Vox AC80/100 serial number 225
A note on serial number 225, 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 this page.
Below, pictures of the first sighting of serial number 225 in the States - "Vox Teen Beat" magazine no. 1, issued in California in late March / early April 1965. The magazine as a whole is available here.
It seems likely that amp and cab were flown to Sepulveda in late '64 or very 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 the magazine. 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 20th June 1965, Paris.
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 the branch in Niles (572 Golf Mills Shopping Center) - 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 on this page. 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 presumably followed, September to December, though quite how many is impossible at present to say. Probably only a handful.
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 cab and basket-topped trolley those of no. 225? Very close 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, see this page.