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Vox Essex bass amp??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bigbutes89, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. bigbutes89


    Mar 6, 2006
    anyone out there have a vox essex? any opinions. how loud can you push them, etc... thanks
  2. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    in '72. IAt first I used it as a jam amp as my Standel was too big. I hooked the handle of the cart over the fold in a back seat of a '66 Impala wagon. Later it was my tuning and warm up amp. The guy that had it before me tore it down and resolderd everything. It made the amp very reliable.
    It was loud enough for what it was and when the cones were fresh, it wasn't so band. Short scale basses seemed to work better than full scale basses.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  3. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    I bought it slightly used in 1968. It was made in 1967. It's a model V-1043. They made 3 versions of the Essex Bass Amp the 1041, 1042 and the 1043. The only differencs was slightly different output power.

    Although the amp is rated at 55 watts, it's more like 35 watts.

    It did a great job back in the late 60's and early 70's but soon after it was obsolete. It just couldn't keep up to the higher powered tube amps.

    I still have the orginal Vox cover and cart for mine.

    I would agree that they sound better when a short scale bass is run through them. Now a days, mine sits beside a few of my basses in my rec room. I've always loved the look of it. Maybe someday i'll find a new home for her.

    Here she is today,


  4. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours Supporting Member

    As I posted in another thread, the VOX amps from the "good old days" didn't have the best SOUND in the world, but they get my vote as the coolest looking amp. I owned a couple of Essex amps and they sounded, by todays standards, AWFUL! OK, so awful might be too good a rating, but tell me that pic above doesn't bring back great memories of a time when we didn't argue over power and weight and other goofy stuff. If you owned a VOX amp, you were as high up the food chain as you could possibly get.

    PS: I sold my white VOX PHANTOM bass a couple of years ago. It's easy to spot: There's a chunk that was taken out of the bottom on the back side of the bass. Any of you happen to see it? I'd love to get that bass back. :^>)
  5. bigbutes89


    Mar 6, 2006
  6. bigbutes89


    Mar 6, 2006
    What about orange or hywatts?? any opinions???
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Orange and HiWatt: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Better than an Essex, though only Vox amps have "Tone-X" which I guess transports you into an alternative universe or something :eek: (actually it's just a combination bass and treble EQ on one knob).
  8. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours Supporting Member

    Brian....I liked the explanation about being "transported into an alternative universe" a lot better than the single knob theory. I've always wondered HOW I got to this alternative universe.....and then I suddenly remembered turning the "Tone-X" knobs on SEVERAL of my Vox amps. I believe that you might be onto something there, Son!
  9. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    I had one in the 70's--used it with my acoustic 146 for extra volume! I liked the switch in the back that was an electronic tuning pitch--a G if i remember! I think mine was made by the thomas organ co. in ca,
  10. I bought one (my parents bought it) in late 60's. It lasted forever, but it was weak and compared to other amps, it sounded awful.
  11. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    I bought one back in 68 or 69 (?). I haven't seen even a photo of one until this thread. Thanks, TD.

    It had one "Volume" knob and one "Tone" knob, and an on/off switch. Mine was 35 watts IIRC. Believe it or not, back when the Shure Vocal Master was the "premier" garage band p.a., the Essex could keep up with everything else. It did its job and it was loud enough for most backyards, clubs, even the ocassional gymnasium.

    That being said, I would not want another one. :D
  12. I got mine in the fall of '66 and used it for a couple of years in a British Invasion band. It was imposingly large back before stacks became common, and plenty loud enough since we weren't doing stadiums at the time.

    Running a '64 Precision Bass through it, it sounded just fine. Although a single channel, our keyboardist would jack his Farfisa organ into it and with volume adjustments on the two instruments, both were well-amplified and projected. Speaking of transport, I'd set it on the passenger seat of my '64 Sting Ray and anchor it with the seat belt. It fit because I had the convertible with hardtop, more headroom and a taller door opening than the fastback coupe.
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    mine was wired wrong/modified so the tone knob just made it louder, it did not work well with my gibson grabber, however it excelled as an amplifier for my cd player
  14. Skillman


    Feb 8, 2016
    Vox made cool looking amps back then. Remember high school bands using them back in the 60's. Nobody really knew what it should sound like only that it produced a bass sound. Used a fender dual showman which sounded ok. But, 85 watts peak was no powerhouse. Then went to sunn then to ampeg. Using an ampeg svt 3 pro in a rack system with a compressor and tuner into an ampeg hlf 4x 10 cabinet. To get back to the vox Essex. It can be used but needs help. I use a sans amp bass di. And keeley pedal compressor. Good for small venues. In fact might be using it this Friday night for open mike night at our Elks lodge.
  15. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    So you are the other guy who bought a Standel. My band bought 3 of them in 1967. They lasted one gig. The venue had really dirty power and in the early days of SS, the power diodes couldn't handle line spikes very well. When they died, each ran B+ straight across the voice coils. One big 60 hrtz whhooommmppp and it was over.
  16. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada

    I never could take to the shape of the Phantom. It seemed so awkward to play if sitting. My very first bass was a white Clubman II. The nut was a block of nylon held in place by two wood screws! It DID have two pickups mind! :) It sounded really great especially if it wasn’t plugged in!! LOL That was in late 1962