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10 Best Pedals For VOX AC15 & AC30

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If you’re the proud owner of a VOX AC15 or AC30, you know these amps are not just equipment; they’re a piece of history.

With their chimey, jangly tones and a rich history backing iconic performances, these amps deserve nothing but the best companions. Yes, I’m talking about pedals—those magical boxes that can elevate your sound from “great” to “mind-blowingly awesome.”

Let’s explore the 10 best pedals for VOX amps. All of these resonate beautifully with the AC15 & AC30!

Best Overdrive For VOX – Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9

The Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9 is a classic, a staple on many pedalboards for a reason. It’s known for its ability to add warmth, sustain, and a touch of overdrive without compromising the guitar’s natural tone.

For VOX users, the TS9 is particularly appealing because it enhances the amp’s naturally bright and chimey sound with a smooth, creamy overdrive. It’s like adding just the right amount of seasoning to an already delicious meal.

Why It Works With VOX: The TS9’s mid-boost complements the VOX’s naturally bright tone, providing a balanced overdrive that’s neither too harsh nor too muddy.

Best Distortion Pedal – Pro Co RAT2

For those moments when you need to go from clean and jangly to dirty and aggressive, the Pro Co RAT2 steps in. This pedal can deliver everything from mild overdrive to full-on distortion, offering versatility and a character that can push your VOX into new territories.

The RAT2 and VOX combo is perfect for players looking to add some edge to their sound without losing the essence of their tone.

Why It Works With VOX: The RAT2’s flexibility in tone makes it a great match for the VOX, allowing for a wide range of sounds without overwhelming the amp’s natural voice.

Best Fuzz Pedal – Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi

The Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi is a legend in the world of fuzz pedals, known for its rich, creamy, and sustain-heavy sound.

When paired with a VOX amp, the Big Muff Pi helps create a powerful, enveloping fuzz that’s perfect for solos or creating a wall of sound. It’s a combination that can take you from the psychedelic ’60s to modern-day indie rock.

Why It Works With VOX: The Big Muff Pi’s thick fuzz complements the AC15 and AC30’s chime, adding depth and body to the amp’s natural sound.

Best Chorus Pedal – Boss CH-1 Super Chorus

The Boss CH-1 Super Chorus offers a clean, shimmering chorus effect that can enhance the VOX’s already impressive clean tones. It’s great for adding a sense of depth and space to your sound, making it ideal for everything from pop and rock to atmospheric soundscapes.

Why It Works With VOX: The CH-1’s clear and bright chorus effect pairs wonderfully with the VOX’s clarity, enhancing its jangle without overshadowing the amp’s character.

Best Reverb Pedal – TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2

With a range of reverb types and the innovative MASH technology, it allows you to dial in everything from subtle room reverbs to expansive, ambient sounds. Paired with a VOX, it can make your sound truly three-dimensional.

Why It Works With VOX: The Hall of Fame 2 enhances the VOX’s natural warmth with lush, detailed reverbs, adding depth without muddiness.

Best Delay Pedal – MXR Carbon Copy

The MXR Carbon Copy provides a warm, analog delay that’s perfect for adding a touch of echo without introducing harshness to your tone. Its simplicity and rich, dark repeats make it an ideal match for the VOX AC15 and AC30, offering everything from slapback echoes to longer, atmospheric repeats.

Whether you’re into rockabilly, blues, or ambient soundscapes, the Carbon Copy can add a new dimension to your playing.

Why It Works With VOX: The pedal’s analog warmth mirrors the natural warmth of the VOX amps, ensuring that the repeats blend seamlessly with your original tone.

Best Tremolo Pedal – Fulltone Supa-Trem ST-1

Tremolo is part of the VOX heritage, thanks to the built-in effect on many of their amps. The Fulltone Supa-Trem ST-1 takes this legacy further by offering a versatile and high-quality tremolo that can go from subtle pulsations to choppy, rhythmic patterns.

With its intuitive controls and pure, transparent sound, the Supa-Trem ST-1 can breathe life into your VOX’s tremolo tones.

Why It Works With VOX: It respects the amp’s natural voice while offering more depth and control over the tremolo effect, enhancing what’s already there without overcomplication.

Best Compressor – Keeley Compressor Plus

keeley compressor

The Keeley Compressor Plus is a dynamic powerhouse that can smooth out your playing, add sustain, and make every note you play come alive. It’s particularly useful with the VOX AC15 and AC30 for ensuring that clean tones are full and present, and overdriven tones have an extra punch.

The Compressor Plus is renowned for its transparency and versatility, making it a must-have for any pedalboard.

Why It Works With VOX: Its ability to enhance dynamics without altering the amp’s essential character makes it a perfect match for the nuanced tones of the VOX.

Booster Pedal – Xotic EP Booster

Looking to add a bit of magic to your signal without changing your fundamental tone? The Xotic EP Booster is your ticket. Based on the preamp stage of the legendary EP-3 tape echo, the EP Booster provides up to 20dB of clean boost, enriching your sound with added warmth and clarity. It’s like turning up the volume on your VOX but with an extra sprinkle of fairy dust.

Why It Works With VOX: The EP Booster can push the VOX into natural overdrive territory more sweetly, or simply make your clean tones even more enchanting.

