The timeless sound of Vox AC amps: A conversation with Steve Levine

The timeless sound of Vox AC amps: A conversation with Steve Levine

In a world constantly chasing the next big thing in music, some things remain timeless. One such legacy is the Vox AC series of guitar amps, renowned for their distinctive sound that has shaped the music industry for decades. We had the privilege of joining legendary music producer Steve Levine in his studio for an exclusive conversation about these iconic amps.

The Early Days: A Personal Journey

Steve's journey with Vox AC amps began in his school days. His first encounter with a partially functional Vox amp at a school fair marked the beginning of a lifelong relationship with this iconic series. With help from his electronics teacher, Steve brought the amp back to life, unknowingly kick-starting his future in music production. 

Steve takes us through the evolution of music, from the glam rock era to the punk revolution, and how the Vox AC30 became "the amp" for virtually every band he worked with. He recalls the distinctive sound of the AC30, serving as the backdrop for bands like The Clash and The Jags, encapsulating the essence of an era.

As music transitioned into the 80s, the Vox AC series continued to play a pivotal role in the recording studios. Steve highlights the adaptability of these amps, particularly the AC30, which provided the perfect canvas for the chorus and delay effects prevalent in the music of that decade.



Three Trademark Sounds: The Essence of Vox AC

Steve delves into the three trademark sounds of the Vox AC series: the vibey tremolo, the chimey tone, and the crunchy distortion. He explains how these distinct tones have become synonymous with legendary tracks by The Beatles, The Shadows, and other iconic artists.

We get a glimpse into Steve's studio, where he reveals his go-to amps: the AC15C1X for its universal tone and the AC30C2, celebrated for its power and versatility. Steve shares insights on how these models have become integral in creating the sound of numerous records.

Steve reflects on his experiences working with guitarists like Gary Moore and how the interaction between the artist and the amp can be incredibly inspirational. He emphasizes the importance of choosing the right tone for recording, a testament to the AC series' ability to inspire and elevate musical performances.


Find out more about the AC series