PORTISHEAD GUITARIST ADRIAN UTLEY ON THE MAGIC OF HIS VINTAGE AC10
Atmospheric textures and evocative tones are your trademark as a guitarist. What drew you to the little Vox AC10? “I first had a Vox AC10 when I was about 17 or 18. I had two Vox AC30s and an AC10. I loved the AC10 but it just wasn’t loud enough on stage at the time, because back then we didn’t mic amps up, so I switched to an AC30, which was too loud! So I used to turn it around facing the wall and crank it. Most of the things I do these days are pretty quiet, so the AC10 is great for that, but in fact it can still get surprisingly loud.
“The AC10 I have at the moment is in my studio a lot of the time, I’ve used it on quite a few records and I’ve taken it out to play live with because it’s reliable. I think Vox amps are reliable. The AC10 is small and light so it’s easy to move around. I really love it, in fact it’s very simple and it has a sweet spot when it gets up to a certain level. It takes pedals really well, although it possesses a good, basic sound without any of the pedals switched on and it sounds really lovely if I add a slight bit of reverb to it. The vibrato sounds great and, though it doesn’t have a bearing on the sound, it looks cool – it’s got Vox written on it!”
Adrian Ultley’s venerable but toneful AC10 combo