NAMM 2007: VOX Announce Classic Plus & Heritage Collection Series Amps
Introducing the new Classic Plus range of all-tube amplifiers from VOX. This EL34-powered line-up marries the classic VOX tone and chime of rock and roll legend with a versatile high-gain channel that goes beyond anything in VOX’s 50 year history and into all-new VOX sonic territory. With available 50- and 100-Watt heads plus the new AC50CP2 50-Watt combo, the Classic Plus range delivers amps that do it all – from the ‘50s to tomorrow. Sound big? You bet. What do 50 years of classic VOX sonic history sound like? Play one.
Two channels, endless possibilities
The Classic Plus is a channel-switching valve pre- and power-amp guitar amplifier that can produce many flavours of tone, from pristine clean to impressive high-gains, and all points between. The two channels have a variety of wide-ranging controls to help you create the sound textures that you desire.
Channel 1 covers classic VOX AC30 tones, from sparkling clean to raunchy overdrive. The EQ on this channel is of the interactive passive format that is historic to VOX Top Boost amplifiers and boasts the addition of the famous Tone Cut control, which musically rolls off high end as it is turned up.
Channel 2 picks up where Channel 1 leaves off, delivering everything from modern blues and classic rock tones all the way to high gain classic metal sounds and fluid lead tones. While Channel 2’s EQ controls are also of the interactive passive format, they are centered on different frequencies to enhance the higher gain capabilities of Channel 2. The Channel 2 Bright Switch brings in an extra capacitor (switch down) across the Gain control to boost the high-mid and upper frequencies and is particularly effective on lower gain settings. The Bright Switch is great for giving extra bite and clarity to muddy sounding humbuckers. The Fat Switch adds extra gain, and focuses the mid range of the guitar and amp, which helps produce a “singing” tone when playing lead lines.
The Presence Control circuit is another unique feature to the AC range. It combines the traditional active power amp feedback circuit with a passive circuit within Channel 2’s preamp. This not only focuses the Presence boost, but, if you turn the control down, it will also introduce a high frequency cut filter that can be used to de-fuzz the preamp distortion, making it less aggressive and sweeter. Since the channels of the Classic Plus are totally independent, you do not need to compromise to achieve your desired tonal palette. It’s almost like being able to mix and match two completely different amplifiers!
Total, tonal control
The Classic Plus range is packed with features and controls that meld the best of VOX’s history with modern conveniences. The Classic Plus features a long spring, high-quality Spring Reverb with individual, foot-switchable level control for each channel, plus series FX looping with selectable level control and bypass switching. The Bypass slide switch will either engage the loop (switch ON) or disconnect the effects loop circuitry from the rest of the amplifier (switch OFF). With the Loop switch in the OFF position, the Send jack socket is still operational and can therefore be used to send the signal to another device such as a tuner or slave amplifier. The Loop Level switch allows the loop to used at two different signal levels (approximately +4dBV (high) and -10dBV (low)). This will enable a wide range of devices to be connected to the amplifier. Channel switching and on/off reverb control is managed with the supplied VF002 dual footswitch.
The Classic Plus range features extensive direct recording and line out capabilities from both balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4" outputs with rotary level control and ground lift switching. To enable great sounding connection into PA or recording equipment, the DI also features a speaker emulating Low Pass Filter (LPF) network. This can be switched into or out of circuit as required. Another great plus of the DI circuit is that it is post the power amplifier’s phase inverter valve, and before the Output Master Volume control. No matter how loud or quiet your stage level is, you have totally independent control of the DI output level. You can even turn the Master Volume totally off and use the DI output for “silent” recording for those midnight sessions.
The Classic Plus range is comprised of the 50-Watt AC50CPH head (4 x 12AX7/ECC83, 2 x EL34B), the 100-Watt AC100CPH head (4 x 12AX7/ECC83, 4 x EL34B), and the 50-Watt AC50CP2 combo (4 x 12AX7/ECC83, 2 x EL34B). The AC50CP2 comes loaded with two VOX original design 12" speakers voiced for maximum performance with the Classic Plus. Pair either of the heads with VOX’s V412BN cabinet, and you’ve got an unbeatable tone machine. No matter how you play, there’s a Classic Plus for you. And with their combination of unmatched tone, flexibility and ultra-cool looks, the Classic Plus range is at home on any size stage. Plug in and hear them roar!
