10th November (2)
Two new amps added on this page - 5237 and 5253.
Just a quick note on the part numbers stamped on various components. From late 1965/early 1966 these are for the most part JMI's own rather than those of the manufacturer. Thomas Organ, which distributed Vox amps in the States, had its own set of codes too - see the service manual at the foot of this page. The JMI numbers are five digits probably (though not yet verified definitively) beginning with the year - "66xxx" = 1966.
Part numbers of the AC50 pots are: 66181 (500K) and 66520 (1 meg).
Choke, part number: 66524.
Black-topped mains transformer, part number: 66522.
Black-topped output transformer, part number: 66523.
The black-topped transformers used in the Vox solid state range have part numbers beginning 13xxx, and identical sets of three letters stamped in white on the laminations or in black on the copper binder.
Marked on the mains transformer of an early Super Foundation Bass amp, the code - 13759 - and three letters stamped in white, "JSB" or "J58"?
The driver transformer is - 13478A.
Two versions of the Dave Clark Vox advert, the lower one from "Beat Instrumental" magazine, March 1964, the upper (with its rounded two-tone corners) from a yet unidentified source. In both the AC50 is actually a T60 amp. The Dave Clark Five had been issued with new AC50s and cabs in February 1964 for their residency at the Tottenham Royal.
Yardley's music shop, Birmingham. Photo published in "Midland Beat" newspaper, March 1965. A small-box AC50 with AC30 cab and trolley.
The "Daily Express", 1st February, 1975. The end of Dallas, which had taken on the production of a small selection of Vox items, and another end for Vox - the final curtain for the AC50
17th October (2)
For Vox displays at various trade fairs 1964-1966 see this page on the Vox AC100 website. Further material will be added there soon.
An early advert for the Midax horn from the Earl's Court Radio Show, 1956. Image originally posted here.
The picture below must be of the Frankfurt Musikmesse, March 1965. One can see a large version of the picture above on the back wall of the Vox stand to the left of Denney. The picture above shows the Stones, Ready Steady Go, 26th June 1964.
The picture below cannot therefore be the Frankfurt Fair, 1964. The Fair always took place in February/March annually.
The now well-known picture of Dick Denney at the Frankfurt Trade Fair, said to be March 1964. There is an AC100 with a Mark 1 trolley (a basket to hold the amp, rather than parallel bars); a T60; and in front of that what appears to be a large box AC50, also on a trolley with a basket top. Is this March 1964? A large-box AC50?
Below, a pic. of the Burns stand at the Frankfurt Trade Fair, March 1965 - from this excellent site.
A Lasky's catalogue of 1959/1960 advertising the Goodmans Audiom 90 and giving its price. The speaker does not figure, however, in the standard Goodmans catalogue of 1960.
29th September (2)
A detail from the Vox catalogue of 1964/1965, probably printed February 1964 - see the printer's runner "2.64". In 1963 the image of the Foundation Bass cab was used to advertise the amplifier section too, though the latter was not on sale at that time - still in development. See the advert below. The 1964 catalogue will be available soon in its entirety on the Vox AC100 website.
Page from "Beat Instrumental" magazine, issue 4, August 1963: "Separate amplifier cabinet provides a total output of 50 watts undistorted". The Beatles were issued with their AC50s - the first to emerge - in late December 1963.
Above, the Guarantee Card and envelope, hang tag, and price tag of AC50 no. 1101. The page on diamond input amps has now been updated to include those in thin-edged boxes.
The Goodmans speaker pricelist from January 1963 now added on the speakers index page.
The Guarantee Card of AC50 serial number 1101, presumably a diamond input amp (second third of 1964) given the format of the number "4/1101". A pity the date was not filled out. Better pics to follow soon.
Serial number 8270 - American-style logo, "AMPLIFIER" alone on the serial number plate - has been added here. Its chassis number is the highest to come to light so far. Thanks to Rich for the pictures.
Goodmans pricelist, April 1961. Prices, among other things, for the Audiom 90 and Midax horn.
Some pages from Goodmans speaker brochures - the Midax horn in 1958 and 1960. For more on the Midax, see this page, which will be updated again shortly. The connecting plugs, mentioned in the adverts, and used by Vox, were made by Belling Lee.
