AC30 Alternatives?



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AC30 Alternatives?

Postby BoatRich » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:42 am

Is there anything similar to the top boost channel of an AC30 with a bit more gain out there? I’m looking for something to run in stereo with a JCM 900 SLX, and was thinking an AC30 combo for the top boost channel. I was also considering a Blackstar Artisan 30? I mostly just want something bright and clangy and aggressive to pair with the mid range centered Marshall thing.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby Tristan » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:45 am

Jackson Ampworks has loads of gain, personally not a fan though.
Valvetech Hayseed maybe, of all AC30 clones this is the most real and truthful to the classic to my ears.
Even Matchless or Bad Cat can't top it if you're going for the true AC30 vibe, neither can Morgan or Vox nowadays themselves or new JMI for that matter.
I do love the old 4 input Matchless Phoenix though, great amp.
My favourites in this realm surely are the latest Valvetech Hayseed and the old 4 input Matchless Phoenix.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby popvulture » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:15 am

The Matchless Nighthawk is (I believe) the EF86 channel from the C30, might be worth a look. I have an HC30 though and would almost say the 12AX7 channel is the brighter/clangier of the two.

Out of curiosity, have you considered something more Fender-y? Sure the Vox style circuit will have the chime, but I always think of American tube-powered amps as having more of that sort of blunt force thwak to them. Clang for days. Certainly would counteract that Marshall midrange, too.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby BoatRich » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:43 am

popvulture wrote:The Matchless Nighthawk is (I believe) the EF86 channel from the C30, might be worth a look. I have an HC30 though and would almost say the 12AX7 channel is the brighter/clangier of the two.

Out of curiosity, have you considered something more Fender-y? Sure the Vox style circuit will have the chime, but I always think of American tube-powered amps as having more of that sort of blunt force thwak to them. Clang for days. Certainly would counteract that Marshall midrange, too.

I’ve owned a couple of twins and have a MusicMan RD100 as the other half of my rig rn. Maybe a Bassman would be cool? It’s imposdible to get edge of breakup with a twin
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby popvulture » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:09 pm

Definitely Bassman. Pro Reverb is also basically half a Twin, afaik. Good deals to be had on those, too, kinda slept on compared to other Fenders of that era.
neonblack wrote:They say tone is in the hooks

D.o.S. wrote:I'm pretty sure moderation leads to Mustang Sally.

coldbrightsunlight wrote:Yes I am a soppy pop person at heart I think with noises round the edge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JphJfwsUbT4
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby Dungus » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:20 pm

Vibrolux?
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby tremolo3 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:29 pm

popvulture wrote:Definitely Bassman. Pro Reverb is also basically half a Twin, afaik. Good deals to be had on those, too, kinda slept on compared to other Fenders of that era.


I've been waiting for the right one to come up on CL for years... nada, people sell those for >$1K

Maybe TX has better deals? :lol:
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby popvulture » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:15 pm

tremolo3 wrote:
popvulture wrote:Definitely Bassman. Pro Reverb is also basically half a Twin, afaik. Good deals to be had on those, too, kinda slept on compared to other Fenders of that era.


I've been waiting for the right one to come up on CL for years... nada, people sell those for >$1K

Maybe TX has better deals? :lol:

I mean, people seem to overcharge for literally everything these days, but I'd say just relatively speaking it's a lot better than what you'd pay for a blackface Twin or Deluxe. I think my days of finding awesome bargains are long gone, haha...
neonblack wrote:They say tone is in the hooks

D.o.S. wrote:I'm pretty sure moderation leads to Mustang Sally.

coldbrightsunlight wrote:Yes I am a soppy pop person at heart I think with noises round the edge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JphJfwsUbT4
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby odontophobia » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:22 pm

BoatRich wrote:Is there anything similar to the top boost channel of an AC30 with a bit more gain out there? I’m looking for something to run in stereo with a JCM 900 SLX, and was thinking an AC30 combo for the top boost channel. I was also considering a Blackstar Artisan 30? I mostly just want something bright and clangy and aggressive to pair with the mid range centered Marshall thing.


Midrange focused Marshall you say?

Why not hit it with the scooped mids! Fender and its ilk are your friends.

You mentioned HATING the fx loop on your SLX -- are you running everything out front now? Pedal dirt?

Based on all the recording you've done this year I feel like having something that can pull double duty as AWESOME CLEANS and Sick Distortion Channel I think you should look at Mesa shit. Lots of great Mesa amps to be had that can rip shit up and can be had at great prices.

Rectoverb, Tremoverb, F-50/F-100, Heartbreaker, Nomad, 50 Caliber+

Honestly I'd look hard at Rectoverb/Tremoverb -- a touch of amp reverb may be a nice touch for you.

Any of those would probably make a great pairing. Stay away from the Stiletto and the Electradyne. Cool amps, I'm sure, but they're supposed to be "Marshall" voiced.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby popvulture » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:58 pm

odontophobia wrote:
BoatRich wrote:Is there anything similar to the top boost channel of an AC30 with a bit more gain out there? I’m looking for something to run in stereo with a JCM 900 SLX, and was thinking an AC30 combo for the top boost channel. I was also considering a Blackstar Artisan 30? I mostly just want something bright and clangy and aggressive to pair with the mid range centered Marshall thing.


Midrange focused Marshall you say?

Why not hit it with the scooped mids! Fender and its ilk are your friends.

You mentioned HATING the fx loop on your SLX -- are you running everything out front now? Pedal dirt?

