VOX AC100 - UPDATES AND NEW INFO
2018 current (April-September)
The page on Goodmans and Fane 18" bass speakers, used by Vox in Foundation Bass cabs, has been updated with new info. and material from catalogues and pricelists.
The Audiom 91 was new in Spring 1964.
Below, a note in the Guardian newspaper, 30th January, 1963, signalling the controlling stake taken by Royston Industries in Jennings. Strangely the date does not seem to have been made explicit in the existing literature on Vox.
Above, a list of Royston's holdings as they stood in July 1967 from the house journal: "The Beacon". A complete copy of the edition, which concentrates on JMI's winning of the Queen's Award for Industry, is available here.
As is well known, however, Royston took more money out of JMI than it put back in. Profits from the massive orders won by JMI in the U.S.A. - on which, see this page - were largely dispersed.
By autumn 1967, following a series of mis-judged ventures, Royston found itself in trouble. Where JMI was concerned, things came to a head in September when Tom Jennings was sacked. Many others, Dick Denney included, went soon after. The running of JMI fell to Cyril Windiate, Tom Jennings's secretary.
Below, a purchase order dated 6th February 1968 from JMI to Macari's Musical Exchange for 100 Tonebenders. Macari's had taken over the old Jennings shop, 100 Charing Cross Road, in February 1967.
The signatory for JMI is Cyril Windiate. Note that the Order clearly records that the company was in the hands of the receiver.
Material relating to the transition of the company from JMI to "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" in the second quarter of 1968 is being assembled on this page on the Vox Supreme website.
15th September (2)
The page on Celestion 18" bass speakers - The T1022, T1079, T1108 and T1296 - has been updated.
The full Official Programme of the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, August 1965, is now available here.
A mini stack of Vox 12" PA speakers - a pair and a singleton. The pair is probably from 1968 and originally had Celestion T1088s - see half-way down this page. The single speaker is earlier - its baffle cut-out has a horizontal and vertical bar across it. The later speakers only have a vertical.
These are nicely made units. On their upper backboards, slotted holes so they could be hung on walls by nails. Further pictures to follow.
The second half of the page on the Beatles in 1964 has now been revised - July to October.
A rare colour picture from the North American tour of August and September shows that the spare AC80/100, often seen by the side of the drum riser, had brown grille cloth:
Click as ever for a larger image. Toronto, 7th September, 1964.
11th September (2)
It was during the Beatles for Sale sessions in early October that the three new amps (seen also on the tour discussed briefly below) arrived.
Some notes on the Beatles AC80/100s in October and November 1964
Pictures taken on the Beatles' tour of the UK in late 1964 - 9th October to 4th November - show that the group travelled with four thin-edged AC80/100s with black grille cloth.
1) A new amp, delivered to Paul in early October 1964, with a BASS logo.
2) One of the amps given to John and George in early August '64, its logo composed of single letters V O X.
3 & 4) Two new thin-edged amps with conventional logos (bars through the letters).
A fifth amp, the twin of no. 2, does not appear. Its box, however, was used a little later to rehouse Paul's first AC80/100 - see below, entry for 8th September (2).
A series of illustrative details:
Leicester, De Montfort Hall, 10th October 1964. Paul's amp at left (1), and the amp with a single letter logo (2).
Belfast, King's Hall, 2nd November 1964. The amp at left has no bass flag (3). The alignment of the diamonds on its grille cloth is similar to the amp with a BASS flag, but the two are not the same. George's amp is the same as above (2).
Belfast again. The amp used by John (4). Logo of the standard type.
In terms of serial numbers, we have only one definitively fixed point at the moment. The twin of (2), delivered to John and George in August 1964, was serial no. 180.
It seems likely that the three new amps provided for the tour, made up specially with black grille cloth (brown was the norm), had numbers in the low 200s, or possibly 190s (no known survivors at present).
Brighton, 25th October 1964. Picture from the Beatles Book Photo Library. Paul's amp is (1), with a BASS logo at front and central screw on the top edge of the back board.
Brighton again - the amp used by John.
The two earlier amps - (2) and (5) - had no screws on the top edges of their respective back boards. Below, Lennon's amp, Milwaukee, 4th September, 1964:
New Orleans, 16 September, 1964. This is (2), above. Note the relationship of the letters to the diagonals of the diamonds. From a picture by Ted Rozumalski.
