls, a version of pre-amp overdrive Top Boost, but less clean headroom. So, it's your choice...I couldn't choose so I have both, which, run together, closely approximate a mini-AC15. And, one more thing: if you go by Vox model numbers, the current AC15 is the AC15C1 - the amp under review here is the AC4C1 - so Vox counts the AC4C1 as the mini 4 watt version of the AC15C1. It's that Top Boost, I suppose. Hmmmmmm...
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"Loving this amp!" submitted November 25, 2013

By George P in Houston, TX
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Overall: I bought factory blemished stock to save money; I do not see any dings. The cabinet might not have passed QC; who knows. The amp is great for actual tube behavior at reasonable volume. You can not get the overdrive effect and be quiet though. The clean sounds are great throuh the bridge pickup; nice tube dynamics. Both tube gain and power stage saturation available. I bought this amp for overdrive goodness but am realy happy with the clean as well. I bought an overdrive pedal and love the gain plus od effect. I can not wait to try a 12 inch cabinet.
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"VOX AC4C1-BL" submitted September 13, 2012

By Robert N in Tucson, AZ
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Musical Background: One a pro now a hobbyist
Music Style: Everything but hip-hop
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Overall: This is a great little amp. I like that I am able to dial in sufficiently sweet cleans and even a little crunch at apartment levels.With single coils (Strats and teles) The sparkle and chime is there at lower volume. You can still crank it though. This will of course start the breakup but it is a smooth overdrive that is not harsh to my ears. With humbuckers(Les Pauls,V's and others) you can still get a very clean tone and then push the gain for some classic rock sounds. Put a reverb/delay in front and you will reach heaven,no problem. I am real happy with this amplifier.
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"Vox AC4C1 BL Blue Guitar Combo Amp,great little amp." submitted September 24, 2012

By Robert N in Tucson, AZ
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Musical Background: former pro,present hobbyist
Music Style: Rock,old rock,Blues Just about everything that suits my fancy.
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Overall: This little Vox is a pip. I live in an apartment. I also home record with several different freestanding and software based multi-tracked recorders. This little Vox amp is a joy to play. Its control scheme allows for a variety of tones with my variety of guitars. It also responds well to the various effect pedals that I like to use. It does however sound excellent on its own. With a Stratocaster it is heaven. Add to that strat a TC Electronics Hall of Fame Reverb and you attain the highest plateau of heaven. I also play a Tele and A les Paul and a variety of other guitars. So with all manner of single coils including 50 year old lipsticks as well as a great number of different humbuckers. Ceramic and Alnico magnets both in single and humbucker are equally great sounding. I have found as many others have that different guitars and amps respond to one another in a variety of ways. Sometimes good sometimes bad. I have, and I am quite pleased to have found pleasing and usable sounds with all my guitars through this amp. I own many amps. Most tube, some nearly sixty years old. From 100 watts all the way down to two watts. This 4 watt little gem of a tube amp is not just my newest toy boy an inspiring favorite.
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