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Encyclopedia > Vox (musical equipment)

Vox is a musical equipment manufacturer formerly based in Britain, and now owned by Japanese electronics giants Korg, which is most famous for making the AC30 guitar amplifier and the Vox organ. The Vox AC30 is one of the most famous guitar amplifiers of the 1960s. ... An instrument amplifier is an electronic amplifier designed for use with an electric or electronic musical instrument, such as an electric guitar. ...

Contents

Beginnings

The Jennings Organ Company was founded by Thomas Walter Jennings in Dartford Kent, England after World War II. Jennings' first successful product was the Univox, an early self-powered electronic keyboard similar to the Clavioline. In 1956 Jennings was shown a prototype guitar amplifier made by Dick Denney, a big band guitarist and an old workmate from World War II . The company was renamed Jennings Musical Instruments (JMI), and in 1958 the 15-watt Vox AC15 amplifier was launched. It was taken up by The Shadows and other British rock 'n' roll musicians. Thomas Walter Jennings, also known as Tom Jennings (b 28 February, 1917 in Hackney, London, England) was the founder of the company that produced the first Vox Guitar amplifier. ... Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. ... The Kent coat of arms For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto)1 Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The clavioline was an electronic keyboard instrument, a forerunner to the analog synthesizer. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... This article needs cleanup. ...

The Edge using an AC30 amplifier during a 2005 U2 concert

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 835 KB) Author: Zachary Gillman Zachary Gillman gave me permission through e-mail to use this image on Wikipedia. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 835 KB) Author: Zachary Gillman Zachary Gillman gave me permission through e-mail to use this image on Wikipedia. ... A collection of Vox AC30 amplifiers The Vox AC30 is a guitar amplifier manufactured by Vox. ... U2 (IPA: /ju. ...

The AC30

Main article: Vox AC30

In 1959, with sales under pressure from the more powerful Fender Twin and from The Shadows, who requested amplifiers with more power, Vox produced what was essentially a double-powered AC15 and named it the AC30. The AC30, fitted with alnico magnet-equipped Celestion "blue" loudspeakers and later Vox's special "Top Boost" circuitry, helped to produce the distinctive sound of the British Invasion, being used by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and the Yardbirds, among others. The Monkees also used Vox amps and would conceal themselves in two large empty Vox cabinets that they would emerge from at the beginning of their concerts. AC30s were later used by Brian May of Queen (who is well known for having a wall of AC30s on stage), Paul Weller of The Jam (who also assembled a wall of AC30s), Rory Gallagher, The Edge of U2, and Radiohead guitarists Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Ed O'Brien. A collection of Vox AC30 amplifiers The Vox AC30 is a guitar amplifier manufactured by Vox. ... It has been suggested that Fender Amplifier History be merged into this article or section. ... Celestion is a British maker of loudspeakers. ... For other uses, see British Invasion (disambiguation). ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... The Rolling Stones are an English band whose blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll-infused music became popular during the British Invasion in the early 1960s. ... The Who are an English rock band that first formed in 1964 and grew to be considered one of the greatest[1] and most influential[2] bands in the world. ... Yardbirds album cover The Yardbirds were an early British rock band, noted for spawning the careers of several of rock musics most famous guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. ... The Monkees in 1968 (left to right): Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones The Monkees were a four-person band who appeared in an American television series of the same name, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968. ... Brian Harold May CBE (born July 19, 1947) is an English musician best known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the English rock band Queen. ... Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, singer Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor, with bassist John Deacon joining the following year. ... Paul Weller (born John William Weller 25 May 1958, Sheerwater, near Woking, Surrey) is an English singer-songwriter. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948 – 14 June 1995) was an Irish blues/rock guitarist, born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, grew up in Cork City in the south of Ireland. ... David Howell Evans (born August 8, 1961, Barking, Essex [now in Greater London], England), byname the Edge, is the guitarist of the Irish rock band U2. ... U2 (IPA: /ju. ... Radiohead are an English rock band that formed in Oxfordshire in 1986. ... Thomas Edward Yorke, born October 7, 1968 in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England, is an English musician, best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Radiohead. ... Jonathan Jonny Richard Guy Greenwood (born November 5, 1971 in Oxford, England) is a musician and a member of Radiohead. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Other Amplifiers

