Vox AC30: beige cabinets and copper panels

Late 1961-1962: serial numbers in the 5000s

An early copper panel.

Production at first evidently overlapped with that of the last of the AC30/6s with black panels. Cabinet back boards continue to have square corners; serial number plates are hand stamped, bass amps designated with a "B", normal with "N"; speakers are, as standard, Celestion alnico blues (T530), 8 ohms each, the two wired for 16 ohms total impedance.

The three principal formats of AC30/6 from JMI promotional literature, mid 1962: the Twin, the Super Twin I, and Super Twin II. Note that the Super Twins are in black. Prices can be found .

A number of amps were issued in black cloth (rather than beige). One occasionally finds in these early runs brown grille cloth with fine gold thread woven in.

Preamp coupling capacitors are gold-coloured WIMA Tropyfoils instead of the unreliable black Tropydurs used in the black panel AC30/4s and AC30/6s.

The transformers in the earliest copper panel amps were generaly Albions. The OT is part no. OH083/DHT; mains is OH114/DHT; and the choke PE241/DHT. At this point, Albion did not put its name on the transformers, however.

Click as ever for larger images. Albion mains transformer, part no. OH114; output transformer OH083.

In the last third of 1962, Woden transformers, with handsome green shrouds, were used too. A large batch with August and September '62 date codes ("HT" and "JT") had been bought in by the time serial number 5650 (below) came to be made. A second batch - presumably a second order rather than part of a large initial batch - has November '62 date codes ("LT")

There are some really excellent Super Twin AC30/6s on this page (separate amplifier and speaker cabinet). These came in at the end of 1961 as the announcement below, sent out in October, indicates. Small numbers may have had black panels - see for instance .

Announcement sent out in October 1961. The full page .

Adam Faith on stage, NME Poll Winners concert, April 1962, photo by Harry Hammond, his archive now in the .

Faith's band and The Shadows had pre-production or early production versions of the speaker cab. Notice the full cloth front, as in the first adverts. Later beige speaker cabs had split fronts (certainly by April 1962). See this page for more on .

The pages on AC30/4s and AC30/6s with black panels, serial numbers in the 4000s, are and .

If anyone knows of further early copper panel AC30s that should be incorporated on this page, .

Serial number 4804 - currently in the USA

Possibly OK, but some questions to resolve on this one.

Serial number 4969 B - currently in Germany

An early AC30 Super Twin amplifier section. The "6" on the serial number plate is actually an upside down "9". Currently (March 2020) on in Germany. Possibly the original black covering. Sold at some point by Freedmans of Leytonstone (London). Note that amps covered in black had black plastic corner protectors. Amps covered in beige had none.

Serial number 4995 N - currently in the UK

A strange assemblage. The box is later: radiused corners for the backboards. The double-pin corner protectors must have been added later. The serial number plate may belong with the copper panel chassis.

Serial number 5000 N - currently in the UK

Speakers replaced and preamp tagboard modified some time ago. The serial number is reliably said to be 5000.

Serial number 5002 N - currently in Italy

An early Super Twin, possibly recovered (or painted), though hard to tell from the pictures - could it be the original charcoal?. The grille cloth has been replaced. The amp is currently (Feb. 2020) .

Serial number 5021 N - currently in Europe

Currently . Covering originally beige. Original Albion transformers in place.

Serial number 5025

Existence recorded by Jim Elyea.

Serial number 5110

Existence recorded by Jim Elyea.

Serial number 5215

Existence recorded by Jim Elyea.

Serial number 5225 N - currently in the UK

Albion transformers in place.

Serial number 5320 N - currently in Italy

Sold (or perhaps repaired) by Alan Pyne, who took over 119 Dartford Road in the 1970s. The transformers look like Haddons, but no picture at present showing the labels. The red dye on the solder joint is typical of Westrex, the company that did a good deal of assembly work for JMI though to early 1965.

Serial number 5329 N - currently in the USA

An early Super Twin with original cover for the amplifier section. Transformers made by Albion: OT is part no. OH083/DT; mains is OH114/DT; and the choke PE241/DT. An add-on top boost circuit has been added (controls on the amp's back panel).

Serial number 5355 N - currently in the USA

A Super Twin head. No pictures of the electronics unfortunately.

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA

A fantastic early twin, pictures just a little too small to make out the serial number. Some fabric has been added inside the speaker cab (to help reduce vibration).

Serial number 5367 N - currently in the USA

Serial number 5370 B - currently in the UK

Smooth black/charcoal vinyl. New handles and grille cloth on the amplifier section. The date codes on the Celestion blues are 01KH and 14KH = 1st and 14th September 1963, considerably later than the amplifier and probably the cab (assuming amp and cab go together). Note that the speakers have been out at some point and rotated by 90 degrees - normally the Vox logo is horizontal.

Serial number 5420

Existence reported by Jim Elyea


Serial number 5563 B - currently in the UK

Serial number 5569 N - currently in the UK

The Celestion blue speaker has the date code "GH" = July 1963.

Serial number 5592 N (cabinet only) - currently in Europe

Cabinet and serial number plate survive. The amplifier chassis and speakers are from other sources.

Serial number 5634 N

Superb condition externally. Currently on .

Serial number 5650 N - currently in the UK

Black vinyl. The original leather handles have been replaced with modern plastic/rubber. The amplifier's transformers are Wodens with date codes "HT" = August 1962. A few replaced components in the preamp, otherwise all good.

Serial number 5651 N - currently in the USA

Probably a copper panel, but only these two pictures for the time being.

Serial number 5757 B - currently in the USA

Another amp in fine condition. Pictures from . The output transformer is a Woden with date code "HT" = August 1962.

Serial number 58xx - currently in the UK

A good solid looking Super Twin, probably a Super Twin II originally (note the two factory-made holes for speaker connectors), some readjustment on the serial number plate though.

Serial number 5937 - currently in the UK

In original smooth black vinyl - note the finger joints showing through. Possibly a later (ie. added) runner "Thirty Twin" lower right on the grille cloth. The back boards have square corners. The Woden transformers have date codes "LT" = November 1962, which might place production of the chassis in early 1963.

Serial number 5984 N

Above, pictures from ebay some years ago. The cabinet now houses a black panel AC30. The amp belonging to the cabinet above is now in a new box.

Serial numbers unknown

Some of the amps below - particularly the two refurbished by John Chambers - are early, serial numbers in the high 4000s or low 5000s.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

With its original green cover. The blue Hunts capacitor (underchassis) has the date code "WD W" = 18th week of 1961. Transformers are Albions. One of the pots has the date code "FI" = June 1961. Expertly restored by John Chambers - .

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

Perhaps the original black pebble vinyl. Grille cloth replaced. The back boards of the cabinet have square corners. Two date codes on the Hunts capacitors are visible: main preamp filter is "YWW" = 1st week of 1961; underchassis cap "WD W" = 18th week of 1961.

Serial number 5xxx - currently in the UK

Chassis, serial number plate and speakers (with 1962 date codes) transferred to a later (1970s) cabinet. The amp is .