The box of this amp was used to re-house Paul's first AC80/100.
The page on the Beatles' AC100s in 1965 has been updated (long overdue anyway) with the new pictures and info posted below over the last few days. Further updates will be slipped in during the course of this week.
9th September (2)
To illustrate the point of amps being used fairly interchangeably by the Beatles, a couple of details. Note the ding on the serial number plate:
Lennon photographed from stage rear in front of the amp he used - serial no. 180 - on 24th June 1965 at Milan.
The plate of the amp used by Paul - serial no. 180 - for the Christmas Show rehearsals, December 1964.
Also worth pointing out that between the end of the Christmas Shows and the European tour in June '65, serial no. 180 in company with the other amp in a thick-edged box and serial no. 150B were given fixings (two screws) on the top edge of their respective backboards.
Milan, June '65. The companion amp in a thick-edged box, used by George. At right, serial no. 150B, used by Paul.
So the timeline insofar as it can be made out at present seems to be:
Early December 1964 (?): Amps back to JMI for refurbishment / reboxing.
Early months of 1965: Amps back to JMI again - screws added to top edges of back boards. Presumably other work too.
These seem to be pre-concert-run checks / repairs. For the NME Pollwinners concert, 11th April, 1965, the Beatles had large-box AC50s on top of their SDL speaker cabinets. It may be that the AC100s were away at JMI at this time.
NME Pollwinners concert, Empire Pool, Wembley, 11th April, 1965. Picture from Getty Images.
A detail of the serial number plate of the amp used by Paul at the rehearsal for the Christmas concerts, Finsbury Park Astoria, December 1964 - see the entry below, 6th August. Serial number 180:
Click as ever to enlarge. The serial number plate has 9 lines of text and long panels for the details.
Note that the amp's box is a new-style thick-edged one with no corner protectors - a format that had come into being by November 1964. Number 180 should by rights, however, be an amp in a thin-edged box. See this page.
The mains switch is a small ball-end Arrow. Other pictures show that the amp has a link voltage selector.
What seems to have happened is a sort of musical chairs. Paul's first amp was given the thin-edged box of one of the amps given to John and George in autumn 1964, and the boxless chassis that resulted from this exchange - serial no. 180 - was given a new thick-edged box, along with the chassis of the other amp given to John and George.
In other words, Paul's AC80/100 - serial no. 150B - ended up with an old-style black-fronted box, and John and George's were given new ones. From late 1964, however, the Beatles used their amps fairly interchangeably, so the notion of "owners" rather dissolves away.
The amp used by John at Milan, thick edges to the box, no corner protectors.
The amp used by George at Milan. As above, thick edges to the box, no corner protectors.
8th September (2)
Just to note that Paul's first amp - serial no. 150B - was originally issued in a box with brown grille cloth. In late 1964, in time for the Christmas show, the chassis, along with its back panel, was rehoused in the box of one of the amps originally issued to John and George in the autumn of 1964. These had black grille cloth. 150B was subsequently taken on the Italian and US tours of 1965.
Serial number 150B, at right, photographed from rear of stage at Milan, 24th June, 1965. This picture is sometimes, wrongly, said to be Genoa.
Photographed from front of stage, Milan, 1965. Compare the alignment of the diamonds on the grille cloth with the amp below. The left side is slightly in shadow.
From a picture by Ted Rozumalski. The black-fronted amp used by George, New Orleans, 16 Sept. 1964. Paul's old chassis was slipped into this box.
Some changes now to the page on early thin-edged AC80/100s. It is extremely doubtful that the amp said to be no. 117 is actually 117. There is something odd about its serial number plate (which is presented at a distance), among other things.
The lack of amps with attestable serial numbers under 150 certainly makes sense in relation to the evidence conveyed by the high-res photo posted yesterday - Paul's amp was the first AC80/100 issued, just as John and George had the first AC50s.
The serial number of Paul McCartney's first AC80/100 - serial no. 150B - seen in a pic taken at the Finsbury Park Astoria, December 1964:
A detail of Paul's amp on stage, Versailles, 14th January 1964. The AC80/100 had been issued to him in late December 1963.
Rehearsals for the Christmas Show, Finsbury Park Astoria, December 1964. Picture courtesy The Beatles Book Photo Archive.
A general detail from the picture above, Paul's first AC80/100 being used by George.
A detail, inverted and slightly enlarged, from the high resolution file - 150 B on the plate.