Goodmans brochure, 1958
Goodmans brochure, 1960
Material relating to AC50 speaker cabinets and the speakers used in them (Celestion, Fane, Goodmans) is being gathered together on this index page.
31st August (2)
Pages from a mid 1960s Fane brochure relevant to the AC50 - the 122 (specifically the 122/17), used in Super Twin cabs from 1965; and the 183, fitted to Foundation Bass cabs when Goodmans were not available.
Just for context, the front cover of the Goodmans pricelist - principally for the hifi market, but see the note under the Audiom speakers.
A page from the Goodmans retail pricelist, March 1964. The Audiom 91 has now superceded the Audiom 90. According to the Bank of England inflation calculator, £27 10 shillings would be around £500 in today's money. This was wrongly said to be the price of the Audiom 90 in the entry for 25th Aug. JMI presumably got its Audiom 91s at a substantial discount.
25th August (2)
AC50 serial number 1584, made by Triumph, last third of 1964, now registered here. Thanks to Larry for the pictures.
Below, a Goodmans flyer from 1962/63 (corr.), illustrating the new 18" Audiom 90, the first heavy duty bass speaker produced by a British manufacturer. The initial version was 6ohms and aimed principally at public address applications, though it was more often used for organ amplification. The 8ohm and 15ohm versions - the former used by Vox for the earliest Foundation Bass cabs (and a few in 1965) - came slightly later.
A chassis probably produced in February or March 1965 - pot codes "AM" = January 1965 - in a box (with serial number plate) that is some months later. Further pics here. Thanks to Dennis.
AC50 serial number 1004B has just come to light - single channel (2 inputs), copper panel, small thin-edged box. Thanks to Simon for the picture.
A good close-up of the label of one of the Fanes belonging to AC50 Super-Twin serial number 5533.
Model no. 122/17, 25 watts power handling, 15ohms. Serial numbers can be a good guide to the relative dates of cabinets. Note the Fane part no. 7470.
14th July (2)
The page on large-box AC50 (Super-Twin) cabs has been updated. Further material to be added shortly.
Currently on ebay, AC50 serial number 2787, needing some attention. The amp is one of a batch produced around March 1965 by Triumph with eyelet tagboards for the bias circuitry. Others are here.
A recently surfaced twin-channel amp in a small box added here - serial number 1311. The lowness of the number is simply a consequence of the boxing process: a new chassis from Triumph was put, at JMI, into a box, complete with serial number plate, that had been made a good number of weeks before. Thanks to Frank and Tom for details and pictures.
Click for a slightly larger image. Harrison's AC50 on stage at the Cinema Cyrano, Versailles, 15th January 1964. Note the Bulgin fuseholder on the back panel (one was also present on McCartney's AC80/100).
Also note the little bits of tape on the control panel marking the settings for the controls, and the cigarette about to burn the tolex.
A couple of new amps with serial numbers in the 6000s added on this page. Both have double pin corner protectors. The amp with the lowest serial number certainly to show these is serial no. 6471.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 5th October 1968 - the new Orange shop on New Compton Street. Part of the premises had formerly been owned by JMI. Two AC50s in stock. The Vox Essex bass amp must have been an import from the USA.
The Orange shop in the 1970s (?). Pic from this page.
No AC50, but one can just see a Vox Supreme middle left.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 27th July 1968. Small ad advertising a Vox 50 watt PA new in boxes.
Serial numbers for PA amps were part of the sequence for the guitar amps. Below, AC50 serial no. 02666, actually a metal-clad sloping-front PA.
A new page now started, bringing together dealer ads and small ads for Vox AC50s published in newspapers and magazines in the 1960s - click here. It's also accessible on the main index page for Vox promotional material.
25th May (2)
Melody Maker magazine, 14th August 1965. Probably a small-box Mark 1 AC50. Large box AC50s are considerably wider than T60 speaker cabinets and were never formally issued with them in the 1960s.
Left: Melody Maker newspaper, 17th April 1965, advert for the National Beat Contest. Right, Beat Instrumental magazine, March 1966. Ads for the AC50, 1965-1967, are being collected together here.
Judging by the ads in the back of Melody Maker magazine, Vox AC50s paired with Line Source speaker columns seem to have caught on as PA amps. There is also this short notice:
24th May (2)
From the small ads of Melody Maker magazine, 13th March 1965: "1964 (July) Vox AC 50 Amp. Bass Amplifier, £90". Given the date of purchase, evidently a small box AC50 Mark 1, either thin or thick edged.
