Home Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar Vox AC30 piggyback

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  • #23202

    I reckon I’m going to sell my old Vox AC30 piggyback amp. I’ve not used it for many many years now as I no longer play witha band and it’s hardly the kind of amp I can use at home anyway… the whole street would hear it!

    The poor thing’s been sat in the corner of a room gathering dust for ages now. I’ve just been giving it a clean-up and think I’m going to take some piccies for the dreaded eBay.

    Inside the actual amp though, it’s very dusty and a bit greasy. Should I persevere with trying to get it squeaky clean, or would collectors expect it be be a bit mucky?

    Outwardly it’s a bit tatty and I reckon it dates from about 1964/1965 – no sure fire way of telling though.

    I saw a AC30 combo of about the same vintage – and a much tattier example than my own amp – go for £980 on eBay last week. Is this usual, or am I missing something?


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    • #72180

      I’d love to see pictures of it once it was restored!

    • #72204

      Absolutely not bad, glw. A good price on the head (I did say worldwide was a good idea – smug grin) and a totally excellent price on the cab. Really, I wouldn’t have expected more than £150-200 on the cab. Cheapskate me; I would’ve lost interest well before £100.

      You done good, kid 🙂

    • #72040

      Nearly forgot to update you chaps with what happened:

      The amp head sold for £668.56 to a guy in Madrid, Spain.

      The speaker cab went for £305.55 to a chap in Birmingham.

      So, best part of a 1000 quid for the pair (minus eBay fees). Not bad.

    • #72054

      Just to update you after a thunk…

      Of course, you’re quite right. The cab looks like a different era altogether and I doubt if it ever housed blues. I really am not a Voxer (bass player, remember 🙂 ) but my guess is that the cab once held some form of 10″ drivers and someone shoehorned in the G12 Rolas. Back to your head…

      The 12AU7 is not the phase inverter (it often is in some amps, but not yours. The PI is a 12AX7) – your 12AU7 is handling the trem circuit return. You don’t really need to know that, any more than I obviously don’t 😆

      The presence of the GZ34 rectifier dates it to 60s rather than 70s production. Like I say, there are a load of really good websites for the Vox and even a half-arsed search armed with the info you have should narrow the manuf date down. If you like, tell me the serial # and I’ll have a rummage.

    • #72048

      Looking at diddy-little preamp tubes gives me a headache, especially upside-down 🙂

      The one in the foreground is a Pinnacle. Pinnacle were tube-whores; never made anything, just put their screen-print on whatever they bought. The structure looks very Philips-group, though. The next one has the markings “CV492” which is a Ministry of Defence specification, meaning that the tube passed the MoD specs. Ironically, any Philips/Mullard ECC83 would pass MoD specs without getting out of bed but some people erroneously think that “CV” military tubes must be “better”.

      The last one looks to have “foreign made” printed on it but don’t worry about that. It looks to be an ECC82/12AU7 in the phase-inverter slot. Blackburn-made ’82s are dirt cheap compared with the ’83s and (in any case) I reckon this “foreign” is probably Philips Dutch and just as well made.

      The actual valves themselves are of semi-secondary importance. I bought a 100W amp for £70 and the stack of Mulls inside alone justified spending that money. Yours is a different case; a very desirable amp with the bonus that the valves demonstrate it’s a time-warp, plug-in, instant God’s Own Vox. Do a bit of Vox AC30 web-searching to make sure of some facts. Thus armed, I’d put these things in the title (what most people search)

      Vox AC30; JMI; Jennings; Treble boost (? looks like a TB to me, but I’m no Vox-exp); Mullards.

      I’d put these thing in the text descn (what some people search)
      Copper-coloured control plate, brass vents, serial number, Mullard EL84s, GZ34 rectifier (looks like Mull but can’t be sure), Philips-group ECC83s (including some CV492) and, ABOVE ALL, list what works and what doesn’t. Especially if the trem/rev works. I was wondering whether you should leave those Dynacord sticky labels on – I think I probably would.

      Should fetch a tidy.

    • #72032

      I had a look at those other tubes under the covers. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at to be honest. One of them was marked with a name, something like Pinnacle.

      (I really need to make notes before putting it all back together again).



      The footswitch for the tremolo is a bit crude – it’s more or less just a bent bit of metal with a switch on it:


    • #72036

      Tube fanatics are gonna go nuts –VOX’s are highly prized, list that sucka in the USA and start counting your money. Scott

    • #72018

      😆 , Lee. You know Peter Parker gets his Spider-sense tingling? Well, 1BassLeft gets his anorak rustling 😉 Mullard EL84s are about the only ones with circular holes in the plates (anodes). The only others I can think of were made at the French Visseaux plant, but the holes are bigger. Them’s Mulls, alright, and the slight smear of yellow print on the tubes confirm it (IIRC, Mullard used yellow printing in the late 60s for a short while). Some eedjits will pay hand over fist for perfect yellow prints,, even though they sound no different to the boggo.

