welcome Vox 4series 7series

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“When we finished ”Revolver”, we realised that we had found a new British sound almost by accident.”

  – Paul McCartney, 1966

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The life & times of the rare Vox 7 & 4 – series amplifiers, 1966-68.

(**Blog Index, & Gallery links now all active).   Further entries added as website unfolds.  Either scroll down ↓  to see just the most recent posts on history / amps / memories (click on  ‘more..‘  to expand full post),  or see blog post INDEX above for the whole list & links to individual posts.

 

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Surviving amps updates

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A set of pics of 7120 serial number 1041 has been posted on this page.  The amp was for some years in Northern Germany, now in the UK and for sale.

The page on surviving UL730s has been tidied up and two new amps registered, one currently for sale in France, the other in Denmark.  The large set of images of serial number 1052 has been moved to a page of its own.

Sets of pics of four more 710s to be posted in the course of this week.

Triumph Electronics, which assembled the 4 and 7 series for Vox, was a small place and produced work of the highest quality – but not always in an orderly linear fashion. Elements changed as production proceeded. Wiring was copied from sets of component boards not designs on layout sheets.

The schematics as we have them were for the repairmen and service departments, not the wirers and assemblers at Triumph. And there is no question of anyone fooling anyone, or anyone being fooled if the circuit of an amp did not correspond exactly to what was delineated on the schematic.

Most of the schematics as we have them are in any case relatively late, being fair copies of earlier sheets (of an unknown nature).

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Hollies, San Remo Festival, Feb. 1967

hollies_san_remoThe Hollies at the San Remo Festival, February 1967.  In the back-line, two AC100s, and two 7120s and cabs.  The 7120s are on the stage floor in front of the cabs – presumably because the trolleys lack their top bars (ie. the section the amp would conventionally sit on).  The side stands, however, are still in place.

This may have been a Vox sponsored event – Los Bravos are also pictured using the same equipment.  One might be forgiven for conjecturing that the trolleys were damaged in transit from England.

 

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Vox UL430

Further pictures of UL430 serial no. 1052 and its cab now posted on this page.

Pics of  7120 no. 1041 and two 710s to follow.

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Forthcoming updates

Quite a backlog of new info and amps to appear soon.  For the time being, some images of 430 serial number 1052 and its closed back cab (not too many of those around).

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Further pics and details (thanks to Steve) to follow soon on the “surviving amps” pages (see the link at the top of this page).

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“Man” with a 4120 and cab

A German documentary on the band “Man”. In the section starting around 2′ 09″, some good views of the 4120 and matching cab on its end.

Below a still from “Beat Club” a year earlier (1969), in which the controls for the Normal Channel of the 4120 can be seen.

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Later, Man moved over to a new set of solid state Vox equipment:

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The Stones in 1966

 

A selection of the pics of the Stones with their 760s in the last quarter of 1966 and early 1967.

 

ALBERT HALL – 23rd September 1966

 

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STUDIO

Top bar of trolley removed and side-stands swivelled upside down

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stones_34Jimmy Page (note the violin bow) with Brian Jones. 760 cab, as in the pic above, but a Fender amp on top

 

 

SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE PALLADIUM – 22nd January 1967

Top bars of trolleys missing, side-stands still attached; the cabs sit on Foundation Bass “dollies”

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The Beatles’ 7120s – Munich 1966 and other pics

 

 

SOME DETAILS OF THE BEATLES’ 7120s

 

86202424A general shot of the Beatles at the Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich, 24th June 1966 – picture from Getty Images.

 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Orchard/REX/Shutterstock (14563t) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in Munich The Beatles Performing in Germany - 1966Credit: Photo by Bill Orchard/REX/Shutterstock (14563t).  A detail of the amp John used on the 24th.

 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bill Orchard/REX/Shutterstock (14563t) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in Munich The Beatles Performing in Germany - 1966Credit: Photo by Bill Orchard/REX/Shutterstock (14563t).  A tiny sliver of the amp that George used at Munich.  Note that its diamond pattern matches the amp that John had – a quarter of a diamond at right.

 

DIG Beatles, The, 27.12.1960 - 11.4.1970, brit. Musikgruppe, Auftritt, Konzert "Bravo Blitz Tournee", Circus Krone, Mnchen 24.6.1966, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Mikrofon, singend, Band, Gruppe, Bhne, Fans, Zuschauer, Blitztournee, Musik, Musiker,Slightly oblique views of Paul and George’s amps, again from Munich.

 

detailA detail from the famous picture of Lennon in Studio 3, Abbey Road, with his Gretsch 6120 (sold at auction in 2015).  Normally this pic is drastically cut to focus on the guitar.

 

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Dave Clark Five – an early 7120 cab

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Above, Denis Payton of the Dave Clark Five on stage at the Carousel Theater, West Covina, California, 27th June 1966 – photo published in the 23rd July issue of KRLA mag. In the background an AC100 and one of the band’s new 7120 cabs. This is the earliest dateable instance of a non-Beatles 7120 cab.

Given that the DC5 summer tour began in early June 1966, it seems likely that the cabs that they had were delivered to them in late May.

Pictures taken a few months later (see below) show that the band had four.

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Above, the DC5 Royal Variety performance, October 1966

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“Hello Goodbye” promo, Savoy Theatre, 10th November 1967

Three versions of the promo video were made at the Theatre on 10th November 1967, and much ink has been split on the question of whether the Beatles had solid state Vox Defiants or Conquerors with them on stage.  It was certainly the latter – Conquerors.

The cabs however were 730 cabs, as one can see at the end of one of the videos as George wheels an amp across the stage apron.  The ceramic Celestion T1225s are clearly visible in the pics below.

Ceramic Celestion T1225s were used from the outset in 460, 760, 7120, and 4120 cabs, but seem only to have been adopted for 730s late in the production run.  Two surviving cabs with these drivers are represented on the 730 amps page on this site.

Conqueror cabs in 1967 always had alnico speakers.

It is probable that Vox / Macaris at 100 Charing Cross Road supplied the equipment on this day.  The Charing Cross Rd. shop was less than a mile away from the Savoy Theatre.

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Above a surviving example.  May either worked for the Henry Glass company, which made the cabs, or Burndept Electronics, which readied the units for dispatch.  Her name, always in chalk as above, figures regularly on the 7-series and solid state cab baffles.

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“Beat Instrumental” magazine signals the arrival of the 7 series

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From March 1966, “Beat Instrumental”, a British monthly magazine aimed squarely at professional musicians, and the only publication in which Vox regularly advertised, began signalling the imminent arrival of a new line of amps – the hybrid 700 series.

 

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Above, editorial lines from the March issue, 1966.

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Note from April 1966.  By the time this appeared in print, John and George probably already had their amps – see the entry from Alf Bicknell’s diary (12 April) below.  There are photos from mid April too.  Paul’s 7120 bass  arrived a little later.  Perhaps the original intention was to coax 150 watts out it – perfectly possible given the presence of four KT88 power valves – a plan (if a plan at all) ultimately rejected, however.

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Notice from May, 1966.  Production of the smaller and larger amps of the 7-series range had probably just kicked off as this issue appeared on the shelves.

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