VOX SUPREME: Production
Jennings Musical Industries: from March 1967
Retail and Standard Production Supremes
The publicity heralding the arrival of the new fully solid state range of amps can be followed on this page.
The first evidence we have for the existence of the standard production amps and cabs - pre-production amps were very different - comes from pictures taken on the Stones' spring tour, which ran from 25th March - 15th April '67.
Clearly the amps must have been consigned to them by Vox at some point before the band left. Indeed, the impetus may have coincided with this note in Beat Instrumental Magazine, no. 47, March 1967.
Mention of the "British tour" is probably a wrong inference on the part of the writer
Above, The Stones on stage in Orebro, Sweden, 27th March 1967 with new Vox solid state equipment - images originally posted here by a fan who attended the concert. Keith and Brian had Supremes, Bill a Super Foundation Bass with a 2 x 15" cabinet.
Above, Jagger on stage, Warsaw, 13th April, 1967. Brian Jones's amp is in front of him, its ceramic Celestion speakers clearly visible. Further details and pics are available here.
It is clear from other sources too that production of the new amps was in progress prior to their first official appearance in the JMI price-list of April 1967:
April 1967 JMI Retail pricelist - the Vox Supreme retailed at the princely sum of £271 19s, organs aside, the most expensive single item in the list.
The new standard production amps, which had evidently been kept under wraps (at least where the continent was concerned) were unveiled at the Frankfurt Musikmesse of 26th to 2nd March.
Detail from a JMI promotional page in "Midland Beat" magazine, March 1967.
Given that Defiant no. 1102 has inspection tags dated 24th April, it seems not unreasonable to conclude that around 100 Defiants had been made by that point (the sequence having kicked off at 1000) - and if 100 Defiants, then probably almost equal numbers of Conquerors, and so on.
Inspection tag of Defiant serial number 1102. Thanks to Paul for the picture.
This is probably as one would expect: the last of the pre-production amps in build in January - see the inspection tag on one of the units below. Redesign and manufacture of the new production units from February / March.
Inspection tag on a pre-production Dynamic Bass amplifier section.
Below, a picture of Terry Dowson in the Vox Works at Erith, late April 1967, with an early shipment of the new Vox solid state range waiting to go off into the outside world. Note that the boxes have "Jennings Musical Industries Ltd".
Late April 1967.
A couple of wrongly dated pictures
1) A picture also said to have been taken in late April 1967, showing Defiant boxes marked 155, 156, 157 and 159. Note however that on every box the line that should say "Jennings Musical Industries Ltd" under "Vox Sound Equipment" has been taped over.
NOT 1967, most likely June 1969.
A detail showing JMI boxes, 1967.
The picture of the boxes on the trolley is most likely from 1969, after JMI had folded, and the amps are probably serial numbers 2155, 2156, 2157 and 2159. Some care is needed therefore.
2) A picture of one of the assembly rooms at the Burndept / Vox Works, said to be from June 1967. Unfortunately, such a date is simply not possible.
Unfortunately NOT June 1967 - probably June 1969.
The transformers of the Defiants being assembled have light-coloured tops. Unpainted metal shrouds did not appear until the "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" period. So the pic. is presumably from June 1969.
Examination of dated components inside surviving amps will probably help reveal more about the production process. Some of the main lines have been set out on this page, and there are comments too on the blog pages.