This amp is just tone for days. I cannot think of of a better amp that Vox could have made when this thing was released. This amp was everything you loved and wanted out of the old JMI amps from the early 60's These I believe are the last of a great tradition in quality and in tone.
The great thing about this amp is that it has a familiar British flavor but vastly different from the British sounds of a Marshall or a Hiwatt. The grind from this amp is very unique and voiced much like a Fender Twin, but deeper tonally and much darker than a Fender Twin.
The operation is unique to this amp as well. It doesn't look anything like a Marshall or a Hiwatt front panels. The gain control knob is the Cut knob. This is where you get the gain from the amp but you have to get the power section working hard to get any kind of distortion from the amp. This means you have to blast the hell out of this amp to get it to sustain. Which won't sounds very pleasing to any neighbors you may have living next door to you. If you want to get that Brian May tone then I would recommend getting an attenuator so you can crank that volume up to get a power tube distortion. There really isn't much if any preamp distortion at all with the amp.
If this is the sound that you are going for then there really is not anything better out there. There haven't been too many clone amps of the Vox Ac30 so you are quite limited in trying to obtain that vintage sound from the 60's. This amp is as coase to the original I believe that Vox has done in the last 20 years.
I used this with a Fender Strat and a Les Paul. Each one of those guitars gave a very usable and tasty flavor. For the clean stuff the Strat was optimum and for throwing an overdrive pedal in front the Les Paul gave a solid warm and rich vintage tone. However, the best operation I found was my personal favorite: a Electro Harmonics Big Muff in front with a Fender Strat. This combination gave me a great 60's tone that was so enjoyable to play.
If you are going for a particular tone then the Vox isn't going to be it. If you are going for a Vox or Brian May tone then there is only one way to go. You will need to get a JMI/ Jennings Music Industries Vox AC0 amp. This amp has a unique tone which is only Vox. These I believe were made in the 90's and the last great Ac30 made before Vox switching manufacturing to China.
I would recommend this amp to anyone looking for that Vox tone or any music or record engineer who needs a good arsenal or tones. You can't make a Marshall sound like this amp and you can't make this amp sound like a Marshall.