FOUNDATION BASS CABINETS (1 X 18")

Late 1963 - 1969

  • Vox advert for the Foundation Bass speaker cabinet in Beat Instrumental magazine, August 1963
  • Vox advert for the Foundation Bass speaker cabinet in Beat Instrumental magazine, August 1963
  • Vox advert for the Foundation Bass speaker cabinet in Beat Instrumental magazine, August 1963

First advertised in the issue of "Beat Monthly" for August 1963. Presumably designed in the summer of that year. Note the mention of "separate amplifier cabinet provides a total output of 50 watts undistorted", suggesting that the AC50 was ready or close to being ready in August.

In 1964 certain AC50s, in company with numbers of AC80/100s and, later, AC100s, had twin output XLR sockets, so that two speaker cabinets could be run (a la Bill Wyman).

  • The Rolling Stones at the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, August 1964
  • The Rolling Stones at Chester, late 1964

On the left, at Richmond in August 1964, the two cabs at opposite ends of the stage (normal arrangement); on the right, late 1964, unusually a "stack". A later "twin" stack, sold on ebay some time ago, is pictured below.

At least one Foundation Bass cab was used at Unity House - the 119 Dartford Road factory - for the testing of bass guitars. of Tony Russell, who worked there in mid 1965:


"The amplifier section was off limits to us and filled about half of the building, however I used to have a bit of a look from time to time. I remember the Vox Foundation Bass amp with the enormous 18 inch speaker which would make your trousers flap if you stood in front of it when cranked up."

EARLIEST STYLE

The Vox Foundation Bass cab, catalogue of early 1964

Picture from the Vox catalogue of early 1964 (reproducing the one issued in August '63) - note the castors directly attached to the base of the cabinet, and the early-style perspex logo. Interesting too are the dimensions given for the amplifier unit: 18" x 11" x 7". Production AC50s measure 19" x 11" x 6 1/4". Perhaps some prototype had been measured (7" is the height of an AC80/100; but both the AC80/100 and AC50 are 19" long). Mention of the "total output of 50 watts" does indicate that the AC50 is in view though.

Goodmans Acoustic Research Units

Inspiration for the shape may have come from the Goodmans ARU floor-standing hifi cabinet, produced in the late 1950s -

Goodmans also enters the picture where 18" drivers are concerned, as the Audiom 90, pictured below, was the only unit available in Britain up to early 1964, when the Celestion T1096 came into production.

  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox
  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox
  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox
  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox
  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox
  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox

Above, an early example from the late 1950s - 6ohms. The principal application of these units seems to have been for organs.

  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox
  • Goodmans Audiom 90, earliest bass driver for Vox

The later 15ohm version of the Type I Goodmans Audiom 90. It was presumably these that figured in the very earliest Foundation Bass cabs, perhaps those used by the Dave Clark Five below.

  • The Dave Clark Five with early Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinets
  • The Dave Clark Five with early Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinets
  • Sister Loretta Tharpe

Left and centre, The Dave Clark Five at Tottenham in February 1964. Note to the left of the drum riser the Foundation Bass cab with perspex logo. It stands slightly higher than the neighbouring cabs, perhaps because it had castors. Right, Sister Loretta Tharpe with The Five Dimensions at the Ricky-Tick club in Windsor in 1964, Foundation Bass cab (note its relative height) with perspex logo just visible.

Prices: 1964 - 1967

May 1964 pricelist:

The "Eighteen Inch Foundation Bass" - cabinet and AC50 amplifier: £165.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £80.

September 1964 pricelist:

The "Eighteen Inch Foundation Bass" - again cabinet and AC50 amplifier: £173 5s.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £84 2s 6d.

Vox Plastileather Amplifier Cover: Foundation Bass (Speaker Cabinet cover): £3 6s 6d.

May 1965 pricelist:

The "A.C.50 Foundation Bass (18" loudspeaker)": £173 5s.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £84 2s 6d.

Foundation Bass Amplifier stand: £9.

Vox Plastileather Amplifier Cover: Foundation Bass (Speaker Cabinet cover): £3 6s 6d.

November 1965 ;pricelist:

The "A.C.50 Foundation Bass (18" loudspeaker)": £173 5s.

The cabinet on its own - Model LFA52, one 18" loudspeaker: £84 2s 6d.

Foundation Bass Amplifier stand: £9.

Vox Plastileather Amplifier Cover: Foundation Bass (Speaker Cabinet cover): £3 6s 6d.

  • Detail from the Vox catalogue of November 1965
  • Detail from the Vox catalogue of November 1965
  • Detail from the Vox catalogue of November 1965
  • Detail from the Vox catalogue of November 1965

April 1967 pricelist:

Vox Valve Amplifiers: The 18" Foundation Bass: £173 5s.

Foundation Bass Cabinet (1 x 18" speaker): £84 2s 6d.

Covers: Foundation Bass Speaker Cabinet: £3 6s 6d.

"BASS" runner (front of cab, lower right) and BROWN GRILLE CLOTH

A number of brown-fronted cabs have smooth grey tolex instead of basketweave. Corner protectors are generally present. In some instances, baffle and back board are of strong chipboard (particle board) rather than Baltic plywood. Early cabs do not have recesses (handles) let into the sides. Internally, the sides, top and bottom are braced with triangular lengths of ply.

