List of updates / new info. on Vox solid state amps (1967-1972)
Updates for July and August 2017
13th September (2)
Above the latest known serial numbers so far (for which there are pictures) of amplifiers in the JMI range - Traveller to Super Foundation Bass. The Virtuoso is in the entry below. Late amps have "AMPLIFIER" at the head of the serial number plate rather than "VOX AMPLIFIER"
Traveller ser. no. 1297 "AMPLIFIER".
Virtuoso ser. no. 1238 "VOX AMPLIFIER".
Conqueror ser. no. 1565 "AMPLIFIER" (number 1581 is known but no shot of the plate).
Defiant ser. no. 1587 "AMPLIFIER".
Supreme ser. no. 1285 "VOX AMPLIFIER".
Dynamic Bass ser. no. 1241 "VOX AMPLIFIER" (but there is a later Dynamic with "AMPLIFIER" alone on the plate).
Foundation Bass ser. no. 1536 "AMPLIFIER"
Super Foundation Bass ser. no. 1229 "AMPLIFIER"
This list will be adjusted as further amps come to light. Very late JMI Virtuosos and Supremes - ie. later than the ones noted above - presumably also have "AMPLIFIER" alone at the head of their plates.
In terms of numbers, JMI (1967 to mid 1968) evidently produced around 600 Conquerors and Defiants, 550 Foundation Basses, and substantially fewer everything else.
The plate of Virtuoso serial number 1238 - further pictures here. If the sequence began at 1000 - amps made by VSEL certainly begin at 2000 (though there are no VSEL Virtuosos) - this was the 239th Virtuoso made, probably one of the last.
Some new Virtuosos without reverb added at the foot of the Virtuoso page.
10th September (2)
Below, the box for a Vox ("Jennings Musical Industries") piano mic. - not much seen these days. Perhaps earlier than 1967; here simply for interest.
An original copy of OS214 - the schematic for the Vox PAR100SS - has recently come to light. It apparently contains no notes of dates. "Equipment" in the legend "Vox Sound Equipment Ltd", however, has clearly been erased in two instances to leave "Vox Sound Ltd". Vox Sound Equipment Limited (VSEL) became Vox Sound Limited (VSL) in the summer of 1970.
The two details below have been flattened out from very oblique shots. Click as ever for larger images.
Above the printed circuit board from the preamp of a Vox PAR100SS, corresponding to the detail of OS214 immediately above. Note that the board is PCA5/2 B - "B" doubtless indicating a later revision. The presence of the "Birch Stolec" stamp - feintly visible just off centre - indicates that this PAR100SS was assembled after August 1971.
Above a prototype Traveller just come to light. Further details to follow. This represents a similar state of development to the Traveller already known - more pics on this page:
Defiant serial number 2086, "Vox Sound Equipment Limited", now registered here.
Pictures of Supreme no. 2210 now posted here.
Some details of a scrapped Vox PAR100SS posted here, mainly to show the arrangement of the chassis, and the preamp.
Supreme no. 2371 now registered here. Thanks to Matt for the pictures.
20th August (2)
Conqueror no. 1295 now registered here. Thanks to Chris for the pictures.
The general page on the solid state Public Address amplifiers has been updated with further notes on the schematics. Further pics of the PA amps will be posted soon.
A note on the so-called Mark III schematic for the Conqueror, Defiant and Supreme preamp - OS/184. Effectively OS/184 is a late "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" sheet updated with a "Vox Sound Limited" legend, probably added early in the VSL period (ie. late summer 1970).
The same process of renaming can be seen in the schematics for the PA50SS and PA100SS. "Equipment" in the "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" legend was simply rubbed out, leaving "Vox Sound Limited". See the sheets on this page.
The list of changes top left on the OS/184 sheet. C15, C16, and C17 are all signal capacitors in the mid-range-boost circuit. The positions of C15 and C16 were simply swapped in relation to the positions adopted in earlier amps (JMI schematic OS/136).
In fact the only real change was C17 (4th August 1969), from 0.01uf (JMI schematic) to 0.047uf. Nothing of course is said about where C17 was to be positioned. In some mid period VSEL amps it is fantastically difficult to see, being tucked behind another larger capacitor.