Look no Further. Your search for the Holy Grail of VOX tone ends here. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of VOX guitar amplifiers, we are pleased to introduce the first of a new Heritage Collection of hand-wired amplifiers– the AC15H1TV. Rather than just a typical reissue where a vintage amp is dusted off and copied, this amplifier, like the others in the Heritage Collection, transports you through the golden age of VOX tone, combining the prized EF86 preamp channel of 1958 with the 1963 Top Boost channel all in one amplifier. Add in some modern tone shaping control enhancements and the result is perhaps the finest VOX amplifier in the company’s 50 year history.
The EF86: The magical VOX tone
What is it that makes EF86 based VOX amplifiers some of the most collectible in the world? Maybe it’s the way the amp naturally overdrives, almost breathing with a life unto its own. Dynamic changes in pick attack almost seem to be anticipated before you make them. Or maybe it’s the raw power of the creamy distortion as you crank the amp all the way up and slam down on a power chord. Whatever it is, there is an undeniable magic about this period of VOX amplification. An age when the most simple of circuits produced some of the most complex of tones. Now in short supply, the EF86 Pentode tube is at the heart of this elusive tone. Fifty years later, the magic returns.
The AC15H1TV: A detailed look
The 15-watt AC15 Handwired features two channels of VOX tone through a single 12" Celestion Alnico “Blue” speaker. The tube complement is made up of 1 x EF86, 3 x ECC83/12AX7, 2 x EL84, and 1 x EZ81 (rectifier).
Channel 1 is the EF86 Preamp channel, and features two inputs wired in the traditional way that gives them a 6dB gain difference between them. A two-position BASS SHIFT switch is included, with position 1 voiced to the original vintage-correct bass response and position 2 voiced to tighten the bass response and reduce any muddiness during high volume use. The three-position BRILLIANCE SWITCH provides flat response when in the OFF position. Position 1 is a new position voiced like the early AC30 “Treble” amps, while position 2 is the original brilliance circuit, which acts as a dramatic bass cut. The EF86 Mode switch re-configures the EF86 valve from Pentode mode to Triode mode. Triode mode will give a lower gain tone with higher headroom. Pentode mode is the famed original mode and has a very sweet high gain tone with not very much headroom.
Channel 2 is the Top Boost Preamp channel. Like Channel 1, this channel includes two inputs wired with a 6 dB gain difference between them. The Treble and Bass controls are from the 1963 Top Boost circuit and are extremely interactive. Very minor adjustments of these controls can yield dramatic changes in tone color.
And true to VOX form is the Top Cut control, which cuts high from either channel end as it is turned up.
The O/P Switch adds even more flexibility to the AC15. This switch changes the power output valves from Pentode Mode, which is the normal operating mode of the power amplifier, to Triode Mode which halves the power output to 7.5 watts and will alter the tone to be somewhat smoother.
The finishing touches
Great care and research went into the cosmetics for this special amplifier to meld vintage correct attributes with some modern revisions. These touches include a vintage “TV Front” cabinet, pre-1960 logo placement, and a vintage inspired cream vinyl covering. An extremely limited edition run of 200 amplifiers will be produced with oiled mahogany cabinets and will ship with a complimentary copy of VOX: The JMI Years, the definitive VOX history by Jim Elyea, one of the foremost VOX experts in the world and owner of the VOX Museum in Burbank, California.
AC15H1TVL Limited Edition
Vox footswitch controller for the valvetronix range of amps. Allows you to change channel remotely or bypass the effects. Alternatively, you can use it to access manual mode and channel switch, therefore giving you access to three sounds via the footpedal. The VFS-2 makes an already versatile amp an even more impressive tool.
About the VOX Wah-Wah
VOX developed the world’s first Wah-Wah effect during the '60s in an effort to allow guitarists to emulate the sound of a trumpet being muted — an important musical ingredient of the day. VOX’s original Wah-Wah pedal quickly gained widespread popularity and its unique sonic characteristics have encouraged further experimentation by guitarists ever since.…