LATER VOX DEFIANTS
Vox Sound Equipment Limited - 1968-1969
VOX SOUND EQUIPMENT LTD
later 1968- late 1969
The picture above is from the Vox Sound Equipment Ltd catalogue of early 1969. £235 is roughly equivalent to £3,550 in today's money.
"Vox Sound Equipment Limited" (VSEL) was set up in mid 1968, rising from the debris of JMI, which had begun to decline in late 1967. Its executives were former JMI men. For the background to the new company, see the pages here.
Many of the amps initially sold by VSEL had actually been made during the last months of JMI. These were simply "rebranded" as Vox Sound Equipment Ltd, with new serial number plates, new control panels, and handsome stickers on the magnet covers of the speakers. Production of new items continued at the West Street works (the Burndept factory) in Erith.
New chassis and preamp sections were not stamped with serial numbers as JMI units had been.
New supply lines were set up for some components - Mullard/Phillips mustard capacitors for instance come in and yellow Lemcos go out.
TRANSFORMERS: Transformers were supplied by "Twickenham Transformers" of Haywards Heath, from 1967 a satellite company of the "Stow Electronics" or "Stolec" Group owned by George Stow. In mid 1970 "Twickenham" became "Lemark Electronics", still under George Stow's wing, and a member now of the new "Birch-Stolec" Group. The factory remained at Haywards Heath, though after mid 1971 the correspondence address was sometimes given as the Ponswood Industrial Estate (Windmill Road, St Leonard's-on-Sea, Sussex, TN38 9BY), the address of the "Birch-Stolec" factory.
Serial numbers of VSEL Defiants begin at 2000, as do later amps throughout the solid state range.
Certain models destined for Denmark were designated simply with a letter and number:
A1 = Supreme
A2 = Super Foundation Bass
B1 = Defiant
B2 = Foundation Bass
C1 = Conqueror
C2 = Dynamic Bass
The schematic for the preamp is at first OS/136, the power amp OS/134. By 1970 the sheet for the preamp is OS/184. The new circuit without standby was introduced at the very end of the VSEL period (late 1969) - certainly by the time serial number 2278 had been produced - see below.
Below, a register of surviving amps. If anyone knows of Defiants that have not yet been included on this page, do let me know.
First style of VSEL serial number plate - similar to JMI, but hand stamped
Serial number unknown - amp designated B1
Nice condition. Made for export to Denmark. The top fascia of the preamp has "Vox Sound Equipment Ltd". Speaker unit 087. Thanks to Frank for the pictures.
Serial number 2004 - currently in Hungary
4th August 2018 - currently on ebay.
Serial number 2028 - currently in the UK
Serial number 2032 - currently in the UK
Note the use of a "1" for the "I" of Defiant. This amp has a non-standard top control panel fascia, either an original "prototype/stand-in", or a later replacement. There are no signs of anything pre-existing underneath, however. Note the general resemblance to the panel from a prototype AC30, above. The preamp has a JMI inspection stamp, so this is evidently stock taken over by VSEL. The knobs are modern replacements, but for one original without its skirt. Pictures of the box and the power amp, both in poor condition, to follow.
At least one of the red CCL capacitors in the preamp is dated December 1968.
The main power transistors are RCA 2N4347, date code "7E" = May 1967. The red CCL filter capacitor has the date code "F7" = June 1967.
Serial number 2065 - currently in the USA
Picture of the serial number plate only for the time being.
Serial number 2078 - currently in Europe
Serial number 2085 - currently in Europe
Defiant serial number 2085, "Vox Sound Equipment Limited", late 1968 or early 1969, complete with its cab and footswitch. Thanks to Romu for the pictures. One of the capacitors is marked "February 1968".
Serial number 2086 - currently in the UK
Handstamped serial number on the plate. Pictures otherwise only of the control panel with "Vox Sound Equipment Limited".
Serial number 2092 - whereabouts unknown
Serial number 2097 - currently in the UK
Serial number plate hand-stamped. The cab is later - early "Vox Sound Limited" with VSEL labelled speakers.
Serial number 2110 - currently in France
Replaced indicator lamps, but otherwise in reasonable condition. The serial number plate is hand-stamped, as in the case of those above and immediately below.
Serial number 2113 - currently in Germany
Supplied by Musik Klein of Dusseldorf, which put its plate on the back. The box now stripped of its tolex and varnished.
Serial number unknown
A nice rig missing just its cabinet mounting hardware and footswitch. Note the light grey hard rubber wheels on the side stands. These are a Vox Sound Equipment Ltd thing. Earlier JMI side stands have larger black casters - late in the run metal hoods appear for a short time.
Serial number 2138 - currently in the USA
Much as 2142 below - Vox Sound Equipment Limited, hand-stamped numbers on the plate.
Serial number 2142 - currently in the USA
Still Vox Sound Equipment Ltd. Hand-stamped number on the plate. The speakers are replacements from a Thomas Vox amp. Note the small grey caster wheels, as on the amp above.
Serial number 2162 - currently in the USA
"Vox Sound Equipment Limited" Defiant serial number 2162 with cover, footswitch, and original VSEL documentation. The hang tag, however, is a JMI hang tag with "JMI" blanked off.
Second style of VSEL serial number plate
Serial number 2174 - currently in the USA
Serial number 2124 or 2184 (?) - whereabouts unknown
Superb condition, complete with original covers and inspection tag. No shots of the rear of the amplifier section. The inspection tag was signed off on 12th January 1969.
Serial number 2207 - currently in the UK
Bought in a music shop in Beverley (Yorkshire) in the 1970s. Complete with cabinet fixings, side stands and footswitch. Still going strong. Thanks to Mike for the pictures.
Serial number unknown
Note the metal grilles on top of the box.
Plastic grilles on top of the box now
Serial number 2258 - currently in Denmark
Produced for the Danish market, and presumably shipped for sale to one of Alfred Christensen's shops. Note, as in the case of another Defiant in Denmark further up this page, the designation "B1". Speaker cab no. 262 with its original Goodmans ceramics and handsome speaker labels. Thanks to Morten for the pics.
Serial number unknown - currently in France
Still two lamps on the front of the preamp, but the box has a plain tolex back and plastic vents on top. Probably a transitional amp (transitional between VSEL and VSL). Note the coloured counters on the knobs. The cab, which has similar proportions to 7120, is a specially-made 2x12".
Serial number unknown
Either late Vox Sound Equipment Ltd - note the decals on the speakers - or early Vox Sound Ltd. A nice rig, the pictures showing the extent of the tilt-back.
From summer 1969 - no standby circuit
A single indicator lamp on the front of the amp
At this point the MRB changes to a six position effect (rather than three). For an outline of the circuit, see this page.
Serial number 2270 - currently in Europe
Serial number 2278 - currently in the UK
Note the single indicator lamp of the new circuit, the standby having been done away with.
Serial number 2285 - currently in Europe
Serial number 2343 - currently in the USA
A late Vox Sound Equipment amp with Vox Sound Ltd cab. Probably from the cross-over between the two companies.
Serial number 2383 - currently in the USA