The legendary Vox AC30 was the first successful British guitar amplifier.
Originally the 2 x 12 -combo had been designed especially for The Shadows, aiming at a louder and cleaner tone than what their old AC15s could provide. It didn’t take long, though, for experimentally inclined guitarists to realise they could get nicely toasted drive sounds out of the amp, especially when using a distortion- or treble booster -pedal in front of the combo.
In addition to the Shadows, famous AC30-users are (or have been) The Beatles, The Kinks, Queen, Bryan Adams, Tom Petty and U2’s The Edge.
The famous combo’s greatest drawback – in its original guise – is the lack of a master volume control, meaning meaty, overdriven tones only could be had at great volume.
Luckily, these days we have the wonders of digital amp modelling at our disposal, which means classic tones without the need…
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