Once The Beatles became tied to Vox amplifiers (a deal was struck early in their recording career whereby they would be provided Vox equipment for exclusive stage use), the quest for more power began. John Lennon's first Vox was a fawn-colored twin-speaker AC15, while George Harrison's was a fawn AC30 with a top boost unit installed in the rear panel. They were later provided with twin black-covered AC30s with the rear panel top boost units. Paul McCartney was provided with one of the first transistorized amplifiers, the infamous T60, which had an unnerving tendency to overheat and smoke out. McCartney's was no exception, so he was then provided with an AC30 head which powered the T60's separate speaker cabinet. As the crowds at Beatles shows got louder, they needed louder amps to keep up. Jennings provided Lennon and Harrison with the first AC50 piggyback units, and McCartney's AC30/T60 rig was replaced with an AC100 head and a 2x15" cabinet. Lennon and Harrison eventually got their own AC100 rigs, with 4x12"/2-horn configurations. From 1963 through 1966, The Beatles had several prototype or specially-built Vox amplifiers, including hybrid tube/solid-state units from the short-lived 4- and 7-series.


Instruments

Guitars

In 1962 Vox introduced the pentagonal Phantom guitar, originally made in England but soon after made by EKO of Italy. It was followed a year later by the teardrop-shaped Mark VI, the prototype of which was made specifically for Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, using a Fender Stratocaster bridge. Vox guitars also experimented with onboard effects and electronics, with guitars such as the Cheetah and Ultrasonic offering numerous built-in effects. In the mid 1960s, as the sound of electric 12-string guitars became popular, Vox introduced the Phantom XII and Mark XII electric 12-string guitars as well as the Tempest XII, also made in Italy, which featured a more conventional body style. Vox produced a number of other models of 6 and 12 string electric guitars in both England and Italy. Guitar effects pedals, including an early version of the wah-wah, used by Jimi Hendrix, and the Tone Bender fuzzbox pedal, used by Jimmy Page of the Yardbirds, were also manufactured. Jones playing his custom mando-guitar, quiet similar shaped like the Mark VI The Mark III is a electric guitar made by Vox. ... Brian Jones (born Lewis Brian Hopkin-Jones on 28 February 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, died 3 July 1969) was a founding member, lead and rhythm guitarist and backing singer in the British rock group, The Rolling Stones. ... The Rolling Stones are an English band whose blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll-infused music became popular during the British Invasion in the early 1960s. ... “Stratocaster” redirects here. ... The Vox Ultrasonic or V268 was a mid-late sixties hollw body thinline electric guitar. ... Seventh release by Manchester indie rock group, James. ... In music, timbre, also timber (from Fr. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... James Patrick Jimmy Page, OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. ... Yardbirds album cover The Yardbirds were an early British rock band, noted for spawning the careers of several of rock musics most famous guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. ...

Image:Vox wah-wah.jpg
Vox's wah-wah pedals were used by psychedelic rock guitarists Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix; and also by hard rock guitarist Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born 30 March 1945), nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award winning British guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... James Patrick Jimmy Page, OBE (born 9 January 1944) is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. ... Led Zeppelin were an English rock band that formed in September 1968. ...

Organs

The Vox brand was also applied to Jennings' electronic organs, most notably the Vox Continental of 1962, which was immortalized by Alan Price on the Animals' track "House of the Rising Sun", and later used by Ray Manzarek on most songs recorded by The Doors. Doug Ingle of Iron Butterfly used it on In A Gadda Da Vida and other songs of the group. Mike Smith of The Dave Clark Five and Rod Argent of The Zombies were also strongly connected with the instrument. Peter Tork of the Monkees can be seen playing the unusual looking Vox organs several times during the Monkees TV series (1966-1968). In newer popular music, the organist Spider Webb of the UK garage band The Horrors can be seen using a Vox Continental. The Vox Continental is a transistor-based combo organ that was introduced in 1962. ... Alan Price (born April 19, 1941 in Fairfield, Washington, Tyne and Wear, England) is a musician, songwriter, and actor. ... The US edition of The Animals self-titled debut album. ... The House of the Rising Sun is a United States folk song. ... Raymond Daniel Manzarek or Manczarek (b. ... This page is about the rock band. ... Ingle is best known for his work on the 1968 hit In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. ... For other uses, see Iron Butterfly (disambiguation). ... In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, released in 1968, was a seventeen-minute rock song by Iron Butterfly, released on an album that shares the songs title. ... The Dave Clark Five (abbreviated as DC5) were an English Beat group in the 1960s, and one of the few that were able to present something of a commercial threat to The Beatles, the dominant group of the period. ... The Zombies, formed in 1961 in St Albans, were an English pop-rock band. ... Peter Halsten Thorkelson (born February 13, 1942), better known as Peter Tork, is an American musician and actor. ... The Monkees in 1968 (left to right): Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones The Monkees were a four-person band who appeared in an American television series of the same name, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968. ... For Spider Webb of The Horrors see Rhys Spider Webb Travis Spider Webb (October 8, 1910—January 27, 1990) was an American racecar driver from Joplin, Missouri. ... The Horrors are a five-piece garage rock band who formed in the summer of 2005. ...


