I picked up a copy of Rory Gallagher's 1972 'Live in Europe' when I started playing guitar in 1974. It was clear, I had to own an AC30. 'Messin' with the Kid' sounded incredible... So I found one, almost mint from 1962 with the brass vents on the top and of course, Celestion Alnico 'blue bulldog speakers'. Guess what, I sold it. What a nob...
I have been looking out for another one ever since but prices have gone totally daft.
Fortunately I bumped into master valve amp technician Roland Lumby from the Amp Clinic who had a 1962 AC30/6 for sale - this is the model with three channels; vib-trem, normal and brilliant. Yes, it's battered and the vents are missing, but it sounds fantastic.
Everyone bangs on about the 'top boost' model but I don't like, or use, too much treble. 'Mids' are the key to getting your sound to sit perfectly in a band or mix, you don't need to give the audience a haircut :)
Linking the normal and brilliant channels with a cable enables you to blend, which sounds ace: rich lows and shimmering highs, but very direct and present.
There is no doubt that the 'blue' speaker is one of the finest ever produced for an open back cabinet as in the AC30.
Of course I join Brian May, The Edge, Hank Marvin, George Harrison, John Lennon, Tom Petty, John Scofield, Daniel Lanois and Peter Buck and many other great players in the love for these amplifiers.
The question is where will I use it? Well I already have a few new songs that would benefit from the unique tone. The vib-trem circuit is amazing and quite different in character to a classic Fender.
Watch this space :)
Blues at the Bay, 718 Yarm Road, Eaglescliffe TS16 0JE Stockton-on-tees, UK
Saltburn Blues Club, Markse Mill Lane, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1QA, UK