The Vox Gyrotone rotary cabinet: I, II, III and IV

Above, a detail from an advert in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, November 1966. The Gyrotone was originally called the "GYROVOX" - .

Click to enlarge. April 1967 pricelist. Standard production models.

The Russell Hotel Music Fair, August 1967. The large cabinet on the left with the angled front is likely to be a first design for the Gyrotone IV. The amp sitting on top was later put into production by Jennings Electronic Industries, not Vox. See the .

Above, the band "Time Cycle" with an early split-front Gyrotone III. Note the two twelve inch speakers in the lower section of the unit.

"Beat Instrumental" magazine, January 1969. Early Gyrotones in the head office of Royston Industries, Hill Street, Mayfair.

Above, a split-front Gyrotone III (from c. 1968) that came up for sale in 2017. The design was later simplified - see for instance the adverts immediately below. For later Gyrotone IIIs see the foot of this page.

On the left, a page from the "Vox Sound Limited" catalogue of August 1970. On the right, an advert taken in "Melody Maker" magazine, December 1970, advertising the Gyrotone II and III. For the Midas amplifier mentioned in the page from the Melody Maker, .

"Vox Sound Limited" pricelist of August 1970. The Gyrotone I is omitted, but some were sold.

When the Vox Midas all purpose Public Address amplifier was issued in late 1969, it came with a dedicated output socket to drive a Gyrotone. Links to pages on the Midas .

Input socket on the cabinet and Bulgin octal cable of the sort required by the Midas and Gyrotone. These cables were also employed by British hi-fi manufacturers - Leak being one.

GYROTONE I

Produced first by JMI, then by VSEL. Some also sold by VSL. Serial numbers for JMI units began at 5001. JMI made 150 or more - see the Gyrotone I units immediately below. In late 1970 the Gyrotone I was phased out by "Vox Sound Limited", along with the Conqueror and Dynamic bass amplifiers, but some units were certainly sold by the company (see further below). VSL serial numbers begin at 001.

JMI serial no. 5087

JMI serial number 5087. Motor replaced, but excellent condition otherwise. Currently in Spain (30th June 2018: still on offer on Reverb).

JMI serial no. 5098

Sold on ebay uk in early 2017. JMI serial numberr 5098. Good overall condition and complete with its cover (identical to the one pictured below).

JMI serial no. 5155

A JMI unit, serial number 5155. Perhaps the original footswitch - as for the solid state bass amps - but corroboration needed.

VSL serial no. 047

"Vox Sound Limited", serial number 047. Evidently VSL had at least this number for sale.

Quick snaps of a loose Gyrotone Mk 1 cover, no gyrotone to go with it at the moment. It is 18" tall and measures (round the hem) 21" x 25 1/2". There are openings for handles low down on both sides.

GYROTONE II

The transition from early split front to full cloth probably took place in the second half of 1969. At least 122 made (going by the example below) and very probably a good many more. In common with Vox PA amplifiers, these units were not much prized in the 1980s and 1990s.

JMI serial number 5122

Excellent condition. Currently in Spain (30th June 2018: on Reverb). The original speakers - Celestion ceramics sprayed silver (poly grey) - are still in place.

Serial number unknown

Only a single picure. Likely to be JMI - note the gold string. Used, in the pic, as a base for a television.

A later flat-fronted Gyrotone II - the cab not unlike Foundation Bass cabs, with an overhanging lip. Silver string.

VSL serial no. 5056

Termed a Riviera Gyrotone (ie. to accompany the Vox Riviera organ). The serial number sequence was presumably reset by "Vox Sound Limited" at 5000. So this in effect is the 56th VSL unit. The speakers were taken over from "Vox Sound Equipment Limited", the old company.

JENNINGS ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES PO.1 - Pulsation Unit

Below some examples of the JEI version of the Gyrotone II, produced from late 1969 to c. 1974. The price of a PO.1 was £157 against the £155 of the Gyrotone II.

The Jennings version of the Gyrotone II.

Another example of the Jennings version but with a Vox badge.

A further example of a Jennings Gyrotone (re-grilled with Vox cloth).

GYROTONE III

Early units were split front. Later ones had a single run of cloth. The change, as with Gyrotone IIs, came seems to have come in 1969, doubtless to simplify production.

A VSEL brochure circulated in Italy in 1968. The Gyrotones, certainly as depicted, are split front.

Above, a split-front Gyrotone III (from c. 1968) that came up for sale in 2017. Original drivers still in place.

VSL serial no. 069

Vox Sound Limited, serial number 068. Probably mid or late 1970. Note the silver string around the unit.

VSL serial no. 069

Sold on ebay.uk in early 2017. A nice Gyrotone III, "Vox Sound Limited", serial number 069. Note that the speaker - a single 18" Celestion driver - has a "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" sticker. The unit was probably sold in late 1970.

Pictures originally posted . Possibly no. 068 above. A two speaker unit (2 x 12") also "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" labels.

A single pic of a cabinet sold on ebay some time ago.

GYROTONE IV

Listed in the pricelist of April 1967, but evidently soon discontinued. It may have been that sales were poor. The cabinet, pictured below, must have been exceedingly costly to produce:

A detail from a picture of the Vox stand at the Associated Musical Instrument Industries (A.M.I.I.) Trade Fair, at the Russell Hotel, August 1967. At left, the Gyrotone IV cabinet and its accompanying amplifier on top. As mentioned at the top of this page, the amplfier was later put into production by Jennings Electronic Industries in late 1968.