“I found you had to work a bit more to dial in the tone on the AC30. With the Fenders it was a case of plug in, turn the volume up and it sounds great. Whereas with the AC30 you had to tweak it – and if at first it didn’t work, you tried something else. Once that was sorted out it sounded great, though.
It’s a punchy amp, but a hell of a lot more dirty than the Bassman or the Twin. It’s maybe a little more suited to rock ’n’ roll than blues stuff, to my mind. The Fenders are a little bit more together, if you will. This particular AC30 is one of Brian May’s actual recording amps so, again, it was a genuine honour to plug in and play though it.”
When we plugged this in straight after the Bassman, there was a moment of what could almost be called anticlimax as a rather thin, piercing tone rang out. We needn’t have worried, though; like tuning into the world’s best radio station we soon dialled in something more akin to the magical AC30 sound that this amp’s owner is so closely associated with.
The hard, cutting edge of each note’s attack floats on a cushion of warm, expansive bass, while the glorious mids are woodier than a lumberjack’s long johns. To our ears, it’s that blend of clinical focus and untamed rawness that sets it apart from the more mellow Fenders.
OUTPUT: 30 watts
PREAMP VALVES: 3x ECC83 (12AX7)
POWER VALVES: 4x EL84 SPEAKERS: 2x12” Celestion T.530
FAMOUS USERS: Brian May, Rory Gallagher, The Edge