Notices relating to the Vox solid state line from the pages of
"Beat Instrumental" magazine
1967 - 1968
The short notices in "Beat Instrumental" were great publicity for Vox, giving details of trade shows and demonstrations; the bands for whom equipment had been provided; and individuals who used the equipment. Reviews of new items and updates on prices also appear.
One feels slightly for the people who might have gone to Leeds for a demonstration on the wrong date - see the notice below for December 1967. Vox at this point was clearly trying to drum up business against heavy competition from the likes of Triumph, a former contractor (assemblers of AC50s, AC100s, the 7-series amps and much more) that had gone on to produce its own lines of amps, and of course Marshall.
February and March 1967
Notices from "Beat Instrumental" magazine - February and March 1967 (nos 46 and 47) - relating to the old Vox/Jennings shop at 100 Charing Cross Road.
Interesting to see that Wedeles bought a "huge pile of spare parts from Jennings". Later on in the March issue, it's noted that Gary Hurst of Tone Bender fame moved into the shop with the Macaris.
Above, a snippet from "Beat Instrumental", vol. 47, March 1967, p.25, posted at the foot of this page a little while ago. Clearly the moment that Keith and Brian acquired their Vox Supremes and Bill his Super Foundation Bass. It may be that the invitation / trip was indeed primarily "to try out some new electronic effects". They came away at any rate with new amps to use on the European tour of Spring 1967.
"Beat Instrumental", vol. 48, April 1967, p.24. Within a month of the Stones' tour ending, the amps were evidently on sale to the general public. Note that 120W is still quoted, the output cited in the JMI advert for the un-named Supreme from Jan. 1967, featuring Tony Hicks - posted on this page. The price given in the snippet above - £252 - is that of the AC100, however.
Short piece from "Beat Instrumental", no. 50, June 1967. Click as ever for a larger and sharper image. Note the last sentence - "My Leslie goes through one of the new, large Vox amps". Manfred's amp was a pre-production Supreme.
Extracts from "Beat Instrumental" magazine, no. 51, July 1967. Pete Quaife and Bill Wyman signalled as users of Super Foundation Bass amps.
One of Gary Hurst's answers from the Q&A page of "Beat Instrumental", no. 56, December 1967. The Conqueror is quoted at 162 guineas - in effect, no change from the price-list of April 1967 - £170 and 2 shillings. A guinea was one pound and one shilling. There were 20 shillings to the pound.
Note from "Beat Instrumental", no. 57, January 1968. The Frankfurt show, a huge affair, generally took place in February / March of every year.
In early 1967 Macari's took over the old Jennings shop on 100 Charing Cross Road. Note the prices of the different versions of the Gyrovox. Also, the 100W "Beatle" cabinets complete with "speaker and stand" for 85 guineas each (£89 and 1 shilling). Since Foundation Bass cabs (some of which had a 100W Goodmans driver) cost £84 in late 1967, the units in view must have been old AC100 cabs - quite a bargain. Old stock presumably being cleared out.
Dave Roberts is pictured below, notices for October 1968.
Still publicly "Jennings". In late 1967, Royston Industries, the umbrella company that controlled and owned JMI, began to fail, thanks in no small part to its unsuccessful venture into the field of avionics. The receiver was called in in December 1967. In February 1968 various subsiduaries were sold off, including Burndept Electronics, Vox's partner in the solid state enterprise. Vox retained the name "Jennings" in public until the late summer of 1968, then the change to "Vox Sound Equipment Ltd." - but the company had probably been reconstituted in March.
There are some great shots held by Getty Images of Aretha Franklin on stage at Finsbury Park, but as one might expect none that really show her band.
No pics so far of the band on stage.
A snippet from Gary Hurst's account of the British Musical Instrument Trade Fair at the Russell Hotel, London, 21st - 25th August, 1968, from "Beat Instrumental". The show took place in August - VSEL had therefore become the public name by that time.
A further detail from the account of the Trade Fair. The price of the Supreme is £281 (against £271 and 19 shillings in April 1967), and the Super Foundation Bass £211 (against £204 and 15 shillings). Perhaps more interestingly, amps and cabs are now available separately.
From Beat Instrumental, October 1968 - Dave Roberts, demonstrator for Vox, showing Dave Davis a Supreme at the Fair. On top of the amp, a copy of the Beat Instr. advert from Feb. '68.
The Vox display at the Russell Hotel - at this point publicly "Vox Sound Equipment Ltd". In terms of appearance, not a particularly scintillating presentation, alas (at least insofar as this shot records).
In the background, the new solid state PA amps - the SS50 and SS100 - which are noted in Hurst's report.