Vox AC30 website updates


24th May

Advert placed by Sherman Clay Music in the "Daily Independent Journal" (San Rafael, California), 3rd May, 1965. The AC30 - twin 12" speakers, 60 watts (American rating) - is $520. At around the time the ad was published, Thomas Organ was in the process of re-naming the English-made amplifiers, the AC30 becoming for a time the "Viscount".

The Vox AC30 in the USA

"Daily Independent Journal" (San Rafael, California), 3rd May, 1965.

19th May

Gene and the Cossacks on the cover of "Banjo, Mandolin, and Guitar" magazine, May 1964, with two AC30 Super Twins from 1962 (note the old style handles).

Gene and the Cossacks with two AC30 Super Twins

18th May

Footswitches - the change from the early round type to the new "egg" format seems to have taken place between serial numbers 7298 and 7862 - i.e. in the first half (and probably first third) of 1963. But one naturally has to be sure that all belongs together.

Old style round AC30 footswitch with serial number 7298, which is currently .

New "egg" format AC30 footswitch with serial number 7862.

17th May

"Midland Beat", October 1963, "Danny King and the Royals" with an early AC/30 or AC15, and a beige Super Twin, the amplifier section at rear of stage far right in the picture:

Danny King and the Royals with a TV Front AC30
Danny King and the Royals with a TV Front AC30

16th May (2)

From "Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar" magazine, January 1964, a rough-print picture of the "Rinky Dinks" with a TV Front AC30:

The Rinky Dinks with a TV Front AC30

16th May

Below, pictures from late 1960 or early 1961 of "The Tremors", a band from Clacton, Essex. In view, a TV front AC30 and black panel split-front AC30/6. The use and ownership of early AC30s by local bands is in a way far more interesting, to my mind at any rate, than endless concentration on the well-known roster of big names. True, Adam Faith and The Roulettes had some intriguing pre-production things, but there is nothing really special about The Beatles' AC30s for instance. Pictures from .

The Tremors with Vox AC30s in 1961
The Tremors with Vox AC30s in 1961
The Tremors with Vox AC30s in 1961

The guitar plugged into the Normal channel of the AC30/6.

15th May

Another possible AC2/30 sighting - Aylesbury Granada, February 1959, Cliff Richard backed by The Drifters:

Vox AC2/30, Aylesbury Granada, February 1959

Aylesbury Granada, February 1959, Cliff Richard and The Drifters. Picture from .

Vox AC2/30, Aylesbury Granada, February 1959

Detail, far side of stage. Note the handle.

"Accordion Times", December 1957, Jennings advert illustrating the AC2/30.

15th May

A couple of JMI adverts from the second half of 1960. The first is from "Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar" magazine, October 1960, the second from the first edition of Shirley Douglas's "Easy Guide to Rhythm and Blues for Bass Guitar". Both advertise JMI's new franchise of Fender guitars, and illustrate an AC15.

Note the "VOX" logo and the "15" in small lower left on the front of both amps. The picture used in the Shirley Douglas advert had certainly been printed before - but without a secondary logo - so the two images were probably specially mocked-up for reprinting in 1960.

Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar magazine, October 1960

Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar magazine, October 1960. "Musicland" was run by Paul Jennings, Tom's son. Only the lowest-priced amplifier (at 25 guineas) in the Vox range is mentioned.

Shirley Douglas Easy Guide, Vox advert

Shirley Douglas, "Easy Guide to Rhythm and Blues for Bass". The amp quoted at 75 guineas is the single speaker AC/30.

Shirley Douglas Easy Guide, Vox advert

Detail of the front of the amplifier. No AC15 is known with an emblem of this sort.

13th May (2)

Some comments on black WIMA Tropydur capacitors:

WIMA Tropydur capacitor ad detail

Detail from the advert further below.

In the late 1950s and 1960s Tropydurs were widely used in a variety of applications - radios, broadcast equipment, jukeboxes, and of course, by JMI in early Vox AC30/4s and AC30/6s (1960 and 1961). Very few survive in place as these capacitors had exceedingly short lives, quickly becoming leaky and unreliable.

In vintage radio circles they are sometimes known as WIMA "toffee" capacitors - see this (you'll need to sign up to the forum to see some pictures).

Below, a couple of Tropydurs in place in an AC30/4, the others largely replaced in the early 1960s by grey Radiospares polyester caps.

Vox AC30/4 with WIMA Tropydur capacitors

Two WIMA Tropydurs in place at the time when the photograph was taken. The grey Radiospares capacitors replace those that had been removed.

WIMA Tropydur capacitor ad

At some point between August and October 1961, i.e. the period corresponding broadly to the change from the last black panel AC30s to the new copper panel AC30/6s, gold-coloured WIMA Tropyfoils were brought in - doubtless stipulated to the two contractors which then began to assemble increasing numbers of chassis for JMI: Burndept Electronics and Westrex.

13th May

A couple of details from the catalogue issued by Thomas Organ in the USA in late 1964 - "The Million Dollar Sound", referencing the deal made with JMI in late August 1964 for a million dollars' worth of equipment (£534,000 then). The Super Reverb Twin is in its production form. The drawing of the AC50 Super Twin is anachronistic however.

The amplifiers still have their English designations. In early 1965, however, Thomas changed the names, the AC30 with Top Boost becoming the "Viscount", the AC30 SRT the "Berkeley", and so on. In late 1965 the new names were transferred to the solid state range of amps produced in Sepulveda. Images of the catalogue as a whole can be found on the .

Material relating to Vox in the USA, 1964-1966, is being gathered together (on the Vox AC100 site).

Vox AC30s in the first American Vox catalog, late 1964
Vox AC30s in the first American Vox catalog, late 1964

Details from the first Vox catalogue issued in the USA, late 1964.

Just to add that the Vox AC30 parts list compiled by Thomas in 1966 is below, entry for 26th March. US material will be gathered together on a page of its own in due course.

12th May

A return soon to older AC30s. In the meantime, pictures of a single speaker AC/30 that turned up in 2015/2016 (not 2016/2017) - originally , and discussed briefly (in time-honoured manner) on the old Plexi Palace site.

Below, some pictures to give a sense of it, the last showing the date code "QM" = December 1959 on the green TCC micromite capacitor. The original speaker has gone.

As so few of these amps survive *useful* generalisations about "production" are tricky. No two preamp sections are the same - they all differ. This one has a "lay-down" transformer and staggered can sections, one mounted on a small plinth (the cans contain the vibrato circuitry). In terms of overall "arrangement", there is nothing particularly special about these AC/30s from late 1959 and early 1960. Power section in bottom, preamp at top had been a standard solution among amp makers since the late 1940s.

An interesting description of serial number 4052 is given in John Teagle's piece in .

