VOX VIRTUOSO AMPLIFIERS

Jennings Musical Industries (JMI) 1967-1968

  • Serial numbers are first given in the form xxxx; then ST--xxxx, and for the last runs of amps, xxxx.
  • Technically speaking the denomination "ST" is incorrect, as the amp is a combo not a "Super Twin". "Super Twin" meant separate amp and cab sections.
  • Logos are either "VOX" or "VOX. Solid State".
  • Lettering is in silver first, then gold.
  • Early control panels are often, or at least have become, brown.
Vox Virtuoso in the Vox brochure of 1967

Click for a larger image. On the left, the Traveller - "for the travelling man...". On the right, a pre-production Virtuoso - note the position of the footswitch socket, and the lamps on top of the panel.

Vox Virtuoso in the Vox pricelist of April 1967

Pricelist from April 1967. The Virtuoso cost £110 and 5 shillings.

Jimi Hendrix and the Vox Virtuoso

(from "The Vox Story", ed. Dick Denney and Dave Petersen, 1993, p. 148)

"Jimi Hendrix is indelibly associated in the musical public's mind with Marshall amplifiers. He used other makers' equipment too, well-known examples being the Vox Wah-Wah and the custom-built effects units made for him by Roger Mayer."

"Less well-known is his purchase from Macari's (formerly the Jennings shop) at 100 Charing Cross Road of a pair of Vox Virtuoso combination amps, not long before his untimely death in September 1970. Carl Nielsen, who worked as an assistant at the shop at the time, recalls the stir caused by his visit (he was rarely without the company of a couple of presentable female admirers on his shopping expeditions, and his Rolls Royce tended to attract attention even when legally parked."

"Hendrix had a modification carried out to the amplifiers, 2x10-inch combo versions of the better-known Conqueror piggy-back, replacing the 10-inch Celestions with a 12" Vox "blue"* speaker on a suitably modified baffle. He said that he intended to use the amps as part of a stereo guitar system, and particularly liked the sound of the M.R.B. and distortion features."


"The amps were delivered to his address in London but presumably his ideas were never realized. The Virtuoso amp was not long in production (1967-1968) so anyone seeing a single 12-inch example can be certain of being in the reflected presence of rock's most influential guitarist."

*Presumably a Vox "silver" rather than a Vox "blue" is meant.

  • Eric Snowball with a Vox Virtuoso
  • Eric Snowball with a Vox Virtuoso

Above, the late Eric Snowball, one of the country's greatest pedal steel players, pictured with a Virtuoso. ES ran ESE Music in Maidstone, supplying, repairing and rebuilding amps, many Vox. By all accounts he was lovely man, prone to great eccentricities, and cut from much the same cloth as Alan Pyne, who took over the Vox premises in Dartford - a superb technician and musician.

Serial number 1027 - currently in the USA

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1027

Thanks to Mark for the pictures.

Serial number 1029 - currently in Australia

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1029

A nice early amp. Control panel brown; white rings to the input jacks; fixings for the preamp on top of the cabinet. Logo in silver. Thanks to Paul for the pictures.

Serial number unknown - formerly in Germany, probably now in the USA

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

Serial number 1096 - currently in the USA

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1096

Serial number unknown - whereabouts unknown

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

Images from Gardiner Houlgate auction.

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

The same amp on ebay.

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

The same amp again.

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

Presented on a custom made stand. Black plastic input jacks. Original speakers still in place.

PREAMP FIXINGS ON TOP OF THE BOX NOW OMITTED

"Solid State" IN THE LOGO. INPUT JACKS IN BLACK PLASTIC.

Serial number 1144 - currently in the UK

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1144

Sold on ebay some time ago. Model without reverb. Note the later features: "Solid State" in the logo, and black plastic input jacks. These occur in serial no. 1181, immediately below, also without reverb. Thanks to Paul for the additional pictures.

Serial number 1175 - currently in the USA

NEW

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1175

Serial number unknown - currently in the Netherlands

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

Without reverb. Supplied by Musik-Wiebach in Berlin. The CCL main filter caps have the date code "B7" = Feb. 1967. CCL in the preamp "C7" = March 1967. The RCA 2N3055s have "6J" = October 1966. Celestion G10-50s stand in place of the original drivers now.

Serial number 1181 - currently in Germany

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1181

As above: without reverb, "Solid State" in the logo, and black plastic input jacks. Thanks to Paul Johnson for the info.

Serial number 1229 (or 1230?) reported

NEW

Serial number 1238 - currently in Denmark

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1238
  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1238
  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1238
  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1238
  • Vox Virtuoso serial number 1238

NEW

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA

  • Vox Virtuoso serial number unknown

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

Thanks to Steve for the pics. Model without reverb.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

Another Virtuoso without reverb.

NEW

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

The amplifier part of the cabinet cut away from the speaker section and given a base. Pics are otherwise a little small and general to reveal anything particularly noteworthy.

NEW

Serial number unknown - currently in Europe

Treated similarly to the Virtuoso above. No serial number plate, but probably a late amp - the handle has gold coloured mounts.