Based on all the recording you've done this year I feel like having something that can pull double duty as AWESOME CLEANS and Sick Distortion Channel I think you should look at Mesa shit. Lots of great Mesa amps to be had that can rip shit up and can be had at great prices.

Rectoverb, Tremoverb, F-50/F-100, Heartbreaker, Nomad, 50 Caliber+

Honestly I'd look hard at Rectoverb/Tremoverb -- a touch of amp reverb may be a nice touch for you.

Any of those would probably make a great pairing. Stay away from the Stiletto and the Electradyne. Cool amps, I'm sure, but they're supposed to be "Marshall" voiced.

Yeah the Mesa cleans really are pretty fantastic—I played a Mk5 35 recently and was blown away by how nice its clean channel sounded.
neonblack wrote:They say tone is in the hooks

D.o.S. wrote:I'm pretty sure moderation leads to Mustang Sally.

coldbrightsunlight wrote:Yes I am a soppy pop person at heart I think with noises round the edge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JphJfwsUbT4
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby dugwolf » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:28 pm

Speaking of Mesa, their TA-30 is supposed to be Vox-like. It also has a Fender Tweed style channel paired with it.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby BoatRich » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:05 pm

odontophobia wrote:
BoatRich wrote:Is there anything similar to the top boost channel of an AC30 with a bit more gain out there? I’m looking for something to run in stereo with a JCM 900 SLX, and was thinking an AC30 combo for the top boost channel. I was also considering a Blackstar Artisan 30? I mostly just want something bright and clangy and aggressive to pair with the mid range centered Marshall thing.


Midrange focused Marshall you say?

Why not hit it with the scooped mids! Fender and its ilk are your friends.

You mentioned HATING the fx loop on your SLX -- are you running everything out front now? Pedal dirt?

Based on all the recording you've done this year I feel like having something that can pull double duty as AWESOME CLEANS and Sick Distortion Channel I think you should look at Mesa shit. Lots of great Mesa amps to be had that can rip shit up and can be had at great prices.

Rectoverb, Tremoverb, F-50/F-100, Heartbreaker, Nomad, 50 Caliber+

Honestly I'd look hard at Rectoverb/Tremoverb -- a touch of amp reverb may be a nice touch for you.

Any of those would probably make a great pairing. Stay away from the Stiletto and the Electradyne. Cool amps, I'm sure, but they're supposed to be "Marshall" voiced.

I’m thinking about a Rectoverb for sure, I’d just have to sell the SLX to do that and I’m really digging it now that I have it dialed in. I figured the loop out, but it really just needed an EQ and something buffered in there to make up for the weird gain staging.

That said, I want to go back to running reverb out front because I love the way a slightly dirty amp shapes it and helps it cut through a dense mix. I’m not usually a huge fan of channel switching stuff purely out of laziness. Honestly I’m heavily considering a Bassman 50 or a Rectoverb/Tremoverb depending on what I find first.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby dubkitty » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:52 pm

Laney VC30 212. it's basically a AC30 with a Marshall tone stack. i have one, and it sounds great and will do the range from Vox to Marshall. get one with the Celestion greenbacks in.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby odontophobia » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:36 am

BoatRich wrote:
odontophobia wrote:
BoatRich wrote:Is there anything similar to the top boost channel of an AC30 with a bit more gain out there? I’m looking for something to run in stereo with a JCM 900 SLX, and was thinking an AC30 combo for the top boost channel. I was also considering a Blackstar Artisan 30? I mostly just want something bright and clangy and aggressive to pair with the mid range centered Marshall thing.


Midrange focused Marshall you say?

Why not hit it with the scooped mids! Fender and its ilk are your friends.

You mentioned HATING the fx loop on your SLX -- are you running everything out front now? Pedal dirt?

Based on all the recording you've done this year I feel like having something that can pull double duty as AWESOME CLEANS and Sick Distortion Channel I think you should look at Mesa shit. Lots of great Mesa amps to be had that can rip shit up and can be had at great prices.

Rectoverb, Tremoverb, F-50/F-100, Heartbreaker, Nomad, 50 Caliber+

Honestly I'd look hard at Rectoverb/Tremoverb -- a touch of amp reverb may be a nice touch for you.

Any of those would probably make a great pairing. Stay away from the Stiletto and the Electradyne. Cool amps, I'm sure, but they're supposed to be "Marshall" voiced.

I’m thinking about a Rectoverb for sure, I’d just have to sell the SLX to do that and I’m really digging it now that I have it dialed in. I figured the loop out, but it really just needed an EQ and something buffered in there to make up for the weird gain staging.

That said, I want to go back to running reverb out front because I love the way a slightly dirty amp shapes it and helps it cut through a dense mix. I’m not usually a huge fan of channel switching stuff purely out of laziness. Honestly I’m heavily considering a Bassman 50 or a Rectoverb/Tremoverb depending on what I find first.


It would definitely take some deal hunting but you might be able to snag a 50w Rectifier head for just a little more than you paid for the SLX, which is only just a bit more than the AC30. If you’re gonna run everything out front then tremoverb/receivers are not necessary.
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Re: AC30 Alternatives?

Postby WORMDIRT » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:44 pm

BoatRich wrote:Is there anything similar to the top boost channel of an AC30 with a bit more gain out there? I’m looking for something to run in stereo with a JCM 900 SLX, and was thinking an AC30 combo for the top boost channel. I was also considering a Blackstar Artisan 30? I mostly just want something bright and clangy and aggressive to pair with the mid range centered Marshall thing.

No reccs, but I can 100% confirm that an AC30 + jcm900 (dual reverb) was an awesome combo.
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