FOUNDATION BASS CABINETS (1 X 18")

Late 1963 - 1969

First advertised in the issue of "Beat Monthly" for August 1963. Presumably designed in the summer of that year. Note the mention of "separate amplifier cabinet provides a total output of 50 watts undistorted", suggesting that the AC50 was ready or close to being ready in August.

In 1964 certain AC80/100s and AC50s had twin output XLR sockets, so that two speaker cabinets could be run (a la Bill Wyman).

On the left, at Richmond in August 1964, the two cabs at opposite ends of the stage (normal arrangement); on the right, late 1964, unusually a "stack". A later "twin" stack, sold on ebay some time ago, is pictured below.

At least one Foundation Bass cab was used at Unity House - the 119 Dartford Road factory - for the testing of bass guitars. of Tony Russell, who worked there in mid 1965:

"The amplifier section was off limit to us and filled about half of the building, however I used to have a bit of a look from time to time. I remember the Vox Foundation Bass amp with the enormous 18 inch speaker which would make your trousers flap if you stood in front of it when cranked up."

EARLIEST STYLE

Picture from the Vox catalogue of early 1964 (reproducing the one issued in August '63) - note the castors directly attached to the base of the cabinet, and the early-style perspex logo. Interesting too are the dimensions given for the amplifier unit: 18" x 11" x 7". Production AC50s measure 19" x 11" x 6 1/4". Perhaps some prototype had been measured (7" is the height of an AC80/100; but both the AC80/100 and AC50 are 19" long). Mention of the "total output of 50 watts" does indicate that the AC50 is in view though.

Inspiration for the shape may have come from the Goodmans ARU floor-standing hifi cabinet, produced in the late 1950s -

Goodmans also enters the picture where 18" drivers are concerned, as the Audiom 90, pictured below, was the only unit available in Britain up to early 1964, when the Celestion T1079 came into production.

Above, an early example from the late 1950s - 6ohms. The principal application of these units seems to have been for organs.

The later 15ohm version of the Type I Goodmans Audiom 90. It was presumably these that figured in the very earliest Foundation Bass cabs, perhaps those used by the Dave Clark Five below.

Left and centre, The Dave Clark Five at Tottenham in February 1964. Note to the left of the drum riser the Foundation Bass cab with perspex logo. It stands slightly higher than the neighbouring cabs, perhaps because it had castors. Right, Sister Loretta Tharpe with The Five Dimensions at the Ricky-Tick club in Windsor in 1964, Foundation Bass cab (note its relative height) with perspex logo just visible.

The early Goodmans Audiom 90 speaker was later superceded - in the first half of 1964 - by a Celestion model 1074, painted blue (the same blue that was used for the alnico T530. The Celestion was superceded in turn - later 1964 and on - by the Goodmans Audiom 91 (100 watts handling).

PRICES 1964 - 1967

May 1964

The "Eighteen Inch Foundation Bass" - cabinet and AC50 amplifier: £165.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £80.

September 1964

The "Eighteen Inch Foundation Bass" - again cabinet and AC50 amplifier: £173 5s.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £84 2s 6d.

Vox Plastileather Amplifier Cover: Foundation Bass (Speaker Cabinet cover): £3 6s 6d.

May 1965

The "A.C.50 Foundation Bass (18" loudspeaker)": £173 5s.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £84 2s 6d.

Foundation Bass Amplifier stand: £9.

Vox Plastileather Amplifier Cover: Foundation Bass (Speaker Cabinet cover): £3 6s 6d.

November 1965

The "A.C.50 Foundation Bass (18" loudspeaker)": £173 5s.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £84 2s 6d.

Foundation Bass Amplifier stand: £9.

Vox Plastileather Amplifier Cover: Foundation Bass (Speaker Cabinet cover): £3 6s 6d.

April 1967

Vox Valve Amplifiers: The 18" Foundation Bass: £173 5s.

Foundation Bass Cabinet (1 x 18" speaker): £84 2s 6d.

Covers: Foundation Bass Speaker Cabinet: £3 6s 6d.

WHEELS FOR THE CABINET

Left, the Stones in the studio in the US in 1965; centre, concert photo by George Shuba; right, rehearsing for a TV show 1965, photo by Bob Bonis.

A cab with original braked roller stand.

SURVIVING CABS - late 1963 to October 1964

"BASS" RUNNER (front of cab, lower right) and BROWN GRILLE CLOTH

A number of brown-fronted cabs have smooth grey tolex instead of basketweave. Corner protectors are generally present. In some instances, baffle and back board are of strong chipboard (particle board) rather than Baltic plywood. Early cabs do not have recesses (handles) let into the sides. Internally, the sides, top and bottom are braced with triangular lengths of ply.

TYPE 1. Brown grille cloth; gold logo on a plain trapezoidal background (a wooden block covered in vinyl). No corner protectors at first.

TYPE 2. Brown grille cloth; gold logo on a stippled background.

TYPE 3. Black grille cloth.

No serial or identification plates survive on brown-fronted cabs. Presumably none were fitted.

TYPE 1a - no corner protectors

Cab belonging to AC50 serial no. 1015B (on the left in the first picture). For further pictures, . No corner protectors (nor did it ever have them). The original speaker was replaced in 1976; the original is likely to have been either a Goodmans Audiom 90 or a Celestion T1079.

