VOX AC100 - UPDATES AND NEW INFO
2018 current (September-December)
A note on AC100 output transformer connections - 8 and 15 ohm. Below, schemas of the three main types: early cathode bias (copper and black panel amps); later cathode bias (grey panel amps); fixed bias ("100W Amplifier" and AC100/2).
The output terminal block of serial number 392, later cathode biased.
In the schemas above, the position and colour of the wires from the transformers are given in their most common order. In all types of AC100, one sometimes finds the common in the centre. The output transformers of early cathode biased amps have more complex windings (resulting in pairs of wires feeding into the terminal block).
AC100 Super Deluxe (SDL) speaker cabinets; 2 x 15" bass units; and the majority of Foundation Bass cabs had an impedance of 8 ohms, naturally requiring the output connections to be set for 8 ohms on the amplifier too.
By early 1965, a 470 ohm resistor was introduced across the 8 ohm tap to help guard against open circuits.
Detail from the "100W Amplifier" circuit of late summer 1965.
Effectively, when no speaker cabinet is connected, the 470 ohm resistor provides a load that the amplifier cannot "drive" - a sort of surrogate if you like (impedance is not identical with resistance) for a 470 ohm cab, not quite a dead short, but close. The protection afforded by the resistor is necessarily short term - enough to give time for a switch off following the discovery that no speaker cabinet is attached - but it is protection nonetheless. Hiwatt used a similar resistor over its jack socket ouputs.
When a speaker cabinet is connected, the 470 ohm resistor lies in parallel with the 8 ohm load of the speaker cabinet. The effect of the resistor then becomes neglible. The product of the two resistances (one technically an impedance) is a little over 7.8 ohms.
16th December (2)
A little more on tags - see the entry below, 15th December. A number of Scandinavian countries had laws in the 1960s and 1970s that made voltage selectors illegal. The selectors were consequently removed and the mains input hardwired for 220v. Ingeniously, the black and gold tags were sometimes used to fill the hole.
An AC50 from late 1965 / early 1966.
A note relating to early Jennings Musical Industries, not really germane to anything here, but interesting for process. Pictures of a largish trove of early Jennings catalogues, flyers and brochures, some not available elsewhere (web or in print), may follow.
A good selection of catalogues, flyers and pricelists accompanied this letter, sent to the enquirer, who lived in Scarborough, in November 1961. A further batch was forwarded in 1962.
Five Jennings Musical Industries patent applications, 1955-1963 - inventions of Les Hills and Derek Underdown for organ and guitar elements - can be found here.
Use the menu at the side of those patent pages to find copies of the original documents and drawings. Various dates are recorded - of submission, deposition, approval.
Les Hills, the genius behind the T60 amplifier and numerous organ circuits, continued working and innovating for Vox through to "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" days - see the patent for a polyphonic keyboard voicing, January 1969, on the Vox Supreme website.
Scarce these days, but by no means unique, a couple of JMI tags for English-made equipment, on the left the early style (to the last third of 1964), on the right the style that followed (last third of 1964 to 1968). The one on the left, originally attached to AC50 no. 1101, will have been the type accompanying copper panelled AC80/100s (thanks to Martin for pointing that out).
AC50 no. 1101, diamond input, second third of 1964. The amp is gone, but shop price tag, JMI guarantee, envelope and tag survive.
A number of the later style tags are still on or with the amps they were issued with:
Above, AC50 no. 5619, from 1966.
Defiant no. 1102, from April 1967. Thanks to Paul for these pictures.
The tag was presumably redesigned - a third style/type - in the summer of 1968 to omit "JMI". The succeeding companies were "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" (summer 1968 to early 1970) and "Vox Sound Limited" (summer 1970 to early 1973).
A "Vox Sound Limited" Supreme (1972). Picture from donkey's years ago. Presumably the tag simply has VOX.
There is I think a late AC100 in Germany also with a tag, but the picture has decided not to let itself be found for the time being.
A better version now of the Vox advert following the NME Poll Winners Concert, May 1967 - the line-up was mainly new solid state Vox Supremes and Super Foundation Bass amps. The Queen's award for Industry had been awarded in April 1967 - see this page.
