Solid state Vox Super Beatle amplifiers

Used by The Beatles, US tour, 1966

Chicago, 12th August, 1966.

One of the conditions imposed on the tour was that The Beatles use Vox solid state Super Beatle amplifiers, produced in America by Thomas Organ. The Vox UL7120s, supplied by "Jennings Musical Industries" in April 1966 for studio and concert work, remained in England. Thomas provided two Super Beatles each for John, George and Paul on the '66 tour - Super Beatles, in particular the RCA power transistors around which the circuit had been designed, were not reliable at this point. There were doubts too about the speaker cabinets.

It is rare to see fewer than six Super Beatles on stage in pictures taken on the tour.

Quite how many different amps the Beatles played through on the 1966 tour of the USA is at present unknown - clearly at least three, and possibly a good many more if one allows for failures and a constant refreshing of units by Thomas Organ as the band travelled around the country.

In the months following the tour one of the amplifiers was exhibited (in Indianapolis), and another, known to have been played through by Paul McCartney was auctioned (in Phoenix). The adverts below document aspects of the story.

Super Beatle 1

One of the solid state Super Beatle amplifiers used by the Beatles was exhibited in October 1966 in Indianapolis by "Carnegie Music", a major Vox dealer:

"Indianapolis Star", 22nd October, 1966.

"Indianapolis Star", 29th October, 1966.

"Indianapolis Star", 31st July, 1966, reporting that Carnegie Music bought up everything that Vox had shown at the NAMM Show in Chicago a fortnight earlier. It was presumably because of this that the amp used by The Beatles was brought along by Marv Kaiser.

Super Beatle 2

One of the solid state Thomas Organ Super Beatle amps used by Paul McCartney on the 1966 USA tour auctioned:

"Arizona Republic", 3rd November, 1966. Not a little confusingly, the drawing of the Vox AC100 is here captioned as a "Super Beatle" - a name it only had briefly in 1965.

"Arizona Republic", 23rd December, 1966. In spite of the fact that a solid state amp was being sold, still the old drawing of the Vox AC100, AC30 and guitars.

An interesting Vox poster: The Beatles at Shea in August 1966. Its date is unknown - could be late 60s or from the 1990s. "Vox Musical Instruments" seems more in keeping with the 60s, but one never knows.

Measures 17 1/2" x 22 1/2"