Jennings Musical Industries (JMI) 1967-1968

Vox Virtuoso in the Vox brochure of 1967

Click for a larger image. On the left, the "Traveller" - "for the travelling man...". On the right, a pre-production "Virtuoso" - note the position of the footswitch socket, and the lamps on top of the panel.

Pricelist from April 1967. The Virtuoso cost £110 and 5 shillings.

In late 1966 when the format of the new solid state was being finalised, the "Virtuoso" was originally termed the "Supreme", and what we know know as the Supreme was called the "Beatle". It took some months to arrive at a settled form - see the pre-production version .

A detail of a brochure produced for the Australian market in late 1966. Note at left the massive seven switch remote control, exhibited in London in August 1966, but ultimately not produced for sale. The Virtuoso is the "SUPREME". The brochure can be found in full .

In company with the Vox Traveller (10 watt output), the standard production Virtuoso (20 watt output) was only produced from Spring 1967 to early 1968, that is to say solely under JMI. Both models were deleted from the catalogue by "Vox Sound Equipment Limited", the company that superceded JMI in the summer of 1968. Although VSEL sold at least one Traveller that had been made by JMI - presumably left-over stock - and may have sold "old stock" Virtuosos too, it did not manufacture any new ones.

From mid 1967 to early 1966, two versions of the Virtuoso were available - one with reverb, one without. The former had the same preamp and control panel as the Conqueror, Defiant and Supreme. The latter had an adjusted form of preamp and a control panel of its own.

Control panel of a Virtuoso without reverb. Instead of the two controls one has the legend "Virtuoso Model"

Interior of the preamp of a Virtuoso without reverb. Note that the control panel blanks off the two holes for the reverb controls, and that the reverb circuit board has naturally been omitted.

The power section was effectively a reduced version of that of the Conqueror (and Dynamic Bass), the two main power transistors being RCA 2N3055. The circuit diagram was drawn out neat in February '67.

Speakers adopted for the Virtuoso were a pair of 10 inch Celestion 7724 ceramic magnet drivers (with labels added by Vox), rated at around 10-15 watts apiece - superb units. They were wired in series to give a total impedance of 15 ohms.

In terms of the changes that took place during production:

  • Serial numbers are first given in the form xxxx; then ST--xxxx, and for the last runs of amps, xxxx.
  • Technically speaking the denomination "ST" is incorrect, as the amp is a combo not a "Super Twin". "Super Twin" meant separate amp and cab sections.
  • Logos are at first "VOX", then from the middle of 1967 "VOX. Solid State".
  • Lettering is in silver first, then gold.
  • Early control panels are often, or at least have become, brown.

Jimi Hendrix and the Vox Virtuoso

(from "The Vox Story", ed. Dick Denney and Dave Petersen, 1993, p. 148)

"Jimi Hendrix is indelibly associated in the musical public's mind with Marshall amplifiers. He used other makers' equipment too, well-known examples being the Vox Wah-Wah and the custom-built effects units made for him by Roger Mayer."

"Less well-known is his purchase from Macari's (formerly the Jennings shop) at 100 Charing Cross Road of a pair of Vox Virtuoso combination amps, not long before his untimely death in September 1970. Carl Nielsen, who worked as an assistant at the shop at the time, recalls the stir caused by his visit (he was rarely without the company of a couple of presentable female admirers on his shopping expeditions, and his Rolls Royce tended to attract attention even when legally parked)."

"Hendrix had a modification carried out to the amplifiers, 2x10-inch combo versions of the better-known Conqueror piggy-back, replacing the 10-inch Celestions with a 12" Vox "blue"* speaker on a suitably modified baffle. He said that he intended to use the amps as part of a stereo guitar system, and particularly liked the sound of the M.R.B. and distortion features."

"The amps were delivered to his address in London but presumably his ideas were never realized. The Virtuoso amp was not long in production (1967-1968) so anyone seeing a single 12-inch example can be certain of being in the reflected presence of rock's most influential guitarist."

*Presumably a Vox "silver" rather than a Vox "blue" is meant.

Above, the late Eric Snowball, one of the country's greatest pedal steel players, pictured with a Virtuoso. ES ran ESE Music in Maidstone, supplying, repairing and rebuilding amps, many Vox. By all accounts he was lovely man, prone to great eccentricities, and cut from much the same cloth as Alan Pyne, who took over the Vox premises in Dartford - a superb technician and musician.

Serial number 1027 - currently in the USA

Thanks to Mark for the pictures.

Serial number 1029 - currently in Australia

A nice early amp. Control panel brown; white rings to the input jacks; fixings for the preamp on top of the cabinet. Logo in silver. Thanks to Paul for the pictures.

Serial number 1059 - currently in the USA

Great condition. The serial number plate of this amplifier was cloned at some point - probably photographically - "aged" and applied to another amp (see immediately below). Thanks to Scott for the pictures.

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA

The amp below was sold at least four times in the 2010s - first in the UK at auction in 2012, shortly after in the UK again (on ebay), then twice in the USA. At its last point of sale, a photograph of the serial plate of another amp (Virtuoso number 1059) was stuck on. Serial number 1059 is an entirely different amp.

In terms of history prior to 2012, the amp was sold second hand by "Magnum Sound" of Wishaw - see the sticker on the back panel. "Magnum Sound" opened in 1975 and closed in 2019.


Images from the Gardiner Houlgate auction in 2012.


The same amp on ebay.


The same amp again, in the USA. It now has the cloned serial number plate.


Further pictures during its time in the USA.


The serial number plate is a fiction - a photograph or some other form of reproduction of the plate from another Virtuoso.

Serial number unknown - formerly in Germany, probably now in the USA

Serial number unknown - whereabouts unknown

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA

Presented on a custom made stand. Black plastic input jacks. Original speakers still in place.


"Solid State" in the logo. Input jacks are black plastic.

Serial number 1096 - currently in the USA

Serial number 1135 - currently in Germany

A non-Reverb model. Original footswitch present. The speakers (also original) have the code "8127".

Serial number 1144 - currently in the UK

Sold on ebay some time ago. Model without reverb. Note the later features: "Solid State" in the logo, and black plastic input jacks. These occur in serial no. 1181, immediately below, also without reverb. Thanks to Paul for the additional pictures.

Serial number 1164 - currently in Germany

No pictures at present.

Serial number 1172 - currently in the USA

A non-Reverb model. The speakers are now 1970s Goodmans Audiom Power Range red labels.

Serial number 1175 - currently in the USA

Serial number unknown - currently in the Netherlands

Without reverb. Supplied by Musik-Wiebach in Berlin. The CCL main filter caps have the date code "B7" = Feb. 1967. CCL in the preamp "C7" = March 1967. The RCA 2N3055s have "6J" = October 1966. Celestion G10-50s stand in place of the original drivers now.

Serial number 1181 - currently in Germany

As above: without reverb, "Solid State" in the logo, and black plastic input jacks. Thanks to Paul Johnson for the info.

Serial number 1229 (or 1230?) reported

Serial number 1238 - currently in Denmark

Serial number unknown - currently in the USA

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

Thanks to Steve for the pics. Model without reverb.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

Another Virtuoso without reverb.

Serial number unknown - currently in the UK

The amplifier part of the cabinet cut away from the speaker section and given a base. Pics are otherwise a little small and general to reveal anything particularly noteworthy.

Serial number unknown - currently in Europe

Treated similarly to the Virtuoso above. No serial number plate, but probably a late amp - the handle has gold coloured mounts.