Early single speaker Vox AC30 from 1960, general view
Early single speaker Vox AC30 from 1960, detail, rear
Early single speaker Vox AC30 from 1960, detail, rear

Captions to the controls, left to right, are: "TREMULANT OFF", "VIBRATO SPEED", "VOLUME No. 1", "VOLUME No. 2", and "TONE".

Early single speaker Vox AC30 from 1960, detail
Early single speaker Vox AC30 from 1960, detail, dated capacitor

11th May

A page on in AC30s has now been set up. Those printed on Hunts capacitors are the most fun by far.

9th May (2)

Below, pictures of one repro AC30/4 and one genuine early one from the early days of ebay - a reasonable number used to come up, though often in what might be termed "a right old state". The page on AC30/4, which will need updating, .

Just to say as a rider that reproduction AC30/4 control panels were floating around in the 2000s - so one always needs to go carefully. Original black panels also appeared from time to time, one from an AC30/6 below:

AC30/6. Sold as being original and probably the case.

The AC30/4 panels below, in spite of the faux puzzlement in the sellers' blurbs, are repros with transparent sticky back plastic over the panel to protect the surface.

Small pictures of an AC30/4 panel, black and gold. The seller's blurb - "This has been lying round the house for years, its still got the plastic on it, unused and in fantastic condition. I dont know if it is original or repro. The gold JMI lettering between jack sockets date this to 1959-1960."

Described as being "Genuine Black & Silver VOX AC30/4 front panel". The seller's blurb was: "Here I am selling a genuine JMI VOX AC30/4 front panel. Low start bid! The panel is as new, never used and still with it's original protective film".

The blurb was: "Blonde AC30........ This amp has been refurbished to the highest standard and is very loud, The cabinet has been made to the same specification of the originals from back in the day with square back, It has one of the best recovering jobs I have ever seen, The speakers are gold celestion alnicos 50w (made in England) Amp is an original 60's chassis that was a copper top ac30/6 and has been modified to the ac30/4. As you can see this amp/combo has been restored to a very high professional standard with no expense spared I have the paperwork with this that lists every job that done."

Probably the same amp as above.

Cobbled together back panels, but chassis and the rest of the box original 1960/1961.

Below, a black panel AC30/6 with relatively late pot codes - "GJ" and "HJ" = July and August 1962. Difficult to know what to make of it unless an early factory repair job:

The seller's blurb: "Description - It is hard to find AC30s that have not been swapped or changed about - I know this from personal experience.W hat follows is an honest appraisal of this AC30 I have fully serviced. Chassis wise I would date from the 62/63 period. No serial number inside or out, but the [original] pots show date codes of 1962 (GJ & HJ) however the Control Panel is Black, which might well be from an earlier period.I have had to replace the voltage selector with a slotted selectable type - Looks pretty good to me and also the Power lens is a non-standard, but these can still be obtained for a small price. - see images.From the many intricacies of changes over the years I would put this as a 1962 AC30 Amp.The amp has been totally serviced and still looks very original albeit having to have had a new output transformer, but not the usual run of the mill OT replacements. This one has been faithfully made to replicate the exact same transformer from the 1960s being wound on an original-type brown SRBP bobbin, with original pattern laminates. Output allows either 8ohm or 16ohm speaker impedances.Valvewise, all are fully tested and running true to form. I have been lambasted for saying all AC30s hum; this one does, but it is only noticeable when nothing is playing. Anyrate I have changed the 3 electolytics, which are on the preamp cathode to ground connections and the dual filter cap. I am quite happy for anyone to come visit and listen for themselves.Take a look at another learned fellow on the AC30 hum roundabout, notably the paragraph before the "Hints and Tips on Reducing AC30 Hum" at: /Vox_Myths.htm There is a foot switch that is hard wired into the circuit, which was the standard in those days - It is not original however.If you are looking for an early '60s AC30 chassis that will do the biz for many years to come, then................................ .....................................GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN!!!! I AM MORE THAN HAPPY FOR PEOPLE TO COME AROUND TO SEE IT."

9th May

Some batches of new amps added with serial numbers in the , , and . These have not yet been captioned on the pages as being new though.

8th May (2)

Below a couple of pics of an AC30 currently on ebay in the UK, noted as being serial numnber 11452T on the auction page - possibly therefore the earliest instance of the "Treble" model that has come to light so far. The AC30 "Treble" was new in 1964. The question is however whether the circuit conforms to the schematic issued in August '64 - .

Serial number 11556T, now the second earliest AC30 to have "T" on its plate, is actually a "normal" voicing.

8th May

Some pictures to show the closeness of the speakers in TV Front AC30s - :

TV Front AC30 serial number 4414, speakers
TV Front AC30 serial number 4414, speakers
TV Front AC30 serial number 4414, speakers

The rims of the 12" Goodmans Audiom 60s are almost touching. On the Audiom 60, .

7th May (2)

Bracketing the change from hand-stamped to machine-stamped plates, serial numbers 12733 and 13016. It should be possible to close the gap further with some work.

For Super Twins the brackets at present are serial numbers 3349 and 3617.

7th May

Some updates on the pages dealing with AC30s with black panels - (three new entries, two existing ones updated), and the AC30/6 (two new entries).

6th May

Some more notes on the AC30 chassis from early (not mid) 1963 signalled in the entry below for 3rd May - and a correction. The Hunts cathode bypass capacitor in the power section has the date code "ISH" = 35th week of 1962, not "HSI", which was arrived at by reading it upside (idiot mistake). The latest determinable date code in the amp is therefore 4th week of 1963 - main filter cap ("YTI").

Clearly one does not know how soon after production Hunts sent capacitors to Erith or how long it took for components newly arrived at Erith to find their way from store there to the work benches. The idea that it was only "a month or so" does not really wash. And it so much depends on what one is talking about. Woden transformers with January 1964 date codes ("AV") are still found for instance in amps produced in the middle of the year.

Three date codes visible in the power section. "TM" = December 1962 on the green Welwyn resistor; "YWI" on the 32uf Hunts capacitor = 1st week of 1963; "ISH" = 35th week of 1962.

The other thing to say is that the value of the green Welwyn wirewound cathode resistor is 82R, and its date code "TL" = November 1962:

The Welwyn date code "TL" visible in the mirror. The power rating of the resistor is marked as being 4-5 watts

82ohms was the actual value used for the cathode resistor through to mid 1963, when one of 50ohms was introduced to run the valves harder and squeeze a little more power from the circuit.

Detail from sheet OA/26, the cathode resistor marked in red.

Note added 14th June 1963 signalling the change from 80ohms (recte 82ohms) to 50ohms.