Paul's amp was the first AC80/100 made. No other amp has come to light with a fuseholder on the back panel, or with white jack plug sockets. Note that the serial number plate is of the early type, and that the designation "B" is also found on the plates of early single channel, two input AC50s that were paired with Foundation Bass cabs. See this page on the AC50 website.
Evidently the idea, from the start, was to sell some AC80/100s with bass cabs, others with non-bass cabs. John and George's AC100 SDLs did not come along until August '64 though.
The serial number 150B is interesting as the presumption has been that the sequence began at 100 or 101. Intriguingly another amp was also stamped 150 - the amp in Florida, used by Bill Wyman in 1964 and 1965. See the entries below, 31st July and 2nd August.
Quite what this means is difficult to say for sure - possibly a mistake, or perhaps the number 150 recorded/signified that these AC80/100s had been consigned to bands.
The chassis of 254 now pretty much sorted out. Everything powers up as it should. Still a few things to do, among which the replacement of the dreadful "orange drop" suppressor cap.
27th August (3)
Some shots of 254's box:
The furniture glide (small black foot) rear right (corr.) is original. The other three are replacements.
27th August (2)
Some pics of the back panel of 254, before and after:
The panel as reconfigured in the US, probably in the 1990s. Next to the jack socket on the aluminium plate was a switch to switch between 8 and 16ohms.
The hole for the mains socket was enlarged too much and too irregularly to give anything away about what was in there originally. The Bulgin happened to fit and cover the odd screw holes.
The screw holes above and under the main holes for the speaker sockets show that the amp originally had two Cannon XLR-3-32s. The leftmost hole was widened at some point (see below).
On the left, the plate of serial number 185 (brown fronted, thin-edged box, green Woden transformers, cathode biased, etc.). On the right, the serial number plate of the amp featured in the Wyman advert (also brown fronted, thin-edged box, green Wodens, cathode biased). Both, along with with no. 221, were stamped by the same person. Westrex-made AC80/100s - from no. 100 to around no. 300 - normally have only three digit serial numbers. Burndept numbers (from the last batch of black panels on through to 1967) are machine stamped.
The amp pictured below was evidently given its plate a good number of months after it and its box had been made. From around no. 220 boxes are thick edged, and from around no. 230 control panels, along with cloth fronts, are black.
A slow journey from the States, but now here, the JMI AC80/100 testing / promo amp, seen in the advert for Bill Wyman and his new bass (signalled below, 24th June).
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.
19th August (2)
Below, details of John and George's black-fronted amps on stage, New Orleans, 16th September, 1964:
From a picture by Ted Rozumalski.
The rear of Lennon's amp, Milwaukee, 4th September, 1964.
Vox dealer photo no. 1, published also in magazines and papers in the UK and States in 1964 and 1965. The "amp" is probably just a box (no chassis inside) - Bill gives the game away, holding it with two fingers. The single letters for the logo were added to the photograph later.
Click for a larger image. A detail showing the wonkiness of the logo - painted on to a large initial print, and then rephotographed.
The whole picture.
A great detail of the JMI loan AC100 SDL - the amp an AC80/100 in a thin-edged box - used by the Stones in Paris and Belgium, October 1964. Since no colour pic. has so far come to light, it's not possible to be entirely certain of the colour of the amp's grille cloth.
Black, however, seems likely to match the grille cloth of the cab - much as the grille cloth of the Beatles' amps matched the cloth of their speaker cabs.
Amp and cab may have been one of the ones, or perhaps the one, shown at the "British Musical Instrument Industries" Trade Fair at the Russell Hotel, 24th - 29th August 1964. The Beatles were away on tour in the States at this time:
Beat Monthly magazine, October 1964.
Material from the "Record Mirror", 29th August, 1964, on the Vox showing at the "British Musical Instrument Industries" Trade Fair at the Russell Hotel a few days earlier:
A note on the all-purpose PA amplifier was also published in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, see this page. The amp must have been a gargantuan thing with spring reverb and (presumably) tape echo. No surviving examples have so far come to light - and probably none will, as it seems unlikely that the unit was ever put into full production. There is certainly no mention of it in catalogues from 1964 or early 1965.
This advert was also published in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, August 1964 .
The Rolling Stones at Longleat, 2nd August 1964, with a thin-edged brown-fronted Vox AC80/100 and AC50. The AC80/100 is different from the one discussed in the entries a little way down this page. Note the pattern of diamonds on the grille cloth.
