Cathode-biased AC80/100s - late copper panel amps:
Serial nos 200 - 230
Thin edged boxes at first, then thick (221-230). For a comparison of thin versus thick, see this page. The change to thick seems to have come by November 1964.
The shot below of Gene Vincent on stage at the Empire Pool, Wembley, 20th Nov. 1964, shows a thick-edged amp on top of the SDL cab and trolley:
The pic is also at the head of this page, and given in full here. The trolleys of the AC50 and AC100 (AC80/100) provided for the bands on that day are of an early type with a rectangular "basket" for the amp. Note that the AC80/100 has no corner protectors.
Serial number 225 below, discovered by Mitch Colby in Denver, may at one time have been a JMI loan and demonstration amp, as the one pictured above presumably was. Note that it also lacks corner protectors.
If anyone knows of any early AC100s that have not yet been included, please email me at click here for the address. This page will be updated, so please come back to look from time to time.
Serial number 202 - currently in Japan (collection: Kazutoshi Nakashima)
An AC80/100 that has travelled for some years with a Super Foundation Bass cabinet (2 x 15) from the late sixties. The amp was probably sent back to the Vox factory for a new box in 1967 - note the double-pin corners, and the carefully re-attached serial number plate and white warning plate. In the sixth picture one can see the three Woden transformers through the grille. In good condition internally - perhaps the nicest condition of all the amps on this page. No. 202, the 101st AC80/100 off the "production line", was probably made in the <late> summer of '64.
Serial number 206 - currently in Denmark
Box in immaculate condition; internal power section components have been renewed, and a few too in the preamp; but all else, including the Woden transformers, is original.
Serial number 212 - currently in the USA
A great amp. Original Woden transformers and hardware. The 270ohm cathode resistors, still in place, have the code "VA" - as in all other copper-panelled AC80/100. The grille cloth of the box (with no scrim / gauze behind it) is black.
The amp has travelled with an AC100 cabinet and trolley since 1990 and possibly before. The lower pair of speakers have date codes in 1964. The upper set are later however, having connecting points between the spokes rather than on them. The "DG10" and "DG18" stamped on the frames apparently do not correspond with any possible Celestion codes - they should mean 10th and 18th April 1974. But there are often anomalies in Celestion stampings. Thanks to Jeff for the pictures.
Serial number 215 (?) - currently in the USA
Pictured on the voxshowroom site. Some replacement components, but otherwise in reasonable condition. The output transformer is an early replacement. The box is evidently a repro, so too the serial number plate. Have a close look at the original ones on this page - 202, 212, and 221 - esp. the form the numbers take. It may be that this plate replicates the original however. The top view of a copper panelled AC80/100 in box is of another amp - note the mains indicator lamp.
Serial number unknown - currently in the UK
Serial number unknown. Perhaps originally in a thin-edged box, as these were more fragile and prone to damage. Now in a reproduction NCM cabinet with a repro serial number plate and a later red warning plaque. The original transformers are in place and the preamp in good order, but the underside power section substantially rebuilt, the original tagboard and components doubtless having gone up in smoke, a fate that almost befell some of the amps further up on this page.
Above, amp and cab at the Philadelphia Guitar Show, 2006 - grille cloth on the amp matches exactly. Photo from this thread.
Above further pictures of the amp after its arrival in the UK, with details of the power section. The volume pot has the code "AL" = January 1964, as in the case of serial number 173 below. Note that the Bulgin knobs are dark brown, as those on serial number 202.
Above a new board destined for incorporation in the amp. Some components have been left out for the time being to allow access to the fixing screws. The board is actually two pieces made by Radio Spares (RS) joined together (the second pic shows the join). Standard RS board is 18 solder tags long. AC80/100s require 19. The boards came from ebay. The replacement pictured above may require some adjustment as the holes do not line up with the chassis fixing points (spacing is different). The 5W cement resistors came from Partridge Electronics, and the capacitors and other resistors from ebay. The Mullard BY100 diodes were sourced from a radio repairman in Southampton.
2013: the new board installed
Transition to thick-edged box by serial number 221
Left and centre, The Kinks on Top of the Pops, 16th November, 1964. Note that the trolley of the AC100 SDL is of the early basket-topped type - Type 1. For a surviving example, see serial number 225, below.
Serial number 221 - currently in the USA
Serial number 221, sold on ebay in 2007 after having gone round a couple of times. Images also available here.
Serial number in the 210s-230s - currently in the UK
Illustration from "The Vox Story", David Petersen and Dick Denney (1993), p. 54.
Picture posted here with the blurb: "A rare EL-34 powered Vox AC100 head with black, not brown cloth, and copper control plate. Early examples had a thin edge to the cabinet."
Serial number 225 - currently in the USA (collection: J. Elyea)
This amp travelled for years, perhaps from the time of its manufacture, with a Mk 1 cab. The rig was found in Denver c. 2003 and bought by Mitch Colby, who subsequently sold it to Jim Elyea. The second picture is from the Colby Amplification website. The lower four images, with a different cab, reproduced by kind permission of Jim Elyea - illustrated in his book, Vox Amplifiers. The JMI Years.
The set may originally have been an early demonstration piece. Note the promotional picture above for the Brothers Grim: the amp has no corner protectors; the logo is composed of single letters; the basket top of the trolley is just visible, jutting out from the bars to its left and right; and at its base, the trolley has ball casters. The set may also be the one featured in the black and white photo of Dick Denney at the Frankfurt Music Fair, late 1964, but details are too indistinct to be sure.
Serial number in the 200s - reported by "325-at-2pm" - probably no. 225 (above)
On a Vox Talks thread (09/10/2002, now gone) - a complete rig reported by "325-at-2pm". The speakers of the cabinet were said to have had date codes of November 1964. Very probably this is serial no. 225. On another thread the grille cloth was said to be brown.
Serial number 254 - currently in the UK
Detail from the Vox advert in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, December 1965 - the whole is here (scroll to the foot of the page).
The amp was never provided with a logo, nor the holes for one. Compare the distinctive diamond pattern of the grille cloth.
The chassis - two fans added in the US. Further pics will be posted in due course.
The amp belonged to JMI until it was sold (presumably in late '65 or '66). It was not used on stage or otherwise by the Stones. But Bill W. certainly stood beside it. Thanks to Tom for picking the amp up in Brooklyn and arranging for the shipping. Further details and pictures to follow. Some can be found on the updates page - 27th August.
28th August: new pages on the amp can now be found here.
By serial number 236, panels changed from copper to black. See this page. If the cab that accompanies 236 is original to it, then the change of panel colour probably corresponded with a change of trolley type - from Type 1 to Type 2.