5th May

A further note on an AC30 chassis assembled for Vox by Burndept Electronics, Erith, in early (not mid) 1963. The valves fitted at factory were Brimars. The ECC83s were made at the Foots Cray works, near Sidcup; the GZ34 was produced for Brimar by Mullard.

The manufacturing date codes, as mentioned in the entry below for 3rd May, are: 3rd week of October 1962 for the GZ34, and the fifth week of September for the ECC83s.

For the Burndept factory, having a supplier close by will have been a real boon. Quite whether Westrex, the other contractor charged with assembling AC30 chassis, also fitted Brimar valves to the chassis it produced is not known at present. The Westrex factory was in North London (Dollis Hill).

Just to add that the EL84s in the chassis were replaced at some point after 1965 (the replacements have Mullard date codes for that year). The originals are likely also to have been Brimars, though.

4th May

The page on the speakers in early AC30s has been expanded and updated - more on the G12 B024 and B025, the Goodmans Audiom 60, and the Goodmans-made fan-frame driver wrongly called the "Economax" - in actual fact a low-end ceramic magnet unit with limited frequency response - extremely poor in the bass range.

As the AC15 used by John Lennon in 1962 was fitted with a pair of these Goodmans fan-frames, a mystique has subsequently grown up around "crazy rare AC15s just like John's with (so-called) Economax speakers". Excellent conversation pieces no doubt.

Further notes will be added to the page shortly.

A Goodmans fan-frame in its natural habitat - a portable speaker produced by Bell and Howell for use with its projectors.

3rd May (2)

Some notes on a chassis assembled by Burndept in early (not mid) 1963, serial number probably in the low 7000s. The cab along with speakers and serial number plate parted company in the 1980s. Pictures of the chassis to follow shortly.

Chassis number: 01518, stamped on the chassis by the output transfomer.

Woden transformers: date code "AU" = January 1963.

Potentiometers: date code "AK" = January 1963.

Hunts main filter cap (16+16uf): date code "YTI" = 4th week of 1963.

Hunts 250uf cap. (underchassis) - corrected: "ISH" = 35th week of 1962.

Hunts 32uf cap. (underchassis): "YWI" = 1st week of 1963.

Welwyn wirewound resistors: "TM" = December 1962.

Hunts preamp caps: "SWH" = 51st week of 1962.

Brimar GZ34 (Mullard made): B2J(?)3 = Blackburn Factory, 1962, 3rd week of October.

Brimar ECC83 preamp valves: 5I2/1574 = 5th week of September 1962. The second character of "5I2" is a letter "I" denoting September. 1574 is the code for ECC83.

3rd May

What's in a name? Below, the three iterations of the Vox "Vibravox" unit, designed in 1957 for accordions, though its electronics were incorporated early on in the AC2/30, AC/30 and AC30/4.

Although the design of the unit (outward appearance) was protected in British Law ("registered"), the name had in fact already been coined - from 1949 in the USA there were the Danelectro "Vibravox" amplifiers, a single speaker version much as the AC2/30 in terms of proportion, and later a twin. See the pictures below.

Evidently there was no difficulty: Vox regularly referred to the "Vibravox" in its AC30/6s through to 1964. The extent of the electronic relationship (if any) of the circuit is at present unknown.

Fingers crossed that an early Vox "Vibravox" comes to light at some point.

Accordion Times, January 1958, the Jennings (Vox) Vibravox unit

"Accordion Times", January 1958. First version of the Vibravox. Note the unit is "Registered", a protection of the design in law extending solely to outward appearance and cosmetics. Electronics and technical aspects were covered by other protections, which also had to be applied for - e.g. patents and so on.

Accordion Times, March 1958, the Jennings (Vox) Vibravox unit

"Accordion Times", March 1958. Second version.

Accordion Times, April 1960, the Jennings (Vox) Vibravox unit

"Accordion Times", April 1960. Third version, with black panel.

A Danelectro "Vibravox" amplifier from 1949.

The later format of the Danelectro "Vibravox" twin.

2nd May

In January 1960, Gene Vincent embarked on a tour of the UK. His first backing band - 6th to 17th January - was "The Rockets", a London group led by drummer Tony Crombie. The second was "The Beat Boys", who had been brought together by Larry Parnes to back Vincent on the second leg of the tour, 24th January to 26th February 1960.

The picture below, which has been doing the rounds with the date "Nov. 1959", is likely to be from the first leg of the tour. Joe Moretti, who played on the second leg, does not appear to be present on stage. At any rate, the shot was taken in 1960 not 1959.

On stage a Vox AC15 or AC/30 - the two amps at this point were in cabinets of the same size and finishing. Beyond it, with its logo invisible or gone, almost certainly an AC2/30.

The AC2/30 is apparently upside down, its tilt caused by a cable plugged in on its "underside" at left. Invert in your mind the illustration of the AC2/30 below.

"Accordion Times", December 1957, Jennings advert illustrating the AC2/30.

Joe Moretti with his AC15 or AC/30.

A still from a clip of Gene Vincent with the "Beat Boys" (and Joe Moretti) on Italian TV, May 1960. Moretti also used his Vox amp on Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Shaking All Over" later in the year.

1st May

Below, the advert for Vox placed by Nicholson's of Sydney in the Beatles Australian Tour programme, 1964. Nicholson's also advertised Vox in the Sydney Morning Herald and at various points had catalogues specially printed by JMI:

The picture of The Beatles was of course slightly out of date. On the tour, Paul had his AC80/100 and John and George AC50s.

30th April

Some pictures from the now at the V&A. One has to take the dates ascribed in the archive with a pinch of salt: pictures taken at the 1961 NME Poll Winners concert are sometimes registered as being from 1962, and vice versa. The correct years are supplied below.

The NME concerts, held annually at the Empire Pool, Wembley, were a showcase for JMI from 1960 through to 1968.

5th March, 1961

Above, a good shot of The Shadows at the Poll Winners concert of '61 with their second set of AC30s. The amps had probably been supplied new for this event. A further shot is to be found lower on this page, entry for 15th March.

The same concert - The Shadows played a second set with Cliff following their own. The stage has been rearranged.

15th April, 1962

A good front shot of The Shadows' third set of AC30s, supplied new for this event, much as the previous set had been supplied new for the year before. Jet Harris's amp is on the stage floor, his smaller chrome stand no longer used.

John Leyton receiving his award from David Jacobs. Behind, the pre-production AC30 Super Twins issued by JMI to Adam Faith in October 1961. The amplifier sections are on chairs behind the full valance front speaker cabinets. Production speaker cabs have split fronts.

Billy Fury. This shot is from 1962. One of the TV Front AC30s can be seen in the shot of the Brook Brothers, below. The Brook Brothers did not appear in the 1961 concert.

The Brook Brothers.

21st April, 1963

This is 1963 not 1962 as stated yesterday. Adam Faith on stage. There are three custom colour Vox amps - probably AC15s (rather than AC10s). Below an example.

