Vox Sound Limited - articles in Beat Instrumental
mid 1970 - 1973
Below, a growing collection of articles on "Vox Sound Limited" (VSL), the successor to "Vox Sound Equipment Limited", in Beat Instrumental magazine from 1970-1973. July '70 is the moment when we first see the company's new name.
Notices and articles on the Vox solid state range during the JMI period (1967 to early 1968) have been gathered here.
VSEL articles in Beat Instrumental mid 1968 to late 1969 are here.
A quick shot of the relevant part of the "Focus on Amplifiers" in "Beat Instrumental" magazine for February 1970. No Vox. The company probably had not fully reformed yet as "Vox Sound Limited".
Beat Instrumental, no. 87, July 1970. Notice on Vox from the "Guitar Guide". "The new company of Vox Sound Limited have reduced their range of guitars to three models."
Also from July 1970, VSL providing the equipment for the International Festival of Music in June. Los Bravos and Omega (Omega Red Star) were relatively long-standing customers of Vox.
Beat Instrumental, no. 90, October 1970. Report of the Associated Musical Instrument Industries fair in late August. Not all that much to write home about by all accounts.
Beat Instrumental, no. 93, January 1971. From an article entitled "Focus on PA". Note on the Vox equipment available.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 15th May 1971.
"Melody Maker" magazine, 26th June 1971.
Beat Instrumental, July 1971. The preamble to a short section on Vox, the Defiant strangely said to be "new". Note the address - still Erith. But the move may already have been in progress.
The body of the notice on Vox equipment, along with prices, in Beat Instrumental, July 1971. The Defiant and Supreme, just to take two quick examples, are the same price as in August 1970. See the yellow VSL pricelist here. New to the range are the 100 watt Focus speakers. A surviving set can be seen at the foot of this page.
Two illustrative pictures from the July 1971 piece on amplifiers. The Defiant pic is an old one, from JMI days, showing a pre-production amp.
By August 1971, Vox Sound Limited had moved from the old Vox Works at Erith. The new office and showroom were at 9 Gees Court, a small but smart alley off Oxford Street just by Selfridges.Production moved to the Birch-Stolec factory at St Leonards-on-Sea, near Hastings. Staffing of the sales team is mentioned in the notices from November, below.
Beat Instrumental, no. 100, August 1971. The account of the AMII Trade Fair at the Russell Hotel, August 1971. The Slavemasters - on which see this page - were presumably prepared for release at the show. The V100 had already been advertised in Melody Maker - April 1971 - though here we have its price: £87.25. Decimal currency was still new at the time. The mood seems relatively upbeat - certainly a huge improvement on the year before. The full-page advert from Aug. 71 is here.
14th August 1971. "Melody Maker" report on the Vox showing at the AMII Music Fair at the Russell Hotel, London, August 1971.
Note that George Stow is Managing Director. Companies owned by Stow had supplied VSEL with various components from 1968. When VSEL collapsed in early 1970, Stow helped save the business, recasting it as VSL.
Reg Clarke, General Sales Manager of JMI (from 1964) and of VSEL (from summer 1968), did not stay on with VSL, leaving to join Dallas Musical Limited (Dallas Arbiter) where he was instrumental, in 1973 and again in 1975, in saving the last of the Vox line - the AC30, AC50, and speaker cabinets.
Also from the August issue of "Beat Instrumental", a shot of Macari's Musical Exchange in the old Jennings shop on Charing Cross Road. At left, two AC50s and T60 or T100 cabs, an AC100 and 2x15", an AC50 Foundation Bass, and two Super Foundation Basses. To right, a SS100 PA, an AC30, and just visible, a Defiant.
Beat Instrumental, September 1971. The setting up of a music shop, hardly coincidentally, not too far from the new Vox/Birch-Stolec factory.
58 Norman Road on Google Street, a couple of years ago, then and probably now a Gallery Shop.
Beat Instrumental, no. 103, November 1971. Notes on the new "Vox Sound Limited" office and personnel. £100,000 of export orders was no small feat. The last line is intriguing: "On their stand at the Canadian show, Vox will be exhibiting their latest range of educational and PA equipment."
As this is the November issue, the event had of course already taken place. But what was Vox educational equipment?
November 1971. Note the new addresses. In two ads from April 1971 Vox is still in Erith. Below, two further snippets from Nov. '71, the second noting sales of £100,000 following the Associated Instrument Industries fair in August.
"Melody Maker magazine", 6th November 1971.
Beat Instrumental, December 1971. A note on the organs available from Vox Sound Limited.
A great advert in "Melody Maker" magazine, 19th February, 1972 - one of the last, if not the last, to feature an amplifier in the solid state range. Runs of ads placed by Vox later in the year are generally either for guitars or the discotape unit.
3rd June '72
Advert in "Melody Maker", 3rd June, 1972, placed by Dawsons, which is still in business today, probably in conjunction with Vox. From left to right: Focus folding PA speakers; a PA100SS on top of a set of organ speakers; SG200 bass and SG200 guitar; two "Hastings" pedals (a wah and a wow-fuzz?); a discotape unit; AC30 with an unidentifiable item on top; and a Supreme in tilt-back stand (as in the ad placed by Vox in February, below).
The panel across the page from the above - a small Northern campaign in the offing.
Beat Instrumental magazine, June 1972.
Some items from summer 1972 showing that Vox gave up its London office and showroom at 9 Gees Court in late July or early August, moving subsequently to Beaconsfield Road, Hastings.
Above, two items from B.I. in July '72 - the advert for guitars, giving the factory address (see the other ads below, entry for 8th July); and a short note in advance of the A.M.I.I. putting in a good word for Vox, still giving 9 Gees Court as the address of the office and showroom.
Beat Instrumental, August 1972. A note on Vox in a feature on "Amplification" coinciding with the year's A.M.I.I. show in Russell Square. Note the Beaconsfield Road address. For a pic, see below (entry for 7th July).
Beat Instrumental magazine, September 1972. Note the new address of the office: 94-96 Beaconsfield Road, Hastings.
Beaconsfield Road as it was a couple of years ago when the Google Street camera car passed by. Numbers 94-96 are the taller of the three buildings in the small complex.
Beaconsfield Road was around a mile away from the Birch-Stolec factory in St Leonards.
Below three adverts for the new "Vox Sound Limited" guitars - fine-looking instruments:
For the first half of 1973 (ie. up to and including June), Beat Instrumental magazine gives the small notice below:
Vox is no more. There are no adverts, no mentions in the sections on musical equipment, no reports.
A vignette picture of Macari's Musical Exchange, 102 Charing Cross Road, in 1973 from a full-page ad. for Macari's in Beat Instr., June '73 - "Vox" still above the door, though nothing is said of the company in the ad's text.