Jump to content
Noodler

Help deciding on amp ~ AC30

Recommended Posts

Helloooo. Official cork-sniffer here. Went for the Hughes and Kettner Statesman. Took less than a minute to fall in love. The thing sounds so warm, and what's more it's kind. It flattered my playing, unlike the too-punchy HotRod. It's closer to the C30, but smoother and kinder. Then again, it does cost nearly 50% more.

I'm so stoked. :yeahhh: Was just out of budget, so I have to pay the rest off, but the anticipation is good anticipation, not worry. And I won't want to mod it. It might not even need pedals! That's how sweet this thing is. Definitely worthy of "tube tone." There was a Vox AC15 right next to it, but I didn't bother trying it. I was smitten instantly.

It's 20W and got a great tone without blowing my head off. When you played hard, it amplified the right bits, ie more forgiving. So may just get an extension cab if necessary later on. It just felt like me. Fit like a glove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Noodler

I guess I'm a bit biased since I have one myself, but I highly recommend the VOX AC30 amp. If you're into classic rock, blues, etc you can't go wrong with this baby.

I'm not really one for amps with loads of built-in effects either. I figure on just plugging in whatever effects pedals I need or want for whatever given sound or tone I'm looking for.

I also find the AC30 great for home use (although you have to be careful of volume levels) and great also if you're intending to use it for a gig.

Anyway if it's good enough for Edge and Brian May, it's more than good enough for me.

But having said all that, it all comes down to what particular sound etc that tickles your ears. So basically it's perhaps essential to do a bit of practical research and take it from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too late now! I bought the H & K.

The only thing I didn't test is how high the gain will go. So the Peavey does Van Halen, but the H & K might need help to get that much. It'll do a sound like "Love is only a Feeling" by the Darkness, which is as rocky as I need. On the gain channel it "felt" like a small stack and reminded me of concerts, without being too punchy.

The AC30 was just too BIG. In terms of volume. Great amp though, I'm in no way knocking it. Maybe if I win the lottery! The one I bought is less than half the price of AC30CC2X, and even cheaper than the AC30CC1 (1x12" Vox speaker). But it's German made.

I wanted an amp that I could gig with if/when I get the chance again, but that I could use now too. I don't think you could get a bad sound out of the H & K even if you tried! Honestly, I would take it tonight, no effects, having used it once and do a pub-rock show. No problem, and I haven't done that in a long time. I've never used it before but it was instantly comfortable as if I'd used it forever. It's so intuitive it leaves you to just worry about playing, so you can think about chords and notes, rather than "If I hit that note too hard, or don't fret that chord exactly right, it's going to ruin everything!" That's how the others made me feel.

I've still got a Vox Pathfinder R which I absolutely love. Vox is still cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your purchase Noodler. As long as your happy with it, that's all that counts. Well done!

Edit: Sorry Noodler, I didnt' read you're post prior to my original post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey man, that's cool. If I had the money I'd own a variety of quality amps. In fact, if I had more money I might have gone for a 65 Deluxe Reverb RI, AC30 or a JCM 800. I went for the best I could afford,and it's pretty good. I've cranked it at home (nice bit of shredding for the neighbours!). It would be better if you could take them all home for a week and return the ones you didn't like. I'm curious how the C30 that fly was suggesting would have gone if I'd had more time with it outside of a music store. I know an AC30 would have been great for me, just too loud and expensive.

I wonder if music shops are the same everywhere, ie making snide comments about customers? I forget everything I know how to play once I hit a shop. Usually as a customer leaves the staff will make some comment about how stupid they were, that they sounded bad, etc, so I can only expect the same for me, huh?

Basically I am chuffed, but tired after reading millions of reviews, sample clips, trying them out in store, etc. It's a classy-looking amp. I'll post a photo of us together later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noodler, I think you made a good choice and will be happy with that H&K. When do we get to hear a few riffs? Got a mic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats, Noodler. As I referred to in the other thread, we all have "that tone we hear in our head" when we think of what we want our amp to sound like - and "that tone" is probably different for each and every one of us. If the H&K captures "that tone" for you, then it's the one!

Don't worry what other people might say, and don't worry about what comments the staff in the shop might have made about your playing after you left - they've probably heard all levels of players, and your money spends the exact same as a top-level professional musician who walks into their store.

Enjoy that new amp when you get it - and post some pics and sound clips for us! :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats Noodler...

Yeah...clips...clips!!!

I always get excited when someone gets a new amp :)

Cant wait to hear it... great choice on the H&K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7107.attach

I've never posted a photo before, but if this works it's my boy Will (aka Spiderman), me and my first axe. The guy at the shop told me it's a "Lawsuit" strat copy, which explains why it sounds so good. I'll never part with it. It's got SD HotRails in the bridge from when I played in a band years ago and they made me get a humbucker!