AC15 serial number 4965. For further pics, see below, entry for 5th April. Was this one of the amps on stage on 21st April '63?

29th April (2)

In reference to the entry below, a better picture of The Shadows' new AC30s (their third set) at the NME Poll Winners Concert, 15th April, 1962, John Leyton on stage.

29th April

A couple of pictures to begin the process of "topping and tailing" dates for the issuing of The Shadows' third set of AC30s.

In the first picture below, taken at "Club 59" on 22nd March, 1962 the band still has its second set of AC30s, readily distinguishable by the position of the "VOX" logo high up on the front of the amps. In the second picture, taken at the NME Poll Winner's Concert, Empire Pool, Wembley, 15th April, 1962, one of the third set of amps is present on stage behind Adam Faith.

It seems likely that the new amps were issued specifically for the NME concert at Wembley in '62, much as the previous set had been issued in time for the NME concert in '61.

Club 59, Eton College Mission, Hackney Wick, 22nd March, 1962 with Princess Margaret, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells in attendance.

Adam Faith on stage, NME Poll Winners Concert, correction - 21st April, 1963. One of The Shadows'amps is behind him. Note also the custom colour AC10 - no, correction - AC15 twins.

28th April

Below, a Vox publicity photo of the Shadows (still with Jet Harris and therefore before late April 1962), slightly cropped at foot. The AC30s in the picture were The Shadows' third set. The reason for posting this photo rather than the one printed in the JMI fold-out "Choice of the Stars" catalogue is that the BASS runner directly under the VOX logo of Jet's amplifier is good and clear.

This was also the position of the BASS runner on the front of two special order (or demonstration) AC30 Super Twins covered in blue.

Whether the positioning of the runner in this way was simply a foible of a particular finisher at Dartford Road is not known.

Logo and runner gone, but one can see the glue marks.

27th April

The AC30 Super Twin as represented in the JMI dealer's catalogue of early to mid 1964. It should be said that very few Super Twins at this date will have looked like the one depicted. Most (if not all) speaker cabinets had split fronts.

A new page now up on AC30 Super Twins with serial numbers in the new sequence that began at no. 2500. There is still a good deal to add so do check back periodically.

21st April

Two new pages recently posted - one on , the other on the . Both will be augmented shortly.

In preparation, a page on Super Twins produced in 1964. It looks as though the new serial number sequence began at 2500 (rather than at 2000). The lowest number known at present is 2501.

AC30 Super Twin serial number 2501 N - copper panel, brown grille cloth.

16th April

The page on black panel AC30s has now been divided in two. . . Both will be updated again shortly.

14th April

Separate pages on black panel AC30/4 and AC30/6s coming (to replace the existing single page), along with a page on copper panel AC30/6s with serial numbers in the 11000s. It is in the 11000s, ie. in 1964, that the new "Treble" voicing of the AC30 first makes its appearance.

10th April (2)

A single picture from 2006 of a black panel AC30/6 chassis sitting on top of a cab re-covered in Korg red vinyl. Highly unusual white pointer knobs. The amp was in the USA at the time the photo was taken.

It will probably be necessary to split the page on black panel AC30s in two at some point soon - one for the AC30/4 the other for the AC30/6.

10th April

The page on is now up - Expanded Frequency AC30s and Super Twins included.

Serial number 10472 is now the highest number recorded for a Super Twin before the move to the new numerial sequence.

9th April (4)

Late June, 2007 - another black panel AC30/6 on ebay, in a cabinet that looks brand new. It seems likely that the chassis is actually the one in pic. 3, below, sold on ebay in May 2007. Although the images are minuscule, one can just make out the redness of the choke, the cleanness of the transformers, and the presence of spring valve clips over the EL84s.

The seller of the black chassis in new cabinet was well known for "flipping" stuff.

The pictures and blurb from late June 2007.

Sold on ebay in May 2007. No info at present on whether the amp is Pre or Post "List of Changes". Transformers are Haddons (stickers visible on the shrouds). The choke is very ruddy in colour.

9th April (3)

Ebay, September 2007. An AC30 from 1964 (link voltage selector) with an uncoloured but printed aluminium fascia. It looks as though the original control panel was removed and new legends expertly printed directly onto the preamp chassis. Note that there are dedicated legends for the standby switch and the two indicator lights (all added). Holes were drilled for the lining up of whatever template was used.

9th April (2)

Ebay decoration at its best - September 2006. AC30 serial number 17180, virtually untouched, cover and original shipping box intact, recorded as having been purchased in January 1965.

1964 was a heroic year for JMI - around 8000 AC30s produced - serial numbers in the 10000s through to the 17000s. Remember that during the year Super Twins came to have a numerical sequence of their own.

9th April

A black panel AC30/6 sold in early July 2007. Cabinet painted black, no speakers, but the chassis in good condition.

Above, two screengrabs from the ebay page of July 2007.

8th April

Going through some batches of pages saved from ancient ebay auctions, a further black panel AC30/6 - serial number 4696N, sold by Electromusic of Doncaster in June 2007, shadows of stickers on the front:

Also (below) a re-covered beige (fawn) AC30 with a copper panel, serial number 4760, sold in May 2007. Unfortunately the chassis is a replacement for what was there originally - as stated by the seller. The Woden transformers have the date codes "HU" = August 1963. The original chassis will have been a black panel.

Note that the pattern of damage on the serial number plate is distinctive, which should help tally things up if the amp appears elsewhere. The plate is of the type also found on .

Click for a larger version of this image.

7th April

A new page started on AC30s with - late 1963 to early 1964.

6th April (2)

A few notes, jumping ahead a little, on the "AC30 Treble". As Glen Beauchamp has kindly pointed out, JMI seems not to have advertised this version of the amplifier. We have in catalogues, pricelists, and so on, entries for the Normal, Bass, Top Boost, and the various types of Super Twin, but nothing of the Treble. Was it left to the salesmen to lead customers to the model - and perhaps to explain the significance of "T" stamped on the serial number plate?

Although the new "Treble" schematic is dated 10th September 1964, it seems likely that AC30s were built according to this circuit earlier in the year.

The lowest serial number (by quite some margin) to have surfaced so far for a "Treble" AC30 is 11556T:

Currently on Reverb. Hand-stamped serial number plate still. The Celestion blues have date codes "30KH" = 30th October, 1963. One of the blue Hunts capacitors has the date code "WII" = 13th week of 1963. Copper panel, no markings on the preamp upright.

The preamp of serial number 11556, however, is built according to the "Normal" circuit. Particular give-aways are the values of two capacitors on the far right-hand side of the top preamp circuit board - on the schematic "C5" and "C7". In serial number 11556 these are: 0.047uf:

Detail of serial number 11556. One can just see on the two gold WIMA capacitors the voltage rating (400), and the value 0.047.

