VOX
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VOX
Amplifiers currently produced in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Previously produced in Erith, Kent, England. Vox Amplification is distributed in England and through the U.S.A. in Melville, NY by Vox Amplification (Korg). The Vox trademark was established circa 1957 in Dartford, Kent.
The Vox Amplifier company was started by Tom Jennings and Dick Denney. Tom Jennings was born on February 28, 1917 in Hackney England. After school he began playing the piano and accordion. As World War II raged on, he was called up to duty in 1940, but discharged medically in 1941. He then went to work in a munitions plant where he and fellow colleagues learned to entertain themselves musically. This is where he was inspired to go into music and did so after the war was over. In 1944, he formed his own business trading accordians and other musical instruments. In 1946, his co-worker back at the ammunition plant, Dick Denney, came to work with Jennings. Denney was into amplifying instruments and set out to make an amplifier for a Hawaiian guitar. Denney and Jennings went their different ways as the war ended and many war-industry workers were laid-off.
Tom kept on with the small business and hired a new electric technician. Shortly thereafter the Univox, a portable piano/accordion, was released. With the slow growing of the Univox and Jennings being a successful business man, the Jennings Organ Company was started in 1951. Jennings made organs and the Univox throughout the 1950s when he decided that a new line of products was necessary. Dick Denney had employed himself in radio and electronics as a repairer and an engineer. He also developed an amplifier during his sickness, which restricted him from working on a normal basis. One of Denney's buddies took this new 15W amp down to Jennings shop and Tom was very interested. Jennings ended up hiring Denney as the chief design engineer for Jenning's new company to be called Vox. After ten years of hardly talking to each other, Tom and Dick were now in the process of releasing the first Vox amplifier. Denney's 15W amp would become the Vox AC15.
As Rock & Roll exploded into Britain in 1958, Vox picked up a couple of endorsers like Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Later in 1958, Vox released two new amps without the vibrato that the AC-15 had. In late 1959, Vox released the infamous AC-30 that was designed to compete directly with the popular American Fender Twin. The AC-30 became an unqualified success until the Beatles began using it. The Beatles had been using Vox amps since their inception, and one day Brian Epstein traded in their AC-15s for the bigger AC-30s. Vox enjoyed much success with The Beatles as endorsers and sales roared through the early 1960s. Amps were produced and sold solely in England through the early 1960s as well. Due to financial difficulties in the mid-1960s, Jennings sold Vox to the Royston Group in 1964.
Under new ownership, Vox appeared to be destined for success, especially with the guitar boom of the 1960s and The Beatles as endorsers. The Thomas Organ Company arranged a deal to produce Vox tube amps in the United States at their factory between 1964 and 1965 so importing them wouldn't be an issue. They also introduced solid-state amps in 1966, which were also produced in the U.S. for a short time. However, Vox was unable to remain competitive with other amplifier companies such as Marshall as guitar players were requesting more power. After a fire in 1966 at the factory, and declining numbers, Tom Jennings resigned from Vox in 1967. Shortly thereafter Royston was liquidated and Corinthian Securities took over. This proved to be a bad ownership, as Corinthian had no connection with the previous staff and they discontinued almost all of the amplifiers in the catalog, and the few that remained were manufactured in Japan. This ownership didn't last long and Stolec bought them out in 1970. CBS-Arbiter bought out Vox again in 1972 for the third change of ownership in as many years.
When CBS-Arbiter took over it looked like things may change around for Vox. The return of the Vox organs came along with many new amplifiers and effects. But the 1970s had its toll on Vox, as it did with other manufacturers as well. CBS took a loss during the 1970s and were forced to sell again, this time to the long-time distributor of Marshall, Rose-Morris. RM had just lost the rights of Marshall and were looking for something to get them back with amplifiers. The company name was now called Vox Ltd. Rose Morris released quite a bit of new products including the Venue Series and the Q Series, and in a sense kept Vox going through the tough 1980s. Dick Denney endorsed the new AC-30 Limited Edition Reissue that was released in 1990. In 1992, Rose-Morris sold the company to Korg, who also distributes Marshall in the U.S. In 1993, Vox introduced an accurate reissue of the original AC30. Tube amps from most of the 1990s were built by Marshall, but all production has shifted to China. Vox continues to produce a wide variety of amplifiers including tube reissues, solid-state practice amps, and digital modeling amps. For more information, visit Vox's website or contact them directly. Source: David Petersen & Dick Denney, Vox: The Vox Story.

From Blue Book Publications:


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