The last note (4) in the list above is "Model was Mark II" - dated 11th December 1969. No VSEL "Mark II" sheet has so far come to light, however. Very often only certain sheets survive. But now and again, unexpected copies do surface - as in the case of a schematic for the AC100 incorporating JMI notes up to December 1966 - available here.
At any rate, the VSEL "Mark II" things were the six position mid-range-boost circuit and omission of the standby circuit. In which case, "Mark III" is little more than the "Vox Sound Limited" copy of the late "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" Mark II sheet.
Important to note that the schematics as we have them are: (i) almost always fair copies (or adjusted fair copies) of preliminary sheets that were (ii) drawn up / issued for repairmen, NOT the assembly teams. Across the whole range of JMI amps, one often finds that the nice, neat, homogenised schematics do not take account of actual practice.
Below, OS/184, lower left, the title panel with main legend:
The lower left panel of OS/184, bearing signs of erasure and updating.
12th August (2)
P.P.Arnold and band, Blackpool 1969, with Vox Supreme at right, two indicator lamps on the front.
Pics of Supreme no. 2528, back in working order, now posted here. Thanks to Chris.
Vox Dynamic Bass serial number 2000. Vox Sound Equipment Limited plate handstamped. This suggests that the sequence for all VSEL amps began at 2000 rather than 2001.
Thanks to Russ for the pic.
The page on the price of Vox Defiants from 1967 to 1972 has now been updated, and its address modified: http://www.voxsupreme.org.uk/vox_defiant_prices.html
29th July (4)
29th July (3)
29th July (2)
A nice late Conqueror, serial no. 2462, along with its cab. "Vox Sound Limited" on the control panel and the serial number plates. Thanks to Andy for the pics.
Beat Instrumental magazine, October 1967. Bruce Welch with a Vox Escort Special; a note on Vox amps in Greece; and Syd Wedeles's new shop. See the first note on Syd, March 1967 on this page.
Star Street is off the Edgware Road, not too far from Paddington Station. The premises were still occupied by an electronics shop a few years ago when the Google Street camera car went by (below).
39 Star Street.
24th July (2)
A page now posted on the trolley and handwheel fixings for Vox Supreme tilt-back cabs.
Beat Instrumental magazine, October 1973. No mention is made of Vox at the A.M.I.I. show in August. Negotiations were probably in progress though. Dallas Arbiter did not take on the solid state amps, which had largely come to an end in 1972 in any case.
For the first half of 1973 (ie. up to and including June), Beat Instrumental magazine gives the small notice below:
Vox is no more. There are no adverts, no mentions in the sections on musical equipment, no reports.
A vignette picture of Macari's Musical Exchange, 102 Charing Cross Road, in 1973 from a full-page ad. for Macari's in Beat Instr., June '73 - "Vox" still above the door, though nothing is said of the company in the ad's text.
An early "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" Dynamic Bass amplifier added here.
Some items from summer 1972 showing that Vox gave up its London office and showroom at 9 Gees Court in late July or early August, moving subsequently to Beaconsfield Road, Hastings.
Beat Instrumental, August 1972. A note on Vox in a feature on "Amplification" coinciding with the year's A.M.I.I. show in Russell Square. Note the Beaconsfield Road address. For a pic, see below (entry for 7th July).
Above, two items from B.I. in July '72 - the advert for guitars, giving the factory address (see the other ads below, entry for 8th July); and a short note in advance of the A.M.I.I. putting in a good word for Vox, still giving 9 Gees Court as the address of the office and showroom.
9th July (2)
There is now a new page on the prices of VSL equipment in July 1971 - few if any changes from August 1970, but a useful touchstone.f
A speaker matching unit with four outputs against one with two. The former retains its "Vox Sound Limited" information plate. Both units have gold string. The box of the two-input matcher is fairly ragged at back.
Pics of the (simple) internal arrangement of the unit immediately above are available on this page.
The intention was to make the solid state amps, which only had one speaker output, more versatile.
The boxes were designed to work with multiple cabs of the same impedance, preferably made by Vox, and if possible ones belonging to the new Multi-Link range.