At this point the "Treble" schematic calls for two 0.01uf capacitors (also expressed as 10000pf - not 1000pf as stated here initially).

C5 and C7 marked on the AC30 "Treble" circuit diagram.

Below, serial number 16649, marked as "Treble" on serial number plate and chassis. The mustard capacitors are of the correct value - 10000pf (0.01uf).

The only way to single out true "Treble" AC30s is from an examination of the circuit.

6th April

A new page in progress on . None so far in blue. The scarcest are those with "VOX" in large white cursive letters, mid 1964. A selection below:

A still from "A Hard Day's Night". In the background, the (black?) covers of one of the early AC50s, white VOX logo in cursive, along with "Precision Sound Equipment".

A single speaker AC10 cover.

5th April (3)

"Melody Maker", 9th November, 1964 - advert placed by Pan Music in Wardour Street. No fewer than seven AC30s available and an AC15 in blue. Below, an example of the latter. Very scarce, but naturally one does not know quite how many were produced along these lines.

AC15 serial number 4965.

5th April (2)

A Super Twin speaker cabinet, 1966 style, with full valance front. The Celestions ("silver" alnico, T1088s) are of the later type (after mid 1966) with terminals on a board between the spokes of the frame.

Examples of late valance front cabs with closed backs also survive.

5th April

The page on has been updated with material from "Melody Maker" magazine of that year. More to follow.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 1st February, 1964 - one of the earliest mentions of the AC30 Extended Frequency with 15" speakers. See for examples.

4th April

The page on AC30s in coloured vinyl is . A page on early "leatherette" ("plasti-leather") covers coming soon.

1st April (2)

Two pages relevant to AC30s from the JMI catalogue of 1964. Certain sections were proofed in February 1964. Copies of the catalogue can be seen in photos of the JMI stand taken at the "British Musical Instrument Industries" Fair at the Russell Hotel in late August 1964.

The catalogue as a whole is available on the .

1st April

An AC30 sold a little while ago. The Woden transformers have date codes "AV" = January 1964. One would normally find a serial number in the very high 9000s or low to mid 10000s. This amp however has a number in the new "Super Twin" sequence, which began at 2500 (not 2000). Perhaps a mistake at factory? Otherwise, two things are possible: (a) the plate was taken from another amp and fixed on this one (without any intention to mislead); or (b) the chassis and serial number plate belong together, having been taken out of a "Super Twin" cabinet and put in and on a new cabinet.

Of the two, (a) seems most likely, as the new "Super Twin" serial number sequence is unlikely to have reached the 2900s in early 1964.

The other thing to say is that most AC30 Super Twin amplifiers have Albion transformers (rather than Wodens), and brown Dubilier resistors (rather than white Eries). In other words, A30 chassis made by Westrex in 1964 mainly went into Super Twins.

31st March (3)

A page now in progress on AC30s with - in terms of date, roughly mid and later 1963.

1963 was a busy year for JMI - and therefore also Burndept Electronics and Westrex, the two companies contracted to produce AC30 chassis. Well over 3,500 AC30s were made.

30th March (2)

A page also in progress on AC30s with - in terms of date, roughly the first half of 1963.

30th March

A new page begun on the - the AC30 SRT - introduced in May 1962. For the time being, only early ones with amplifier sections in "square-edged" cabinets. The trapezoidal cabs did not come in until late 1964.

29th March (2)

"Melody Maker" magazine, 13th August, 1960. Advert placed by Lew Davis, 134 Charing Cross Road. Note the second-hand AC30 - described as being "perfect" - for 40 guineas. An AC2/30 or a single speaker AC30? Probably the latter.

29th March

Below, some Jennings small ads relevant to the AC30 in "Melody Maker" magazine, late 1963. Hire-Purchase prices (deposit and 24 monthly payments) are given alongside the "shop" price. The page on has been updated.

The Jennings Shop, 100 Charing Cross Road, London. Picture from "Beat Instrumental" magazine, November 1964. In the basement, a practice room. On the far left window pane, notices and adverts. For more on the shop, .

"Melody Maker", 19th October, 1963.

"Melody Maker", 2nd November, 1963.

"Melody Maker", 9th November, 1963.

"Melody Maker", 16th November, 1963.

"Melody Maker", 21st December, 1963.

26th March (3)

Hang tag and warranty card envelope from AC30 serial number 22053 - "T/B & C" = Top Boost and Cover.

Below (repeated from the entry for 12th December), an AC30 Super Twin head from late 1963 / early 1964 with its tag - the first style of JMI tag - affixed to the front grille cloth.

An old-style JMI tag on the left, the new style of mid 1964 to its right.

26th March (2)

The Thomas Organ Vox Amplifier Service Manual compiled in 1966 contained five schematics relevant to AC30s:

[O]A/026 - AC30/6 Normal - drawn on 23rd April 1960.

OS/056 - AC30/6 Treble - drawn on 10th September 1964.

OS/057 - AC30/6 Bass - drawn on 11th September 1964.

OS/010 - Top Boost circuit - drawn on 11th December 1961.

OS/075 - Reverb circuit - drawn on 15th January 1965.

A two-page parts list was also incorporated:

26th March

Vox publicity photo (Reg Clark) published by Jim Elyea. Shane Fenton (later Alvin Stardust) with The Fentones. Note the full valance front speaker cabinets. Note too that the amplifier sections have leather handles. The middle amplifier has its grille cloth "sideways" - the diamonds are horizontal rather than vertical.

A surviving Super Twin (standard split front speaker cabinet) with brown grille cloth done horizontally. Some discolorations (from light?).

25th March (3)

Two AC30s in powder blue covering, both with brown grille cloth, both in Europe. The Twin originally had new-style black plastic handles. The Super Twin evidently had a bass logo directly beneath the VOX logo, as in the third picture below.

25th March (2)

Two Super Twins in red - serial numbers 7086 (currently in the USA) and 8274 (currently in the UK). Whether these were originally made for Trade Shows or as special orders is not known.

Serial number 7086N. Note the new-style plastic handle = early 1963.

Two pictures of serial number 8274 (more to follow). Mid to late 1963. Note the Amphenol connector on the speaker cabinet.

25th March

A page is also in preparation on early AC30s with coloured vinyl/tolex coverings. To some extent this will intersect with the page on - some good examples in red, powder blue, and dark blue.

Below a rare colour picture of Freddie and the Dreamers, c. 1963, with Super Twins covered in smooth dark blue vinyl. Further below, an AC30 in what is probably the same colour, sold by Heritage Auctions some time ago.

Perhaps one of a series of photos taken on stage for publicity purposes.

24th March

A new page is now in progress on early . Further material will be added soon.