I'll just post this and see if the photo worked...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent! And you can click on it to enlarge which is good. I've kept photos of stratrat's partsocaster like that. Love that blue.

Anyway, vids...I've only got a digital camera. I might do up a vid and post in youtube (I'll post the link when done). It was frustrating that there were so few samples of this amp online. We've only got a digital stills camera with a movie mode, but it should be OK. I can't work the tape 8mm digicam we got given by a friend.

What I will do soon is start recording. I've saved that email we all got about Tekker and how to record. I use Windows Sound Recorder (in Accessories), which records OK, but in wav, so very big files. I've downloaded Audacity but haven't bothered with it yet.

It seems the thing to do is get an account with a server that stores them? I think it's called Soundclick? I'll do that soon.

Any requests for riffs/ licks (seriously)?

BTW, fly, the Peavey did have "that tone" in it, and it was a good suggestion. I'm curious about what would have happened had I bought it. Actually I'd love to give it another go!!!:winkthumb: It just seemed to take more EQing to get it, and people were doing mods which tells me they didn't like it stock. The H & K is not dissimilar to it. Maybe a bit less gain and Wattage...and the tubes may be a bit microphonic, but it's softer-sounding/ more mellow. More like a non-guitarist would not be offended by. You know, people like my wife who say, "That sounds nice."

Don't worry what other people might say, and don't worry about what comments the staff in the shop might have made about your playing after you left
Actually this was only after the first shop, trying the HoTrod and C30. When I tried the H & K, on Sat in a different shop, I sounded like me and I liked what I sounded like. They can take or leave that, I don't care, I've been playing long enough to like the way I sound. But when I play basic stuff and it sounds horrible, like Thursday night, then I'm embarrassed. :tomato:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice guitar! (cute kid too) :yes:

Soundclick works great for storing clips - but you can also upload them directly here as long as they're not "covers" (copyrighted music).

I think you'll find Audacity very easy to use. Be careful - once you start recording, it leads to a whole new round of GAS with recording equipment! :isaynothing:

Nice-looking amp - can't wait to hear it! Requests for licks/riffs - heck, play whatever you like best!

....Actually this was only after the first shop, trying the HoTrod and C30. When I tried the H & K, on Sat in a different shop, I sounded like me and I liked what I sounded like. They can take or leave that, I don't care, I've been playing long enough to like the way I sound. But when I play basic stuff and it sounds horrible, like Thursday night, then I'm embarrassed.

I'm completely with ya - I'm no great shakes as a player in the first place....but it seems like my mind blanks out and my hands suddenly go numb when I go into a shop and start trying to demo guitars or amps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha! I dialed in the exact clean tone of the HRD on my 15W Vox solid-state practice amp! I'm determined not to let that thing get the better of me, man. There's a hire place for amps, and I might hire one for a day. I don't like feeling like that amp beat me.

Or next time I buy a pedal I'm going to try one out again.

I'm completely with ya - I'm no great shakes as a player in the first place....but it seems like my mind blanks out and my hands suddenly go numb when I go into a shop and start trying to demo guitars or amps!
Yeah, like "Red light syndrome" in recording. Maybe we can call it, "Red-light-special-discount Syndrome" for when it happens in shops. :)

Why is it that as soon as I see a red light, it seems like a good idea to try things I've never played before?

BTW, did they really have to have the HRD up to ear bleeding volume to hear the tone? You can get sweet feedback on the H & K at 2, with the gain up and master vol down.

I think you'll find Audacity very easy to use. Be careful - once you start recording, it leads to a whole new round of GAS with recording equipment!

Oh no! Although I think a Shure FM(?) 57 doesn't seem too expensive...

I will post some clips in a couple of months, but I've got to do some playing! I've hardly practiced in weeks, because I was researching amps so hard. Recording is something I'll get into a bit later on as it's own hobby. I don't know where to start with that. I've got to practice Hideaway (Clapton version) before my next lesson. This new teacher is muich more serious and he remembers what we did last lesson, which is great.

Gotta say though, the amp does sound exactly like on the website. It's worth a look, honestly. On the website, go to H & K movies on the right hand side and watch the video called Statesman Discovered by Geoff Whitehorn. Otherwise this link goes straight to it.

Guitar amps by Hughes & Kettner - Hughes-News

Enjoy! :claping:

PS What do you think of it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds great in the video Noodler. Now can you make it sound like that?:yes:

Don't make us wait months. Surely you could whip out a few licks sooner than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Statesman sounds great in that video on the H&K site. Looks like you got yourself a nice amp there!

...Oh no! Although I think a Shure FM(?) 57 doesn't seem too expensive...

