1963 - 1965
The material on this page is given in chronological order as far as possible. Some of it was public - full page advertisements in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, flyers, and the like. Some, on the other hand, had a limited, specialist, circulation: dealer catalogues, reference handbooks, and so on.
For runs of Vox adverts in "Beat Monthly" magazine - later renamed "Beat Instrumental" - from 1963, see this page.
For some background to the exporting of AC50s and other Vox amps to the United States, see this page on the Vox AC100 website.
Advertisment from "Beat Monthly" magazine, August 1963. "EIGHTEEN INCH FOUNDATION BASS. The trend is towards full round string bass tone.VOX has created this attractive rugged bass amplifier featuring an 18" heavy duty loudspeaker to give the true big bass sound. Separate amplifier cabinet provides a total output of 50 watts undistorted.
The first production AC50s, however, were issued to the Beatles in late December 1963.
Advertisment from "Beat Monthly".
February 1964 - Dave Clark Five advert (1)
"Melody Maker" magazine, 1st February, 1964. Note that the amp represented as an AC50 is actually a T60.
February 1964 - Dave Clark Five advert (2)
"For a demonstration of Vox Sound Equipment, see the Dave Clark Five at the Royal, Tottenham" The Dave Clark Five were resident at the Royal from 17/01/64 to 23/02/64.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 29th February, 1964. Dezo Hoffman "Jumping Beatles" photo superimposed on an aerial shot of New York. The Beatles' amps are mentioned in the text underneath.
March 1964 - Dave Clark Five advert (3)
Published in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, 11th March, 1964. A variant form of Dave Clark advert (2) - square corners instead of rounded. The Tottenham Royal is still mentioned.
February / March 1964
First formal listing in the Vox catalogue of January / February 1964. "50 watts output, 2 inputs, volume, treble and bass controls. 8 to 15 ohms. For groups requiring extra power. Supplied independently, it can be coupled with loudspeakers T.60, Super Twin, Foundation Bass - or to order. Measurements 19" x 11" x 7 1/2"." Thanks to Martin Kelly for the picture.
Vox dealer catalogue of February 1964. The text is the same as above. Thanks to Martin Kelly for the image.
New Musical Express, 1st May, 1964. Vox advert for the Poll Winners Concert. The images were first used as an ensemble in the Vox advert for the Dave Clark Five in February '64. Note that the "A.C. 50" is actually a T60.
August / September 1964
"A.C.50 SUPER-TWIN. A new 50 watt model with built in 'glass shattering' treble and full, deep tone bass. Speaker cabinet houses two 12" loudspeakers and one special metal top frequency horn. Dimensions 33" x 23" x 11 1/2". Amplifier section: four inputs, separate volume and tone controls, dimensions - 19" x 11" x 7 1/2"."
Note that the speaker cabinet is the new large box type, but the amplifier described is still the four input (diamond input) small box amp.
A.C.50. 50 watts output, 4 inputs, volume, treble and bass controls. 8 to 15 ohms. For groups requiring extra power. Supplied independently, it can be coupled with loudspeakers T.60, Super Twin, Foundation Bass - or to order. Measurements 19" x 11" x 7 1/2".
TWIN CHANNEL AMPS - late 1964 and on.
Late 1964 - "Vox Precision in Sound" news bulletin
"A.C.50 SUPER-TWIN. A new 50 watt model with built in 'glass shattering' treble and full, deep tone bass. Two channels (bass and treble) each with two inputs. Two 12" loudspeakers and a high frequence pressure horn with cross-over network in separate case. Combination swivel and rigid stands available. Amplifier section available separately. 21 1/2" x 10" x 11" and 33" x 22" x 11 1/2"."
Note that the dimensions of the amp indicate it is of the large box type, even though a small box amp is illustrated. The speaker cab is reckoned to be 1" less high than in the previous advert.
