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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Vox guy- Need suggestions for tube upgrades and a new reverb tank!

Next 20 Messages  

Kathmandu, Nepal.

Oct 14th, 2017 03:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

Love my year old AC-15 C1X! Its now time for new tubes and a new reverb tank. Those are the only upgrades I'm doing to an otherwise excellent amp!

So what tubes are a definite step above the stock Chinese ones? I'm not looking for top of the range NOS and other expensive ones. Just a mid priced solid all rounder. JJ's? Electro Harmonix? I need some good suggestions.

Also the stock reverb tank is just meh...I read a bunch about upgrading to an Accutronics brand reverb tank. Any particular model I should be looking at? Thanks guys!

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Oct 14th, 2017 07:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you put new tubes you might try JJ's. I prefer some old RCA's that still test good. RCA, Sylvania or Amperex. That's what I use in all of my older amps.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Oct 14th, 2017 07:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

As for reverb, I might recommend a reverb pedal.

I'm a convert to digital reverb. It has come a long way in recent years. I have a TC Electronic Hall of Fame that sounds great.

I used it with one of my tube amps that had a long Accutronics tank in it, and I preferred the HOF. (I also use it with my Vox Night Train and Roland Blues Cube Artist)

I get a lot more options in reverb types, plus more control for shaping teh sound you want/like (decay, level, tone)

TBH, I only use Spring or Room 99.9% of the time, but it's good to have options.

The HOF will be more $$ than swapping a tank but, if the Vox goes away someday for any reason, you still have the pedal for the next amp.

Also, there's a heap of great reverb pedals out there nowadays for less doe than the HOF.

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 09:37 PM, Oct 14th, 2017)

Contributing Member

Broke Down

in the Brassicas
Oct 15th, 2017 05:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've only owned one EL84 amp, an Epiphone Valve Junior. I put JJ's in and they were a good improvement over the stock tubes, chimier and a clearer top end, but still with warmth and a good bottom end.

Watford Valves has various tubes with a little description of each. It looks like JJ's are the cheapest EL84 they sell, at the moment, only £8 each. Ah, here's why: "The JJ EL84 has been a favourite of mine since its introduction to the market hence we buy a large quantity of these to ensure you get the best price."

Watford Valves EL84 selection


Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Oct 15th, 2017 06:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've always been happy with JJ EL84s (and premp tubes), I;ve been using them for most of the last 15 years. Modern, reliable, good price, and sound as good as anything else (they all sound pretty much the same).


Kathmandu, Nepal.

Oct 16th, 2017 02:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ok so JJ's it is for now. I'm looking at these value packages from thetubestore.com

Still undecided about which model reverb tank to get.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Oct 16th, 2017 04:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Deep - From the bit of reading I did, it seems the stock reverb is the biggest letdown of those amps.

I found a few posts about people swapping to the Accutronics 8EB2C1B Reverb Tank.

FWIW, every amp I've ever owned (that had reverb) has had an Accutronics tank in it.
Despite my comments above, I was always happy with their sound.

If you're not into the pedal idea, Accutronics is probably the way to go.

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Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Oct 16th, 2017 04:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Some say the MOD tank is "better" (more depth? better build quality). They're a bit less money.
Exact same specs, no first-hand experience.

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What It Was!

Fairly Unbalanced
Oct 16th, 2017 05:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

RCA preamp tubes make a /big/ difference. Used stuff isn't super expensive. JJs are a good second choice. I never needed a big reverb sound in my AC15, but I'd use an FRV or cheapie spring-style pedal if I wanted a fat reverb. Vox reverb is underwhelming in all of their amps that I've owned, I'm used to Fenders for that.


It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Oct 16th, 2017 06:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've used both JJ and Tung Sol Reissue EL84s in my AC15 and have been happy with both.