15th March (3)

Reported as being serial number 7109B, a late beige-covered amp, at one time painted black, now for the most part cleaned off. The speakers and handles are later replacements. The green Woden transformers have the date code "AU" = January 1963. This must have been one of the last AC30s covered in beige.

15th March (2)

A detail of a picture of the Shadows' new black tolex split-front AC30s - NME Poll Winners Concert, 5th March, 1961, Empire Pool, Wembley. Note that Jet Harris still has his low stand, issued by JMI with the Shadows' TV front amps in late 1960:

Note the logos high up on the front and the special "The Shadows" legend. Picture from Getty Images.

15th March

Currently on an AC30/4 in what may be its original box. No pictures at present of the electronics (or anything else). Note that the round knobs are of the type pictured in the JMI AC30 brochure of early 1961 (promoting the AC30/6). They are also found on AC15s of the same date.

JMI AC30 brochure of early 1961 promoting the AC30/6.

An AC15 that came up for sale in Denmark many years ago.

12th March (2)

One of the highest numbers encountered so far for an AC30 Super Twin before the move to the new sequence (beginning at 2500, not 2000) - serial number 9979. Note the presence of original covers:

12th March

Below, details of a rare copper panel AC30 Super Reverb Twin, black vinyl, copper control panel, from Spring 1964. The serial number is 2803, the sequence beginning at 2500 (not 2000), as noted below. One has to make two adjustments, however.

First, the serial number sequence 2500-2802 is likely to have contained a high proportion of AC30 Super Twin I and AC30 Super Twin IIs - ie. "standard" Twins without reverb.

Second, an unknown number of AC30 Super Reverb Twins will have been produced and sold with numbers in the 6000-9000 range. Reverb Twins were new in May 1962.

Guesses are guesses, but it may be that only around 100 hundred with reverb - perhaps even fewer - had been produced by May 1964. Early ones with copper panels are certainly scarce these days.

The double-pin corner protectors are later additions.

The reverb pan and driver transformer were mounted on the underside of the slider board.

10th March (2)

Serial number 4989 B. If box, serial number plate and chassis belong together, then a very early AC30 Super Twin amplifier section. Registered . Currently (March 2020) on in Germany. Probably the original black covering. Note that early amps covered in black sometimes had black plastic corner protectors. Amps covered in beige had none.

10th March

Some notes on AC30 Super Twins. These were first advertised in September 1961. Two versions were available - the "Super Twin I" with one speaker cabinet and the "Super Twin II" with two. The amplifiers were described as having top boost on their back panels - but some were produced without.

Speaker cabinets have closed backs to give extra protection for the Celestion drivers, especially useful when the units - described by JMI as being "pressurised" - were used as bass amps or with organ.

"Super Twin II" amplifiers are identifiable by the presence of two speaker sockets on the back panel:

The two factory-drilled holes on the back panel of the amp pictured above indicate that it was made as a "Super Twin II". At least one cabinet original to the amplifier has therefore been lost.

In May 1962, JMI advertised the new Super Reverb/Twin/I and Super Reverb/Twin/II. Early examples are scarce.

Initially serial numbers for AC30 Super Twins formed part of the main AC30 sequence - from around 5000 into the 9000s. Thereafter Twins had their own sequence beginning at 2500 (not 2000).

The page has been updated.

23rd February

Some gentle questions about a copper panel AC30 in a beige cabinet sold some time ago - seven pictures below.

The serial number plate (4804N) is mightily scratched. How and why? The beige cabinet looks almost pristine.

Why is the plate attached with plain metal screws instead of the standard brass that JMI used?

The serial number is very low for a copper panel amp - the lowest encountered so far. Does the serial number plate belong to the chassis? Was the chassis originally issued in the beige cabinet that currently contains it?

Picture no. 6 below, included with pictures of the cabinet, chassis and speakers, is of the Albion transformer label itemising the windings. Why is this later type of label found in the amp? The standard early type is this:

Above, pic. of the label in serial number 5329.

The hire purchase booklet, sadly out of focus, is difficult to read. Part of the card seems to have been wetted at some point. There is apparently however no note of the amplifier's serial number as would be usual. Why is this?

Click as ever for larger images.

To repeat a small caution, esp. where early amps are concerned, scrutinise and question everything. Chassis can easily be taken from one cabinet and slotted in another.

22nd February

A "timeline" page has been to collect together - as far as possible - documented dates.

17th February

A second advert in "Accordion Times", December 1957 - this actually precedes the one a little way down this page (entry for 15th Feb.). Jack Emblow singing the praises of the VIBRAVOX vibrato unit in the AC2/30.

This amp has the same arrangement of VOX logo as the one represented in the thumbnail in "Melody Maker", 11th Jan. 1958 - .

At least four different AC2/30s are illustrated in Jennings promotional material.

"Accordion Times", December 1957.

16th February

Some dates:

November 1957 - April 1958: The AC2/30 is advertised in "Melody Maker" and "Accordion Times".

December 1957: The new AC1/15 is first advertised (in "Accordion Times")

June 1959 - May 1960 (possibly beyond): The AC/30 is advertised.

April 1960: The circuits for the AC30/4 and AC30/6 are drawn up.

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 - see below, entry for 21st January. By this point, the new split front box for both AC30/4 and AC30/6 must have come in.

Some notes:

The TV front amps are still the least well documented. The Shadows are first seen with their TV AC30s in December 1960.

Promotion of the AC2/30 overlaps that of the AC1/15 by five months, so the former is unlikely to have been produced as a "stop-gap" or "stand-in" for the latter. To some extent however the AC2/30 was an experiment. A weak point, on a purely abstract level, must have been the speaker - a single late 1950s 12" driver to handle 30 watts?

It has always been said that the AC30 as we know it (with 4 x EL84s) was arrived at by the bringing together of two AC15s (which had 2 x EL84s). It's interesting to see in "Accordion Times" that Martin Lukins was in promotional terms well ahead of the curve.

"Accordion Times", October 1958. Advert first published in September 1958, and repeated with variations in October, November and December 1958, and in May 1960.

15th February (2)

Why did Jennings expand its range of equipment in late 1957? The answer, partly, was to compete with Selmer.

During the course of 1957, Selmer brought out a number of items that were later replicated or imitated by JMI - an accordion microphone; a vibrato unit; and an enhanced range of amplifiers.

Conversely, Selmer may have copied Jennings in producing an electro bass - the "Futurama" - brought out by the company some months after Jennings's original.

"Accordion Times", January 1957 - the revamped line of Selmer amplifiers. At this point Jennings had the G1/10. Selmers were doubtless a spur too in the creation of the AC1/15 and AC/30.