12th August (3)
The Velvet Underground at Andy Warhol's club, New York, early 1966 - on stage, an AC50 Foundation Bass set and an AC100 SDL.
12th August (2)
The four main filter caps from a late AC100 - schematic OS/167 (original drawing dated July 1967). The serial number of the amp is in the high 1900s. The Radiospares date code "YF" = June 1967.
Around 100 chassis were evidently made in the second half of 1967 with cut-outs for the doubled up capacitors. Production of the old and new style chassis will have overlapped initially. Finished units were not slipped into boxes (ready and waiting with serial number plates) in any particular order.
A further "100W Amplifier" registered - serial number 708 or 709 (the plate is indistinct), currently in Japan. The amp has had a copper panel and link voltage selector added to give it an earlier look.
Freddie and the Dreamers, Longleat, August 1965. The band also had two AC50 Super Twins on the day (one with a basket top trolley). Picture from Lebrecht Images.
Serial number 498 currently on Reverb. A "100W Amplifier" - fixed bias, but no brimistor - produced summer 1965. For other "100W Amplifiers", see this page.
A little more on serial number 150 and Bill Wyman's first AC80/100:
Serial no. 150 as published in 1999; and a detail of Bill's amp on stage, NME Poll Winner's Concert, 28th February, 1965. Although the angles of the shots are very different, one can nonetheless see that the diamonds line up perfectly. Note the diamond in the lower right corner. What appears to have shifted fractionally is the "BASS" logo.
Above, a composite of part of the grille cloth of serial number 150 and Bill's amp at the Mad Mod Ball, 4th April, 1964 - see below (29th July). The pattern of diamonds is very close, but there are visible differences lower right.
Above, serial number 150, bought second-hand from Cecil Gullickson's Music Mart., Orlando, in 1966. It is said to have been sent out to Florida from JMI refurbished.
The back panel, photographed in 1999.
The Mad Mod Ball, Empire Pool, Wembley, 4th April 1964. The back of Bill's first AC80/100 - two latching Cannon XLR-3-13 speaker sockets one above the other, and a Bulgin mains socket - is just visible through the railing at right. Is there an unused screw hole on the top edge of the back panel above the uppermost speaker socket?
The Mad Mod Ball - the stage, showing the early AC50 (and cover) as spare.
Above, a detail from a pic. taken in July (corr.) 1964, again showing the back panel of Bill's amp. The arrow indicates the reflective black of the Bulgin mains socket and connector.
Above, a schema of the back panel of 150 and Bill's amp. Whether 150 and Bill's amp are one and the same remains to be seen. Panels were fitted out at Dartford Road and tend to be similar for batches of amp - see for instance numbers 177 and 178.
The page on the changing arrangement of AC80/100 and AC100 back panels now updated.
A great shot of the Beatles, Las Vegas Convention Center, 20th August 1964.
Eight of the early AC100s (1964 to summer 1965) lined up for photographing. Shots of their back panels are on this page.
Above, three "100W Amplifiers" - fixed bias, no brimistor - with serial numbers in the 500s: 520, 531 and one unknown. All were exported to the USA in 1965, now back in the UK. 520 was in Minnesota, 531 in San Francisco, and the other in Kansas, though whether they were originally exported to those places is unknown.
Number 520 with its original cover (no logo), and two others.
Above, the back panel of number 520, no white warning plaque above the XLR socket, which seems to have been the case up to serial number 540 or so. At some point in the 600s, Amphenol XLR speaker connectors superceded the rectangular Cannon.
21st July (2)
A detail of the back of Pete Townsend's "100W Amplifier" (fixed bias, but not yet the AC100 mark 2), Richmond, 6th August, 1965. For surviving "100W Amplifiers", see this page.
Schema of the back panel.
The front of the amp.
A fair amount of the equipment given to The Who by JMI came back in pieces - three separate lots according to one source. Another report tells how Pete came in with an AC100, and said "These bleedin' things are rattling...". No surviving "100W Amplifier" will probably come to light therefore with a back panel matching the one caught in picture on that August evening.
Just to add, one can tell that it's a "100W Amplifier" rather than a cathode bias AC80/100 by the presence of the two screws on the top edge of the back board. Cathode biased amps only have one. White warning plaques were superceded by red when the AC100 mark 2 came into being.