NME magazine, 13th May 1967. All the bands on the bill used the equipment supplied by Jennings (there are small pictures throughout the 13th May issue). In the quadrants of the circle going clockwise: Dusty Springfield at the NME Concert, 1965; equipment on stage, also 1965; the Beatles with a 7120, Abbey Road, April 1966; Cliff Richard at the 1967 concert.
A better version (below) of the Vox advert following the NME Poll Winners Concert, May 1966, now posted on at the Empire Pool, Wembley page.
NME magazine, 13th May, 1966. The AC100 is still the picture (four were supplied by Jennings for the concert). The glimpses of The Beatles, Stones, and Dusty Springfield are from the NME Poll Winners, 1965. Pictures from the '65 concert were also used for promotional purposes in the States.
A new page begun on the equipment supplied by JMI for events at the Empire Pool, Wembley, 1964-1968.
The main front of the Empire Pool, 1st July 1967, fans arriving for the Monkees - equipment supplied by Vox.
A second page illustrating the equipment supplied to smaller venues and events to follow.
On the left, a copy of the US Vox catalogue - "The Million Dollar Sound" - from late 1964, issued to Killeen Music in Burbank. The other two are the later (autumn 1965) "King of the Beat" catalogue. Pictures of the "Million Dollar Sound" cat. from a different copy are here.
Killeen Music placed an advert for Vox guitars and amplifiers in the "Valley News" in mid December '64 - available here. The store had been a Thomas dealer for at least five to six months at that time.
The LA Times, 12th July, 1964. Click as ever for a larger image. This is the earliest mention of the store that has emerged to date.
18th November (2)
"The Stage", 24th June, 1965. Just to indicate that Jennings, for its part, distributed Thomas organs in the UK through to the end of 1966 - see the entry for 9th October, below. £700 - the price of the one illustrated - was no small amount in 1965.
Some more on the dissemination of Vox equipment in the States in late 1964. At present it's a question of charting where and when it arrived. In some cases, guitars seem to have travelled more quickly than amplifiers - which is perhaps only to be expected as they were easier, in terms of bulk, to ship.
As orders came in, the existing Jennings production lines and those of its contractors - Triumph Electronics in Purley, and Westrex in Dollis Hill - were evidently stretched. In early 1965 (February) British newspapers began to report the taking on by Jennings of more staff - see this page - part of the business of setting up the Vox Works in the Burndept factory at Erith, where from Spring 1965 AC80/100s (grey panel, still cathode-biased - on this page) and AC50s were produced. A large number went to the States. At that point Westrex, which had assembled the early runs of AC80/100s, was released from contract.
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 13th November, 1964. Keys to Music.
"St Louis Post and Dispatch", 2nd October, 1964. Northland Music Center.
"Lubbock Avalanche Journal", Texas, 22nd November, 1964. Matheny Music Company. At the foot of the advert: "We handle the Hofner Guitars and the famous Vox amplifiers (the brand and style used by The Beatles!).
"Wilkes Barre Times", Pennsylvania, 26th November, 1964. Wallace Music Company.
"Arizona Republic", Phoenix, 30th November, 1964. Totem Music Center.
"The Times", Munster, Indiana, 17th November, 1964. Hal Morris Music Mart.
"The Times", Munster, Indiana, 23rd November, 1964. Hal Morris Music Mart.
"Chicago Tribune", 20th December, 1964. Thomas Organ Studios. Promoting Vox with a picture of a band other than the Beatles. Gerry and the Pacemakers with large-box AC50s and Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five inset. A different photo from the Pacemaker's photo session, which took place in England, late summer 1964, was sent to US dealers as part of a set in 1965. No mention yet of American bands.
17th November (2)
The entry below has been lightly updated. Vox guitars - a first shipment to northern California - were apparently available in San Francisco from 13th October. The first indication given by the "King Music Company" in Albuquerque that Vox equipment was on its way comes in late September rather than early October.
Some more on Vox in America, 1964 - the full range noted in the "Arlington Heights Herald" as having been "just flown in", September 17th '64, presumably to O'Hare airport, Chicago.
"Arlington Heights Herald", 17th September 1964 - three weeks or so after JMI had agreed to provide the million dollar's worth of equipment (£534,000 then) to Thomas Organ.
