Rolling Stones, proto-style large box 460/4120, July 4th 1966

A fascinating article HERE  describes how some new Rolling Stones photos were  discovered recently, by an excellent pair of researchers in the USA at the Virginia Pilot,  Maureen P Watts and Jakon Hays.  They have a fascinating and wonderful archive, images of vintage Americana.  What is of particular interest to us though, is that it helps us to reveal for the first time that Bill Wyman was using one of the prototype style 4-series amps,  at a concert in July, 1966.  This looks to be either a 460, or more likely a 4120.  No 4-series amps with proto panels survive, though one can be seen in a Vox catalogue pic in the Vox Story (see vox 460 prototype).   Perhaps there’s a hope the Stones might have kept this one stored somewhere?  Wyman swapped out at one point at the end of the tour with an ac100;  two foundation cabs were used, on either side of the stage. Given that a bass amp also needs more power to cut through,  this would suggest it’s more likely to be a proto 4120.


As it’s a great story it’s worth copying the full article; then we’ll look more closely at the prototype head.

“..Several weeks ago, I was asked to poke around in the basement to see if we had any shots of a certain building in downtown Norfolk. As I flipped through the envelopes for the summer of 1966, I paused for a moment when I spotted the negative packet pictured below.


105201Below are ten never before published shots from that envelope. We hope you enjoy them.

At the end of the post you will find a link to the Back in the Day photo album where you can purchase the photos featured in this post as well as view 15 additional photos not included below.

Text accompanying the photos is taken from the published reports of the visit.

The Rolling Stones – England’s No.1 rock ‘n’ roll group plays at the Alan B. Shepard Civic Center on July 4, 1966. Some 3,500 screaming teenagers packed the house to see the five shaggy singers perform a 15 minute “concert” showcasing their hits, ‘I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and “Mother’s Little Helper.”


105051The band’s plane landed at Norfolk Airport at 6:30 p.m for a 7:30 show at the Dome. After eating dinner on board the chartered plane, the group strolled briefly on the tarmac.






105011A fast, police-escorted limousine ride to Virginia Beach ends with the Stones being led into the Dome in the middle of a police flying wedge that pushed its way through the crowd.


104901The Stones’ act followed those of the Standels, The McCoys and the Syndicate of Sound. After the McCoys finished, the curtain was drawn and a line of policemen ringed the stage. From behind the closed curtains, the sounds of the Rolling Stones warming up became more regular until they burst out in their first song as the curtain opened.


104801To prevent a riotous situation from developing, a wall of policemen guarded the stage to discourage too much enthusiasm.










104981Virginian-Pilot staff writer Frank Delano had the opportunity to conduct a light-hearted interview with the group after the show.

-When asked what he thought of the Beatles, Jagger said “Nice lads”

-When asked if he thought their music was serious, Brian Jones said: “I think it’s a serious threat to juvenile morals.”

Describing the audience at the dome Jagger said they were “a rather quiet lot.”

Photos by Max Hertweck

Delano goes on to report that the Stones appear to be quiet young men, their show a loud multicolored, flailing affair. Colored spotlights danced quickly moving Jagger. At times, a barrage of flashbulbs lit the dome as brightly as sunlight.

You may view additional photos and purchase the above shots here.  “



– Looking at Wyman’s amp in closer detail, it is apparent it has a single handle;  it appears to be a large-box head.


Other photos from July 1966;

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This close-up is blurred, but it’s enough for us to discern the prototype style smaller logo and other details.  As with other prototypes, the diamonds are also a different size and layout, and there are other differences in the legends and styling.  You can’t see it here, but the one shown in the Vox Story actually had the ‘vibrato channel’ legend instead of ‘bass channel’ over the left side.  It’s too hard to see here if this is the same, but it seems to be from the same era, especially with the single handle on the big outer box.


Wyman’s proto logo (left) compared with regular production panel (right)

Intriguingly there is something printed on the right side of the panel; it reflects more at certain angles, so it would seem to be something silvery printed on the actual panel rather than a sticker.  Paul’s 7120-bass had BASS added here – it isn’t clear though what we are seeing here.  The 460 prototype pictured in ‘The Vox Story’ had a small number 460 on the right; this could be a large model number, or maybe BASS again…. or even VOX?  We can’t tell.  The rest of the band had to wait for regular 760s; Wyman seems to have had a particular relationship with vox, having his own badged instruments, and here being given seemingly in advance of the others a prototype 4series.  This maybe also explains a reference to Dick Denney saying that they gave the first hybrid amps to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones;  it seems the Stones did receive a prototype style amp after all.


legend more visible as it reflects at certain angles


Rolling Stones, proto-style large box 460/4120, July 4th 1966 | 2015 | Uncategorized