A note on the zener diodes in the fixed bias circuits of the "100W Amplifier" (May/June and July 1965), and the "AC100 Mark 2" (July/August 1965 to 1967). These diodes are instrumental in keeping the voltage specified in the schematic (-35v) constant.
Above, the two zeners in serial number 531, a "100W Amplifier". The diodes were made by "International Rectifier", one 15v (part no. MZ15), the other 20v (part no. MZ20), both 3/4w max. dissipation. Gold-coloured "International Rectifier" zeners were used up to around serial number 1000. In terms of their arrangement on the board, the 20v normally extends across the width; the 15v bridges the two adjacent tags.
From around serial number 1000, a new type of zener was used: HS2150 (15v) and HS2200 (20v), both 1/4w max. dissipation. Above the original diodes still in place in serial no. 1579.
The amp below is the one above, published in "The Vox Story", David Petersen and Dick Denney (1993), p. 54. Compare the diamonds on the front. It is good to know this amp has a copper panel. It has now been registered here.
Picture originally printed here ("Guitarist" magazine, issue 425, October 2017), 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."
The serial number of the amp is probably around the 220-230 mark. See this page.
15th July (2)
A great picture taken by Roger Kasparian of the Stones on stage, Paris, Olympia, 20th October, 1964. The JMI loan AC80/100 is visible at right. One can see how its back panel is arranged.
A slightly blown-up detail. The top corner of the white warning plaque aligns with back panel screw at left. The serial number plate is centre, and the mains and speaker sockets sit next to the outermost screws on the lower edge of the panel.
The distinctive thing is the position of the warning plaque in relation to the screw at left.
While no surviving amp matches precisely, it appears that arrangement becomes the norm around serial number 210, continuing into the black panel amps. Above, serial number 212. The second Cannon XLR is a later addition.
An amp recently sold in Japan now added to the strays page. The BASS runner from the cab has been applied to the amp front. New grille cloth all round.
Currently on Reverb, serial number 760, an AC100 Mark 2 with brimistor (one can tell from the presence of the red warning plate), made around August/September 1965. Some adjustments have been made to the circuit.
Another JMI black panel AC80/100 has come to light - serial number 268, currently in Finland. Number 269 is also in Finland, having been ordered (from Vaasa) from JMI in late '64. A small batch was clearly shipped out in 1965.
From 1967 to 1969 (and perhaps into the very early 70s), the main Vox dealer/agent in Finland was "PSO" - "Pohjoismainen Sähkö Oy":
Detail from a list of dealers in a Vox advert published in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, February 1969.
Whether "PSO" acted as principal in 1965 is at present unknown. Below, the handsome building in Helsinki:
A nice AC100 set currently on ebay, the amp with a serial number in the 800s.
8th July (3)
A detail from a shot of The Who on stage in mid 1965. On the chair, a flat-fronted metal clad MC100. For other versions of this amp, see this page.
8th July (2)
Click as ever for a larger image. McCartney's AC80/100 and Harrison's AC50 on stage, Cinema Cyrano, Versailles, 15th Jan. 1964. Note the control settings and the Bulgin fuseholders on the back panel of both amps.
McCartney's amp has large feet, lifting it clear of the top of the cabinet. Later AC80/100s had "furniture glides" - similar to small counters.
A new page started on the AC100s at the Richmond Jazz and Blues festival, August 1965 - the greatest number of AC100 SDLs ever present on one stage.
Just to round off the recent bass theme, two black panel T60s from 1963 - thanks to Mitch. The covers are from '64:
Further pics will be set up on the T60 website in the coming days. The amp on the right is no. 268; the one on the left has no serial number plate, but component date codes should give a terminus post quem.
A further early AC80/100 has come to light (thin-edged box, copper control panel, green Woden transformers):
The striking thing cosmetically is that there is a BASS flag but no VOX logo. Indeed, it seems as though one was never put on. None of the usual holes are visible at front or on the interior face of the baffle:
It is likely that this amp was used by JMI for promotional purposes. Below, Bill Wyman in a Vox advert with an AC80/100 also with no logo:
"Beat Monthly" magazine, December 1965. The full page is here (scroll to the foot).
Note that the alignment of the diamonds on the front of the amp pictured with Bill matches those on the recently surfaced amp. The serial number of the latter is 254 - well into the series of AC80/100s produced with black panels. Our amp, however, was certainly made at the same time as the other copper panelled AC80/100s - in 1964. What seems to have happened is that it did not leave JMI immediately, but was retained, and only given a serial number plate (perhaps for sale or simply for the records) later - in 1965.
