Cabinets, part 1
The place to start, as ever, is with Paul McCartney. In December 1963, Paul was using an AC30 head through the cabinet that had arrived with his T60 transistor bass amp. It had one 12" driver and one 15", and sported a distinctive perspex logo, with a theta for the O of VOX, as in the pictures below, taken on 14th December 1963 at the Wimbledon Palais.
Left and centre, 14th December 1963, Wimbledon Palais. Right, promotional leaflet.
Evidently the T60 cabinet was designed to be the same height as an AC30 on its stand.
Above, an early T60 without grille cloth, though its perspex logo survives. Note the 12" Celestion T530 alnico blue and the Tannoy 15" driver. In later cabinets, Celestion 15" drivers were used instead of Tannoy.
In late December 1963, a new brown-fronted cabinet arrived with Paul's AC80/100, as pictures from the Paris and Washington concerts in January and February 1964 indicate.
Washington Coliseum, 11th February 1964. Paul's new amp and speaker cabinet at left.
Beat Monthly magazine, no. 12. April 1964
The new cabinet had two Celestion 15" drivers and a wooden trapezoid logo - VOX in gold letters on a plain black background. This was very probably the cabinet that McCartney used until late September 1964.
The Hollywood Bowl, August 23rd. One can see the logo of the cab in relief at left.
Although the AC80/100 with a 2 x 15" cab seems to have been the standard bass set up, a few players rejected this arrangement in favour of 18" Foundation bass cabinets, either singly or in pairs, Bill Wyman being the principal, and perhaps first, exponent. For further details on Foundation Bass cabs, see this page.
Above, the Stones at Hull, September 1964. AC80/100 and cab number 1 are behind Bill. Cab number 2 is behind Keith. Brian also has a Foundation Bass cab, but with a small box AC50
Click as ever for a larger image. Simply for interest, "Earth" - precursor to Black Sabbath - on stage in 1969 with a 2 x 15" bearing an early logo. A T60 would soon have packed up.
Some 2 x 15" cabs
What follows is simply a small selection of examples, arranged in approximate (very approximate!) date order. Precise dates are difficult to arrive at principally because there are (a) no serial numbers on these cabs, and (b) because speaker date codes only really date the speakers/drivers themselves. Who knows how long the units sat on the shelf of the stock room, or rooms. Any attempt at estimation is simply a guess or surmise.
2 x 15"s generally appear on the market these days without any accompanying amplifier, perhaps simply because they outlasted the AC80/100s they were originally paired with. But a couple of original early rigs survive - notably AC80/100 serial number 177, below.
BROWN GRILLE CLOTH
Blue Celestion T1074 at first, then silver (poly grey) T1108. Note that the cloth of AC80/100 amps changed from brown to black at around serial number 230 in late 1964.
Sold on ebay in 2009, a beautiful early 2 x 15". Note the perspex logo, The cab may have been intended originally for use with a T60 amplifier.
Below, Screaming Lord Sutch at the Lotus Ballroom, Forest Gate (South London), in late 1964. with a thin-edged AC80/100 surmounting a bass cabinet with an early perspex logo.
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.
Sold on ebay in 2013. Recovered in Fender vinyl. Presumably originally black. Grille cloth brown and the remains of a perspex logo, as in the cab immediately above.
Collection Jim Elyea. Note the wooden block logo with pinned letters.
AC80/100 serial number 177 with its original cab and covers. Newspapers packed in the cab by its first owner date from November 1964. Cab and amp probably produced in Autumn 1964.
Above, formerly collection: Mike Handley. Speakers reconed. Small plastic logo with stippled background.
Sold on ebay in October 2011. One of a pair that had been part of a PA system in a school. Large plastic logo with white lettering on a stippled background. The speakers are blues, however, rather than the silvers that came in later.
SILVER CELESTION SPEAKERS (Celestion T1109)
Sold on ebay in 2006. Possibly a transitional cab in terms of speakers - one silver and one blue, though the silver of course may be a replacement.
Currently in the UK. Original speakers and wiring intact. Note that the person who chalked the "6" also chalked the cab below.
BLACK GRILLE CLOTH
Left to right: old-style wooden logo, but black cloth; small plastic logo; at right, currently in Japan, small plastic logo.
Currently in the UK. Small plastic logo.
The logo has white letters on a stippled background (Mk IIIa).
A cab sold on ebay in 2006, with the text "Bought from the Denny family about four years ago. When I got it back home I noticed some intriguing scratched writing inside the back which I've included photos of further down, so have a look and see what you think. The speakers are original and are working well but there is a crack in the bottom one's cone which could easily be repaired if you want to use it for serious bass playing. I've left it as it is for the next owner to decide". Note however that in the scratched writing on the cab ERITH is mis-spelt. Mighty mighty peculiar.
Left, a T60 with its cab, and right, AC100 serial no. 825. Pictures originally posted here.
Last but not least, there are the copies of Vox cabinets made by "MAX", a Danish (not Swedish, as previously stated) firm. These were generally fitted out with 2 x 15" Celestion Greenbacks.