Vox AC80/100 (early AC100) serial number 173


August - September 2019

29th September

A new page begun on the circulated by Thomas Organ, late 1964 - 1967.

28th September (2)

Vox Teen Beat magazine, vol. 1, issue 3, from mid 1966: a shot of J.R. Chatwell. Behind him, Vox dealer pictures, those identifiable left to right: - The Animals; Billy J. Kramer; Dave Clark Five; Freddie and the Dreamers; The Rolling Stones; and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

The unusual one is of Freddie and the Dreamers - see the trading card below.

28th September

Below, four Thomas Organ Vox dealer photographs in their original captioned frames:

22nd September

Below, Thomas Organ Vox adverts in "Boy's Life" magazine, October and December 1966:

16th September

Vox Teen Beat magazine, vol. 2, no. 1, late 1966. Below a picture of the store front of the Jenkins Music Company, Kansas City, Missouri :

On the far right, near the top: posters of the Beatles at the Washington Coliseum in 1964. The same picture was used for Thomas Organ Vox adverts in Downbeat magazine.

At the foot of the display, a set of Thomas Organ Vox dealer pictures:

Left to right: Gerry and the Pacemakers; The Beatles; Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas; The Dave Clark Five; and The Animals.

Left to right: Dino, Desi and Billy; The Rolling Stones; and Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Sets of dealer pictures were circulated by Thomas Organ from late 1964. One can see sections of them in the picture of the stand set up by Bill Harris Music at the Disc Jockey Carnival, Los Angeles County Fair, Pomona, 25th-31st December 1964 - .

Some sets sent out in 1965 and 1966 contained pictures of The Hollies, The Standells, The Sir Douglas Quintet, and The MC5 (not included here).

Vox dealer pictures
Vox dealer pictures

Thomas Organ Vox "King of the Beat" catalogue from mid 1965. At least eight of the pictures were circulated as dealer photos.

15th September (3)

A piece on the Yardbirds from the "Spirit Lake Beacon", 18th August, 1966. Although one cannot be sure, it may be that Thomas Organ sought out English-made equipment for the band:

15th September (2)

Vox Teen Beat magazine, volume II, no. 2, from 1967 (page 22 to come). Two further issues will be added soon.

Page 10. The Yardbirds - the picture from a concert in California, early 1966, possibly the Hullabaloo Club in LA.

15th September

A couple of notes really on things USA. The "Vox Rules" badge (button) is well known in blue. It is also pictured in red on the front of Vox Teen Beat magazine vol. 2, issue 3, from 1967:

Vox Rules badge, Thomas Organ, 1967

Vox Teen Beat magazine vol. 2, issue 3

The second is a report of US Vox dealers visiting Europe in August 1967. One of their stops was the British Musical Instrument Industries fair in London, where they will have seen the new JMI solid state range - the report from Billboard magazine is . Thanks to Ihor for the reference.

31st August

A small diversion: an original cover for a Vox AC10 Super Reverb Twin head (trapezoid). Very few of these things around. It was used to cover AC100 serial number 241 from around 1990. Inside and outside are good and clean - no tears.

Dimensions are 10" tall, 10" deep. 25" along the lower front edge; 22 1/2" across the top.

If anyone knows of an amp with which this cover could be paired, do let me know.

27th August (3)

"Beat Instrumental" magazine, July 1969 - a great advert for "Jennings Electronic Developments" rotary speaker cabinets and the J100 combo. "Jennings Electronic Developments" became "Jennings Electronic Industries" a month or so later.

"Beat Instrumental" magazine, July 1969.

At the beginning of the year, "Beat Instrumental" published a short note - certain JEI items to be sold after November 1st as "Rotosound" products:

"Beat Instrumental" magazine, January 1969.

Two of those items were advertised in "Melody Maker" magazine in late November and early December 1969, the drawings simply taken over from JEI (note the grille cloth), though large "Rotosound" badges were of course added:

"Melody Maker" magazine, November 15th, 1969, repeated 13th December.

The Tympano and Tamborino were indeed JEI specials: - a second stream of advertising (and sales) must have seemed desirable for these rather esoteric inventions:

Page from a Jennings brochure, late 1969 or early 1970.

27th August (2)

"Beat Instrumental" magazine, June 1968: - a list of events for which "Jennings Musical Industries" - still "Jennings" - provided equipment despite being in receivership. Reg Clark, in an article published in August '68, gave the impression that he was highly tickled by this.

"Beat Instrumental" magazine, June 1968.

A large amount of equipment was evidently out on loan in May:

NME Poll Winners Concert: 12th May. See the picture below.

Aretha Franklin, Finsbury Park, Astoria: 11th May.

Aretha Franklin, Hammersmith Odeon: 12th May.

Johnny Cash: 4th - 19th May.

Gene Pitney: 5th April - 7th May.

The Symbols: currently unknown.

NME Poll Winners, 12th May, 1968. The 'two 12" and two 10" cabinets' noted in the article are actually Vox UL760 cabs, four of which can be seen above.

27th August

Some pics of the interior of the now added at the foot of the new page, and a correction: the Selmer shop was at 114-116 Charing Cross Road, not 104 as originally stated.

26th August

A new page begun on the at 100 Charing Cross Road. Below, an advert placed by the occupant of the third floor of the building. Height a specified requirement.

The Jennings Shop, 100 Charing Cross Road

"The Stage", 27th August, 1964.

25th August

Below, pictures of AC100 serial number 2111, probably produced in the second third of 1967, with a "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" Super Foundation Bass cab (1 x 18", ported), second half of 1968.

It is not known at present whether the AC100 conforms to schematic OS/036 or OS/167. See for the two sheets in question.

24th August

A Foundation Bass cab with its Fane 188 18" speaker. Fanes were used for a short time in 1966.