Above, the Rolling Stones with an AC80/100 on stage at Fresno - BASS flag but no VOX logo. But the logo could of course have been knocked off.
Thanks to Steve W. and Tom W. for their help.
A further pic. of the three sizes of Vox bass amplifier (AC30 Bass aside) available early to mid 1964. The dimensions below are of the wooden case only (excluding height of feet and handle):
AC80/100, copper panel, thin-edged box: 19" x 7" x 11 1/2".
AC50, copper panel, thin-edged box: 19" x 6 1/4" x 10 1/2".
T60, black panel (at first), box covered with pebble pattern rexine: 15 7/8" x 4 3/4" x 10".
One of the things that's been striking in recent trawls through the small ads in the back pages of "Melody Maker" magazine, 1965-1968, is just how often Vox PA amplifiers and speaker columns come up. Something almost every week - the South of England well represented, the North not so much.
The ads fall into three classes: used items offered by individuals; used items in shops; and new sets also in shops.
So far as one can tell, the majority of amplifiers were made for Vox by Triumph Electronics in Purley, esp. after mid 1965, when Triumph was asked to produce fewer AC50s. Production of the AC50 was taken up in greater volume at the Burndept/Vox Works in Erith to compensate.
One of the quirks of the PA 50s is that they were given serial numbers in the standard guitar/bass AC50 sequence - so AC50 serial no. 02666 is actually a MC50, the designation "MC", given in catalogues and brochures, standing for "Metal Clad". See this page for other numbers.
Whether MC100s were given numbers in the standard AC100 run remains to be seen. None of the MC100s that have so far come to light survives with a serial number plate. See this page.
A great pic from Mick Wall's piece on The Yardbirds - for which, click here. Photographed on Friday 6th August, 1965, morning or afternoon - at any rate, before the stage was made ready for The Yardbirds' evening performance at the National Jazz and Blues Festival, Richmond. The trolley of the AC100 at left is an early one (Mark 1) with a basket top. JMI pressed eight AC100s into service for the concert - presumably for the most part loans.
17th June (2)
"Melody Maker" magazine, 3rd August 1968. A Supreme, a T60, an AC50, an AC30 PA amp with speakers, and an AC100 with two 2 x 15" cabinets.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 31st August 1968. An AC100 amp section for £60. After some weeks it was reduced to £55.
Just to signal the start of a new website on Vox T60 amplifiers. The site will build week by week - there's a good amount of material to follow.
"Naomi and the Boys", Singapore, 1966, with three AC100s, the amp section on the left in its cover:
Note that the speakers in the cab on the left are Goodmans 241s. For surviving examples of Vox SDL cabs with these drivers see this page, and serial number 1534 here. It seems that Vox used Goodmans in 1966 in cabs destined for export, the one in the pic above (and perhaps also its SDL companion) to Singapore, the two in the links to Italy, and another to the USA.
A cardboard dealer stand from 1964 and below it a photo of one in place in a music shop door, late 1964 or early 1965 :
Sold on ebay around 2015. 16" x 12" approx. The images are archived here.
A detail from a photo of Bradley's Music Shop, Leeds, published in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, January 1965. The poster at the bottom of the door advertises the film "What a Crazy World", starring Joe Brown et al.
Vox bass amplifiers, 1963-1964, out in the sun. Vox AC80/100 serial number 178 (autumn 1964) ; Vox AC50 serial number 1034 (early 1964); Vox T60 serial number 286 (mid 1963).
Just to mention in relation to the T60 below, all three pot codes are "JJ" - October 1962. The circuit does not have the additions dated 10th October 1963 on the second schematic (OS/O62).
Photograph flipped to show the pot date code.
Below, some quick pics of an early T60 amplifier (from mid to late 1963) - serial number 268. black control panel, box without vents. The Woden transformers have the date code "LT" = November 1962. The chassis, assembled by Burndept, has the stamped serial no. 01006.
A new website on T60 amps and cabs will be online next month.
The green cover probably from 1964 and one of a pair (the other being burgundy) is not original to this amp. All cables, visible in the second pic. are, however.
Vox advert in the programme for the Daily Express "Record Star Show", Empire Pool, Wembley, 21st March 1965. The full programme is available here.
