While a Thomann Gearhead University (TGU) I had a wonderful chat with Phil Scarffe an engineer from VOX. Phil and I had a lot to talk about. First is the Vox AC10 which until I saw it about three days ago I never knew there was such a thing. – I may have been living underground, haha
The AC10 is a beautiful little beast that has been on the market for about two years now. It’s a simple amp, a stripped-down version of their AC15 without the normal channel and the tremolo circuit.
The AC10 is a very light amp with a 10” Celestion VX10 driver, sonically it has a bit of an Alnico high-end and quite a lot of mid-range. Having the 10” driver inside means the weight was reduced drastically. Vox engineered the Cabinet to make sure it had a resonant low end to fill a room or stage. – I said it on camera and I’ll write it in here “I will be getting one of these amps!”
The next thing I want to talk about is the MV50 both the AC and Boutique models, which are remarkable. They’re a Nutube powered preamp with a 50Watt, Class D, Power amp. So despite their small size, they’re punching well above their 1lb weight class.
The MV50 AC Retails for only $219 and it’s a very affordable and versatile piece of gear. What makes Phil so excited about the MV50s is their use of the NuTube Technology. Nutube technology is a huge breakthrough in tube technology, probably one of the biggest in decades. It was designed in collaboration with a Japanese company. A very clever man in the core corporation had a lightbulb moment and realized that he could repurpose VFD Display technology in to a very familiar format. – This is well above my pay grade.
To keep things simple, Nutube is a very low energy consumption, low power preamp tube. This means amp and circuit designers can use much lower supply and plate voltages for the tube. The power transformers are smaller, the capacitors are smaller and many other things, making it possible to make genuine preamp circuits with genuine tube-harmonic break up in a much smaller format.
The Latest and greatest Vox had to show off at TGU 2019 was their AC30 S1 otherwise known as the AC30 ONETWELVE. What’s special and unique about this model is similar to the AC10 I mentioned above. Vox wanted a very stripped back, simplified version of the AC sound.
My two favorite amp manufactures are Vox and Laney, Early Laney from Black Sabbath and Vox because of course Brian May and the Beatles.
Watch the full chat with Phil Scarffe from VOX here:
More info about them below:
The AC10 was one of the first amplifiers to bear the VOX name and has long been adored for his ability to achieve rich, articulate tube tone at very manageable volumes. For this reason, the AC10 has become a highly coveted piece of VOX history since it’s discontinuation in 1965. Now, nearly 50 years later, VOX is proud to introduce the AC10C1, a modern take on this classic design. More portable than the AC15 and more powerful than the AC4, the AC10C1 features the classic Top Boost tone circuit that provides an array of classic and modern tones. Now equipped with reverb and a master volume, the AC10C1 is the perfect companion for the home, studio or stage.
Designed with an emphasis on analog, VOX’s MV50 combines classic amplifier design with new and innovative production techniques to produce a miniature amplifier with truly monstrous sound. Boasting an incredible 50 watts of power, this one-pound package serves up serious guitar tone that’s reminiscent of your favorite old tube amps. With speaker & line/headphone outputs, the MV50 is perfect for the stage, at home, or in the studio for direct recording.
Single Channel. Single Speaker. Single Purpose.
The VOX AC30 has been an integral component of rock’n’roll since the 1960’s. Its peerless and unique sound continues to amaze and inspire players to this day. The AC30 OneTwelve (AC30S1) delivers the full-fledged experience of the classic AC30, but in a more stripped down and straightforward way. It’s single channel design is based on the revered Top Boost channel of the AC30, a sound that has been the source of some the most famous riffs in rock history. This unique, touch-sensitive circuit delivers a wide range of tones from chimey clean to rich overdrive. The AC30S1 also features a studio-quality digital reverb, an effects send/return for pairing with your favorite pedals, and an external speaker output for pairing with other speaker cabinets. This all-new AC30 represents the evolution of an iconic sound, pairing legendary VOX tones with a simple, modern approach to amplifier design.