AC30H Heritage Handwired (2007)

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lg_ac30h2This 2007 launched Heritage Handwired series was a short life AC30 series and is not in production anymore. It will happen that you can find some in music stores or in auctions. It has been “replaced” by the 2010 AC30 Handwired (AC30HW, Heritage Handwired is AC30H). The Heritage Handwired model has some special features which are very different from the other AC30s you can get.

You will find two channels, a usual top boost channel and a normal channel. The normal channel (channel I) works with a EF86 pentode instead of the ECC83 dual-triode. This is the way the first AC30s were built. The “magical” EF86 gives a special chimy tone and has more gain than the ECC83. Also unusual in this channel I is a 3-way-bright-switch, a bass-shift-switch and a pentode/triode switch. With this you can get more different tones from the normal channel than on other AC30.
Channel II works the usual way. The poweramp-section has a switchable mode for use the EL84 as pentode or triode which gives the full 30W or 15W. It has NO master volume, so it´s nearly impossible to get overdrive sounds on a good level.

lg_ac30h2l_angle

Limited Mahogany AC30H2L

Two facts why it isn´t available anymore are in our opinion the missing master volume and the availability of the EF86 valves.
The first item is because everyone want´s to have a pure AC30 for sure, but in terms of use nowadays most times when playing live you need to have a master volume when it get´s to loud. I know many who sold the Heritage amp because of this. The only way they could use it is to play clean/crunchy. There´s no chance beside the O/P mode switch to adjust the level of your sound if it´s too loud. Using the switch also changes your sound a lot. It would have had more success for sure if it would have featured the bypassable master volume that was introduced in the later AC30HW.
The 2nd reason is that EF86 are not popular these days and are only produced by a small amout of factories. So it is a problem to get enough EF86 in a good condition for a mass production amp. I got an AC15 Heritage for a few month (which is nearly the same as the AC30 Heritage) and looked for EF86s. In my experience nearly every crappy tube of this type you can get on ebay sounds way better than new produced EF86s. And this is not a NOS thing, even 40 year old used ones.

So nothing about the amp, it sounds great and would have been more usefull with a bypassable master volume. If you find one and you like the sound you may can go to a tech that modifies the amp for you with a master volume for a better use. To get an idea of the EF86 sound this video gives a good impression.

Beside of this, there were some issues on some of these amps, more cosmetical not technical. The cream tolex sometimes was a little pink and it was not made very well. It also had no edge covers.

Typical price was between:
AC30H2: 1800 – 1990 Euro (demo or used for ~1500 Euro)
AC30H2L (limited mahogany): ~1800 Euro (used not seen yet)
AC30HH (Head): 1200 – 1400 Euro (demo or used for ~1000 Euro)

If you have more photos of your AC30H amplifier it would be great if you can send them to us, so that the gallery can grow. No matter in which situation the pictures is taken, we will put it in the gallery.