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Vox Super Beatle, Royal Guardsman, Buckingham, and Viscount

Vox Amp

Vox started making guitar amps in 58'. Vox was started by Tom Jennings and Dick Denny. Jennings started making the Univox , a monophonic electronic keyboard in the late 40s and turned that into an organ company. Dick Denny was a radio repair who designed a guitar amp in his spare time. Jennings tried to use his organ amp as a guitar amp but it didn't work well. Denny built 2 15watt 1-12" speaker amps and gave on to Jennings, Jennings owned a music store and saw the demand for guitar amps on the rise, hired Denny and the rest is history. The biggest thing that happened to Vox was when Bryan Epstine, the Beatles manager, convinced them to give the Beatles gear. 

The amps here are the American versions. Vox was having trouble keeping up with demand so decided to have amps made in America. Jennings had sold commanding interest to Royston, a British radar company. Royston made the deal to have amps made in America with the Thomas Organ company.

Thomas didn't want to mess with tubes and had their engineers design an acceptable transistor power amp. Dick Denny helped voice the amps and they were released in 66'. Here are the top 4, a Super Beatle, a Royal Guardsman, a Buckingham, and a Viscount. They all have the same design, the Viscount and Buckingham are 30 watt 2-12" speaker transistor AC-30 replacements. The Royal Guardman was 60 watts with 2-12" speakers and a horn, the Super Beatle 120 watts with 4-12" speakers and 2 horns. Some of the nicest looking amps ever produced.

This photo was taken by Larry Beasley and used as the February shot in my Gantamps 09' calendar.

The shot was taken at Mike E's in La Vergne, TN, which sadly, is long gone.

Vox AC-100

Vox Amp

Royston initially was a big help to Jennings with capitol to expand Vox. Several events happened, including Royston's insistence on using transistors which failed, and then losing a RAF radar contract, caused Vox to go bankrupt. Vox had ramped up production but still had to close it's doors. 

This is the another legend, the Vox AC 100. As the Beatles got bigger and the crowds got louder, subsequently they had trouble hearing themselves. Made out of demand, the Beatles took delivery in late 64' of the 100 watt amps. They were extremely loud but unstable. My favorite example is watching the Beatles the second time on Ed Sullivan playing "Help", you can tell the the audio engineers are having trouble keeping them contained. Not many were produced, this is a late one that was built after Vox had closed. The courts let them build amps out of remaining parts to help pay creditors. This one was rebuilt by Jon Davidson and is stable. The cabinet is my Super Beatle I had rewired to 8 ohms. The cabinets were the same, only difference was the English versions were wood, while Thomas used press board. A beast of an amp, scopes around 110 watts with EL 34s.

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