Best EQ – Boss GE-7 Equalizer

Lastly, the Boss GE-7 Equalizer offers the ultimate control over your tone shaping. With seven bands of adjustable EQ, you can sculpt your sound to fit perfectly in any mix or room. Whether you’re using it to cut through a dense band mix or to dial in your ideal tone, the GE-7 can be an invaluable tool for VOX users.

Why It Works With VOX: It allows for precise adjustments to the VOX’s bright tone, ensuring you can always find the right balance, whether on stage or in the studio.

Tips For Using VOX AC15 & AC30

The VOX AC15 and AC30 are quintessential amplifiers that have shaped the sound of modern music. Renowned for their jangly, rich, and warm tones, these amps are beloved by guitarists across genres.

Whether you’re a seasoned player or just starting out, getting the most out of these iconic amps can elevate your sound to new heights. Here are some tips for using the VOX AC15 & AC30:

  • Understand the EQ Controls:
    • The VOX AC15 and AC30 feature a unique “Top Boost” circuit, providing treble and bass controls that are highly interactive. Experiment with these to find the sweet spot for your guitar and style.
  • Master the Volume and Gain:
    • Use the combination of volume (master) and gain (channel) controls to dial in everything from clean tones to natural overdrive. Lower gain settings with a higher master volume yield cleaner tones, while higher gain settings introduce crunch and distortion.
  • Explore the Effects Loop (if applicable):
    • Utilize the effects loop for modulation and time-based effects like delay and reverb. This can keep your signal clean and preserve the integrity of the amp’s natural overdrive.
  • Experiment with Speaker Outputs:
    • Try different speaker configurations or external cabinets if your model allows. This can significantly alter the amp’s response and tone.
  • Pair with Pedals Wisely:
    • Overdrive, fuzz, and distortion pedals can complement the amp’s natural grit. Start with lower pedal settings and gradually increase to find a harmonious balance.
    • Modulation and ambient effects (chorus, reverb, delay) should be used sparingly to enhance, not overwhelm, the amp’s natural voice.
  • Utilize Standby Mode for Warm-Up:
    • Always give your amp a few minutes in standby mode upon turning it on. This warms up the tubes, ensuring optimal performance and extending their life.

By embracing these tips and incorporating your personal touch, you’ll unlock the full sonic potential of your VOX AC15 or AC30, creating memorable and distinctive sounds that stand out in any mix.

For those who are looking for a bit more punchier tone, I highly recommend this list of 5 Best Marshall Amps.

FAQ – Best Pedals For VOX AC15 & AC30

1. Can I use the same pedals for both VOX AC15 and AC30? Yes, the pedals recommended for the VOX AC15 can also be used with the AC30 and vice versa. Both amplifiers share similar tonal characteristics, so pedals that complement one will likely complement the other. However, due to the AC30’s higher headroom, you might notice slight differences in how the pedals interact with each amp.

2. How can I prevent my sound from becoming too muddy when using multiple pedals with my VOX amp? To prevent muddiness:

  • Start with lower settings on your pedals and gradually increase them as needed.
  • Use an EQ pedal to sculpt and maintain clarity in your tone.
  • Pay attention to the order of your pedals, placing EQ and compression pedals early in the chain.

3. What’s the best way to achieve a classic British invasion sound with my VOX and pedals? For that classic British sound, start with a light overdrive or a boost pedal to push your amp’s natural overdrive. Combine this with a touch of reverb and, if desired, a slight amount of tremolo or delay for depth.

4. Are there any pedals that I should avoid using with VOX AC15 or AC30? While there are no specific pedals to avoid, it’s important to consider how high-gain or heavily colored effects interact with the VOX’s distinct tonal profile. Excessive gain or heavy modulation can mask the amp’s natural character, so it’s best to use such effects judiciously.

5. Can using an EQ pedal really make a difference with my VOX amp? Absolutely! An EQ pedal can be incredibly beneficial, allowing you to fine-tune your sound, compensate for room acoustics, and better integrate your pedals with the amp’s natural EQ curve.

6. Is it better to use the amp’s built-in tremolo and reverb or to use pedals for these effects? It depends on your preference and the specific sound you’re aiming for. The VOX’s built-in tremolo and reverb are iconic, but using pedals can offer more control and versatility. Experiment with both to see which suits your style best.

7. How can I achieve a modern sound with my vintage-style VOX amp and pedals? To modernize your VOX sound, consider incorporating digital delay, shimmer reverb, or a modern distortion/overdrive pedal into your setup. These can add a contemporary edge to the VOX’s classic tone.

8. What’s the best pedal to start with if I’m new to using pedals with my VOX AC15 or AC30? A good starting point would be a versatile overdrive pedal like the Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9 or a boost pedal like the Xotic EP Booster. These pedals are relatively straightforward to use and can significantly enhance your amp’s natural sound.

Final Thoughts

Pairing the right pedals with your VOX AC15 or AC30 can open up a world of sonic possibilities. From the foundational warmth of overdrive and compression to the expansive atmospheres of reverb and delay, each pedal in this list has been chosen for its ability to enhance and complement the unique qualities of these iconic amps.

Remember, the key to finding your sound is experimentation; don’t be afraid to mix and match until you find the combination that speaks to you. Happy tone hunting!