Advert in the back of Melody Maker magazine, 21st September 1968 - Jennings at this point is "Jennings Electronic Developments", based, as the ad indicates, in the old JMI Dartford Road factory. It is interesting to see that the keyword is "VOX". Exactly what sort of Vox equipment was being sold is anyone's guess - most likely older valve things stored in the sheds at the back of the premises.
Later, around 1974/1975 when Tom Jennings stepped away from "Jennings Electronic Industries" as it then was, Alan Pyne, a former Vox engineer, purchased 117-119 Dartford Road along with the sheds at back, and set up in business selling numbers of the remaining Vox amps and creating new ones from those that had been left unfinished (among other things).
There are some great recollections of Pyne on this page.
During the time of JMI's collapse - late 1967 to spring 1968 - old amps left in the sheds can hardly have been of much concern. The new line, after all, was fully solid state. And the old amps were evidently of little interest either to the new incarnation of Vox - "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" (VSEL), which had come into being in early June 1968 - see Reg Clark's account in "Beat Instrumental magazine", available on the Vox Supreme website. It may be that Tom Jennings came to some arrangement, however, about the items. The small ad in Melody Maker suggests a new undertaking, a move to sell.
For material relating to JED and JEI in 1968 and 1969, see this page.
Melody Maker, 6th January 1968. Further ads for second-hand AC100s, for the most part from 1968, to come - these may have to go on a page of their own as there are a fair few. Production had come to an end, he beat boom was over, solid state was the latest Vox thing.
A new page has been started here, gathering together dealer ads and small ads for AC100s and PA amplifiers published in English and American papers and magazines in the 1960s and 1970s. The same has been done for AC50s on the AC50 website - click here. Both pages will be updated as new material comes to hand.
Melody Maker magazine, 17 July 1965. Sets of PA Amplifiers and Line Source columns offered by PAN.
Melody Maker magazine, 21st August 1965 - part of a report on the British Musical Instrument Industries (Associated Musical Instrument Industries = A.M.I.I.) Fair at the Russell Hotel. The 150 watt P.A. Ampliifer - also signalled in the "Beat Instrumental" report (Oct. 1965) - on this page.
25th May (2)
Melody Maker magazine, 29th May 1965.
The "Vox 100 watt P.A. Ampliier" was either a MC100/4 or MC100/6 - see the catalogue detail below. The MC100/6 was first shown at the British Musical Instrument Industries fair in August 1964 and put into production soon thereafter.
JMI pricelist October 1965.
The £65 for the unit offered by PAN at the head of this entry is not bad given the price new.
More to follow soon on the PA amplifiers - details will also be posted on these pages.
Melody Maker magazine, 3rd July 1965. The "St Louis Union", winners of a heat in the National Beat Contest, pictured with an AC100 and two large box AC50s. The AC100 at this date is likely to have been a cathode biased amp (an AC80/100 in other words).
24th May (2)
An advert for the Jennings shop placed in Melody Maker magazine, 20th and 27th March 1965. The shop as it was in late 1964 is pictured below.
From "Beat Instrumental" magazine, November 1964. One can just see an AC50 or AC100 with tall bass speaker cabinet (immediately right of the tree) in the window. Click as ever for a larger image. The premises were taken over by Macaris in early 1967.
Melody Maker magazine, 16th January 1965. The drawing of the AC100 had already been circulated in late 1964 and was republished full-page in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, March and April 1965 - see this page.
Melody Maker magazine, 2nd January 1965. Quite what the "Large VOX Amp" was is anyone's guess. Presumably the "100-watt VOX Amp" was either a P.A. amplifier or an AC100.
19th May (2)
A further snippet from "Beat Instrumental" magazine relating to the 1966 Frankfurt Fair - entry below.
"Beat Instrumental", February 1966. The "new range of Vox equipment" was the 7-series, which in actual fact was not ready for sale until June/July.
"Beat Instrumental", May 1966, signalling some further delay of the new series.
The 1966 Frankfurt Music Fair.
Above, the advert placed by Vox in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, February 1966. This was taken up (below) in variant form as an advert for Vox at the Frankfurt Music Fair, 27th April - 4th May.
Above, "Melody Maker" newspaper, February 1966, advertising the company's presence at the Frankfurt Musikmesse - Hall 12, Stand 2416/7. The Vox ad for the 1967 show is here. Note that the logo of the AC100 cab has an edge outline.