The Continental and other Vox organs (such as the Jaguar and Continental II, Super Continental, and the Continental 300) share characteristic visual features including orange and black vinyl coverings, stands made of chromed steel tubing, and reversed black and white keys on the keyboards. The English wood key single manual continental (V301J) has become increasingly collectable, although the wood key American-built (V301H) and plastic key Italian-built models (V301E, V301E/2 and V302E) are also commanding premium prices. Jennings sold production rights for the Vox Continental organ to an Italian subsidiary of Thomas Organ in 1967. Under the new production agreement, the Continental was gradually and subtly altered in quality and sound, and reliability became questionable. For example, Ray Manzarek of The Doors had been using a Vox since 1966, but could no longer trust it during performances because of the problems in quality after 1967, and thus was forced to look elsewhere for an organ. He settled on the Gibson Kalamazoo, because it had a flat top like the Vox Continental, so it could accommodate the physical requirements of the Fender Rhodes Bass Piano, which was the bass instrument for The Doors in concert. Raymond Daniel Manzarek or Manczarek (b. ... This page is about the rock band. ... // Gibson may refer to: Gibson Amphitheatre Gibson Appliance Gibson Girl Gibson Guitar Corporation Gibson cocktail Alexander Gibson (conductor) (1926–1995), Scottish composer and music director Alexander Gibson (industrialist) (1819–1913), Canadian industrialist Alfred Gibson (?–1874), Australian explorer Althea Gibson (1927–2003), African-American tennis player Bob Gibson (born 1935), American... A Rhodes piano A Rhodes piano is a musical instrument, a brand of electric piano. ...


GuitarOrgan

In 1966 Vox introduced the revolutionary but problematic GuitarOrgan, a Phantom VI guitar with internal organ electronics. The instrument's trigger mechanism required a specially-wired plectrum that completed circuit connections to each fret, resulting in a very wide and unwieldy neck. John Lennon was given one in a bid to secure an endorsement, though this never panned out. According to Up-Tight: the Velvet Underground Story, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones also tried one; when asked by the Velvets if it "worked", his answer was negative. The instrument never became popular, but it was a precursor to the modern guitar synthesizer. Many think Ian Curtis of Joy Division used a guitar organ but it was actually a Phantom VI special with on board effects.[1] Various guitar picks A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. ... John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), (born John Winston Lennon, known as John Ono Lennon) was an iconic English 20th century rock and roll songwriter and singer, best known as the founding member of The Beatles. ... The Velvet Underground and Nico (from left to right: John Cale, Nico, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker) The Velvet Underground (Affectionately known as The Velvets, or V.U. for short) was an American rock and roll band of the late 1960s. ... Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969) was a founding member, guitarist and backing singer in the English rock group, The Rolling Stones. ... The Rolling Stones are an English band whose blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll-infused music became popular during the British Invasion in the early 1960s. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Joy Division were an English rock band that formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. ...


Decline

Vox grew very big very fast. In 1964 Tom Jennings, in order to raise capital for JMI's expansion, sold controlling interest in JMI to the Royston Group, a British holding company, and sold American rights to the California-based Thomas Organ Company. Displeased with the direction his old company was taking, he left the company in 1967, roughly the same time that Marshall overtook Vox as the dominant force in the British guitar amplifier market. While Royston's Vox Sound Equipment division set up new operations in the Kent town of Erith, Tom Jennings set up a new company in his old Dartford location, joined later by Dick Denney. Jennings Electronic Industries operated for several years, making an updated and rebadged version of the AC30 along with other amplifiers, as well as a new range of organs. Meanwhile Royston, due to the loss of a lucrative government contract in one of its other companies, went into liquidation in 1969. As a result, Vox went through a series of owners including a British bank and Dallas-Arbiter. The AC30 continued to be built alongside newer solid-state amps, but in a series of cost-cutting moves different loudspeakers with ceramic magnets began to be used, as were printed circuit boards and solid-state rectification. Particleboard replaced some plywood parts in cabinet construction, and at one point an all-solid-state version was introduced alongside the classic tube-powered model. Rose-Morris, Marshall Amplification's British distributor, bought Vox in the 1980s when their deal with Marshall ended. They tried to reinvigorate the Vox brand, continuing to build the AC30 along with a few other decent modern designs. In 1990 they sold the company to Korg. ...


