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Vintage 1965 VOX Essex V-4 Bass AMP Combo 2 x12" 40 Watts Gold Oxfords Low Price

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ARIZONA MUSIC, of Prescott, AZ. 


Vintage 1965 Vox Essex V-104 Bass Combo Amplifier

New Lower Price

Received from collector to ARIZONA MUSIC in Prescott, AZ.

The Different Models and years make it a little confusing to date.

From dating the speakers and codes in the amp chassis:
We think it's one of the earliest model V-4's made in 1965, with gold painted Oxford speakers.

We're not VOX experts, so don't freak out if we're a few years off,
or if we have identified it as the wrong model.

Here are the facts:

The cabinet is very well made, and of 3/4" Plywood.
The speaker baffle and the back enclosure board are made of particle board.

The Speakers are Oxford 12" Gold Painted ferrite magnet speakers.
The dates on the speakers are: 12T6-4  and 465-522  and 33-5066-6
The exterior finish of the cabinet is grey pebble vinyl.
It has the Trapezoidal VOX Logo.
The Amp does NOT have a footswitch jack.
Nor does it have the  "G" Tuner electronics.
This should date it to Pre 1967.
We do NOT have the Aluminum trolly.

It's 40 watts, (as shown on the back on the Logo of the speaker cab specs.)
We can't find any model below that's 40 watts.
So what model is it?

This amp is totally original and in intact, in very good condition.
Shop tested and inspected at ARIZONA MUSIC,
by Vintage Specialist Mario Amodeo.
The amp sounds Great !
The Grill is in good shape, the VOX logo is present, and the handle is in intact.
After testing the amp, the original speakers had been removed to show their condition.
We removed them anyway, as we ship the speakers in a separate box.
You might receive 2 shipping boxes, 1) the amp & cabinet, and  2) the speakers.
(if we do not think the speakers will ship safely inside the amp).

Original owners manual :

This great Vintage Vox Essex Bass Amp comes with a 30 - Day Inspection Warranty!


The Essex: V-4, V104, V1041, V1042. V1043 1966 - 1970

The Vox Essex bass amp was one of  the earliest amp models developed by Thomas Organ for  Vox production in America. Thomas Organ hoped to develop  an amp that would offer acceptable bass guitar  performance at a reasonable price. Click  here to view the original Essex Owner's Manual.

The earliest model of the Essex was the V-4. It was  followed by the V104, V1041, V1042, and the V1043.

The V-4 Essex  Bass 
The V-4 Essex Bass was was released in 1965. It  appeared in the Thomas Vox "King of the Beat"  catalog.

The Essex  control panel was mounted in the top of the  cabinet. It had a Volume and Tone-X control, a  power switch, indicator lamp, dual 1/4" inputs,  and a line reverse switch. Tone-X was a tone  control that replaced the normal bass and treble  control. Tone-X was a sweepable EQ control that  offered about a 6 dB boost from approximately 50  Hz (control counter clockwise) to 300 Hz  (control clockwise).

V-4  Essex Bass Amplifier

Like the JMI Vox  T.60 bass amp it succeeded, the Essex was powered by a  solid state amplifier module with germanium output  transistors. The V-4 Essex was rated at 35 watts RMS  while the T.60 was 30 watts RMS.

The  sealed, non ported 3/4" plywood V-4 enclosure  included a chrome plated "push cart" trolley. It  was loaded with two 12" ferrite magnet speakers  made by the Oxford Speaker Company of Chicago IL  and finished in black paint. The cabinet was  covered in the pebbled vinyl shown at right. The  V-4 was the first amp model to use the US design  horizontal Vox logo.

The V104 and V1041 Essex Bass 
The V1041 Essex Bass replaced the V-4 in early 1966. The  V1041 is nearly identical to the V-4, sharing the same  circuitry, schematic, speakers and trolley. 

Starting with  the V104, all subsequent Essex models had a  particle board cabinet that was covered in a  levant grain vinyl similar to that found on  Fender amps.

The horizontal  Vox logo from the V-4 was replaced by a  trapezoidally shaped vertical Vox logo.

The V1042 Essex Bass 
In mid 1966, the V1042 Essex Bass replaced the V1041.  The V1042 Essex Bass added a single button foot pedal to  the Tone-X control circuit.

When the V1042  Essex Bass foot switch was actuated, the Tone-X effect  was effectively set to the maximum (or "10") setting,  overriding the position set on the rotary Tone -X  control. The foot switch plugged into a recessed jack  mounted in the upper rear back panel.