"Accordion Times", June 1957, the Selmer "Ampliphonic" accordion microphone. The Jennings equivalent, first advertised in late June '57, can be seen in the advert in the entry below.

15th February

"Accordion Times", December 1957 - perhaps the best picture generally published of the AC2/30. The four controls indicate the amp is a standard model - two channels, one volume control for each, one bass and one tone control for the two.

The advert in "Melody Maker", 16th Nov. 1957, also represents an amp with "VOX" in large letters diagonally across the upper panel - .

The other Jennings ads in issues of "Accordion Times", January to November 1957, are all for accordions.

Note the presence of the AC1 15 watt amplifier - the AC1/15.

8th February (3)

Five more AC30s with serial numbers in the 5000s registered .

Interesting to see a small group of Super Twins around the mid 5300s. A separate page on these early amps will be available soon.

8th February (2)

"Accordion Times", June 1959 - the earliest dated reference to the new single speaker AC/30 that has emerged so far. The price picks up the price of the old (discontinued) AC2/30 - 62 gns for the standard model, 70 gns for the model with vibrato.

The note that "a 30-watt model CAN be supplied..." indicates the amplifier's newness.

The new AC/30 - "Accordion Times" magazine, June 1959.

8th February

A note on black panel AC30s. Glen Lambert suggests very plausibly that the "W" (actually an "M" stamped upside down) on the serial number plates of early AC30/4s and AC30/6s could stand for "wideband" - the frequency response of the "new" amplifiers being a marked advance on the early "hi-fi" AC30s.

The "W" apparently disappears with the advent of the circuit changes introduced in May 1961.

B stands for BASS. Initially bass response amplifiers were made with accordions in mind, see below.

Below, a detail from the JMI advert in "Accordion Times", May 1960, referencing the line-up of models in terms of price. Single speaker AC/30 = 79 gns. New AC30/4 twin = 100 gns. "Special Bass Frequency Models for Accordions".

"Accordion Times", May 1960, detail.

HI-FI amplifiers - the AC2/30 and AC/30 (both 2 x EL34 valves)

The AC2/30 - "Melody Maker" magazine, 12th April, 1958, detail.

The new AC/30 - "Accordion Times" magazine, July 1959.

7th February

Two more items on the from "Accordion Times" magazine. Immediately below, a picture of the Francis Wright Quintet with their AC2/30 from the issue for February 1959.

"Accordion Times" magazine, February 1959. The four white control knobs indicate this is a standard (rather than vibrato) model.

In the issue for April 1958, there is a small note on the prices of JMI amplifiers. The AC2/30 is 62 gns (at this time the price of the standard model).

"Accordion Times" magazine, April 1958.

5th February

A little more on the AC2/30, picking up from yesterday's entry. "Melody Maker" magazine, 22nd February, 1958 (the picture below from microfilm):

The text is: VOX AC2 AMPLIFIER 55 gns. A 30-watt output at 15 ohms, A.C. mains operation Hi-Fi amplifier, fitted with three input sockets: (a) for crystal mikes, (b) for ribbon-moving coil mikes, (c) for gramophone pick-ups, radio tuner units and high level signal inputs. There are two volume controls for inputs (a) and (b), and one volume control for input (c), in addition to separate bass and treble controls. (Fitted with internal vibrato. 62 gns.)

Later adverts describe the AC2/30 as having three PAIRS of input sockets. The 15 ohm speaker was probably a species of Goodmans Audiom - most likely an Audiom 60. Goodmans Audioms are noted by JMI in connection with its organ amplifiers ("Melody Maker", 22nd March, 1958).

"Melody Maker" magazine, 22nd February, 1958.

4th February

The AC2/30 in "Melody Maker" magazine.

Below, some shots from well-used microfilms of "Melody Maker" magazine, 1957 and 1958 - to be replaced with better images soon. The pictures are from the issues for: - 16th November 1957 (the first instance of the AC2/30) and 12th April 1958 (the last) - a span of seven months.

If the amp was indeed produced by JMI as a sort of "stop-gap" (possible perhaps), then it clearly gained a somewhat firmer footing - demonstrated by the continuity of advertising over these seven months. In addition to the two issues of "Melody Maker" mentioned, the AC2/30 was advertised on 30th November and 14th December 1957; the 11th January, 8th and 22nd February, and the 8th March 1958. The idea of its being a "stop-gap" is not wholly convincing.

Whether November '57 - April '58 accurately parallels the period of production is not known at present - a single source (ie. "Melody Maker") is not enough to go on. But it could easily be that the AC2/30 continued beyond April '58 for a time.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 16th November, 1957, and detail.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 12th April, 1958, and detail.

3rd February (2)

Screen-grabs from Cliff Richard's TV show - Cliff! (ATV) - 16th February, 1961, The Shadows with their TV Front AC30s. Note that Jet Harris's chrome stand is significantly smaller (lower) than the other two.

The Shadows are first seen with the three TV front amps in December 1960. From around June to October 1960 they had two-tone AC15s.

3rd February

The TV Front AC30 twin: May/April 1960, price 100 gns, production overlapping with that of the single-speaker AC/30.

Below, a shot of the JMI advert in a tightly-bound copy of "Accordion Times", May 1960. Note the prices of Vox amplifiers on the left-hand side:

- 25 gns, 35 gns, 45 gns, 65 gns, 79 gns, 100 gns. There are special Bass frequency amplifiers for Accordions. The prices of these last are cited in the advert in Melody Maker, 30th April, 1960, below - 70 gns and 85 gns.

Taking the two together, makes the references in the "Accordion Times" perfectly clear: the single speaker AC/30 is the amplifier referenced at 79 gns. The one at 100gns must, by inference, be the new TV Front twin.

"Accordion Times", May 1960.

Detail from above.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 30th April, 1960.

2nd February

Below, three pictures of an AC30 offered dozens of times by a dedicated scammer on auction sites around the world.

The story started when the amp was put up for sale on ebay.uk in 2008 with a great set of pictures - high resolution for the time. As it was sold by Howl Guitars not so long ago, it may have gone straight to Japan from the UK.

Soon after its sale in 2008 however, an extremely persistent scammer began using selections of the original pictures from ebay to advertise it in a series of fraudulent listings. As soon as one bogus listing was squashed, another popped up elsewhere. Fortunately none have appeared recently.

Ironically, the object as a whole is not so genuine either. The box has a fake serial number plate - three silver panels instead of two. Notice also how the scratches across the beige covering do not scratch across the plate. And given the date code on the original Woden transformers is "KU" = October 1963, it seems likely that the chassis is much later than the cabinet. A late 1963/early 1964 amp in a box from late 1962/early 1963 (note the old style single handle). Yet another case of swippee swappee.

Be really careful of amps in beige cabinets.