The immediate recipient was the "Thomas Organ Studios", Golf Mill Shopping Center. Given that the deal between Jennings and Thomas was signed around 24th August, one has to wonder how large the first shipment was. Perhaps simply a sizeable proportion of everything that Jennings had in stock at the time - i.e. things not already allocated to shops and dealers in the UK and Europe.
The first illustrated advert appeared a fortnight later - on the 1st October - in the "Arlington Heights Herald" and simultaneously in the "Chicago Herald" (Daily Surburban issue):
"Arlington Heights Herald", 1st October, 1964. The advert was repeated on the 8th and 15th October.
Aerial view of the Golf Mill Shopping Center, c. 1967, Niles (Des Plaines), Illinois, north west of Chicago from this thread.
At pretty much the same time, the news was reported in an advert placed by "King Music" in the Albuquerque Journal, 28th September: "Coming Soon. The VOX Guitar and Amplifiers used Exclusively by the BEATLES".
"Albuquerque Journal", 28th September, '64.
A consignment apparently reached "King Music Co. Inc." late in October, reported in a very small ad:
"Albuquerque Journal", 23rd October, '64. The advert in the paper on the 30th September simply repeats September's notice, however, in which amps and guitars are "coming soon".
Quite how Alburquerque - which is a monstrously long stretch from Chicago - received its stock is unknown. Perhaps by road, or a new consignment flown in from England?.
California looks to have had its consignment by October, doubtless distributed to dealers from the Thomas Organ/Warwick Electronics facility at Sepulveda (north Los Angeles) - see this page, which has now been updated.
"San Francisco Examiner", 13th October, 1964.
"Keys to Music" in Van Nuys, which placed a fancy ad in the press in December, certainly had "British Vox" by November:
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 29th November 1964.
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 11th December 1964. This, to date, is the earliest instance of this particular advert (reprinted in Valley News on the 13th).
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 13th December 1964, advert placed by Killeen Music, San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank, a short distance to the west of the Thomas Organ / Warwick Electronics facility in Sepulveda.
The store sign of Killeen Music, Burbank, caught in 1968.
It would be quite something to know how many AC80/100s were among these exports - presumably for the most part late copper and early black panelled amps. The earliest dated photograph showing an AC100 in the States not belonging to an English band is from mid April '65 - on this page.
A new page begun on Vox in California, 1964. Dealers were supplied from Sepulveda, the first apparently being "Keys to Music" in Van Nuys, a little under four miles away. Other stores followed soon after.
A new page on Vox at the NAMM show, Chicago, 1965, has been begun. The deal was actually signed with Warwick Electronics Inc., the company that owned Thomas Organ.
A still from film of Tom Jennings with the Warwick Electronics people. The document, which is later presented to camera, is headed "Warwick Electronics Inc.".
Above, a short piece in the "Oxnard Press Courier", 2nd March, 1965. The Vox van! Marv Kaiser was also involved in promoting Vox at the "Battle of the Beat" at the Hollywood Palladium and the "Battle of the Bands" in San Mateo - see this page.
The equipment in the van is presumably seen in part in numbers of promotional photographs - generally an AC100, two AC50 Foundation Bass amps, a Continental organ, and various guitars (esp. Phantoms).
Battles of Bands were a favoured means of promotion. Below, Joe Benaron (head of Thomas Organ and Vox in the US) and Marv Kaiser pictured in "Billboard" magazine, 19th August, 1967:
Melody Maker magazine, April 19th, 1969 - Vox 150W PA amplifier in the Orange shop on New Compton Street for £175. This is not too far off the price new in the JMI pricelist of November 1965, below.
JMI pricelist, November 1965. Just to note, still no 12" wall-mounted speaker. That was to come later. See the entry on this page for 14th September for some units from 1967/1968.
3rd November (2)
Below, a detail from The Who on stage in Copenhagen, 25th September 1965, with what are probably new (custom made) Vox 150W PA amplifiers - one is in use, the other a spare. Note their size in relation to the AC100s.
The control panel is inset in the top of the amps. The input jacks, which are white, are arranged in a row. There appear to be three controls - presumably volume, treble and bass, much as for the AC100.
