Vox AC80/100 serial number 225

A note on , produced in late 1964 and used by JMI as a demonstration AC100 SDL (with an early cab and basket-top trolley). It was found in Colorado around twenty years ago by a Korg representative and acquired by Mitch Colby.


Serial number 225 - brown grille cloth, thick edged box, no corner protectors. In some published photos serial no. 169, which does not belong, is shown on top .

For related amps, see .

Below, pictures of the first sighting of serial number 225 in the States - "Vox Teen Beat" magazine no. 1, issued in California in early April 1965. The magazine as a whole .

It seems likely that amp and cab were flown to Sepulveda in early '65, perhaps having been loaned out by JMI in England in November and December - see the detail of the photo of The Kinks towards the end of this page.

The picture as printed in "Vox Teen Beat" magazine no. 1 (early April 1965). No header or caption is given.

One also finds this - the original photograph composited with various bits of text, including the Teen Beat header and a highly inventive caption, both of which are here cut away.

The speaker cabinet


Detail of the capacitor network protecting the Midax horns from low frequencies. The same arrangement can be seen in the bottom shelf of one of the Beatles' cabs - photo taken 3rd July, 1965, Barcelona.

In 1965 The Beatles' AC80/100 amplifiers and AC100 SDL speaker cabinets were refurbised by JMI - new cases for the amps, and new trolleys for the cabs.

Over the years, various comments about the AC100 were posted on the the "Plexi Palace" Vox forum (now sadly gone), the most interesting being that the speakers in the cab - Celestion alnico T1088s - had been found (ie. following inspection) to have "November 1964 date codes".

The cab is unlikely therefore to have been ready for use before the second half of November / early December. One suspects that both it and its amp were shipped to Thomas Organ - Sepulveda rather than Evanston (the service/marshalling centre in the north) - at some point relatively soon after that.

As far as the amp is concerned, November is perfectly in order in terms of production. AC100s in thick-edged boxes are first seen around this time - photo of 20th November . But one has to temper this with the fact that such boxes were being illustrated as early as September:

"Melody Maker" magazine, 12th September, 1964. The dimensions given are a little peculiar though.

Four cabinets with basket-top trolleys had already been produced in August 1964 and a number followed (really only a handful), September to December.

Serial number 225

Detail from a picture of the The Kinks from Getty Images - "Top of the Pops", either 5th or 19th November 1964. On stage a loan AC50, an AC100 SDL and AC100 bass. Both amps are thick edged, apparently without corner protectors, and clearly not no. 225. Are the speaker cab and basket-topped trolley those that now survive with serial no. 225? Very close - judging by the arrangement of the diamonds on the grille cloth - if not.

The four early cabs

"Melody Maker" magazine, 25th July, 1964. "The four loudest amplifiers in the beat world...."

The amps in question were the AC100 SDLs designed for John Lennon and George Harrison. Paul's AC100 bass had been issued to him in late December 1963.

Two were given to the Beatles in the first week of August '64. The other two were evidently retained initially for promotional purposes, being shown at the "British Musical Instrument Industries" Fair (24th-28th August) while the Beatles were on tour (18 August - 20th September).

On the Fair, which took place at the Russell Hotel in London, .