23rd April (2)
Pics of a Triumph-made AC100 paired with a JMI Supreme cab added on this page. Thanks to Magnus.
New pics of a Vox PA50, or to give it its correct designation, MC50 mark 3 posted on this page. Thanks to Will.
Pics of serial no. 1580, in excellent original condition, added here. Thanks to Mike.
Working on the Vox Supreme website at the mo. A series of AC100 updates to appear soon though.
Some observations on Jennings Electronic Industries items (1968 - 1975). For the main pages on JEI amps and cabs, click here.
Above, two Jennings B3 bass cabinets - 50W handling. Both have 8ohm Goodmans Audiom 15" speakers (red label). Serial no. 263 has rounded corners, the old style logo, and reddish cloth. Serial no. 290 has squared corners, the new-style logo, and brownish cloth.
The JEI price-list of 1972 shows that the B3 cabinet cost £71.00. Click as ever for a larger image. The Bank of England inflation calculator indicates that this would be equivalent to around £860 today - not a small amount.
Above, the JEI J40 combo amplifier (the solid state version of the JEI AC40). Note the solid back panel with cutout - much as the back panels of the Beatles' AC50 cabs that Dick Denney had helped design some eight or nine years earlier.
Pics of the sympathetic restoration of serial no. 1857 posted here. Thanks to Aart.
Further pics of serial number 424, a late cathode biased amp, added here.
More on cables - above, most likely a speaker cable for a Vox Conqueror (ie. between amp and cab), missing one end. The type of wire is the same as that used for AC30 footswitches and the signal feeds inside AC100s.
Couldn't resist popping this up straight away. The Swingin Sting Rays with an array of Vox gear in 1965: two large box Foundation Bass sets (the cabs with roller trolleys), an AC100, a pair of LS40 speakers, and a Vox Phantom guitar. The other guitar is a Burns bison. Pic from this page.
12th February (2)
Logos from three Vox AC50 covers from different eras. Left: c. 1965; centre: c. 1967; right: probably VSEL or VSL. Pictures of the handle trims to follow. The first has maroon leather; the second, tan leather; and the last, none. The 1967 cover has thin vinyl, typical of the covers for solid state amps. The VSEL or VSL is much thicker and of a different type.
12th February (1)
Above, an AC30 from mid 1964 - copper panel and silver Celestion T1088s, so certainly after May 1964, and in view of the basketweave tolex (rather than smooth charcoal), likely to be summer 1964. Original chocolate brown plasti-leather cover shown in the second picture.
Chocolate brown covers also survive for an AC80/100; an AC50 mark 1; and PA columns (LS40). Towards the end of 1964, covers became uniformly black. Most had VOX logos. However, it is clear from survivals and early photos (of The Who at Richmond) that some black AC100 covers were issued without.
11th February (5)
A Vox Echo SV, sold on ebay towards the end of 2016. These were assembled by Triumph for Vox from 1966-1967 (and appear in the catalogues of those years). The styling matched the PA ("mixer") amps in the same range.
11th February (4)
This AC100, recently on sale, is a composite. The box, with serial number 586 on its back, came from one source. The amp chassis, a "100W Amplifier" (chassis no. in the 1400s) came from another. The black panel was apparently bought on ebay and added later. The original grey panel is in the UK. Cab and trolley are repros. Earlier pictures of the amp are here.
11th February (3)
Serial number 1540, also on the market currently. Assembled for Vox by Triumph Electronics, so the number doesn't mean that much - but a nice amp, currently in Germany. The typical unpainted transformers used by Triumph are visible in the second pic. above. The runners in the wooden case have been repaired. Older pictures of the amp are here.
11th February (2)
Serial number 785 - possibly 785 at any rate - is up for sale. The serial number plate is a repro, but may (though there is no guarantee of course) simply replicate the original. The speaker cab has new grille cloth; the trolley is from an American Super Beatle. The rectangular Cannon XLR connector may have been renewed, but an identical one must have preceeded it, as there are no stray holes for a round Amphenol. Round Amphenols had come in, where cabs are concerned, by serial no. 800. See the entry below for 5th Feb.
11th February (1)
The server went down for a few days earlier this week, but everything should be back to normal now.
5th February (2)
A brief return to early Vox plasti-leather covers, the two below for T60 amps: one in maroon, the other, needing some restitching, in racing green.
Coloured covers for T60 cabs have yet to come to light. We do however have one in brown for the 2 x 15" cab that accompanies AC80/100 number 177.
5th February (1)
(1) Both cab and amp of AC100 serial number 800 have Amphenol connectors.
This therefore provides a useful terminus ante quem for stray cabs with a rectangular Cannon XLR.
(2) Only a handful of amps survive with the original factory-fitted cable running from the output terminal block to the XLR on the backboard. Below, serial number 392.
The cable (as fitted at the Burndept works) is screened single core (steel), 1/8 inch diameter. Lengths were also used for the feed from the preamp to the power valves (in the second picture, one can see the twin feeds passing through the grommeted hole by the capacitor), and for AC30 footswitches. Techs, presumably throwing up their hands at the apparent flimsiness of it, seem to have replaced the backboard cable in most amps.
It's worth noting that Vox, being Vox, made the original cable extremely short - 7 1/2 inches long. The mains feed into the amp from the backboard socket was similarly short too, giving extremely restricted play to the backboard when unscrewed.