The 150W PA amp was new in the Vox range at the time, its first outing being at the British Musical Instrument Industries Trade Fair, late August 1965. See the snippet from "Beat Instrumental" magazine lower down in this entry.
Whether it had 6 x EL34 or 4 x KT88 is not known. Judging by the size of the boxes, the transformers in the amps pictured below must have been monumental.
Photo courtesy of Scanpix. Detail from a high resolution file. Click on the image for a larger version.
The whole. Seven AC100s on stage along with a variety of cabs, the PA amps and column speakers.
A note on Vox PA amplifiers, 1964 - 1965
The early PA amplifiers were assembled for Vox by Triumph Electronics in Purley. Triumph also made the AC50 for Vox until Spring 1965.
It seems best at present to view the development in "stages" rather than "generations".
1st stage - early 1964 - two inputs
The first generation of Metal Clad Vox PA amplifiers, as described in the catalogue from early 1964 above, had two inputs. The relevant text has been given in black and white for clarity.
2nd stage - autumn 1964 - four and six inputs
August 1964: the new six-input PAs on show at the Russell Hotel. Judging by their depth, these units had transistor preamps. It is likely that the sloping-front Metal Clad amps - valve rectified - had four inputs by this time.
Metal Clads in the "Precision in Sound" newspaper catalogue from late 1964 - four inputs, three for mics, one for music.
3rd stage - early to mid 1965 - four and six inputs
The four-input amps are now solid state rectified (in line with the new generation of AC50s produced by Triumph).
A pristine Metal Clad PA50 assembled by Triumph Electronics under contract from Vox in early 1965 - note the solid state rectification - the four "top hat" Mullard BY100 diodes on the left-hand side of the tagboard.
4th stage - mid 1965 - four and six inputs
By mid 1965 it appears as though the four-input Metal Clads had been given flat fronts.
The Who on stage in England in the summer of 1965 with a flat-fronted 100W PA - presumably 100W as there is no designation on the front (MC100).
5th stage - autumn 1965
Four-input Metal Clads were still in production, appearing in the pricelist issued by Jennings in November '65. A new generation of amp was heralded at the August Trade Fair, however:
"Beat Instrumental" magazine, October 1965, review of the British Musical Instrument Industries Trade Fair at the Russell Hotel, August 1965 - see this page for more on the show.
Melody Maker magazine, 21st August, 1965. Four inputs and a spring reverb - presumably along the lines of the reverb incorporated in the AC30SRT..
Presumably The Who, pictured at the head of this entry, had a special incarnation of the new 150W amp. The pages on Vox PA units will be revised accordingly.
The "Million Dollar" Thomas Organ Vox catalogue from late 1964 now posted here - the two sides of the fold out in full.
A Mullard brochure - an early one - for the EL34. For surviving sets of valves from AC100s fitted at factory, see this page.
Backstage at the Futurist Theatre, 8th August, 1964. Probably not two AC80/100s. More likely to be the early AC50s in their covers. Note that the amp on its side has a solid bottom. AC80/100s had grilles underneath. This has now been signalled in the entry below, 29th October.
The baggage car sequence from "A Hard Day's Night" - shot in mid March 1964. Covers for the AC50 amp and its cab.
29th October (2)
The 4th Teen Age Fair at the Hollywood Palladium, 9th - 16th April, 1965.
The earliest pictures so far of AC100s - or rather AC80/100s - in the States not belonging to the Beatles (or any other English band).
The 4th Teen Age Fair was famous for a "Battle of the Bands" stretching over Easter week '65, won by Captain Beefheart. A sizeable amount of Vox equipment was provided for the event by Thomas Organ.
The Challengers, a surf group, served as the house band, providing music during the interludes between the competition rounds for the broadcast coverage of the days.
An AC50 in the foreground, and an AC100 further up stage.
The cabs belonging to the two Vox amps at left.
The first Vox Teen Beat magazine, produced slightly in advance of the Teen Age Fair, had this to say:
"Pierced ear drums are expected to be the only casualties this week as 80 torrid teen combos battle for the Vox sound crown at the Teen Age Fair. Forty groups will vie at the Bay area show in Vox "Battle of the Bands" while the other forty will fight Vox "Battle of the Beat" at the Palladium in Los Angeles.