      The printing is virtually gone but still; Mullard EL84s are rightly regarded as among the best. Another good reason for mentioning them is that it shows that the Vox hasn’t been modified. With cathode-biased EL84 amps such as the Vox and my WEM, they were originally set up for the Mulls, Philips, Brimars etc of the day. Plonking a Sovtek in there will have the poor old Ruskies redplating as soon as a chord is struck, or even before that (I know, I’ve tried several makes). To get around this, amps fitted with Sovs etc have to have the cathode resistor changed so that things run cooler.

      According to some fellow sniffer friends of mine, not only are Mulls etc better-sounding, but changing the resistor also is a factor in ruining the tone of these amps. OK, it’s no big deal to reverse the changes but it’s a simple fact that many buyers would rather pay up for an unchanged, Mull-equipped Vox and then scour the ‘net for extra Mulls as backups. Some pay more for a quad of Mull EL84s than I would pay for an amp. Silly, because cathode-biasing has the great advantage that you don’t have to get a matched quad, but that fact remains.

      Nice amp, nice valves, should fetch a tidy price.

    • #72051

      [quote=”1bassleft”](5) Point out that the head has a Mullard GZ34 rectifier and a good-looking quad of Mullard EL84 power tubes (they actually look like yellow-prints -although the printing is a bit worn).
      6) Remove the preamp valve shields and have a look. If the power tubes are Mulls, I’ll bet my bottom that the ECC83s are also Mullard. Mention this.

      Its true, you really do have special powers when it comes to spotting Mullard valves!! my god i cant see any Mulard markings, is it true that you can spot a quad set of Mullards in an amp, with the cover on, inside a flight case, enclosed in the back of a closed and sealed transit van, blindfolded, on a moonless night.. and at 50 paces?? 😆 😆

    • #72050

      Ah bass! I knew you’d have some answers for me. Thanks for that. I’ve often wondered if the head and the cab are not an original pair and have been married up later, mainly because of the different cloth used on the front of each. Yeah, I thought it should have had the blue speakers too. Looks like they’ve been yoinked.

    • #72022

      (Yawn), another one of those “what’s it worth?” posts. Wonder if glw will stick around after he gets some answers? 😆

      Seriously, though, 😯 . You SHALL go to the ball, glw. As a bit of a cork-sniffer, here’s how I suggest you maximize your money when you list it on the Fleeb.

      1) Yes, you can remove excess dust either buying a cheap mini-vac (cpc.co.uk) or just using your Dyson to improve cosmetics slightly.
      2) List the head and the cab separately. VERY good reason for this, but you can always put “see my other auctions” in the text.
      3) Make the head auction worldwide. DON’T limit it to UK only or (even worse) local pickup only.
      4) I can’t read that serial, but you can. Use a websearch of Vox amp serial dating to get the year.
      5) Point out that the head has a Mullard GZ34 rectifier and a good-looking quad of Mullard EL84 power tubes (they actually look like yellow-prints -although the printing is a bit worn).
      6) Remove the preamp valve shields and have a look. If the power tubes are Mulls, I’ll bet my bottom that the ECC83s are also Mullard. Mention this.
      7) Set a low reserve or no reserve. Watch the madness happen in the last hour before bidding ends.

      The head is actually quite tidy; far more so than the cab. It also looks very original. American bidders will pile in for this, but they won’t be so interested in the cab (see later for reasons why) so keep the two on separate auctions because shipping an unwanted cab to the US will be horrendously expensive and depress final bids. Shipping the head alone is not too expensive either by Parcelfarce or, better still, parcel2go.

      The cab is definitely tattier, but, worse, has been modified at some point. I’m with Lee; I reckon the cab once housed a pair of blues. They’re gone now, and the cab has been routed a bit (look at the struts) to accommodate a pair of very ordinary Celestion-Rola G12Ms, dating from the early 1970s. They’re decent drivers, and the cab has some value, but the head is the star. Chances are that one bidder (maybe US) will go to astronomical prices to secure the head, whereas another bidder (probably UK) will bid for the cab. It’s just not worth shipping across the pond in the same way that the head is.

      Alternatively, just sell it to me for £300 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    • #72039

      If it were mine, i’d leave it with the dust on, its very tatty on the outside and i would leave an honest amount of dust inside.
      Prices of these amps vary widly, im no VOX cork shiffer (One of Basses lines) but i know originality counts, copper vents, original handles, cloth and speakers, should your cab have once housed a pair of Blue Alnicos?
      Im sure those Rola Greenbacks are a late 60’s early 70’s speaker.
      But the old Greenbacks are worth money now.
      But it do think the top money making amps have to be original, also try and give as much honest info on it as possible.
      Good luck with it.

    • #72056
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