Right around a hundred bucks for an SM-57.....but if you can stop there, you've got a lot more restraint than I do! :yes:

I will post some clips in a couple of months, but I've got to do some playing!

That's pretty much where I'm at right now too. I decided to spend more time "woodshedding" and less time fiddling around trying to record for a while. I have all the gear needed to make decent recordings, but I need to pay attention to my playing so I can do something worth recording!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds great in the video Noodler. Now can you make it sound like that?:yes:

Yes. It's very easy to get those tones out of it. It's a very simple amp. Just plug in and play. He had the EQ all straight up. Just press a button for twang (bright?). Press boost and gain up and master down low and you can drive your tubes without making your ears bleed. On this amp the boost button gives saturation without increasing volume. I think power amp saturation depends on gain and boost button but not vol. Seriously, this thing gives feedback as warm and pretty as a log fire with Vol on 2!

The blues he plays on the LP and Strat when he switches to the drive channel is exactly my style. May as well be me playing those bits, although he does also that fast tasty country stuff that I'm just beginning to learn (it's a 5 year plan). Also, the gig he does at the end of the video with it played a couple of the exact same songs we used to do. This leads me to believe the amp is pitched at people exactly like me. People who like blues, country, and rock but only as far as 80's, not heavy metal, who want to do small pub gigs.

That I identified with that video was probably a selling point for me.

Will record when I can. Thinking on an RP150 for that purpose (and the drum machine you mentioned). Can you go amp line out to computer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can go line out, but I think the new RP series allow you to set the USB as your record input. So you get a clean digital recording. You should check for that before deciding which model. Almost positive that the RP350/250 have USB record. However, none of your amp will be in that recording. If you want to record your amp, then you need a mic or a DI box like the Behringer Ultra-G. The Ultra G can go in the FX loop to get the sound before the power amp, or between the speaker and the amp output.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think even the RP 150 has USB recording. But thanks, yeah, I'll check before I buy if I go down that route. Still undecided (reverb stomp box, RP, ME 50, etc).

As for ease of sounds with the H & K. It has a twang switch. You press it, and it twangs. How simple is that!? Unlike Line 6 videos which are completely deceptive, that one is true to life. It's hard to get a bad sound out of it! Whereas the C30 and the HRD left me feeling like it'd take time to learn how to use them, this thing makes me feel confident.

The brights don't blow your head off. It's got a roundness to the sound which is endearing.

When I tried the C30, did they really have to have it extremely loud to sound good, like they told me? If you breathed on the strings you could have heard it. Loud and painfully punchy in the small room in which I tried it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That twang switch sounds like the bright switch on my Laney. That's what I was saying about the clean channel that I like on my Hafler preamp. It gives that twang setting on my C30. I could probably program the Magicstomp to do the same. Note to self... do it.

Since I most of my tone from my pedalboard, I don't really have to turn up the C30 to get the sounds I like. But it does sound good when I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fly, did you have to buy some foam thingy from ebay to stop your tubes rattling in your C30? Sorry if I've asked before, it's late.

I think I've got a bit of microphony/ resonance happening, when I crank the H & K, but it could be the house shaking! :yes:

BTW, that Jimi Hendrix pedal you mentioned sounds like it'd be excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think of your neighbours, fly. What right do you have to deprive them of awesome loud guitar playing? I mean it's free entertainment. :)

Actually when I was researching a lot of owners of C30's were having to buy some rubber thing from ebay to hold the tubes to stop them from rattling, or upgrading the tubes and or changing the speaker to a Celestion Vintage 30, and also putting in a tube guard. Have you modded yours at all? If I see one second hand for cheap I might still buy one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought mine used for $275. It looks like new and I've only plugged it in and played. I guess I need to take a look at what's inside. Not sure if anything has been changed. I also picked up a footswitch on eBay for about $20.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently some models of C30 don't have a tube guard. The tubes just sit out in plain view unprotected (and in plain view obviously). I'm guessing because they run hot. The C50 comes with a fan built in.

On the H&K everything is pretty enclosed. I can't even see the reverb tank for instance. Mine was disply stock (got a hefty discount), so the tubes may be a bit worn in mine. But I've read that a lot of amps with EL84's have valve microphony/ resonance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...But I've read that a lot of amps with EL84's have valve microphony/ resonance.

I've heard people voice that complaint about combo amps. The tubes hang downward, right above the speaker, which makes them prone to being rattled by speaker vibrations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That could be a good excuse to save for a separate speaker box. :yes:

When I was researching it, most people were saying it about the C30, but the fix was really easy. Just physically stop them rattling. Their vacuum tubes, so it can't really be microphony but rattling as you say. And yeah, you'd think they'd think of that when designing them.

The manual for my amp says that when it happens the tubes are on the way out though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×