|Vox 1959 AC15|
The Vox amplifiers ran on a class A circuit. This meant the power tubes were always on which gave the sound better frequency output and smoother distorion. This is one of the reasons a Vox AC 30 watt amp seems to sound louder than a class AB 30 watt amplifier such as the Peavy 30.
So they investigated producing a larger version. What they came up with was the Vox AC100 aka the Vox Super Deluxe.
One interesting feature on the AC100 and other Vox amplifiers was the step up/step down transformer which allowed the amp to accept differing currents.
Once Thomas Organ inked the deal they realized that JMI/Vox was not capable of manufacturing an adequate number of amplifiers to make the deal profitable.
This is how the Vox Super Beatle and other products came to be made by the Thomas Organ Company aka Vox US.
The original Vox Super Beetle, the V-14 came with a normal channel, a brilliant channel and a bass channel.
The normal channel featured a top boost rocker switch, the brilliant channel featured a midrange boost rocker switch and the bass channel came with a sweepable frequency tone control that Jacobsen called Tone-ex. The amp was rated at 120 watts RMS and 240 peak power all into a 2 ohm load. The cabinet was loaded with 4 Vox 12" speakers.
This was sort of a tremolo effect in that it turned the signal on and off, but rapidly and at differing speeds. Thomas used this effect to get a banjo sound on their organs.
These amps were introduced just in time for the Beatles final American concerts. Though the amplifiers features were not much different than the original V14, the V1141/V1142 had internal improvements in design.
The new V1143 was introduced in 1967 and the name Super Beatle was no longer advertised due to the Beatles objections. This amp utilized FET's or Field Effect Transistors which were designed to reduce noise.
It was a switch that activated an oscilating circuit that emitted an E note equivalent to the first string of a guitar. This was a poor mans tuner that carries on on the Roland Minicube. The chassis of the new amp and speaker cabinet were made of particle board instead of wood.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Thomas Organ Vox story is the fact that the preamp used for the Super Beatle was the same one used on the Viscount, the Buckingham, the Royal Guardsman and the Westminster amps. The main difference was the power amp. The design of these amplifiers utilized transformer coupling, which increased the amplifiers efficiency. Some of these amps made use of germanium transistors.
Another amplifer produced by Thomas Organ was known as the 7120 Vox Beatle Super Stack. This beast was over six feet high and had two semi-opened back cabinets with two ten inch and two twelve inch speakers each with the North Coast design label. The whole thing was mounted on a huge chrome steel trolley. The amplifiers controls were all mounted on the front panel of the head. This was Vox USA's answer to the Marshall double stack.
I have a friend is involved with a local band that plays Beatle tributes. His band member use Vox Berkley amps. He tells me these amps are prone to problems and spend a lot of time in the shop. However they are excellent sounding amplifiers; loud and clean that have a great retro-look.