A copy of the Vox advert (perhaps the earliest in the States) that had been published in late 1964.
Captain Beefheart, winners of the LA competition, on stage at the Palladium, April '65. Note at front of stage the "Dave Clark Five" and "Jumping Beatles" standees,
The San Franscisco Battle, April 1965. Foundation Bass to left, an AC100 (or possibly a thick-edged small-box AC50) on a large-box AC50 cab, and at right an AC30SRT.
A Vox advert for the Brothers Grim in Teen Beat magazine no. 1. The band, which performed and recorded very little, were said to be the first endorsers of Vox.
The Beatles backstage at the Futurist Theatre, 8th August, 1964 with Cherry Rowland, who was on the bill with Erkey Grant and Unit Four Plus Two. It was at this concert that the AC100 SDL speaker cabinets were used for the first time. Copper panelled AC80/100s had already been consigned to John and George in time for the Stockholm concerts in late July (see the entries lower down this page).
In shot below, an AC30 and probably the two early AC50s (not AC100s), one in its cover, the other standing on its side behind Paul's speaker cab.
28th October (3)
Above, the NME Poll Winners' Concert, 26th April, 1964 - two early AC80/100s, provided by Jennings for the event, along with much else, on the wheeled platforms on stage during the Rolling Stones' performance. It is likely that these amps served a variety of purposes - bass, Public Address, and so on. Some great Pathe footage below:
28th October (2)
The UK Vox press advert for the AC80/100, February 1964, bit by bit:
Dezo Hoffman photo, 25th March, 1963, Allerton Park - the "Jumping Beatles".
"Melody Maker" magazine, 15th February 1964. This may have given the idea for the advert below.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 29th February 1964.
"Beat Monthly" magazine no.12, April 1964, now incorporating the amp.
The AC80/100 in the catalogue of February/March 1964. The "Jumping Beatles" are on its cover. Did anyone ever order an AC80/100 in coloured tolex?
Some notes on early US users of Vox equipment with attested dates, or at least termini ante quem.
Below, pages from the Thomas Organ Vox catalogue (catalog) "King of the Beat" - from this site. Much the same roster of UK equipment as in the "Million Dollar Sound" catalogue from late 1964 - see lower down this page (14th Oct.) - but the amplifiers now have new names.
The end pages have inset pictures of Vox users:
The catalogue probably from May / June 1965 as Donovan, Dusty Springfield, The Searchers and The Kinks are pictured performing at the NME Pollwinner's Concert at Wembley, 11th April, 1965. Precise date of printing and circulation yet to be determined though.
A couple of points. First, the only US bands pictured are "The Standells" and the "Sir Douglas Quintet". The former had used a Vox Continental organ (with its name and logo blanked out) in an episode of "The Munsters", aired 18th March, 1965. The latter also had a Continental early on.
The Standells on "The Munsters"
Sir Douglas Quintet, first single
Both bands did however have full sets of Vox gear. Further publicity photos - ie. subsequent to the ones embodied in the "King of the Beat" catalogue - were issued to dealers.
Second, the picture of the Beatles in the "King of the Beat" catalogue regularly found its way into later US Vox adverts - see the entry for 20th October, below, which gives it from a copy of "Downbeat" magazine, 23rd Sept., 1965. It also occurs in "Downbeat", 1st July, '65.
Also to say that it is the image used on Thomas Organ Vox warranty cards:
The front of the form.
In terms of adverts for Vox in general in the US, the one below still seems to be the earliest (which may ultimately be proved wrong, but earliest at present):
"Valley News (Van Nuys)", 11th December 1964. This, to date, is certainly the earliest instance of this particular advert (reprinted in Valley News on the 13th). The next earliest is in KRLA magazine on 23rd December '64, on this page. The ad above promotes "Keys to Music", Van Nuys.
A Celestion brochure and pricelist from August 1962 (August on the back page of the pricelist, though April is given inside). The G12, the immediate precursor of the "Vox blue" (T530) and "silver" (T1088), was used in early AC15s and AC30s.
£8 16 shillings in 1962 is equivalent to around £170 today according to the Bank of England inflation calculator. But Vox presumably had a trade bulk deal.