Melody Maker magazine, 30th January 1965: a Vox A.C.50 Super Twin and Stand" for £184. This was the standard retail price at the time.
Melody Maker magazine, 2nd January 1965 [CORR]. Macari's Musical Exchange in Edgware (the first shop) also had a new one to sell. The two-year Hire-Purchase terms are noted.
A further amp with a serial number low in the 4000s - its plate being two-line - added here. Three-line plates come in around serial number 4150.
AC50 serial number 4094 now registered here. The amp is similar to no. 4083, immediately above it on the page. Thanks to Jerry for the pictures.
Continuing the theme of adverts, above, one first published in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, May 1966 - perhaps a sort of passing reference to the AC50's name in the U.S.A. in 1965: the "Royal Guardsman". By May 1966, however, sales of English valve amps had more or less come to an end.
Currently on Gumtree UK, serial number 1931. Valve rectified (Mark 2) and in good external order. Probably from late 1964. "AC50" is handstamped, the serial number machine-stamped.
Serial number 3619 (above) now registered here. The presence of the 0.05uf 800v grey Radiospares capacitor in the preamp by the choke indicates that this amp was made for export to the USA. Note also the original sticker "Taylor-Made Woodware" on the underside of the slider board. Thanks to Don for info and pictures.
AC50 serial number 3640, solid state rectified, pre-brimistor. From the third quarter of 1965. Pot codes "EM" = May 1965. Great condition. Thanks to Peter for the pictures. Further coverage on this page.
Some transformers from two AC50s: output from serial number 5369 (1966); and mains from a Dallas Arbiter amp (1975):
The two images above, the output transformer from serial number 5369 its the plain metal shroud lacking. The black-shrouded units were introduced shortly after this amp had been produced.
The mains transformer from a Dallas Arbiter amp.
A picture page now set up on AC50 serial number 3339, supplied by Servaas Muziekhandel in The Hague with a UL760 cab. Thanks to Philippe.
Below, a couple of 18" Celestion speakers in Jennings blue from early Foundation Bass cabs (before mid 1964). One is a T1022, the other a T1079. Both are 8ohm. The speaker on the left has been reconed.
Pulsonic code of the original cone in the right hand speaker.
Above, a detail of the metal dust-cap, which has a black rubber trim strip around its edge.
14th April (2)
Further pictures of AC50 serial number 1503, valve rectified, early style large box, added here.
Above, the first advert for the large box AC50 published by Vox in "Beat Instrumental" magazine, August 1965.
"Beat Instrumental" magazine, November 1965: advert for the large box AC50 Super Twin, the amp slightly squint on the trolley.
Note that the large box AC50 had already been represented, however, in UK and US brochures published in late 1964 and early 1965. See this page for examples.
A page from a German brochure, printed in September 1967 and circulated in 1968. 2628 deutsche marks (for the AC50 super twin) was equivalent to around £260 - £4300 or so in today's money (according to the Bank of England inflation calculator). The amp alone was 1188 deutsche marks = £110 in 1967 = £1800 today.
Page 4, which advertises two 7-series amps - the UL710 and UL730 - is posted here.
Above, excerpts from the British retail pricelist of April 1967. Prices in Germany were around 50% more than in the UK.
AC50 serial number 1503 from the last third of 1964. Note the early box with cut-outs in the baffle. The corner protectors are later replacements for the original single pin protectors, now gone. Further pictures to follow. Thanks to Peter.
6th April (2)
"Formula 1" (from the West Midlands) pictured in late 1964 with a small-box (presumably diamond input) Foundation Bass set, similar to the one with Johnny Hallyday's band, below.
Two shots of Johnny Hallyday and band from Getty Images, the first from 1967, the second 1966. Great views of the brown-fronted diamond-input amp and Foundation Bass cab.
"Vox Sound Equipment Limited" AC50 serial no. 1081, the highest number to have surfaced so far. The cab is a Jennings Electronic Industries B1 (bass, 1 x 18"), from 1969-1972. Further pictures here. Thanks to Roland.
Pentangle on stage, Copenhagen, September 1969, with two AC50s - one with new-style logo, one old. Pictures from Getty Images.