Vox Sound Equipment Ltd. - 1969/1970

Supreme no. 2231. Note the single light on front - common to all later Supremes. For further pics of this amp, in great original condition, .

The designation on the control panel is still "Vox Sound Equipment Ltd". A short account of how VSEL came to be is .

General characteristics of later VSEL Supremes:

  • Control panels and serial number plates still have "Vox Sound Equipment Ltd.
  • After the first 190 or so amps of VSEL production - that is to say around serial number 2190 - the new circuit is introduced - no standby, so only a single indicator lamp on the front of the amp.
  • A new style of serial number plate comes in at this point too, along with:
  • A new style of box - three plastic vents on top (instead of the perforated metal grilles), and a back panel with plain tolex. The opening along the back panel remains metal however.
  • The drivers in the speaker cabs are Goodmans heavy duty ceramics (241H) with black dust-covers, as in late JMI amps. The large blue labels are gorgeous.
  • The horns are by and large Goodmans Midax, as they are for the most part in JMI cabs - some of these last had Celestions however - .
  • The schematic for the power amp OS/135. By 1970 the sheet for the preamp is OS/184.

Below, a growing register of surviving amps. If anyone knows of any VSEL Supremes that have not yet been included, do let me know.

From summer 1969 - no standby circuit

Note that at this point the MRB becomes a six-position effect - see this page - three positions when "OFF", three positions when "ON". The tone circuits are adjusted too.

Serial number 2199 - currently in the USA?

A nice non-standard serial number plate. Amp and cab formerly part of the Reisz Promotions collection (hire for film, tv), sold en bloc to GuitarCenter in 2009, and distributed around the various shops. Some amps still not sold (2013).

Serial number 2210 - currently in the UK

The voltage selector has been bypassed, the mains supply now being hardwired through a terminal block in the underchassis. The date code of the unpainted CCL filter capacitor is "D9" = April 1969.

Serial number 2220 - currently in the UK

Serial number 2222 or 2223 - currently in the UK

The preamp is a replacement (an earlier JMI unit) for the VSEL original. The power amp (with no standby switch), box, and serial number plate belong together.

Serial number 2226 - currently in Australia

The lower of the two amps in pictures 1 and 3 (the upper one is serial number 2164), the rearmost one, with plastic vents, in 2. Thanks to Paul for the pictures.

Serial number 2231 - currently in the UK

Fantastic original condition. Complete with covers, tilt-back stand, hang tages, and the VSL invoice. The inspection tags are dated the same day that the invoice was drawn up - 26th November 1969.

In the preamp, there are mustard capacitors with date codes "D4N", "C8N" and "D8N" = last quarter 1964, and third and last quarters of 1968. The 10uf coupling caps have the code "2406742" = 42nd week of 1967.

Serial number 2248 - currently in the USA

One of the mustard capacitors (in the second to last picture) has the code B9N = second quarter of 1969. The power section comes from a later amp (stamped Birch-Stolec), therefore after 1971.

Serial number 2252 - whereabouts unknown

Serial number 2253 - currently in the USA

Ingeniously turned into a 2 x 12" combo format with two of its original drivers.


Serial number 2257 - currently in the UK

Sold by Hougate and Gardiner in 2020.

Serial number 2272 - currently in Europe

Serial number 2329 - currently in the Middle East

Note that this amp has VSEL on the control panel, but a Vox Sound Ltd serial number plate.


Serial number unknown - currently in France

New-style (later) labels on the speakers. Pictures originally .

Serial number unknown - currently in Germany

A great set. Cab (still with its fixings), amp and tilt-back trolley all in good order. VSEL on the amp's control panel.

Serial number unknown - currently in Europe

Amp, cab and footswitch. VSEL on the control panel; single indicator lamp; "Supreme" flag on the front grille of the amp. The serial number plate is for a Defiant, though.