Jennings Musical Industries: 1967
The picture above is from the Vox solid state catalogue of July 1967. The amp ilustrated is actually a pre-production model - note the position of the footswitch socket. For more on prototypes and pre-production amps, see this page.
Produced at the Vox / Burndept works in Erith along with the other solid state amps, the Vox Conqueror was, early on, perhaps the best selling amp in the new range, remaining in production until 1970. It was, however, outlasted by the Defiant, Foundation Bass, Super Foundation Bass and Supreme.
In April 1967, the Conqueror cost £170 and 2 shillings (pre-decimal). In today's money, that would be around £2,800 according to the Bank of England inflation calculator.
Its general format: a "Super Twin" solid state guitar amplifier, that is to say separate amp and speaker cabinet, 30 watts output, twin channel, with reverb, tremolo and distortion operated by a three-button footswitch. The normal channel had the tremolo along with switchable top boost. The treble channel had the distortion and a mid range boost effects network. Reverb could be switched between the two.
The speaker cab was a 2x12" containing two Celestion silver alnicos (T1088) wired in series - see the examples on this page, and here. The amp could be secured to the cab by two chrome-plated "tongues", so that both could be tilted back on the chrome side stands.
The Conqueror's analogue in the solid state bass range was the "Dynamic Bass", which shared the same power section (ie. also 30W), but had a different (bass) preamp.
The general characteristics of early Conquerors are:
- DIMENSIONS. Conquerors are smaller than Defiants and Supremes. Amp: 23 1/2" wide, 9 1/2" high, 9 1/2" deep. Cab: 30" wide, 19" high, 12" deep. Covers were provided for both amp and cab but are extremely rare these days. For surviving examples, see the pics of the amp without a serial number following serial no. 1046 below, and this page for more.
- The earliest amps are termed "ST30R" ("Super Twin 30 Reverb") on the serial plates, not "Conqueror".
- Serial numbers of amps after the first fifty or so are given in the form ST..xxxx.
- Back panels are cloth covered and have angled corners.
- The very earliest control panels are generally deep black. Later batches are, or have become, brown/bronze.
- Fixings for the preamp are present on top of the wooden cases in the early amps.
- Jack input sockets are metal and of open construction. Surrounds are white.
- Logos simply state "VOX".
- Lettering is in silver.
- In some early amps, the top boost switch legends on the control panel are wrongly printed: OFF - MRB, instead of OFF - ON.
- The schematic for the preamp is OS/136, the power amp OS/133.
Below, a register of surviving amps. If anyone knows of Conquerors that have not yet been included, do let me know.
Serial number 1005 - currently in Colorado
Serial number 1009 - currently in Germany
The serial number is not legible from the photo, but the seller gave the details on the plate as being "3430R1009" = ST30R number 1009. The control panel is black, as below. The positions of the "Top Boost" switch are OFF - ON. Note that the cab is probably later - "Solid State" in its logo.
Serial number 1017
The first two pictures are from a couple of years ago. Control panel is black. Top Boost legend reads OFF - ON. Further pictures and details to follow.
Serial number 1019 - currently in the USA
Preamp 1113; Power amp 1115. Sold on ebay.uk a few years ago. First picture: atop a 730 cab and trolley. Back panel recovered. Full working order. Thanks to Paul and Steve for the images.
Serial number 1035 - currently in Spain
An nice early amp - with a brown, rather than black, control panel. Original fittings still in place.
Serial number 1037 - currently in the UK
Serial number plate records the amp as a ST30R (not Conqueror), as is the case with 1019, above, and no. 1046, below. The legend of the Top Boost switch reads OFF - ON.
Serial number unknown - currently in the US
Great condition, the only evident change being the mains socket. Looks early. The control panel is black; preamp fixings on the box; early jack inputs with white surrounds; VOX in plain silver. But occasionally one finds black panels in conjunction with the other features mentioned in the low 1100 range.
Serial number unknown - currently in Australia
A nice early Conqueror, discovered in storage (20 years in a shed). The control panel has the misprinted legend OFF - MRB for the top boost, as is the case in the two amps below. Control panel is black; input jacks are metal; and there are holes on top of the box for preamp screws. The back panel has lost its cloth, serial number plate and logo. A few changes to the connectors on the back (a large Bulgin replaces the normal Belling Lee mains input), and replacement lamps and logo on the front, but everything easily reversible. Thanks to Tim for the pics.
Serial number 1046 - currently in the UK
A nice Vox Conqueror head. Preamp chassis 1045. Power amp chassis 1071. All effects in full working order. Some changes made in the 1990s have been reversed: a new Belling Lee mains socket to replace an IEC; new Bulgin pilot lamps (though with 1980s lenses); a new DIN socket (the original had been hacked); and pots of the correct value, replacing non-standard insertions. The Top Boost legend on the top of the preamp control panel reads OFF - MRB. In the power amp section, there is no side strut supporting the upright on which the power transistors are mounted - see the images below:
On the left, no. 1046; on the right, serial no. 1308. Note that there is no screw hole for a strut in 1046.
In terms of date codes, the red CCL filter capacitors have "K6", "L6" and "A7": respectively November and December 1966, and January 1967. One yellow Lemco capacitor, date code "XL" = November 1966. The Welwyn cement power resistors are also "XL" = Nov. '66. The RCA 3055 power transistors are both "6K" = also November 1966. For an overview of component date codes, see this page.