EIGHTEEN INCH FOUNDATION BASS. This new Vox model features an heavy duty 18" speaker to give the big bass sound. The trend is towards the full round string bass tone. Vox leads the way with this true quality bass model. In two sections. Loudspeaker cabinet 26" x 22" x 16". Separate amplifier cabinet 21 1/2" x 10" x 11". With two inputs. Total output 50 watts. Combination swivel and rigid stands available.
Late 1964 / early 1965 - "Million Dollar Sound" brochure
The first American catalogue: "The Million Dollar Sound", issued in late 1964 or early 1965. Guitar and bass AC50 sets retain for the time being their English names.
Foundation Bass: "The trend is towards the full round string bass tone. VOX leads the way with this true quality bass model. 18" heavy duty loudspeaker gives the big bass sound. In two sections: oudspeaker cabinet 26" x 22" x 16", separate amplifier cabinet 21 1/2" x 10" x 11". With two inputs. Total output 100 watts peak. Supplied complete with waterproof covers. Chromium trolley stand - optional extra."
Mid 1965 - "King of the Beat" brochure
The next iteration of the American catalogue, released late summer of 1965. The AC50 sets now have new names - the "Westminster" (bass) and "Royal Guardsman" (guitar). The drawings have not been updated.
US dealer pricelist from April 1965
Above, a couple of small images of an American Vox dealer pricelist, noted at foot as being "EFFECTIVE: APRIL 26 1965".
Below, the entries relating to the AC50 and AC100. Note the number of inputs for the amps. Prices given opposite the speaker cabs are for both amp and cab.
V-1-14-1. (Piggy-Back) 4 inputs.
V-1-14-2. Cabinet for Above Containing One 18"Heavy Duty Speaker. $715.00.
V-1-14-3. Stand for Above. $36.00.
V-1-23-1. (Piggy-Back) 4 inputs.
V-1-23-2. Cabinet for Above Containing Two 12" Heavy Duty Speakers, Plus One Special High Frequency Horn. $715.00.
V-1-23-3. Super Twin Swivel Stand for Above. $40.00.
V-1-24-1. (Piggy-Back) 2 inputs.
V-1-24-2. Cabinet for Above Containing Four 12" Speakers Plus Two High Frequency Exponential Horns with Cross Over Network. $965.
V-1-24-3.Super Twin Stand for Above. $70.00.
1. All Vox Amplifiers, except the Vox Pathfinder Model V-1-1, include free foot switch.
2. All Vox Amplifiers, except the Vox Pathfinder Model V-1-1, must be purchased with covers. Prices listed above do not include covers.
3. All Piggy-Back Amplifiers and Speakers must be purchased as One Unit.
Piggy-Back Unit Covers (Per Set). $15.00.
US dealer parts list from early '65
A Thomas Organ "Vox Pocket Reference Manual of Replacement Parts and Service Information" from early 1965. Measures 3.5 x 5.25”. Pictures from an ebay auction in 2011, so quite small (click as ever for larger versions - only slightly larger in this case). In the fourth pic one can see:
The parts listed in this section cover all English built amplifiers sold in the United States.
The following models are covered.
AC4 - Pathfinder
AC10 - Berkeley
AC15 - Kent
AC30 - Viscount
AC30 Super - Buckingham
AC50 - Royal Guardsman
AC50 Foundation Bass - Westminster
AC100 - Super Beatle
T60 - Bristol Bass.
V185 - Student.
The designations above correspond to the earliest catalogues and flyers issued by Thomas Organ for the Vox range - at that point imported English amps renamed.
The reference manual goes on to list "SPEAKERS", among which:
12" 8 ohm - AC30-AC100 - 09-5305-0.
12" 15ohm - AC50 - 09-5405-0.
18" 15ohm - Foundation Bass - 09-5805-0.
Midax Horn - AC50-AC100 - 09-5406-0.
The numbers beginning "09" are Thomas part numbers. It is interesting to note that at this point the AC50 had 15 ohm speakers (i.e. not the same as those used in the AC30-AC100) - they were presumably Fanes.