If you know Vox, I need your help!

AC4, AC10, AC10 Twin, AC10 Reverb Twin, AC15, AC15 Twin, AC30 Twin, AC30 Super Twin, Top-Boost, Non-Top-Boost, AC50, AC100, 710, 760, 7120

If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Lorenzai on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:04 am

I have what I believe to be a 1964-1966 VOX brand amplifier. It has two 12 inch speakers that I believe are Fane Alnico speakers. Each speaker is 15 ohm, 20 watt. It also says 'bass' in the bottom right hand corner on the front. I contacted musicians friend and asked them what they thought it might be but I found their answer to be unsatisfactory. They told me that it is a 'Vox Bass Beatles Amplifier 1965 212'. However a google search returned no results that correlate with what I have here. It almost seems to be a prototype or something. It contains 8 tubes in the amp portion, but the amps I find that match it's description only have 7. If anyone knows what I have, it would be appreciated.

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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Lorenzai on Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:08 am

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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby R.G. on Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:54 am

There was an AC30 bass model, which this might be. There were some prototypes that have surfaced.

Musician's Friend is in general not going to be useful. But I suspect someone here will be.

The amp seems to be in a cosmetic condition too good for am amp that old, so unless it has been in a cardboard box for 50 years, I would look for signs of refitting. I see a screw-in threaded insert in the picture showing the parts in the chassis, but it's possible that was added without the amp being a chimera.

But I'm NOT an expert.
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby gusfinley on Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:32 am

With 2x EL84 and an EZ81 that's no AC30...

I'm not sure that an AC15 Bass makes much sense, though. It could be a mash up of parts: AC10 or AC15 Chassis in a ACxx twin Bass cabinet.
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Lorenzai on Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:52 am

No this is not a refit. This is an original vox amp. My father's parents bought it for him in 1965 or 1966. The reason it's in such phenomenal shape is because he only used it a few times. It has been in a closet untouched with the cover on it for the greater part of 40 years. I am 25 and I can vouch for it having been in the closet at our house for the entire part of my life that I am able to remember. :)


*Edited again* Here is some additional information..

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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby dlvoots on Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:17 am

The control panel definitely matches the pictures on the North Coast Music web site for an AC15. The chassis matches too, even to the cute little hum shield attached just below the four input jacks. Here's a link to one of the many AC15 pages. According to the details on the page, this one is a fawn example from 1961:

http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac15.html

There is another AC15 page that matches your amp almost exactly. In fact, the only thing missing that your amp has is the little badge on the front that says "Bass". Vox made two variations: an AC15 with a single 12" and an AC15 "Twin" that had a larger cabinet and two 12" speakers. You can guarantee that yours is an AC15 Twin model.

Back in the day, Vox made Treble and Bass versions of AC30 amps, so it would be perfectly logical that yours is an AC15 Bass model. The only difference between them were capacitors that subtly altered the voice of the amp -- since neither version had a treble or bass control, you could have a tech revoice a bass model to a treble model and back in less than an hour or so:

http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/ac15twin-1965.html

NOW..........

The fact that the amp has been a Closet Queen for so many decades puts you in a dilemma. All of those decades of non-use kept the amp in its current pristine (and valuable) shape. However, those same decades have guaranteed to wreak havoc on the electronics, especially the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply and the cathode bypass caps. Electrolytic caps are chemical based, and the chemicals start to deteriorate any time after 6-10 years.

With an amp that is fast approaching 50+ years in age like yours, it's a sure bet they have dried up, and if they already haven't, they will if the amp has been turned on for any length of time. If they fail completely and burn up, there is a strong chance they will also burn up other valuable original parts with them, such as the power or output transformers. If one fails, the only way you get to restore it back to original is to buy another original AC15 and use it for parts.

The dilemma is oriented around what you are hoping to do with it. To a hardcore amp collector, it is worth more being a 100% original but not playing state than it would be if you had it serviced and electrically restored back to working condition. Tons more. Collectors are funny that way -- better to have a perfect non-working museum piece specimen to put into a glass case and stare at it, than have a less than 100% original that you could actually play.

On the other hand, since it is a family heirloom, you may have no desire to let it go, and for [*you*], it is more valuable to have it electrically restored so you can play it again.

The choice is 100% subjective, and there isn't any wrong answer, or any right answer. At the very minimum, if you have it restored, save all the replaced parts in a plastic bag, so some future owner has the option to restore it back to its original-but-non-working state. If you did that, you could sorta kinda meet the dilemma half way.

Hope this helps.

Dave
Last edited by dlvoots on Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby pdf64 on Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:19 am

Those Fanes are a ceramic magnet type.
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Lorenzai on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:39 am

This amp is going to be going up for sale. That is my intention of finding out what it is, so that I can better understand what it's worth. I do not wish to mislead anybody. Do you guys have any idea what a realistic number is for this amplifier?
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Masco on Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:03 pm

The amp has been serviced at some point, I'm fairly certain the orange drop capacitors are not original. Are you sure some gremlin's didn't take the amp out of the closet in the past 40yrs? Combo bass amp w/ EF86? That's just asking for trouble there... Possibly the EF86 is wired for triode operation?
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby OldSchoolDave on Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:06 pm

pdf64 wrote:Those Fanes are a ceramic magnet type.


+1

I knew about some later Vox labeled Fanes, but didn't realize their relationship went back that far.

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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby themager on Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:28 pm

It is definitely a '65 AC15 twin. The EF86 was a mod that was done on some of the AC15s, probably at the factory. And it would have been rewired as a triode. The orange capacitors don't look original but stranger things happened during that period - as it has the EF86 mod, maybe they changed some of the caps as well...I'm not an expert on early 60s capacitors. Have you tried using it?
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Lorenzai on Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:41 pm

Yes, it does work just fine. Both channels work. It sounds pretty great! I didn't leave it plugged in for very long though, I worry about electrolytic capacitors being that old!
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby voxjunior on Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:49 pm

JMI retail price lists from both 1964 and 1965 indicate the AC15 was available as a bass model:

http://www.voxshowroom.com/catalogs/64_9_jmi_pl4.html

http://www.voxshowroom.com/catalogs/65_5_jmi_pl4
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Lorenzai on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:15 pm

Thank you so much guys! Now I just need to settle on a price I'm willing to let it go for.
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Re: If you know Vox, I need your help!

Postby Masco on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:52 pm

themager wrote:It is definitely a '65 AC15 twin. The EF86 was a mod that was done on some of the AC15s, probably at the factory. And it would have been rewired as a triode. The orange capacitors don't look original but stranger things happened during that period - as it has the EF86 mod, maybe they changed some of the caps as well...I'm not an expert on early 60s capacitors. Have you tried using it?


Not quite sure what you mean by "EF86 mod" ?? The amp chassis has a socket hole specifically made with the mounting bolt holes rotated 90 degrees for an EF86. This puts pins 4 & 5 at the bottom for neater heater wiring. This tells me that the amp was born w/ EF86. It does appear to have pins 1 & 6 tied for triode operation.
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