Cabinets, part 1
The place to start, as ever, is with Paul McCartney. In December 1963, Paul was using an AC30 head through the cabinet that had arrived with his T60 transistor bass amp. It had one 12" driver and one 15", and sported a distinctive perspex logo, with a theta for the O of VOX, as in the pictures below, taken on 14th December 1963 at the Wimbledon Palais.
Left and centre, 14th December 1963, Wimbledon Palais. Right, promotional leaflet.
Evidently the T60 cabinet was designed to be the same height as an AC30 on its stand.
In late December 1963, a new brown-fronted cabinet arrived with his AC80/100, as pictures from the Paris and Washington concerts in January and February 1964 indicate.
Left, Washington Coliseum (Feb 11th). Centre left, Versailles (15th Jan.) and right, Paris Olympia (Feb. 4th), backstage and on stage. Right, New York, Carnegie Hall (Feb. 12th)
The new cabinet had two 15" drivers and a wooden trapezoid logo - VOX in gold letters on a plain black background. This was very probably the cabinet that McCartney used until late September 1964.
On the left, the Washington concert; on the right, the Hollywood Bowl, August 23rd.
Above, one of the Paris concerts.
Although the AC80/100 with a 2 x 15" cab seems to have been the standard bass set up, a few players rejected this arrangement in favour of 18" Foundation bass cabinets, either singly or in pairs, Bill Wyman being the principal, and perhaps first, exponent.
It may have been that, for his playing style, the 2 x 15" was just too unfocused - "flubby" or "farty" is sometimes the charge levelled.
Some 2 x 15" cabs
What follows is simply a small selection of examples, arranged in approximate (very approximate!) date order. Precise dates are difficult to arrive at principally because there are (a) no serial numbers on these cabs, and (b) because speaker date codes only really date the speakers/drivers themselves. Who knows how the units were fetched from the stockroom and installed in the boxes.
2 x 15"s generally appear on the market these days without any accompanying amplifier, perhaps simply because they outlasted the AC80/100s they were originally paired with. But a couple of original early rigs survive - notably AC80/100 serial number 177, below.
BROWN GRILLE CLOTH
Blue Celestion T1074s at first, then silver (poly grey) T1109s. Note that the cloth of AC80/100 amps changed from brown to black at around serial number 230 in late 1964.
Sold on ebay in 2009, a beautiful early 2 x 15". Note the perspex logo, The cab may have been intended originally for use with a T60 amplifier.
But, the images below show Screaming Lord Sutch at the Lotus Ballroom, Forest Gate (South London), in late 1964. with a thin-edged AC80/100 surmounting a bass cabinet with an early perspex logo.
Sold on ebay in 2013. Recovered in Fender vinyl. Presumably originally black. Grille cloth brown and the remains of a perspex logo, as in the cab immediately above.
Collection Jim Elyea. Note the wooden block logo with pinned letters.
AC80/100 serial number 177 with its original cab and covers. Newspapers packed in the cab by its first owner date from November 1964. Cab and amp probably produced in Autumn 1964.
Above, formerly collection: Mike Handley. Speakers reconed. Small plastic logo with stippled background.
Sold on ebay in October 2011. One of a pair that had been part of a PA system in a school. Large plastic logo with white lettering on a stippled background. The speakers are blues, however, rather than the silvers that came in later.
Sold on ebay in 2006. Possibly a transitional cab in terms of speakers - one silver and one blue, though the silver of course may be a replacement.
Currently in the UK. Original speakers and wiring intact. Note that the person who chalked the "6" also chalked the cab below.
Above, currently in Holland. The amp is AC100 serial no. 936. The cab is probably older and unlikely to have accompanied the amp from the factory or from the shop - Servaas generally put its metal stickers on all items.
BLACK GRILLE CLOTH
21st Sept. Section to be expanded
Left to right: old-style wooden logo, but black cloth; small plastic logo; at right, currently in Japan, small plastic logo.
Currently in the UK. Small plastic logo.
The logo has white letters on a stippled background (Mk IIIa).
A cab sold on ebay in 2006, with the text "Bought from the Denny family about four years ago. When I got it back home I noticed some intriguing scratched writing inside the back which I've included photos of further down, so have a look and see what you think. The speakers are original and are working well but there is a crack in the bottom one's cone which could easily be repaired if you want to use it for serious bass playing. I've left it as it is for the next owner to decide". Note however that in the scratched writing on the cab ERITH is mis-spelt.
Left, a T60 with its cab, and right, AC100 serial no. 825. Pictures originally posted here.
Last but not least, there are the copies of Vox cabinets made by "MAX", a Danish (not Swedish, as previously stated) firm. These were generally fitted out with 2 x 15" Celestion Greenbacks.