Type 1. Brown grille cloth; gold logo on a plain trapezoidal background (a wooden block covered in vinyl).

Type 2. Brown grille cloth; gold logo on a stippled background.

Type 3. Black grille cloth.

No serial or identification plates survive on brown-fronted cabs. Presumably none were fitted.

Type 1

  • Early Vox Foundation Bass cabinet
  • Early Vox Foundation Bass cabinet

Note the presence of the earliest form of Celestion 18" speaker (T1079), sprayed Vox blue. The "BASS" runner is missing.

  • Early Vox Foundation Bass cabinet
  • Early Vox Foundation Bass cabinet
  • Early Vox Foundation Bass cabinet
  • Early Vox Foundation Bass cabinet

Chipboard front baffle; 8 ohm Goodmans speaker (distinguishable by the light blue lettering on the sticker, as in the slightly later example below, which is not from a Vox cab.

  • Goodmans Audiom 91 speaker, blue label
  • Goodmans Audiom 91 speaker, blue label
  • Goodmans Audiom 91 speaker, blue label
  • Goodmans Audiom 91 speaker, blue label

Type 2a - small VOX logo

Some cabs evidently did not have blacking inside. Immediately below, two examples, one a shell, the other, belonging to serial no. 1034, in excellent condition, though the original driver has been replaced with a unit made for Selmer c. 1967.

  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinet for AC50 serial number 1034, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinet for AC50 serial number 1034, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinet for AC50 serial number 1034, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinet for AC50 serial number 1034, London
  • ox Foundation Bass speaker cabinet with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cabinet for AC50 serial number 1034, London

Serial no. 1034. Cab and amp with original covers. . As above, the inside of the cab is not blacked.

Note the thick horizontal strut across the baffle cut-out.

Type 2b - small VOX logo

Sold on ebay some time ago.

  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London
  • Vox Foundation Bass speaker cab with brown grille cloth, London

Cab now in London (photographed in Somerset House). Smooth grey tolex; chipboard baffle and back. The outline of the original Cannon socket is visible on the back.

Currently in France. Another small box (thick edged) amp with its original cab.

Cab accompanying an early large box AC50, summer 1964 - Half lengths of ply brace the sides. Silver Celestion speaker - probably mid 1964 - silver to match the silver alnicos brought in at this time. For a blue version of this speaker see the tiny image further up this page.

Type 2c - large VOX logo

A single image from an ebay auction in the mid 2000s.

Manfred Mann on the first broadcast of Shindig, 1st October 1964. The cabs have no carrying handles on the sides, and one clearly has a short "BASS" runner. Very probably the grille cloth is brown, matching the two small box (thick edged) AC50s on stage.

CROSSOVER - brown cloth and carrying handles on the sides

On the left, current whereabouts unknown. Large logo, carrying handles on side. On the right, currently in the USA, pictured with an amp from a different source.

BLACK CLOTH and CARRYING HANDLES ON THE SIDES

It is probably with the advent of the new style of cab that serial/identification plates were added to Foundation Bass cabs. The sequence is likely to have started at 1000 or 1001.

Type 3a

  • Vox Foundation Bass cab with black grille cloth
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab with black grille cloth

Left, Keith Richard sitting on one of Bill's cabs in Fresno, California, 1965. Right, a promotional flyer - the BASS flag of the cab is just visible. There are no carrying handles on the sides.

Image from an ebay auction, 2011.

Cab probably original to serial number 1821. Black grille cloth and "BASS" runner lower right. Sides of the cab not pictured.

NO "BASS" or "FOUNDATION BASS" runner

Black grille cloth. Similar in outward appearance to the later cabs that have the "Foundation Bass" logo, but the logos are probably on a plain, rather than stippled, background.

Vox promotional picture for the Mike Cotton Sound

Promotional picture for the Mike Cotton Sound. Note that the band's bass amp, for this shot at least, was a T60.

Type 3b - the standard type

"FOUNDATION BASS" runner

Black grille cloth; stippled background on the trapezoidal logo panel; small running logo at bottom right of the cabinet. Pairs of recesses (handles) let into the sides. Certainly being supplied in this form by April 1965.

Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits on stage at the NME Poll Winner's Concert, April 1965. Note to right of picture, the Foundation cab with the long runner, lower right.

  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135
  • Vox Foundation Bass cab, black grille cloth, serial number 1135

Serial number 1135.

A Foundation Bass set up complete with its black vinyl covers.

Two Foundation Bass cabs on a trolley. One of the "Foundation Bass" logos has found its way onto the AC50.

Type 3c

CABS WITH FOUR SCREWS ON EACH SIDE (instead of the normal three)

Regrilled with brown cloth.

A pair of cabs both with four screws down each side.

LATER CABS (ported at front) - SUPPLIED WITH SOLID STATE BASS AMPS

Solid State Foundation Bass cabs - "Solid State" logos

Dynamic Bass cab - for reference - 15" speaker

Ultimately the format persisted, as the pictures below show, well into the 1970s - Tom Jennings's new company, Jennings Electronic Industries, continued to produce the cabs for use with 50W amps until its demise, as did Vox Sound.