Below a Vox Sound Limited "Multi Link I" (with 4x12" drivers) recently on ebay:
The id plate on the back gives ML I - ie. Multi-Link I - "special". It's not clear at the present what "special" designates - possibly speakers?.
8th July (3)
Below three adverts for the new "Vox Sound Limited" guitars - fine-looking instruments:
8th July (2)
An index to the pages of "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" amps and so on is now online here.
Both this page and the one signalled below will be updated as the pages on the amps are sorted out (some are too long).
An index to the various pages of "Vox Sound Limited" amplifiers and speaker cabinets has been created here.
The same will be done for "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" amps and cabs.
7th July (2)
A new page on "Vox Sound Limited" in 1972 has been started here.
Jumping ahead to the second half of 1972, we are close to end of days - massive reductions on items, and the move of the office and showroom from Gees Court in London - a smart and presumably expensive address - to a suburban street in Hastings.
Beat Instrumental magazine, June 1972.
Beat Instrumental magazine, September 1972. Note the new address of the office: 94-96 Beaconsfield Road, Hastings.
Beaconsfield Road as it was a couple of years ago when the Google Street camera car passed by. Numbers 94-96 are the taller of the three buildings in the small complex.
Beaconsfield Road was around a mile away from the Birch-Stolec factory in St Leonards.
A picture page on the Vox Midas reverb shown below (4th July) now posted here - mostly details to illustrate various aspects of its construction.
The page on the Jennings J100 on the Vox AC100 website has now been updated. Further material will be added.
4th July (3)
Vox Midas 100 with reverb, serial no. 1142. Further pics to follow. The reverb pan is stamped "Birch-Stolec", so the amp is likely to have been made after August 1971, i.e. after the move to the new factory.
A huge amount of thought evidently went into the design of the chassis. Tolerances are sometimes tight - esp. the preamp and mains input - so assembly must have been a slowish process. But the arrangement of components is ingenious.
General external views of no. 1142 are at the foot of this page.
4th July (2)
The page on Vox Sound Limited has been recast and the new material on dates and so on worked in. VSL was conveniently in place in its new premises - 9 Gees Court, and the Birch-Stolec factory - in time for the big music show in August 1971 - the "Associated Musical Instrument Industries Fair". Whether that was an intention or simply the dictates of circumstance is unknown at the mo.
The body of the notice on Vox equipment, along with prices, in Beat Instrumental, July 1971. The Defiant and Supreme, just to take two quick examples, are the same price as in August 1970. See the yellow VSL pricelist here. New to the range are the 100 watt Focus speakers. A surviving set can be seen at the foot of this page.
Two illustrative pictures from the July 1971 piece on amplifiers. The Defiant pic is an old one, from JMI days, showing a pre-production amp.
Beat Instrumental, July 1971. The preamble to a short section on Vox, the Defiant strangely said to be "new". Note the address - still Erith. But the move may already have been in progress, as the new office address in Gees Court is noted in the full page Beat Instrumental advert placed by Vox in August, and the new factory premises - the Birch-Stolec factory in St Leonard's-on-Sea - referenced in the half-page ad from November - both on this page. But presumably the two premises were taken on at the same time (ie. in August).
Connected with this, it's intriguing to see a music shop opening up not too far from the factory. Clearly an opportunity to grasped.
Beat Instrumental, September 1971.
58 Norman Road on Google Street, a couple of years ago, then and probably now a Gallery Shop.
A new page created on the 200 watt solid state Jennings Electronic Industries J200 on the Vox AC100 website. Surviving examples seem to be be exceptionally thin on the ground - if anyone knows of one, do get in touch.
All the JEI material will be brought together in one place when the updating has reached a suitable juncture.
1st July (4)
The pages on Jennings Electronic Industries amplifiers on the Vox AC100 website are in the process of being updated.
1st July (3)
Beat Instrumental, July 1970. The pics below of the Barbarela night club certainly show Vox equipment, but whether they are from 1970 is not certain.
The Barbarela Night Club, Las Palmas. In the uppermost of the two pics, a Super Foundation Bass to left. In the lower, Vox amps in the gloom of the background. Pics from this blog page.