Vox AC30 timeline
1957 - mid 1961
November 1957 - April 1958: The AC2/30 is advertised in "Melody Maker" and "Accordion Times". At least four different AC2/30s are illustrated in Jennings promotional material. See this page.
December 1957: The new AC1/15 is first advertised (in "Accordion Times") - also on the page linked above.
June 1959 - May 1960 (possibly beyond): The AC/30 is advertised. See the second half of this page.
April 1960: The circuits for the AC30/4 and AC30/6 are drawn up. The circuit diagrams (schematics) are dated 29th April 1960.
Spring to late Summer 1960: The TV Front twins - AC2/30 and AC30/4 circuits. The page on these amps has been readjusted. Pictures showing Billy Fury on stage in front of two TV front AC30s are sometimes said to have been taken at the NME Pollwinners Concert, February 1960. They are actually from the NME Concert of 1961.
July 1960 - : "New Vox Amplifiers" are advertised; and simultaneously the AC30/6 makes its first advertised appearance - the two ads in "Melody Maker", 30th July, 1960. By this point, the new split front box for both AC30/4 and AC30/6 must have come in - see this page for the AC30/4, and here for the black panel AC30/6.
March 1961 - : The Shadows first seen with new split front AC30s in black.
May 1961: A new circuit is introduced - "List of Changes". The new AC30 is advertised in "Melody Maker" - on this page.
16th September 1961: The final appearance of the AC30/4 in ads placed by JMI in "Melody Maker" magazine.
A collection of documents relating to 1960 and 1961 is available here.
Copper panels and beige cabinets (mostly)
Autumn 1961: In terms of serial numbers, copper panels make their first appearance in in the high 4000s - see this page.
28th September 1961: The first advert placed by JMI in "Melody Maker" magazine for the new AC30 Super Twin - the "Super Twin de Luxe".
October 1961: the AC30/4 is officially phased out. The Super Twin (separate amplifier and speaker cabinet or cabinets) is promoted, described as having "a special tone unit with extra controls at rear" = Top Boost. The pricelist of October '61 gives prices for two versions of the Super Twin - the "Super Twin/1" with one speaker cabinet, and the "Super Twin/2" with two.
11th December 1961: the schematic for the Top Boost circuit drawn out.
Copper panels; beige and black cabinets
August 1962 George Harrison has a beige AC30 Twin with top boost controls on the back panel.
12th December 1962: JMI advert in "Melody Maker" magazine for the Super Reverb/Twin/I and the Super Reverb/Twin/II - reverb being new.
From late 1962: Black vinyl covering - "dimpled" or "pebble" - begins to predominate, serial numbers in the high 6000s.
Copper panels; black cabinets (mostly)
Early 1963: new plastic injection-moulded handles come in.
Late December 1962 / early January 1963 : John Lennon and George Harrison are issued with new AC30s in black covering.
1963 : Batches of Woden transformers arrive with date codes "AU" = January 1963; and "HU", "JU" and "KU" = August, September, and October 1963. October '63 Wodens are found in amps with serial numbers in the high 9000s.
Last quarter of 1963: Basket-weave vinyl is introduced, though some cabinets are still finished in "pebble".
End of 1963: one begins to see new black vents on top of Twin cabinets instead of brass.
Late December '63: the last time The Beatles use AC30s on stage as their main amps. Paul is issued with a new AC80/100 and John and George receive AC50s. The band does however use a new AC30 live in 1965 for the Vox Continental organ.
Copper panels; black cabinets
1964 : A new batch of Woden transformers comes in with date code "MU" = December 1963, and "AV" = January 1964.
1st February: The AC30 Extended Frequency (15" speakers) is advertised in "Melody Maker" magazine.
To be continued...