Old Vox Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by riwbaw, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. riwbaw


    Jun 27, 2002
    I love the look the vintage look of Vox amps. I saw a vox cabinet the other day 2x 12" for around $400. If it is in good condition, is it worth the purchase?
  2. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Not for bass - Unless it's specifically a Bass Cab.
    Anything "Vox" post about mid 70's isn't too good anyway.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Was it just a cab, or the whole amp? I have a Vox Essex - 55w 2x12. It was the first amp I ever had, and I got one for my son for about $200 when he wanted to play. I think $400 might be a bit high, unless it's in really nice shape and comes with the cart.
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah I can remember loads of guitarist in the UK going on about how great Vox amps were - but my abiding memory of playing in bands is that they sounded bassy and distorted, but more importantly that they used to smell.....of burning, which was followed very shortly by a tube blowing up and the whole thing catching fire!! ;)
  5. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    This was my first SS Bass amp. It was new in 1967 or 68.I can't remember how it sounded. But I liked it then. Compared to the SS amps today, I'm sure it really sucked. It did come with a cart though!!!!
  6. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    If you want a 2x15" cabinet,you can buy a Vox reproduction T-100 cab for approx $250.00 unloaded. The speakers would run another $150.00 These cabs are available through North Coast Music. Check their website out. All the prices and pictures are there. They are made to the original spec of the T-100.

    As for the 2x12 Vox Essex Bass Amp, I still have mine which was made in 1967. It's completely original with the cart and cover and in excellent plus condition. It's a model V1043. I never gig with it because its just not loud enough, but it sure creates alot of comotion when ever anyone drops by the house and sees it.
    Heres a picture of it with a couple of my Hagstrom basses.
  7. My first bass amp was also a Vox Essex. The dealer offered me an earlier, leftover tube bass amp with a separate head for the same $400. The cab had one speaker, 15" or 18", I forget which. But everything was going solid state late in '66, so I chose the Essex. What did we know back then?!? Although transistors have really taken over high-powered bass amplification by now.

    It gigged reliably for a couple of years with good volume and sound, no problems. My Fender Precison sounded great through it. Eventually sold the amp, but fond memories.
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Vox made a few guitar amps that were OK, like the AC-30. They never made a bass amp that was worth diddly. Those that have value are as collector items, not gigging rigs.
  9. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i had one of those 2x12s combos with the cart, do not buy it they don't sound good for bass, i actually used mine to play a cd player through for parties
  10. aztomr


    Oct 5, 2010
    I have an older Vox amp, a Kensington, perhaps 1968. I bought it thinking "cool vintage amp" from ebay, when I got it I played it for less than ten minutes. I went back to ebay and bought my Carvin, which was awesome. The thing to watch out for is amps built by The Thomas Organ Co., built under license from Vox. Stay away from these, mine claimed 60 watts, sounds like 6!:bassist:
  11. AwkwardLoudness


    Jan 11, 2010
    KY USA
    The JMI era (1958 - 1964) Vox amps are great guitar amps. The quality of Vox amps built after Jennings sold the company was spotty at best. Some bass players seem to like the Vox Super Beatle (& matching cab), a solid state amp that had some similarity to the AC100 amp that Vox built for Paul McCartney. The Super Beatle amp was built in the late '60s and they command high dollar on eBay from what I've seen.
  12. Blankandson

    Blankandson Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    Gallatin, Tennessee
    Had a Royal Guardsman around 1968. Trapazoid amp on top of chrome cart. Looked unbelievably sexy but sounded mushy and never gave me any volumn. At that time I played a Framus with bigsby and two (I think) humbuckers. The vox just never satisfied. Finally traded (way) up to a Fender Twin Reverb.
  13. And the first British Vox solid state amps were pretty good. The Beatles started using them on Sgt. Pepper and continued to the end. After that, Hendrix and other hard rockers started the Marshall stack era, and early '60s style amps went out of fashion for rock for a decade or two. Vox went through around 10 owners from 1964-1992. Korg took the time and money to bring back the quality and for the last 10 years they're once again a major guitar amplifier brand.

    Nothing specific in a big enough size and sound for bass players yet.
  14. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    There is no such thing as a good Vox bass amp.
  15. I have a different opinion. I'm not saying that Vox has a competing bass amp in the market place now, but I sure thought McCartney's early Beatles tone was splendid. Live and studio. I really like a few of the British bass players tone form the invasion days, and most of them used Vox amps. Also, there are a number of trib bands that use vintage Vox amps for bass, and they sound good as well. Again; the modern day bass amps are so advanced now, but to say there is no such thing as a good Vox bass amp, is a rather broad statement to me.
  16. johng999


    Jul 14, 2008
    Over time, McCartney was already recording with a Fender Bassman in 1965 (Rubber Soul). The agreement between Epstein and Jennings ended with Epstein's death and the Beatles were pretty much using Fender from then on.
    In the US tours of '64 and '65 McCartney used a Vox AC100. In '66 for the US leg they used the solid state Vox amps that were designed and manufactured by Thomas Organ in the US. By the end of '66 they were using SS British made Voxes.
    This info comes out of the Book "Beatles Gear" by Andy Babiuk (2001).
  17. bertbass666


    Mar 6, 2009
    There is a lot of difference in sound between British made Vox amps and US made Vox amps. A british made AC100 with EL34s is pretty good.
  18. Mbas


    Feb 27, 2014
    I have recently acquired a Vox ac100 from 1965 but the pre amp tubes have not been working since 1990. I am planning on replacing them but I am wondering which tubes would work best. The 3 tubes are two 12au7/ecc82s and 1 ecc83. Could I use any ecc82 and ecc83 for and vintage vox?
  19. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    An ECC83 is a 12AX7 and any will do. In Europe the tubes were designated ECC82 and ECC83 in North America they were simply called by a different name, 12AU7 and 12AX7.

    In the UK VOX models, it was common to see british tubes such as Mullard and Brimar in the originals.