A detail of a shot taken from side of stage at one of the Stockholm shows. One can just see that George's speaker cabinet, which contained 2 x 15" drivers, presumably in company with John's (see the entries below), is open backed - an upper board and a lower board as in large box AC50 cabs. The connector is on the upper back board. Thanks to Tom again for spotting this.
The blue arrow points to the gap between upper and lower back boards.
24th October (2)
The "Daily Express" Record Star Show programme, 21st March, 1965, containing the Vox advert posted on this page a little while ago. Around 80% of the programme is in fact ads. Pictures of the event are extremely hard to come by.
Note that the images of the Phantom and AC100 were used, very small, in the advert published in "Downbeat" magazine, below.
A news item from the "Daily Express", 9th February, 1965. Orders rolling in, more staff taken on - most likely also for the Vox Works at Erith - to meet the demand.
My good friend Tom dropped me a line this afternoon saying that the speaker cabinets used by John and George at Stockholm in late July '64 doubtless contained 2 x 15" speakers. And yes, they do, or rather did. Below, the pic. of George's cab, inverted and given contrast.
One can see how large the cut-outs in the baffle were. Scroll down for the un-inverted pic.
Tom noted further that the two cabs are in effect a sort of "expanded" AC30 extension cab rather than a "large-box AC50" ( though the idea for a new AC50 cab was clearly at large at this time). The AC30 "expanded" had two 15" speakers, with "heavy duty" on the labels:
A fine example with brown grille cloth.
Presumably what prompted the use of 2 x 15" drivers in the Stockholm speaker cabs was power handling. The Celestion T1074 (sprayed blue) and the T1109 (sprayed silver), which followed in May 1964, could handle 40-50 watts apiece - a reasonably good match for the new AC80/100 amplifiers. All three Beatles therefore had cabs with 15" speakers.
Whether the two guitar cabs were open or closed back is unknown - in views from rear of stage their backs are always obscured by the drum riser.
Below, an audio clip from the show on the 28th July:
In all the major image repositories, pictures of the Beatles on stage at Stockholm are always said to be 28th July. Yet clearly the two different shows - one on Tuesday 28th, the other on Wednesday 29th - are encompassed. But which is which? The clue may lie in this picture of "The Shanes", taken on stage very probably - note the qualification - before the show on the 29th, the Marshall just visible at right (?).
The Shanes taking Ringo's kit hostage.
The dates in the captions to the pictures below have been changed accordingly:
21st October (2)
Some details from Stockholm, Johanneshov Isstadion, very probably the show on the 29th July, 1964:
John's amp and cab, the AC50 behind it, and behind that the Marshall JTM45 (belonging to another band) on the riser.
George's amp and cab.
Two pics of the Beatles, Stockholm, 28th and 29th July, 1964, John and George with their new AC80/100s and large box AC50 speaker cabs. On the drum riser, a Marshall JTM45 and 4x12 cab belonging to another band. It is interesting, but purely coincidental, that the Beatles took delivery of their 4x12 SDL cabs around the 10th August.
Probably the 29th July.
Probably the 28th July.
The adverts for Vox equipment circulated by Thomas Organ are interesting not least for the anachronistic pictures of the Beatles (and other bands) they embody. Below, one fairly common on the web these days. Its origin and date are rarely given however - "Downbeat" magazine, 23rd September, 1965 (and printed again in December).
A very tiny AC100, the drawing having first been used in the UK and States in late 1964.
"Downbeat", 23rd September, 1965. Other ads will be posted soon. The magazine, founded primarily to cover the jazz scene, is a fabulous mixture of things in the sixties. To shrieks of dismay, the Beatles even came top of one of its best vocalist polls in 1965.
Surprisingly - for the Beatles had just completed their summer '65 tour of the States - the inset picture in the "Downbeat" ad is almost two years out of date. Below, the concert programme for the Christmas Show at the Finsbury Park Astoria, 24th December, 1963:
A copy of the programme as a whole, part of the fantastic Bradford project, is available here.
Once the advert containing this picture had been released by Thomas Organ, it was of course reprinted in various contexts:
"The War Whoop", Abilene, Texas, 17th March, 1966 available here. Old adverts never die, they simply fade away.
