The AC30HW2 and AC30HW2X "Point to Point" Hand Wired Combo Amps - 2010
The AC30HWHD "Point to Point" Hand Wired Head and V212HWX Cabinet - 2010

The AC30HW2V64 version of this amp featuring 1964 cosmetics
(shown above) is available exclusively at North Coast Music

The AC30HW2 chassis features "point to point" hand wired circuitry

Speaker jacks and impedance selector switch on the AC30HW2 chassis

Foot switch jack and AC connector on the AC30HW2 chassis

VOX AC30HW2/X Amp Specifications

Dimensions (W x D x H): 27.4 x 10.43 x 21.89 inches
Weight: 70.6 lbs.
Output Power: 30 Watts RMS into 16 Ohms, manually switchable to 15 watts at 16 ohms
Speaker: 2 x 12" 8 ohm Celestion G12M Greenback (AC30HW2)
Speaker: 2 x 12" 8 ohm Celestion Blue Alnico (AC30HW2X)
Inputs: Normal input jack x 2 (high and low), Top Boost input jack x 2 (high and low), foot switch jack
Outputs: External loudspeaker jack, Extension loudspeaker jack
Switches: Bright switch (normal channel), Hot/Cool switch (Top Boost channel), OP Mode switch (switches between full and one half output power), inpedance selector (8 or 16 ohms), power switch, and optional single button foot switch
Cabinet: Birch plywood covered in fawn vinyl similar to that used on 1990 era Vox amps, three tan vinyl handles, no corners
Included Accessories: Vox indicates that a single button footswitch and cover are included with this amp
Retail Price - AC30HW2: $2200 USD
Retail Price - AC30HW2X: $2600 USD
Retail Price - AC30HWHD: $1750 USD
Retail Price - V212HWX: $1500 USD
Origin of Amp Manufacture: Vietnam
Origin of Celestion Green Back or Alnico Blue Speaker Manufacture: China. Note: The Alnico Blue uses the entire original UK bill of materials, including the Miller H1777 cone

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Vox introduced the AC30HW Series amps in 2010. There were three models. The AC30HW2 was a point to point hand wired amp that featured two Celestion Greenback 12" speakers. The AC30HW2X was identical to the AC30HW2 except that it featured two Celestion Blue Alnico 12" speakers. The third was the AC30HWH, a hand wired amp head based on the circuitry of the combo amps. Vox offered the V212HWX 2x12" extension cabinet with Celestion Alnico Blue spealers to accompany the AC30HWH amp head.

The history of hand wired Vox AC30 amps

The Vox AC-30 tube amplifiers produced by JMI (Jennings Musical Instruments) from 1960 through 1969 were hand wired and featured point to point construction. These JMI amps also featured GZ34 tube rectification in the power supply.

While the term "hand wiring" indicates the chassis components were manually inserted, wired and soldered, point to point construction adds yet another dimension. Point to point construction requires that every electrical junction in the amplifier be completed by the direct interconnection of the component leads or wires without the use of circuit boards. Point to point amps are usually constructed on lug strips or turret lugs. The photo below shows these lug strips and the hand wired, point to point construction of a 1964 JMI Vox AC-30.

Vox AC-30 amps manufactured by JMI in the 1960s set the standard for what a reissue point to point hand wired AC-30 should be.

After the collapse of Vox into bankruptcy in 1969, a new, PCB (printed circuit board) version of the AC-30 was introduced by Vox while in receivership to the Corinthian Bank. This amp was plagued with problems stemming from the PCB construction and was perhaps the worst AC-30 model ever produced.

In 1973, Dallas Industries purchased Vox and reissued the hand wired Vox AC-30. Like the JMI AC-30, the Dallas amp featured lug strips and meticulous hand wiring. Unfortunately, Dallas did not include the GZ34 tube rectifier in their version of the amp. Dallas offered this amp with or without reverb. It remained in the Vox line until 1979 when Dallas sold Vox to Rose Morris.

Rose Morris owned Vox from 1979 through 1993, and during that period, produced no hand wired AC-30 models.

Korg purchased Vox from Rose Morris in 1993. From 1993 through 2004, all Vox amps were produced in the UK under subcontract from Marshall Amplification PLC. This included the magnificent hand wired, point to point AC30HW Series introduced by Vox in 2003. There were two models; the AC30HW combo and the AC30HWH head. These amps included reverb, tremolo, and the GZ34 rectifier tube. Unfortunately, they also featured a rather steep price. The combo version retailed for $4000 USD while the head alone retailed for $3250. A CV212LTD 2x12 extension cabinet with Celestion Vox Blue Alnico speakers was offered for use with the AC30HWH head and retailed for $1350.

In 2007, Vox introduced the AC30H2 and AC30H2L amps in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Vox. This amp was produced for Vox in China. Like the early JMI AC-30/4, the AC30H2 featured the EF86 preamp tube. It also featured a GZ34 tube recifier. However, while hand wired, the AC30H2 did not feature point to point construction. The electrical components were hand wired to turrents mounted to a circuit board with underlying copper circuit traces (see photo below).

Chassis view of the 2007 model AC30H2

Like JMI AC-30 Vox amps from the 1960s, the 2010 Vox AC30HW2, AC30HW2X, and AC30HWH amps feature true point to point hand wired construction.

In addition to a GZ34 rectifier, the tube complement includes three ECC83 (12AX7) preamp and a matched quad of EL-84 output tubes.

The amp includes a Normal and Top Boost channel, each with dual inputs. The Normal channel has a Bright switch; the Top Boost channel has treble and bass controls in addition to a "Hot/Cool" gain switch. The gain control may also be actuated from a single button foot switch that is included with the amplifier.

An O/P mode switch drops the output power of the amp from 30 to 15 watts.

A Master Volume control with a bypass switch, a Tone Cut control, and a power switch complete the control panel. This amp does not include reverb, tremolo, or channel switching capabilities.

Dual speaker output jacks and an impedance selector switch allow easy interconnection to extension speaker cabinets.



The VOX Showroom!

Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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