Serial number unknown - currently in the UK
Picture from ebay, 2006.
A full rig, short only of the cover for the head. Preamp chassis 1050. Power amp chassis 1149. The speakers have date codes in April 1967. Note that Vox rated the heavily doped silver T1088s as being capable of 17 watts. All effects in full working order. The side stands have rubber grommets, not castors. First pic from the ebay auction in 2005.
All yellow Lemco capacitors in the preamp have the date code "XL" = November 1966. One of the red CCL filter capacitors in the preamp is "L6" = also December 1966. Further shots of the preamp to follow. Click below for large exterior general views.
From this point, control panels can be brown
Serial number 1055 - currently in Spain?
Sold on ebay in Spain some time ago (2005).
Serial number 1059 - currently in Europe
Changed knobs (and perhaps therefore some changed pots) but otherwise in reasonable condition. The Top Boost switch has the wrong legend "OFF - MRB" in common with three amps registered above, no. 1046 and two lacking serial number plates. The amp retains the original shop sticker: Power Music in Leicester (later Humbucking Music).
Serial number 1065 - currently in the USA
A beautiful early Vox Conqueror rig - all there and in full working order. The Top Boost legend is OFF - ON.
Serial number 1074 (?)- currently in Germany
Sold on ebay.de in early 2015. Replacement knobs (from a solid state PA amp), handle, and front logo. The holes for the preamp fixings are visible on top of the box. But note "Solid State" in the logo. The amp seems to be the same as the one in the pictures below. Note the scratch on the preamp to the right of "DEPTH":
Serial number 1093 - currently in Germany
In the course of restoration. The yellow Lemco capacitors in the preamp have date codes "XL" and "YB" = November 1966 and February 1967. Thanks to Matt for the pictures.
Serial number 1112 - currently in Europe
Serial number 1113 - currently in Europe
Great condition. Note the black panel. Paired with a splendid Vox UL760 cabinet, complete with its original drivers.
Serial number 1118 - currently in Europe
Two pictures only. A complete rig, though the mounting hardware appears not to be present. The side stands have wheels. Control panel of the amp is brown.
Serial number 1119 - currently in the USA?
Offered for sale by a well-known outlet some time ago. Control panel is brown. Replaced pilot lamps and mains input. The speakers in the cab look to be 10" units, in which case the cab is probably from a UL710, not the Conqueror. The Beatles are great, but why does everyone want to replicate "their" setups?
Serial number 1132 - currently in Finland
To conform to Scandinavian regulations, the voltage selector has been removed and a new statement plate placed over the existing JMI one. The original Celestion T1088s are still in place.
Serial number 1142 - currently in France
Serial number 114x (1146?) - currently in France
No side stands, but all mounting hardware in place.
Serial number 1171(?) - currently in Europe
Still with its cab. The mains cable has been ingeniously fed through the Belling Lee mains socket.
Serial number 1185 - currently in Denmark
Still the silver logo and brown control panel. Thanks to Frank for the pictures.
Serial number unknown - currently in Finland
Mains selector removed in accordance with northern European regulations. Speaker cab has its original silver alnicos.
Serial number 1189 - currently in Portugal
A nice Conqueror in the process of being restored. At the moment missing its grille cloth, a couple of knobs and a green lens, but otherwise all there. One of the red CCL filter capacitors has the date code "K6" = November 1966. Some new capacitance added under chassis. Thanks to Eduardo for the pictures.
Update - looking good with new grille cloth.
Serial number 1190 - currently in the USA?
Replaced indicator lamps but otherwise in good condition. The logo looks to be gold rather than silver.
Serial number 1194 - currently in the USA
The preamp looks like a post-JMI unit (single indicator lamp). Note that the cab has "Solid State" on its logo. It may be that amp and cab are not original to one another.
Serial number 1197 - currently in the UK
Still the brownish control panel. The speakers - ceramic Goodmans - are from another source. Note the wrongly-aligned label of the right hand unit, which had to be turned so the terminals were in the right place.
Serial number 1199 - currently in the USA
A nice set in excellent condition. Thanks to Mark for the pictures.
Serial number 1238 - currently in the UK
Sold recently (Sept. 2016) in the UK
UNKNOWN SERIAL NUMBERS
Serial number unknown - currently in the UK?
A full rig sold on ebay in 2005. Control panel is brown. The logo of the amp is gold. The logo of the cab has "Solid State" beneath "VOX". Side stands have castors.
Serial number unknown - currently in Germany
Preamp brown; white rings to the input jacks; preamp fixings on top of the box. The logo on the amp with "Solid State" probably a replacement. The speaker cab has replaced drivers.
Serial number unknown - currently in Italy
Control panel is brown. A nice little set. Mounting hardware survives. The cab is not as old as the amp, however - "Solid State" is in the logo, and the baffle screws are dabbed with yellow paint, a trait of Vox Sound Ltd.
Serial number unknown - currently in the USA?
Originally owned by the hire company Reisz Promotions. But the company's collection was sold to Guitar Center in 2009. No back panel (and therefore serial number plate); but a relatively low power chassis number.
Serial number unknown - currently in the UK
A beautiful little amp. Thanks to Steve for the pictures.