OK, this is the "Ideal Home Exhibition" of all things, a wonderfully British institution held annually at the Olympia Exhibition Hall in west London, sponsored by the Daily Mail newspaper. 1966 (?) as an AC50 and AC100 are in view rather than the new solid state amps. As noted further down on this page, Royston's head office in 1967 was at 3 Hill Street (Mayfair). 24-25 New Bond Street, just discernible on the stand, is the old address.
One can see how other stands looked in the video below.>
And Vox (or rather Royston) was there in 1967 too. See the text in the piece on Dave Roberts from "The Beacon", Journal of the Royston Group, July '67, below.
The 1967 Exhibition took place between the 7th March and 1st April. A short video of the show is here, requiring Adobe Flash to play.
Below, some great footage of the Ideal Home Exhibition, 1966:
14th October (2)
The group that convened the Public Address Shows attended by Jennings in 1964, 1965 and presumably subsequent years was the "Association of Public Address Engineers" (APAE). The Journal of the group may give info for 1966-1968. It is likely that Jennings picked up various ideas for its PA amplifiers at these meetings - design and features changed markedly over the years.
Some quick shots of the "Million Dollar Sound" catalogue, produced in the months following the deal made with Thomas Organ in August 1964. It probably dates from September/October.
This copy originally belonged to Zeb Billings Music in Milwaukee. AC80/100 serial no. 430 was one of the amps that came through Billings's store in the 60s.
13th October (4)
A passing illustration of a small trade show that Jennings took part in in the 1960s: the annual exhibition of the Association of Public Address Engineers.
"Wireless World" magazine, March 1964. At this point, the Jennings PA amplifiers were new in its range.
The King's Head Hotel, Harrow, c. 1965
The first generation of Vox PA amplifiers, as described in the catalogue from early 1964 above, had two inputs . The relevant text has been given in black and white for clarity. The page on Vox 100W PA amps has been updated.
"Wireless World", March 1965.
13th October (3)
It seemed best to gather the new pages on Trade Fairs together on a new index page. Further venues to be incorporated.
13th October (2)
Tom Jennings and Dick Denney at the NAMM show, Conrad Hilton, Chicago, 10th - 14th July 1966, demonstrating the Guitar Organ in front of Thomas Organ solid state amplifiers. Other interviews are collected on the NAMM 1966 website.
A syndicated report of the $2 million order won at the show. "The Birmingham Post", 27th July 1966.
"Beat Instrumental" magazine, August 1966.
A page now begun on the Moscow Trade Fair, which took place at the Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, 8th - 24th July 1966. As ever, further material to be added, so do check back from time to time.
The rotunda of the Sokolniki Exhibition Centre, pictured in 1961.
The Fair unfortunately provided little return for Jennings - a paltry £1500, by no means the fault of Dave Roberts and Colin Barrett, the Jennings representatives, who proved hugely popular. The Vox stand at the National Association of Music Merchants in Chicago, on the other hand, which took place more or less simultaneously, netted the company $2 million, almost 80 times as much. But the principal customer was, of course, Thomas Organ.
The page on the Frankfurt Music Fair, February/March 1966 has now been updated with ads placed by other companies for their stands at the show. Melody Maker even went so far as to produce a special issue in German for the event. In contrast to previous years, info on the 1966 show is relatively good.
A new page has been started on Vox at the Frankfurt Music Fair, February/March 1966. Further material to come. The adverts issued in advance of the Fair are also to be found a little way down this page.
The Vox stand (not a large one) at some large exhibition venue - the extent of the structure can be glimpsed upper left. Certainly not Frankfurt 1965 (the stand number is not a Frankfurt number), nor the Russell Hotel 1964 or 1965.
Note the prominence given to Royston Industries, and the company address: 24-25 New Bond Street, London, W1.
The Birmingham Post, 3rd September, 1966. Royston is still on New Bond Street. In 1967 the company office was 3 Hill Street.
Melody Maker magazine, advertising a sort of portmanteau exhibition. Whether Vox was at this show remains to be seen.
9th October (3)
A snippet from "Piano Trade Magazine", volume 64, 1967 - Jennings officially breaking its ties with the Thomas Organ Co. But the rot had set in much earlier. Thomas had established its own office in London around a year earlier (in Clerkenwell), and had brought a network of dealers into being by the autumn of '66. The dealers met on 24th August at the Dorchester Hotel, the penultimate day of the British Musical Instrument Industries Trade Fair.
