LATE WESTREX AC80/100s
In early 1965, as the Burndept Factory in Erith was being set up for production of AC80/100s, Westrex, one of the main contractors for Vox in 1964, seems to have produced small numbers of amps with grey panels, old style green Woden transformers, and at the end of the run, dome voltage selectors.
The presence of green Woden transformers stands in stark contrast to the plain metal topped transformers that Woden had supplied in late 1964 (for the black panel amps) - see this page - and continued to supply throughout 1965 for Burndept. On Woden, see this page.
No serial numbers of these late Westrex amps are known at present. The second amp on this page (with a dome voltage selector) was certainly never assigned one. Plates, when removed, always leave signs of having been present on the back panel (screw holes, shadows, discolouration, indentations...).
Note that the second amp below has twin XLR sockets to facilitate use with two Foundation Bass cabs (a la Bill Wyman), or two LS40 public address columns. Burndept-made amps of the same period only have one speaker XLR - see this page for instance.
Some surviving amps
1) Serial number unknown - currently in the UK
Sold, in parts, on ebay in late 2009 - for the chassis, see the last picture (a photograph of a print-out of a screengrab). The grey choke, control panel and link voltage selector escaped, but the rest is here. There was no power tagboard, so that had to be built from scratch. Majestic Transformers of Poole produced a replacement transformer, but then the original turned up (in full working order) - pictured below. The box was refurbished by the seller, the back panel probably being completely new.
No serial plate. The number "165" is marked on the chassis. The date codes on the two 25uf cathode bypass capacitors in the preamp are UH and UM = August and December 1963 (i.e. much earlier than the amps below). The Westrex checker's red dye is still visible throughout.
Above, the original choke, purchased from the buyer (in the US) who picked it up on ebay. Also, a screen grab of the auction for the chassis.
Above, the original mains transformer and the panel (acquired on ebay) from a later AC100 that's now in place on the amp.
2) No serial plate - currently in the UK
A nice clean AC80/100. It even has spare fuses in the fuseholder. There is no serial plate nor any warning plaque. Note the Cannon LNE-11C mains socket and the two XLR speaker sockets. A "W" is stamped on the chassis = Westrex? Solder joints are marked with red dye to indicate that they have been checked.
Further pics are now available on this page.
The voltage selector is dome rotary (not link), and the mains switch is an Arrow with a black bat.
Capacitors have the date codes UH, UK, and UM = August, October and December 1963. Power resistors have the code VA = January 1964.
The valves that came with the amp were: one pair of Philips Xf2s with codes for 1962, and another of Mullard Xf3s with IEC logos and codes for July 1964 and late February 1965 (B5B4).
Was this amp some sort of demonstration piece? There are no signs that any serial number plate or warning plaque were ever affixed to the back panel. One would normally expect to find a "shadow" or at least screw holes.
In the last picture above, compare the fore-edge of the choke with the choke of the amp pictured below - probably the same one.
The amp on ebay in March 2007 - note the wax on the front edge of the choke.
Serial number 306 - currently in Italy
A really fantastic AC80/100 and speaker cab. Black panel. Just visible through the grille, the large "lay-down" choke. Original XLR and Cannon LNE32 mains connectors on the back panel. Note the rivets (?) around the rims of the silver Celestion T1088s. The box has a single centre fixing point on the top edge of the back panel. Thanks to Tommaso for the pictures.
Serial number unknown - whereabouts unknown
Sold on ebay in 2007 and again in 2009. The amp's box is later (reproduction?) and with a three-line serial number plate = late 1965. The original serial number is unknown. Control panel is black. Unpainted Woden transformers and dome voltage selector, as in the amp above. The speaker cabinet and trolley may be of the same date as the amp - the cab still has a rectangular Cannon XLR. The Celestion T1088s are later replacements.
Serial number 330 is reported as having a black panel but no pictures are available at present.