Serial number 880.
Below, an aerial view of the Frankfurt Fair showing Trade Hall 12 at the back of the complex.
Frankfurt Messe, photo taken in the 1970s
The complex as it is today. Trade Hall 12 is new. Many older buildings still exist though.
"Beat Instrumental" magazine did not print a review of the 1966 show. Normally only the British Musical Industries Fair in August was given serious coverage. However, we can be fairly sure that at least some of the items pictured in the adverts were exhibited, and perhaps a new 7120:
The location of the picture above is unattested, but in terms of date, Frankfurt is certainly a possibility. Early 7120s had already been issued to the Beatles. On the other hand, the shot could perhaps have been taken at the British Musical Industries Fair mounted in Russia, July '66. The intention to exhibit 7-series amps there is noted in "Beat Instrumenal" magazine, April '66.
Guitar Center advert in the Los Angeles Times, 1st February 1970. An AC100 reduced from $1000 to $299.
For the sale of a second-hand AC100 in Ottawa in 1966, see the entry lower down this page for 14th Feb.
One of Bill's adverts in the Chicago Tribune, 18th December 1973. In other weeks, the amp is priced at $150.
7th May (2)
The date code of the blue Hunts 16uf capacitor in the preamps of a number of AC100s with serial numbers in the 1900s - starting with no. 1905 - is "UYT" = 4th week of 1966. Notes have been added where relevant on this page.
Currently on Reverb, a Triumph-made AC100 Mk 2 (one can just see the brimistor in the second pic) in box no. 1274. Typical of Triumph are the short preamp tagboard, the orange rubber grommets in the chassis pass-through holes, the plain metal shrouded transformers, and the insulated stand-offs under the fuse-holder board. No stamped chassis number. The underchassis is signed "DE" = Dave Earp, who also signed off many Vox AC50s.
The amp was long reported (incorrectly) to be in a box with serial number plate 444 - see this page. Triumph-made AC100s are often assemblages of old and new elements. The mustard capacitors in this one for instance are from 1964. However, a date somewhere in the last part of 1966 / early 1967 seems probable for the amp's manufacture.
Above, a box of Arrow Switches. Although these of not of the type used by JMI in AC80/100s and AC100s, similar boxes must have arrived at the Burndept / Vox Works in Erith. The full name of the company was "Arrow Electric Switches". Its factory premises were initially on Hangar Lane, North London (1937-1961); then Brent Road, Southall, West London (1961-1968), and finally Plymouth (1968-).
Left, the metal, ball-ended, Arrow switch used on copper-panelled AC80/100s. Right, the famous Arrow "black bat" switch used from the second third of 1965.
22nd April (2)
Below (also posted on the Vox AC50 site), a couple of 18" Celestion speakers in Jennings blue from early Foundation Bass cabs (before mid 1964). One is a T1022, the other a T1079. Both are 8ohm. The speaker on the left may have been reconed.
For a short time prior to the introduction of the Celestion 18" driver in early 1964, Vox used the Goodmans Audiom 90, marketed by Goodmans from 1962/1963.
Vox recommended using two Foundation Bass cabinets with the AC100. When the high power Audiom 91 became available in the autumn of 1964 (blue label, 100 watts, 8 ohms, against the 50 watts of the black labelled 16 ohm Audiom 91), one cabinet would just about have sufficed.
Bill Wyman was an early user of two Foundation Bass cabs with his AC80/100s and AC100s.
A note from "Beat Instrumental" magazine, September 1967. Bill mentions 100 watt units, T60 cabs, and stadiums in the States. In actual fact he meant Foundation Bass cabs rather than T60s. Evidently he got through a fair few.
An early upright bass speaker cabinet, a T60 from late 1963 - the 12" speaker on a board over the upper 15" opening. The original speakers are still inside - one T530 alnico Celestion blue, one 15" blue Tannoy. Note the perspex logo. For cabinets equipped from the outset (in 1964) with two 15" drivers, see entries further down this page.
The Jennings pages will be moved to a site of their own shortly.
5th April (2)
"The Road" playing the cinema at Hailsham, Sussex. Picture originally posted here. Hard to tell for sure but the AC100 amplifier does look as though it's in a thin-edge box.
A new page added on a well-used JEI B3 bass speaker cabinet from 1974. Late JEI speaker cabs are fairly thin on the ground these days: