2017-03-20

EARLY VOX DEFIANTS

Jennings Musical Industries: March - July 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, .

vox defiant price

In April 1967, the Defiant cost £194 and 5 shillings (pre-decimal). In today's money, that would be around £3,200 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, 50 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 T1279s (8ohms each) wired in series, and a Goodmans Midax horn - see the examples below, on this page. Side stands enabled amp and cab to tilt backwards. The latter could be fixed to the former with a chrome tongue and bracket arrangement.

The Defiant's analogue in the solid state bass range was the "", which shared the same power section (ie. also 50W), but had a different (bass) preamp.

From most angles, the amp section of the Defiant closely resembles a Supreme - the same number of vents on top, same size box, and so on. The clearest indications of type are naturally the serial number plate, and the small runner, lower right, bearing the name DEFIANT.


If both those are missing, taking the back panel off should provide the clue: two main power transistors, instead of the four of the Supreme.

General characteristics of the early amps

  • DIMENSIONS - Amp: 23 1/2" wide, 9 1/2" high, 11" deep. Cab: 32" wide, 21" high, 12" deep. Covers were provided for both amp and cab, the latter being extremely rare these days.
  • Production of the amps on this page began c. April/May 1967 and ran through to around June.
  • The earliest amps are termed "ST50R" - Super Twin 50 Reverb - on the serial number plates, not "Defiant".
  • At first, the serial number is given solely as four digits xxxx. The sequence begins at 1001.
  • After the first forty or so amps, the form of the number is given as ST..xxxx. As has been mentioned, "ST" stands for "Super Twin", indicating that cab and amp are separate.
  • The first 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 (at front, near the corner protectors).
  • Jack input sockets are at first metal and of open construction. Surrounds are white. Black plastic inputs superceded these.
  • Logos initially simply state "VOX". Lettering is in silver. Later the lettering is in gold, and then "VOX. Solid State".
  • Back panels are cloth covered and have angled corners. Post-JMI panels have square corners.
  • Two indicator lamps are present - one for mains supply, one for the standby circuit. The standby lamp was done away with later.
  • The schematic for the preamp is OS/136, the power amp OS/134.

Contrary to myth, the Beatles did not use Defiants at any time - only Conquerors (see this page) - but Freddie and the Dreamers did:

  • freddie and the dreamers
  • freddie and the dreamers

Above, Freddie and the Dreamers, RAF Wethersfield, 4th July 1967. Defiants just visible on stage. Pics from this thread.


Later Defiants made in the Vox Sound Equipment Ltd era (early 1968 - late 1969) and subsequently by Vox Sound Ltd (late 1969 - c. 1972) are registered on this page. The serial numbers of those run from 2000 - 2900.

Below, a register of surviving amps. If anyone knows of early Defiants that have not yet been included, do let me know.

Serial number 1012

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Serial number 1022

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The cab, a Vox Sound Ltd unit which had Celestion greenbacks, was sold separately from amp.

Serial number 1031

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A fantastic early amp. Pictures of the cab, which at some point in its life had been regrilled with Selmer cloth, are immediately below.

  • vox defiant 1031
  • vox defiant 1031
  • vox defiant 1031

Sold on ebay UK in June 2016 - just a few pics from that auction. A set of pics of dated components inside the amp are now on this page.

Cab probably originally from 1031 - currently in the UK?

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Evidently a working unit for many years, the recovering and regrilling themselves showing signs of much wear. The new tolex covers the holes for side stands and mounting hardware on top of the cab. Inside, the original speaker wiring diagram and original speakers, though one was blown, along with the Midax horn. The cab is termed, as in the case of the cab above, an ST50.

Serial number 1055 - currently in the USA

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ST50R on the serial number plate. A good early Defiant with a later cab ("Solid State" in the logo) - the side stands are repros, designed for an AC30, but do the job. On the amp, indicator lens replaced, and the Belling Lee mains input socket adapted as a cable pass-through.

Serial number 1100 - currently in the USA

Amp alone. All effects in order.

Serial number 1102 - currently in Australia

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A full rig in almost unbelievably pristine condition - complete with hang tags dated April 1967, and covers. The cab is designated an ST50. Thanks to Paul for the pictures.

Serial number 1126 - currently in the USA?

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Images from two different auctions, the first with a reproduction Defiant cab (bearing a 7-series style logo). The amp is complete with its cover, mains lead, and footswitch.

Serial number 1135 - currently in the USA

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Serial number 1180 - currently in Europe

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A nice amp, cabinet mounting hardware still in place. Original Celestion drivers still in cab. Also present, the guarantee slip with the type of amp stamped on, and the serial number hand written.

Serial number 1184 - currently in the UK?

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Preamp chassis 1173. Power amp 1225. A nice Defiant with a Foundation Bass cab. Thanks to Steve for the pictures.

Serial number 1216 - currently in the UK

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A first set of pictures from the auction in 2012. The seller notes the serial number as being ST1216.

  • vox defiant 1226
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A second set of pics from the amp's re-sale in 2014. No evident changes.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK?

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Brown control panel, preamp fixings on top of cabinet.

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA?

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Brown control panel, preamp fixings on top of cabinet.

Serial number unknown

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This is probably serial no. 1102, above.

Serial number unknown - currently in France

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A beautiful Defiant rig. Still metal jack sockets and top fixings for the preamp. Note the large hoods to the casters, also found in some Conquerors of the same period. Currently on offer here.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

  • vox defiant
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A nice rig. The cab is in a repro trolley (for which it was not intended) - note how low it sits in relation to the top bars.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

  • vox defiant

Sold on ebay.uk in early 2014. Probably an early amp. White surrounds to jack sockets. "VOX" in silver, no "solid state".

Serial number unknown - currently in Scandinavian

  • vox defiant
  • vox defiant

Possibly an early amp. "VOX" in silver, no "solid state". Hard to tell, but probably white surrounds to jack sockets.



On to the next page - later JMI Defiants.