The V1042 Essex Bass 
In 1967, the final version of the Essex Bass, the V1043,  boosted the output power from 35 watt RMS, 70 watt peak  to 50 watts RMS, 100 watts peak. Thomas Organ continued  to install the same Oxford 12" ferrite magnet speakers  used in previous Essex models but they were now painted  gold. A "G" tuner reference pitch generator was also  added. This is the Essex model shown above and on the  right.

The 1968 US Vox price list indicated that the retail  price for the Essex Bass amp with the accessory foot  switch, cover, and rolling trolley stand was $400.00.  Adjusting the 1968 retail price of the V1043 Essex Bass  Amp for inflation, this amp would retail for $2439.00  today.

My thanks to  Marc Speed for allowing me to take pictures of his V1043  Essex and to Ihor Boyko who submitted the V-4 Essex  photo.

V1043  Essex Bass Amplifier (rear view)

Thomas Organ invited Dick Denney, lead amp engineer at  JMI Vox in the UK, to visit the California based Thomas  Developmental Labs in October 1965. The purpose of the  visit was to have Denney audition and critique the new  US Vox amp designs under development at Thomas Organ.  Denney evaluated a number of new US Vox models,  including the very first amp that Thomas designed for  the US market, the V-4 Essex bass.

The results were reported to JMI  in a letter from Thomas Organ dated November 4, 1965.  When discussing the V-4, Thomas explained to JMI that  the Essex was "designed primarily to produce a  self-contained bass amplifier to sell at a retail price  lower than any other bass unit on the market." The  letter also admitted that the undistorted acoustic  output capability was limited in the bass region. You  can read the entire contents of this letter on pages 142  - 146 of "The Vox Story," which is offered for sale at  North Coast Music.

The picture at left shows the fifth  and final version of the Essex, model V1043, with the  back removed. The control panel and associated preamp is  visible on the top of the amp. There were only two  controls, Volume and "Tone X."

The "Tone X" circuit was  designed by Thomas Organ engineer Sava Jacobsen. Jacobsen  explained to the Vox Showroom that the Tone Xcontrol  made it possible to shift from a low-pass audio filter  to high-pass audio filter with the twist of one knob. A  adaptation of this "Tone X" circuit would later be the  electronic basis for the Vox Wah-Wah pedal.

The V1042 and V1043  Essex bass models incorporated a foot switch  into the "Tone X " circuit. This change  required the addition of a "Pedal Control  Amplifier" circuit (see photo at left) that  was located on the inside right wall of the  cabinet. Depressing the foot switch created  an effect that was equivalent to advancing  the Tone-X control to "10."

The power  supply and power amp module (see photo at right) was  mounted to the left inside of the cabinet. I am  quite confident that this power amp module was  originally designed for use in a Thomas Organ  console and was later adapted for use in the Vox  Essex amp. This is further suggested by the presence  of an AC convenience outlet located on the amp  chassis module. As the Essex has a closed back,  there would be no access to use the outlet.

Powered by  two germanium output transistors, the amp was  capable of 30 to 35 watts RMS. Replacements for  these output transistors are still available from  NTE Semiconductors as part # NTE 121.

A shielded  cable terminated with an RCA plug dropped down from  the preamp to provide the audio signal to the power  amp.

Thomas Organ installed a pair of 12T6 speakers from the  Oxford Speaker Compamy of Chicago IL into the Essex  Bass.

Assigned the Thomas Organ part number 33-5066-6, each  Essex speaker was 8 ohms and was probably rated at about  20 - 25 watts RMS. The ferrite magnet structure appears  to be in the 40 ounce range. The black Oxford 12T6  speaker shown at far left was installed in a V-4 Essex  (the first version of the amp), and the gold Oxford 12T6  speaker at near left was installed in a V1043 (the final  version of the amp).

The V-4 cabinet  had a particle board baffle and back but plywood sides  and bottom. Subsequent models were constructed solely of  particle board.

A "G-Tuner" feature was added  to the V1043 Essex Bass amp circuitry.

The "G-Tuner" was a basic tone generator circuit  comprised of a variable inductor, a transistor, a  capacitor and a few resistors. When operated, the  circuit generated an organ like reference tone  pitched to "G " in the musical scale. This was used  to provide a reference frequency for tuning the  G string on a bass guitar.

This circuit  was mounted to the inside upper back panel of the  Essex Bass. A slide switch, recessed into a round  hole, enabled the tuning tone. A second small round  hole in the back was located just below the switch.  This provided an access point to insert a screw  driver to adjust the frequency of the G-Tuner  circuit should it drift from the desired frequency.

At left is a picture of the chrome plated tubular "push  cart" or roller trolley that was included with the Essex  Bass amp. The amplifier merely rested on the bars at the  bottom of the cart, held in place by gravity alone.

The protective cover for the Essex Bass amp is pictured  below.


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223 Grove  Ave
 Prescott AZ, 86301


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