Currently in Japan. The AC50 is a later solid state rectified amp, its grille cloth replaced. Note in the Foundation Bass cab, the original round Cannon XLR-3-13 connector, and the four screws down each side, as in the cab above it. The original Celestion is unfortunately gone. Covering is smooth charcoal grey tolex. No corner protectors.

Note the presence of the earliest form of Celestion 18" speaker (T1079), sprayed Vox blue. The "BASS" runner is missing. Probably issued without corner protectors.

TYPE 1b - corner protectors

Chipboard front baffle; 8 ohm Goodmans speaker (distinguishable by the light blue lettering on the sticker, as in the slightly later example below, which is not from a Vox cab. The covering is smooth charcoal grey tolex. Originally had corner protectors, some now gone.

TYPE 2a - small VOX logo

Some cabs evidently did not have blacking inside. Immediately below, two examples, one a shell, the other, belonging to small box AC50 serial no. 1034, in excellent condition, though the original driver has been replaced with a unit made for Selmer c. 1967.

AC50 serial no. 1034. Cab and amp with original covers. Further pictures on this page. As above, the inside of the cab is not blacked.

Note the thick horizontal strut across the baffle cut-out.

TYPE 2b - small VOX logo

Sold on ebay some time ago.

Cab now in London (photographed in Somerset House). Smooth grey tolex; chipboard baffle and back. The outline of the original Cannon socket is visible on the back.

Currently in France. Another small box (thick edged) amp with its original cab.

Cab accompanying an early large box AC50, summer 1964 - Half lengths of ply brace the sides. Silver Celestion speaker - probably mid 1964 - silver to match the silver alnicos brought in at this time. For a blue version of this speaker see further up this page.

TYPE 2c - large VOX logo

A single image from an ebay auction in the mid 2000s.

Manfred Mann on the first broadcast of Shindig, 1st October 1964. The cabs have no carrying handles on the sides, and one clearly has a short "BASS" runner. Very probably the grille cloth is brown, matching the two small box (thick edged) AC50s on stage.

CROSSOVER

Brown cloth and carrying handles on the sides

On the left, current whereabouts unknown. Large logo, carrying handles on side. On the right, currently in the USA, pictured with an amp from a different source.

From OCTOBER 1964

BLACK CLOTH and CARRYING HANDLES ON THE SIDES

The new cabinets first appeared in late 1964 - pairs of recesses on the sides (similar to those in a T60) to assist carrying, and serial/identification plates on the back (which cabs with brown cloth evidently did not have). The numerical sequence is likely to have started at 1000 or 1001.

Above, the Stones playing at Long Beach Arena (Municipal Auditorium) on 1st November 1964. Two good shots of the side of one of Bill's cabs. . For general views of the auditorium .

TYPE 3a

Left, Keith Richard sitting on one of Bill's cabs in Fresno, California, 1965. Right, a promotional flyer - the BASS flag of the cab is just visible. There are no carrying handles on the sides.

Image from an ebay auction, 2011. Note the "BASS" flag still in place.

Cab probably original to AC50 serial number 1821. Black grille cloth and "BASS" runner lower right. Sides of the cab not pictured.

NO "BASS" or "FOUNDATION BASS" RUNNER

Black grille cloth. Similar in outward appearance to the later cabs that have the "Foundation Bass" logo, but the logos are probably on a plain, rather than stippled, background.

Promotional picture for the Mike Cotton Sound.

TYPE 3b - the standard type

"FOUNDATION BASS" RUNNER

Black grille cloth; stippled background on the trapezoidal logo panel; small running logo at bottom right of the cabinet. Pairs of recesses (handles) let into the sides. Certainly being supplied in this form by April 1965.

Circular ("doughnut") Amphenol XLR sockets replace the earlier rectangular Cannons.

Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits on stage at the NME Poll Winner's Concert, April 1965. Note to right of picture, the Foundation cab with the long runner, lower right.

A great pair. Serial plates no longer present though.

Serial number 1135.

Speaker gone (and baffle screws removed), but in good order otherwise and with its original cover.

Serial number 1359. Now paired with an AC100. Note, however, the 50W Goodmans speaker.

A Foundation Bass set up complete with its black vinyl covers.

A Fane speaker. Fanes were used for a short time instead of (or perhaps in parallel with) Goodmans.

Two Foundation Bass cabs on a trolley. One of the "Foundation Bass" logos has found its way onto the AC50.

TYPE 3c

CABS WITH FOUR SCREWS ON EACH SIDE

(instead of the normal three)

Regrilled with brown cloth.

A pair of cabs both with four screws down each side.

CROSSOVER TO SOLID STATE BASS AMPS

Fitted with old-style casters. The logo is new-style solid state and the plastic corner protectors are fixed with two pins, but the format of the cab is standard old-style Foundation Bass (ie. no port).

LATER CABS (ported at front)

Supplied with Solid State bass amps

A cab without grille cloth showing the layout of the baffle. The solid state cabs are wider than their earlier counterparts.

The ID plates seldom have a serial number stamped in the panel provided.

An early Foundation Bass set, grille cloth faded to brown.

Dynamic Bass cab - for reference - 15" speaker

Ultimately the format persisted, as the pictures below show, well into the 1970s - Tom Jennings's new company, Jennings Electronic Industries, continued to produce the cabs for use with 50W amps until its demise, as did Vox Sound.