1st February (2)

Two adverts from 1959, the first simply specifying "prices from 27 guineas" for the range of Vox amplifiers, the second giving the prices of all models up to the AC/30, at 70 guineas.

"Accordion Times", September 1959 - repeated in November.

"The Stage", 24th September, 1959.

1st February

The Staggerlees at the Winter Gardens, Penzance, c. 1960. On stage, a parti-coloured single-speaker AC15 - the runner lower left on the front is "FIFTEEN" - and a TV Front AC30.

21st January

It seems that the AC30/6 was advertised some months earlier than has generally been supposed (November 1960 being the supposition) - a minor point perhaps given that the schematic for the circuit is dated 23rd April 1960, but still of interest nonetheless.

Below, two adverts grabbed from a microfilm of "Melody Maker" magazine, 30th July, 1960. Better images to follow. The advert with Chas McDevitt and Shirley Douglas had been placed in a previous issue of the magazine - July 9th - but, importantly, without the mention of "*new Vox amplifiers".

The newness in question was the advent of the AC30/6 and doubtless the new split front cabinets. See the second advert - "Paul's Music Studio". Paul was in fact Paul Jennings, son of Tom, and manager of the shop at 88 Broadway, Bexleyheath - better known as "Musicland".

19th January

A detail from the "Precision in Sound" newspaper format catalogue of late 1964 - the AC30 Top Boost add-on unit in its box, "VOX" in old-style square letters, the legend: "TOP BOOST UNIT FOR A.C.30 AMPLIFIER". If memory serves, one of these boxes (not sure whether there was a unit inside) still survives. A picture was posted on one of the old forums - probably Plexi Palace, now long gone.

16th January

New material added to the page on early AC30s - the . More to come soon.

Below, a detail from the Jennings advert for the Rhet Stoller competition - initiated by Larry Macari - placed in "Record Mirror", 7th March 1964. The AC30 represented is an amp.

"Record Mirror" magazine, 7th March, 1964.

15th January

An early Super Twin trolley, a basket-top for the amp to sit in. The double bars are closer together than they are in later trolleys.

13th January

A new picture page on serial number 10348. Thanks to Guy for the pictures.

Below, part of the original packaging of a Celestion Blue - marked "T530", the speaker model number; and "17DJ", the date code, which is 17th April 1964.

4th January (3)

The page on early AC30s - - is in progress and will build further this month as various strands are brought together.

4th January (2)

Below, the circuit diagram for the add-on "Top Boost" module (OS/010), drawn up initially on the 11th December, 1961 and updated thereafter - the intention of the circuit, so said, being to provide a means of emulating the greater "sparkle" of the AC30/4, which had recently been taken out of production.

The suggestion that the circuit was copied from the tone circuit of the Gibson GA-40 amplifier was first made by Glen Lambert.

4th January

A little more on Peter Jay's AC30 Super Transonics from former band member Pete Miller - his recollections :

"Soon after Vox started making solid-state amps, circa 1964, a pair of Vox Super Transonic amps were manufactured and given to the Jaywalkers to try out on stage. Pete believes they were the only pair ever to leave the factory. They were essentially fully-working prototypes which were given to the band to test on the road. After a quick trial we found they were unsuitable for public consumption and for any kind of bass or low-end instrument because of their small 3-inch tweeters. They were barely passable for lead guitar and rhythm guitar. We used them on tour for about a week before shipping the remains (I think in a coffin) back to the Vox factory in Dartford along with our disgruntled evaluation: In comparison to the trusty AC30s, they were a load of crap. The transistor amps sounded distorted, toneless, thin and nasty. The tweeters soon blew, the chrome hardware broke, the counter weights fell off, the casters broke, and the fuses continually blew. Even the Vox logo fell off. Needless to say, they never went into full production. The two 12-inch speakers in the lower cabinet were whatever Vox was using at that time in its AC 30s. However, the Super Transonic looked really cool. The amp and speaker cabinets were covered with the same orange vinyl cloth that was used later on the Vox Continental organ. The grill cloth was a light beige. The two tweeters were housed in circular chrome balls, balanced by a solid counterweight. They would rotate horizontally but not vertically."

"1964" should really be "1962/1963", and just to note that The Jaywalkers were not the only band to use Transonics on stage - see on the Vox T60 website - the other bands being "Jamie and the Raiders" and "The Fontanas".

Vox publicity shot of the band with a single beige Transonic - three knobs on the amp. The shot in the entry below shows amps with four knobs.

3rd January (2)

A new page begun on . Below a picture from "Melody Maker", 24th August, 1963 - Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers with a beige T60, two orange Transonic amps, and many Vox Phantom guitars.

The band took two Transonics on tour in 1963 - probably not the ones in the picture - and returned them to Dartford Road in pieces. They were not constructed to withstand the rigours of touring.

Although the amp was referred to early on as the "AC30 Super Transonic" it had nothing to do with AC30s, effectively being the "treble" version of the solid state T60 bass amplifier.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 24th August, 1963.

JMI pricelist, late 1962.

3rd January

"Melody Maker" magazine, 6th January, 1962. The Twin (Normal and Bass) and the standard Super Twin are listed.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 6th January, 1962.

The prices for the three types of AC30 mentioned above held good at least until 25th May 1962, when the last Jennings mini-pricelist of the year was published in "Melody Maker". The Super Twin I and II are first mentioned in the lists on the 12th May.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 25th May, 1962.

The two snippets are now on the page.

2nd January (4)

Another AC2/30, used for steel guitar. Picture said to have been taken at the Embassy Ballroom, Welling (Kent), late 50s. Publication as yet unknown.

Vox AC2/30 late 1950s

2nd January (3)

The picture of the AC2/30 mentioned in the previous entry now found. Bill Kent on stage, Maidstone, 1958:

Vox AC2/30, Bill Kent band, 1958

Raggett's Hall, Maidstone, 1958. The "VOX" logo has gone, but the small plaque underneath - "Jennings" (?) - remains.

Vox AC2/30, Bill Kent band, 1958

Bill Kent again, the amp not yet decorated, but minus its logo.

2nd January (2)

Jennings page in "Accordion Times", March 1958 - one of the inset pictures, a first generation AC2/30. There was also a picture on the old kentgigs site of an AC2/30 on stage in the late 1950s, used by a local Rockabilly band. The picture is saved in one of the myriad folders here - when it emerges it will be posted here.

Vox AC2/30, Henry Krein band, 1958
Vox AC2/30, Henry Krein band, 1958

2nd January

Pictures of serial number 4663, black panel, AC30/4, . Below, some adverts from "Melody Maker", 1963.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 12th October, 1963 - an AC30/6 with Top Boost, the same price as a standard Super Twin.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 16th November, 1963.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 14th December, 1963 - prices of Twins (Normal and Bass), and the standard Super Twin.