Model No. 188. Flux Density: 14,500 Gauss. Power Handling: 60 Watts. Impedance: 15 ohms. Serial No. 41020.

A Fane catalogue from the 1960s. Model 188 was evidently a derivative of Model 183.

22nd August

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"

20th August

The other solid state Super Beatle amplifier used by the Beatles (unlikely to be the one auctioned in Phoenix) was exhibited in October 1966 in Indianapolis, not Chicago as stated yesterday, 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.

Below, "Arizona Republic", 3rd November, 1966 - notice of the presence of the Super Beatle signalled in the advert in yesterday's post.

"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.

Quite how many solid state Super Beatles 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.

20th August

"Arizona Republic", 23rd December, 1966. One of the solid state Thomas Organ Super Beatle amps used by Paul McCartney on the 1966 USA tour auctioned:

"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.

Note that Thomas Organ provided two Super Beatles each for John, George and Paul on this tour - the amplifiers (in particular the RCA power transistors) were not reliable at this point. There were doubts too about the speaker cabinets.

Chicago, 12th August, 1966.

A second solid state Thomas Organ Super Beatle from this tour was sold at Chicago in late 1966 - the advert for that to follow.

19th August

The "Phoenix Gazette", 11th March, 1965. The Music Center was part of the Totem Department store in Phoenix.

Although the Bass Amp is described as being 100 Watts, it is in fact an AC50 Foundation Bass, as the Thomas stock code V-1-14 indicates - a good early instance though of a particular Vox amp being available (at least for demonstration) in the USA.

The advert is a panel in a full-page spread taken by the store in the Gazette.

The store details at the head of the page.

On a slightly different note, it is interesting to see that alongside The Beatles, The Dave Clark 5, and the Rolling Stones, a small local band is listed - "Vox Guitars & Amps featured by ... The Pendletons ...":

The "Scottsdale Progress", 4th June, 1965.

18th August (2)

Recently sold on ebay, an early Thomas Organ Vox Treble booster unit, accompanied by what may be its original box. Interesting to see that "Treble-Booster" has a hyphen. This has sometimes been used as a means of sorting English made units (which always have a hyphen) from US-made units which generally don't.

This Treble-Booster, however, is US-made, probably early (late 1965?). One can tell by the washer around the jack socket. US-made units always have metal. English-made units have rubber.

The three images above are of the US Treble-Booster, recently sold. Early Thomas Vox catalogues depict English-made units, however.

An English-made booster. Note the rubber washer. The jack socket assemblies were made by REAN, a few roads over from JMI in Dartford. See .

18th August

A new page coming on Vox compact PA speakers. Below, a unit from c. 1966 (?), no logo fitted, original driver (most like a Celestion T1088) now replaced. The loose wiring loom and Rendar jacks seem to be original. No hole for a socket was ever drilled in the cabinet.

The cabinet, which has a sloping front, is constructed from 1/2" Birch ply. Dimensions are 14" x 14"; 6 3/4" deep at bottom, 7 5/8" deep at top.

On the upper back panel, a couple of keyhole-shaped holes for hanging the speakers on nails or screws on a wall.

These units were produced from 1964-1968 to accompany Vox PA amplifiers - the principal uses envisaged being factories, clubs and theatres.

The speaker cabinet page from the Vox dealer catalogue printed in February 1964. At top, an early wall speaker.

A detail from the page before the one above in the catalogue, listing the PA amplifiers available and their potential uses. Note that four speaker outputs were provided.

17th August (3)

Just to note that the earliest instance to have come to light so far of the Thomas Organ Vox advert featuring The Beatles is in "Downbeat" magazine, 1st July, 1965, in other words around three months after the big advertising push at the 4th Teen Age Fair in San Mateo and Los Angeles.

Also published in "Downbeat" magazine on 23rd September, 1965, and repeated in the issue for 16th December.

17th August (2)

Juan e Junior with an AC100SDL and two Vox 7120 amplifiers

A picture said to be of Juan e Junior and their band, c. 1970. In the background, an AC100SDL and two Vox UL7120s. These may have been the ones issued to or purchased by Los Brincos, c. 1966/1967. Los Bravos also had two, but the amplifier sections were replaced by Vox Supremes.

If on the other hand the UL7120s belonged to Juan e Junior, then at least six must have been sent to Spain.

17th August

Below, a detail from another picture of Los Brincos, taken in the second half of the 1960s, possibly towards the end. One can just make out that the bass speaker cabinet contains 2 x 15" drivers (which is what one might expect, but good to have the corroboration nonetheless).

The striking thing though - thanks to Ihor for pointing this out - is the swivel trolley. These are very uncommon.

A swivel trolley is certainly envisaged, however, for the T60 cabinet (exactly the same size as a 2 x 15") in the parts list compiled and circulated by Thomas Organ in the USA, c. 1966-1967. See the detail below. Perhaps production numbers were low. At any rate, it seems that Paul McCartney was not, as has occasionally been ventured, the only bassist to have one. Thanks again to Ihor for the info.

Los Brincos with Vox AC100s

Vox T60 components list. 09-5222-0: Swivel Stand Mounting Hardware and Chrome Knobs.

13th August

Recently on ebay again, AC100 serial number 1405, the power section redone at some point with new components.

4th August

Great pic of Los Brincos, c. 1965, with their AC100s:

3rd August

Before and after pics of serial number 241, black panel, from late 1964 / early 1965. The power section has been rebuilt, keeping as far as possible to original form. The cathode resistors are 330R however instead of 270R. 270R is killing for all but the strongest valves.

Upper chassis before - the amp had been converted to an AC50 in the early 1990s.

Upper chassis after.

Power section as it was: early 1990s - July 2019.

Preamp as it was: early 1990s - July 2019.

Restored - August 2019.