Meanwhile in Sepulveda, Thomas Organ, after importing JMI's British-made amps for a short period in 1964-65, began to produce a line of mostly solid state amplifiers in the United States that carried the Vox name and cosmetic stylings. With some assistance from Dick Denney, these amps basically paralleled JMI's own transistorized amplifiers but were different from the British and Italian made Voxes in sound and reliability. To promote their equipment, Thomas Organ built the Voxmobile, a Ford roadster dressed up to look like a Phantom guitar, complete with a Continental organ and several "Beatle" amplifiers. Despite the huge marketing effort, Thomas Organ's Vox products did much to damage the reputation of Vox in the North American market for many years, and by the early 1970s Vox's American presence was virtually nonexistent. In electronics, solid state circuits are those that do not contain vacuum tubes. ... Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation and the worlds third largest automaker based on worldwide vehicle sales. ...


Renewal

Vox Amplification Ltd has been owned by Korg since 1992. Korg revived the tube rectifier and alnico speakers for their version of the AC30 in what is considered the most faithful version of the amp produced for many years. Korg have also used the Vox name for a new range of digital modelling amps. In 2003 manufacturing was moved to China, including a yet-newer redesign of the venerable AC30, now designated the AC30CC. The reliability of these models has not been impressive, to date. For comic book character, see Korg (comics). ... AC, half-wave and full wave rectified signals A rectifier is an electrical device, comprising one or more semiconductive devices (such as diodes) or vacuum tubes arranged for converting alternating current to direct current. ... Alnico alloys are composed primarily of cobalt, nickel, and aluminium with the addition of iron, copper, and sometimes titanium. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ...


Valvetronix

Recently Vox has emerged as a leader in the digital amp modelling market with the release of its Valvetronix line of digital amplifier modelers. Utilizing Korg's REMS solid state modeling software, the Valvetronix are driven via a low-power tube power amp stage. The latest line, the AD15VT/AD30VT/AD50VT/AD100VT, has received many awards and much praise for its faithful recreation of eleven classic guitar amplifiers at a price that most guitarists can easily afford. The company did not reveal in the product manual which non-Vox amplifiers were modeled, although experienced guitarists would be able to deduce these from their descriptions, and the full list of amplifiers has been posted on the unofficial Valvetronix users' forum.


Cooltron

In addition to the Valvetronix, Vox has developed a line of analog effects pedals. Dubbed Cooltron, the line provides guitarists with vintage sounding overdrive, compression, boost, distortion, and tremolo. The pedals utilize low-power 12AU7 tubes to create vintage soft-clipping preamplification. Two of the Cooltron pedals, the Big Ben Overdrive, and the Bulldog Distortion, won the Guitar World Magazine Platinum Award[2]. Cooltron pedals: Effects pedals are electronic devices used by musicians, primarily electric guitar players, to alter the sound quality or timbre of electric or electronic instruments, and less often vocals picked up through microphones. ... Overdrive can mean any of the following: Overdrive (mechanics), a part of automobile transmissions aimed at increasing fuel efficiency Overdrive (music), the practice of forcing output of a guitar amplifier past maximum, resulting in distortion Intel 80486 OverDrive, a CPU specifically designed for personal computer upgrades Pentium OverDrive, a CPU... Dynamic range compression also called DRC (often seen in DVD player settings), audio level compression, volume compression, compression, or limiting, is a process that manipulates the dynamic range of an audio signal. ... Tremolo is a musical term with two meanings: A rapid repetition of the same note, a rapid variation in the amplitude of a single note, or an alternation between two or more notes. ...

  • Bulldog Distortion
  • Brit Boost
  • Big Ben Overdrive
  • Duel Overdrive
  • Over the Top Boost
  • Snake Charmer Compressor
  • VibraVOX

Notes

  1. ^ Hempsall, Alan. "A Day Out With Joy Division", Extro, Vol.2/No.5 1980. Source: http://home.wxs.nl/~frankbri/jdvextro.html
  2. ^ Guitar World Magazine, September issue, 2005

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
VOX amps

  Results from FactBites:
 
Vox (musical equipment) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (784 words)
Vox is a musical equipment manufacturer based in Britain, which is most famous for making the AC30 guitar amplifier and the Vox organ.
Vox's wah-wah pedals were used by psychedelic rock guitarists Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.
The Vox brand was also applied to electronic organs, notably the Vox Continental of 1962, which was immortalized by Alan Price of the Animals track House of the Rising Sun, later used by Ray Manzarek in most songs of The Doors ("Light My Fire").
Vox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (149 words)
Vox (musical equipment): Makers of amplifers, guitars and organs.
Vox, a novel in The Edge Chronicles series by Paul Stewart.
Vox is Sarah McLachlan's song and first single in 1988.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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