Billboard magazine, 27th August, 1966.
9th October (2)
Just to gather below some of the reports of the orders that Jennings won during the course of 1964 and 1965 - quite staggering figures. The Vox Works at Erith and the old premises on Dartford Road will have been running at full pelt to keep up with demand. These of course are simply the orders reported by the newspapers:
From "Beat Instrumental" magazine no. 18, October 1964. The "Million Dollar" contract, signed at the British Musical Instruments (Association of Musical Instrument Industries) Trade Fair, which took place in late August (24th to 29th) while the Beatles were touring the US.
"The Birmingham Post", 17th November, 1964. A second order - 1.5 million dollars this time (then equivalent to £534,000). This second order is sometimes confused with the first.
The Observer, 22nd November, 1964. Prophetic words.
It seems likely that the "Million Dollar Sound" US Vox catalogue had been drawn up and issued by the end of November '64. A full copy of this catalogue will be posted soon.
Coventry Evening Telegraph, 4th February, 1965.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 13th March 1965, reporting on the Frankfurt Musikmesse, 21st-25th February, 1965.
A further massive order came in during the course of 1965. The extract below is from "The Economist" magazine, volume 216, July 10th, 1965. Click as ever for a larger image.
The upper figure of "$10 million", a good eye-catching number, is echoed in reports published in Billboard magazine.
What underlay the note in the Economist was the deal done at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago, June 27th - July 1st, 1965. The Thomas Organ Co. ordered $2-4 million worth of Vox equipment. "Billboard" magazine records the higher figure.
A schedule of events and partial list of exhibitors is given in Billboard, 26th June, '65, pp. 45-46.
Billboard magazine, 31st July, 1965.
A screen-grab from the Pathe newsreel on the BMI Trade Fair, London, 1965.
A page on the British Musical Instrument Trade Fair, London, Russell Hotel, August 1965 is now online here. Material from "Melody Maker" magazine "Trade Fair Special", 21st August, 1965, will follow. The brief account of the Jennings stand has already been included, however.
8th October (2)
The page on the BMI Fair, August 1964, has also been updated - further contemporary reports of the "Million Dollar Deal", and the even larger order that followed in November 1964 will be added shortly.
Two new pictures added to the page on the Frankfurt Music Fair, 1965, and its date corrected from a contemporary source - 21st-25th February '65.
7th October (2)
Dick Denney at the Frankfurt Music Fair, February 1965, not February 1964 as is sometimes said. Note February, not March.
A page on the Frankfurt Fair, 1965, has been started here. Pages on 1966 and 1967 to follow.
Dick Denney at the British Musical Instrument Industries Trade Fair, the Russell Hotel, London, 24th-28th August 1964.
New sets of pages are in the making on the Vox displays at the two main European fairs for musical instruments in the 1960s - the Frankfurt Musikmesse, which took place annually either in February or March, and the BMI Fair, normally in the penultimate week of August. The page for the BMI Fair, August 1964, is here.
"Beat Instrumental", "Melody Maker", the "Record Mirror" and "Billboard" are generally speaking the most important sources for contemporary reports on the Fairs. Others will be included where relevant. "The Guardian" newspaper has interesting comment for 1964 and 1965, for instance.
3rd October (2)
Below a Vox AC100 cover from mid 1967. Note the outline round "VOX", introduced with the solid state line in Spring of that year.
A Thomas Organ Parts Pricelist for dealers from April 1969. The Vox AC100 is still there. A new power transformer was $34.00 (retail), a cabinet for the amp $44.00, and a cabinet cover $5.00. One could buy parts of the speaker cab separately too. A replacement trolley would be a Super Beatle trolley, the cover also from a Super Beatle, $20.00. The list of electronic components is much reduced from the list issued in 1967, available here (foot of the page).
On the left, the Celestion alnico G12 in a Celestion leaflet from August 1956. A version of this first incarnation of G12 speaker (BO24 and BO25) was used in early AC15s and AC30s - the CT3757, hammertone silver frame. The Celestion blue (T530) and Celestion silver (T1088) were later descendants.