4th February (2)
A couple of notes. First, serial number 289 has been reported as having a grey control panel. Interesting if true, as the panels of serial numbers 276 (hand-stamped plate) and 306 (machine-stamped) are black. But the amp could have been made by Triumph - and Triumph used serial number plates in a completely random fashion. The type of plate - hand-stamped or machine-stamped - has still to be determined.
Second, two largish gaps remain in the sequence of known amps at the moment: 430-501, and numbers in the 600s. This could just be accident - a result of the sometimes piecemeal way in which info comes to light. But simply to float the question: were some of those amps reserved by JMI / Vox for loan?
4th February (1)
A couple of new amps to signal - serial number 424, mentioned yesterday, and serial number 2134, the highest serial number definitely known:
Above, serial number 424, a late cathode biased amp produced for Vox at the Burndept factory, mid 1965. The amp was mentioned on several VoxTalks threads in the 2000s, but sank out of sight.
The lowest two panels are perfectly readable, even though the image has been expanded beyond its natural size. Serial no. is 02134, and the Rating: 319. Note the double pin corner protectors.
Below, the chassis numbers of two late cathode biased AC100s, restamped at Burndept. The amps in question are serial nos 424 and 430.
Originally 1027, changed to 1130
Originally 1044?, changed to 1135
Perhaps at serial no. 400 someone decided to start chassis numbers off at 1100. Alternatively, the person in charge of the stamping machine may have got things wrong. The lowest chassis number to have come to light so far in a fixed bias amp is 11xx, the last two numbers unfortunately illegible.
A better picture of the backs of the Beatles' speaker cabs from Milan, 24th June 1965. What seems to have happened is that the cabs issued in August 1964 were refurbished (new logos at the very least) and provided with new chrome trolleys.
The last time the old trolleys were seen in public was at the NME Pollwinners concert, Wembley, 11th April, 1965.
Part of Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits standing in front of one of the Beatles' cabs with an AC50 on top. Note the basket top to the trolley and the narrowness of the parallel side bars.
28th January (2)
A long shot from back of stage at Shea. In view is the amp used by John - the early thin-edged AC80/100 originally issued to Paul, and one of the speaker cabs from August 1964. Note that the speaker connector is on the lowest back board, rather than in the centre, which was the norm in standard production cabs.
Click for a larger image. A great grab from the restored film of the sound engineers at Shea.
28th January (1)
Jack Bruce with Graham Bond playing through an AC100 and two 2x15" cabs, c. 1966. Picture from this site. Photographer: John McCoy.
"The Blue Rockets", a band from Eygelshoven in the Netherlands, with an AC100 SDL behind.
The pic above, posted a little way below a few days ago, shows Bill Wyman with the AC80/100 he is first seen with in April 1964. The photographer, Stanley Bielecki, is clear that it was taken at the Playhouse Theatre - and it certainly was as pics of the Beatles taken there show. The Stones rehearsed at the Playhouse in preparation for their BBC World Service broadcast on 31st October 1964.
The amp was evidently still going strong six months after Bill received it.
15th January (3)
Below, two screengrabs from the documentary on Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, made in early 1965 - scenes shot at the Lotus Ballroom, Forest Gate, London, September 1964.
A thin-edged AC80/100 and early bass cab with perspex logo. Note that the bassist is plugged into the second (the low) input, as Paul McCartney did too. The film as a whole is available on the BBC website.. Further grabs will be set up on a separate page.
15th January (2)
Just for interest, inverted details from the largest available image of the backs of the Beatles' amps, Finsbury Park, Astoria, Christmas Show rehearsals - late December 1964.
Above, Paul's old amp (his first AC80/100) reboxed in a new thin-edged box, but used by George in this instance. Note the 8-line serial number plate. The amp sits in the basket top of one of the old SDL trolleys.
A newer amp used for the show by Paul - still cathode biased, thick edged box with no corner protectors. The serial number plate has 9 lines of text.
15th January (1)
Bill with his small-box thick-edged AC50 and Foundation Bass cab at the BBC probably in the second half of 1964. Note the AC30 to left. Bill generally used an AC50 at smaller gigs/venues, and for recording. His first AC50, seen in April 1964, was in a thin-edged box.
The Stones rehearsing in October 1964. Note that one can just see the back of Bill's AC80/100 at left - two circular Cannon speaker output sockets one above the other. For more on this amp, see this page.
Sounds Incorporated on stage at the Empire Pool, Wembley, 20th Nov. 1964 - the "Glad Rag Ball" organised by London University. A pic. of Gene Vincent and the Londoners from the day is posted lower down on this page. Just visible behind Sounds Incorporated are the early AC100 SDL, the large-box AC50, and the AC80/100 on the drum riser.
A great pic from Getty Images of the Rolling Stones on stage at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, 20th October, 1964.
Picture taken by Roger Kasparian at the Olympia - the connectors on the back panel of the AC80/100 are just visible. Click for a slightly lightened copy of the image.
The Stones at the ABC Cinema, Chester, 14th September 1964. Bill's two Foundation Bass cabs are at the near and far sides of the stage, the AC80/100 on the far one, largely obscured by Mick Jagger. The AC80/100 and cab immediately to our left of the drums presumably belonged to Inez and Charlie Foxx's band, also on the bill, and regular Vox users.
A great composite of The Move at The Marquee Club in 1966 giving something the chop. At least three AC100s are on stage.
A new picture page on the Yardbirds in "Blowup" now available here. The section was filmed at Elstree, the set replicating the Rikki Tick Club in Windsor. The band had three "100W Amplifiers" and a selection of cabs, presumably provided for the occasion by JMI. The blue hangtag of one of the 2 x 15s can be seen fleetingly.