VOX FOUNDATION BASS AMPLIFIERS
VOX SOUND LTD
early 1970 - 1972
In late 1969, "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" (VSEL), the successor to Jennings Musical Industries, folded. The business was saved, however, first by Corinthian Securities; then a consortium headed by John Birch and George Stow, who had been active in the electronics industry since the mid sixties. With support from the Schroeder Bank, the "Birch-Stolec" group took Vox on, and in 1970 "Vox Sound Limited" (VSL) emerged. For further details, see this page.
The first "Vox Sound Limited" Foundation Bass amps were made at the West Street factory in Erith (late 1969 to early 1971).
In 1971 operations were moved to the Birch-Stolec factory on the Ponswood Industrical Estate at St Leonard's-on-Sea (a mile or so from Hastings). Late amps often have "Birch-Stolec" inspection stamps on the preamp and power amp chassis.
Vignettes of the factory from the Vox catalogue of 1971. For others, see this page.
TRANSFORMERS: in mid 1970, "Twickenham Transformers", which had, under George Stow's direction, supplied VSEL - "Twickenham" was from 1967 a member of the "Stolec" Group controlled by Stow - became "Lemark Electronics". Production continued at the Haywards Heath factory. Occasionally the correspondence address is given as the Ponswood Industrial Estate (Windmill Road, St Leonard's-on-Sea, Sussex, TN38 9BY), the address of the "Birch-Stolec" group, which had taken over the production of Vox equipment in mid 1971.
Lemark transformers were marked with the part code numbers assigned originally by "Twickenham". The easiest to see is usually the driver transformer, marked TT3944.
Driver transformer in serial number 2813 stamped "TT3944". On the surface of the chassis the "Birch-Stolec" inspection stamp can just be made out.
Foundation Basses remained in production until 1972. VSL went on for a little while thereafter, and then folded.
The easiest way to spot a VSL amp, control panel and serial number plate aside, is the silver (rather than gold) string round the box.
Below, a register of surviving amps. As ever, if anyone knows of Foundation Basses that have not yet been included on this page, do let me know.
Serial number 2432 - currently in France (?)
Serial number 2438 - currently in Europe
In excellent condition, complete with its speaker cabinet, original cabinet cover, and chrome cradle. Note that the serial number plate still says "Vox Sound Equipment Limited".
Serial number 2492 - currently in Europe
Serial number 2524 - currently in Norway
Thanks to Frode for the pictures.
Serial number 2543 - whereabouts unknown
Serial number 2548 - currently in Europe
Serial number 2549 - currently in Holland
Foundation Bass serial number 2549 with Foundation Bass speaker cabinet number 563. Thanks to Harry for the pictures.
Serial number 2553 - currently in Europe
Serial number 2568 - currently in the UK
Two sets of pics, the second more recent.
Serial number 2587 - currently in Germany
An excellent rig. Sold on ebay some time ago.
Serial number 2590 - currently in the UK
Thanks to John, a great Foundation Bass set - amplifier serial number 2590, cab serial no. 693: "Vox Sound Limited", probably from mid 1972.
Serial number 2649 - currently in Europe
Another excellent set, the speaker, as below, with its "VSEL" label.
Serial number 2656 - currently in Japan
Note the VSEL label on the speaker in the cab.
Serial number 2682 - currently in the UK
Good general condition. Some diamonds (expertly and painstakingly) removed from grille cloth panel.
Serial number 2725 - currently in the UK
Missing one control knob, but otherwise fine.
The amplifier now paired with a later 1970s FB212 closed back speaker cabinet.
Serial number 2748 - currently in the UK
Serial number 2756 - currently in the UK
In excellent condition.
Serial number 2759 - currently in the UK?
Good condition - a really nice example of a late-run amp.
Serial number 2770 - currently in Finland
Thanks to Eradj for the pictures.
Serial number 2774 - currently in the USA
Unusually for a VSL amp, the logo has "Solid State" underneath VOX. Of particular interest too is the top of the cab with its inset wells for the feet of the amp. The idea for these is likely to have come from the stackable multi-link cabs - one pictured below - with wells for the feet of the cab on top of it. At this point, towards the end of production, the chrome support for the amp was evidently being phased out.T Thanks to Mark for the pics.
Serial number 2782 - whereabouts unknown
A good late set.
Serial number 2796 - currently in the UK
A nice Foundation Bass amp with a Dynamic Bass cab (complete with its chrome frame). Thanks to Pete for the pictures.
Serial number 2813 - currently in the UK
Condition so-so. Stencilled on the back panel "Sharp Practice".
Serial number 2827 - currently in the UK
A nice set - probably one of the last to have been produced. Note the use of the horizontal logo on the cab (normal for late Vox Sound). The speaker is a Fane.
Serial number 2831 - currently in the USA
Serial number 2836 - currently in Belgium
Vox Foundation Bass serial number 2836. A great set, currently in Belgium. The amp was probably made in late 1972, one of the last of the line.
Serial number 2852
Pictures to come shortly. A Foundation Bass amplifier section with Marshall speaker cabinet.
Serial number 2857
Pictures to come shortly. A Foundation Bass set. The speaker cabinet has a Jennings badge (i.e. pre-1968). The chrome support is a good reproduction.
Serial number unknown
Late-style Vox Sound Ltd cab with logo top left and port in back. The amp is VSEL and has "Solid State" in its logo, so probably a serial number in the 2200s or 2300s.