CHAMP ELECTRONICS -" THE VALVE AMP HOSPITAL"
SERVICING A CHINESE-MADE VOX AC30CC TWIN COMBO AMPLIFIER
I am really fed-up of people complaining and saying quote "oh…it's made in China and its crap". Well, good & bad stuff comes from all countries! This AC30CC (Custom Classic) came in for a check-over after the customer had bought it at a good price on EBay. It had sold for this good price as it apparently had been dropped and there was some minor damage to the case. However, the customer told me it didn't work.
But when I came to test it, it worked fine? It turns out that the new owner had powered her up, and
after switching the standby switch on he got nothing, with no standby LED either. He then just assumed it was faulty. However, what he didn't realise is that the standby LED only comes on after the GZ34 rectifier has
warmed-up. He hadn't allowed enough time for this to happen, and consequently there was actually nothing wrong with the amp at all!
With having this amp on the bench, I have to admit
that I was well impressed with it. I'm not a fan of PCB's in tube amps but this is one really well-built piece-of-kit. The case is made
from 13 layer Birch-ply; the chassis is very solid with good bracing; the PCB's are of top-notch quality fibre-glass
board; the components used are really good quality; the soldering is excellent; and so-on…..I honestly could not fault this amp! I also liked the switching
provided on the back panel for 8 & 16 ohm matching; the idea to be able to switch between output bias resistors (82 ohm or 50 ohm….labelled as hot & warm);
plus the switch for the main smoothing cap too…marked as vintage & modern (22uf or 44uf). A real nice touch all-round and well thought-out!
All the comments I have made about this amp refer purely to
the quality of the physical build, as well as its performance on the test-gear. As for its sound in the "real world", I will leave that to all you guys out there. Please remember though that first….although the drivers are the re-issue blue-back's, they haven't sagged/softened over time yet and the Alnico magnets will not as yet have lost some of their field power strength. Also the output transformer is made with today's modern
silicone-impregnated steel. These two issues alone can reflect a lot on the sound when comparing with an original 1960's Vox
I think this is a great amp for the money!
You can clearly see the split in the Tolex at the right-hand side top. In-fact, the wooden joint hadn't even separated here, just the vinyl was split. A quick touch-up with a black permanent pen soon
covered up this minor issue!