For preamp tubes (12AX7's), I prefer the Tung Sol RI's. JJ preamp tubes have a darker tone, to my ears. The only amp I've really liked them in is my Gibson Goldtone GA15-RV, but that's a fairly bright amp and doesn't lose it's brilliance and clarity with JJ's like my other amps do.

Can't really help with the reverb tank, as I have the AC15-HW1, which doesn't have reverb. I use a Digitech Hardwire RV7 with it and that's a GREAT reverb pedal.



Givin' up food for funk
Oct 16th, 2017 07:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another vote for JJ's. I just put in a full set in my AC15C1 and like what I'm hearing. I also put a 5751 in v2 (I think).

Contributing Member


the downtime
Oct 16th, 2017 01:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 1961 Ampeg R12-R (2x 6V6) Reverberocket that got new caps and a few resistors, and I suspected the original 4-spring reverb tank was tired. I ordered an identical-spec Mod replacement. The new tank just didn't have that 'drippy' tone! I stuck the original back in and never looked back.

I don't know if the new tank was defective (all specs checked out with the meter), but for whatever reason it was not equal to the original Hammond unit. It may have to do with the original tank being capacitance-coupled; the vast majority of other amps (including Fender) use the transformer-coupled reverb scheme. The Mod tanks may be engineered for that.


Kathmandu, Nepal.

Oct 21st, 2017 03:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

So after a few hours of research on the internet I placed and order for the MOD 8EB2C1B tank. Hope it's gonna be a major improvement over the stock tank. Any MOD reverb tank users here?

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Oct 21st, 2017 05:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...I placed and order for the MOD 8EB2C1B tank."

So what did you decide for tubes? The JJ's?

Hopefully these things will get you where you want to go :^)

Contributing Member

United States

Oct 23rd, 2017 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

I replaced an Accutronics in a 6G15 RI with a MOD and it made a positive difference.

Funny, though, I built a Surfy Bear and used the old Accutronics in that and it sounds great.


Kathmandu, Nepal.

Oct 24th, 2017 01:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mick, for now I decided to continue using the stock tubes which are pretty brand new cos I havent played that amp since several months. I only got it a year back. I will play it until the stock tubes deplete and then only get new tubes hopefully JJ's for Power and something better (Tungsol's, NOS etc) for preamp.

After all the reading I did on Vox AC-15 mods most recommendations were to use the stock tubes until they go bad then replace with better ones also giving plenty time for speaker break in. I did order a complete set of JJ's for my Marshall 2061X amp though.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Oct 24th, 2017 05:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

That's cool Deep.

I ended up liking the Ruby tubes (Chinese) that came stock in my Vox Night Train 15 Combo better than the JJ's I bought for another amp. They're still in it and that little amp absolutely rocks!

Let us know how the tank swap goes. Always interested in other people's experiences with this stuff!

edit to add link

my previous post on Ruby tubes FYI

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 07:58 AM, Oct 24th, 2017)


Kathmandu, Nepal.

Oct 25th, 2017 01:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

The tank swab will be only in mid December when I get home to Nepal thats where the Vox is. Remember I'm still working here in Sudan, Africa :-)

A quick question- Do I need to purchase another reverb tank cable for the new MOD tank or will the one thats there already do the work? How easy is the whole tank swap process?

Something like this...do i need it?

(This message was last edited by Deep at 03:52 AM, Oct 25th, 2017)

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
Oct 25th, 2017 06:07 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's pretty much plug & play...

The amp will have the RCA phono plugs already there. They could be hardwired at the "amp end" but the tank will just have the plug connectors.

It's just a matter of connecting the leads in the right direction. (input/output)

The tank itself is secured to cab with 4 screws. Unplug connectors, unscrew. Reverse the process with the new tank & Bob's your uncle!

I'm pretty sure Vox don't put the tank in a protective vinyl bag like Fender does.

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 08:18 AM, Oct 25th, 2017)


Kathmandu, Nepal.

Oct 25th, 2017 11:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thank you Mick!

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Vox guy- Need suggestions for tube upgrades and a new reverb tank!

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