VOX FOUNDATION BASS AMPLIFIERS

VOX SOUND EQUIPMENT LTD

Mid 1968 - early 1970

Vox Sound Equipment Ltd flyer from early 1969, stamped on its reverse "Modern Music", Dudley. Its annotator gives the price of the Defiant as £199.0.0. in old money

The caption reads: "Like its says - this is the foundation for a group sound. Basically similar to the SUPER FOUNDATION, an 18" heavy duty bass speaker and 50W RMS (British rating) 100W Peak Power to play with. Two channels, four inputs, and some of the biggest built-in tonal variations in the book give it the characteristic big sound of the professional groups."

"Thinks: Thanks to TONE X. With roll-away stand and 3-way foot switch, and separate VOX waterproof plasti-leather covers for each section.

DIMENSIONS: Amp section - 23 3/4" x 9 1/2" x 11". Speaker section - 24" x 27" x 17".


Vox Sound Equipment Ltd was set up in early 1968, rising from the ashes of JMI, which had begun to decline in late 1967. Its executives were former JMI men.

Many of the amps initially sold by VSEL had actually been made during the last months of JMI. These were simply "rebranded" as Vox Sound Equipment Ltd, with new serial number plates, new control panels, and handsome stickers on the magnet covers of the speakers. Production of new items continued at the West Street works (the Burndept factory) in Erith.

New chassis and preamp sections were not stamped with serial numbers as JMI units had been.

New supply lines were set up for some components - Mullard mustard capacitors for instance come in.

In the VSEL period, transformers were units supplied by "Twickenham Transformers" (units marked "TT"), owned by "Stolec" = "Stow Electronics" and based on the Ponswood Industrial Estate (Windmill Road, St Leonard's-on-Sea, Sussex, TN38 9BY). Later, in the VSL period (from late 1970) they were supplied by "Lemark", probably an arm of "Twickenham", based in Haywards Heath.

Serial numbers of VSEL Foundation Basses begin at 2000, as do later amps throughout the solid state range.

Certain models destined for Denmark were designated simply with a letter and number:

  • A1 = Supreme

    A2 = Super Foundation Bass

    B1 = Defiant

    B2 = Foundation Bass

    C1 = Conqueror

    C2 = Dynamic Bass

The schematic for the preamp is at first OS/137, the power amp OS/134. By 1970 the sheet for the preamp is OS/185.

The new circuit without standby was introduced at the very end of the VSEL period - certainly by the time serial number 2379 had been produced - see below.

Below, a register of surviving amps. If anyone knows of Foundation Basses that have not yet been included on this page, do let me know.

Early amps (issued by JMI in 1967 and 1968) are registered .

Serial number 2006 - currently in Europe
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2006

Pictures originally posted here.

Serial number 2164 - currently in Europe
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2164
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2164

Some cosmetic changes; general condition reasonably good.

Serial number 2185 - currently in the UK
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2185
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2185
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2185
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2185
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2185
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2185
Serial number 2196 - currently in the UK
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2196
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2196
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2196
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2196
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2196
Serial number 2240 - currently in Europe
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240

A good set. The original Belling Lee socket is in place, but the mains lead has been hardwired.


  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2240
Serial number 2248 - currently in Germany
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2248

Sold on ebay.de some time ago. Simple tolex backboard (no cloth); black control panel; and still the early-style box with metal vents.

Serial number 2258 - currently in the UK
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2258

Sold on ebay. New style box with plastic vents. Still the twin indicator lamps.

Serial number 2316 - currently in Europe
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2316
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2316
Serial number unknown
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass

No standby circuit

A single indicator lamp on the front of the amp

At this point the MRB changes to a six position effect (rather than three). For an outline of the circuit, see this page. Note that amps now have a "BASS" logo rather than "Foundation Bass".

NEW

Serial number 2378 - currently in the UK
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2378
Serial number 2379 - currently in the UK
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2379
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2379
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2379
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2379
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2379
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2379
Serial number 2393 - currently in the UK
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2393
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2393
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2393

Excellent condition. VSEL plate for the amp; VSL plate for the cab. Sold on ebay in May 2014.

Serial number 2413 - whereabouts unknown

Pictures originally posted here.

Serial number 2420 - currently in Germany
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2420
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2420
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2420
  • VSEL Foundation Bass 2420

Foundation Bass with a great Supreme cab - for others click here.

NEW

Serial number unknown
  • VSEL Foundation Bass

Just a single pic. BASS logo still. Probably a serial number in the 2300s or low 2400s. A pot now in the footswitch socket.

Serial number unknown
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass

Complete with covers, leaflets and hangtags. Sold in Spain on ebay some time ago.

Serial number unknown - currently in Australia
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass
  • VSEL Foundation Bass

A nice Foundation Bass set. Vox Sound Equipment Ltd on the control panel, but no back panel for the amp, and therefore no serial number plate. The original speaker (Celestion) still in place. Thanks to Chris for the pictures.

On to Foundation Basses issued by Vox Sound Ltd (1970-1972).