1965 Vox AC4 amp

Vintage British 4W guitar amp with tremolo

This is a great little vintage guitar amp. 4w tube AC4 made by Jennings (JMI) in Dartford, UK, in 1965. And as you can see it's in great condition. Single 8" Elac speaker. Black tolex, black diamond lattice cloth. Footswitch activated vibrato circuitry. Dimensions 16" x 16 1/2" x 7 1/2". Weight: 9.0 kg. I love this amp and play it a lot! Vintage Vox amps, especially those made by JMI in England, are getting seriously expensive - if you see a Vox AC4 for sale at a reasonable price, snap it up! Check out the pics and the video clips below.

1965 Vox AC4 electric guitar amplifier
One of the most obvious characteristics of the 1965 Vox AC4 is the black diamond lattice grill cloth and smaller Vox logo (approx 70mm x 23mm) - compare the look of this amp from one shipped just a year earlier: 1964 Vox AC4.
Back view of a vintage Vox AC4 amp
The rear view shows less difference than the front, though note the alternate-style serial number plate. The two cables are the footswitch (left) and power cable (right).

The Vox AC4 was the entry level amplifier in Jennings' (JMI) Vox range - full of great tube tones, and a perfect practice amp, but with insufficient volume for any sizeable performance. It had a November 1965 list price of £26 5s 0d. 1965 was actually the final year of production, making this one of the last examples to leave the Dartford factory.

The control panel of a 1965 Vox AC4 amp

Controls are really simple - two inputs, a master volume, a master tone (this is also the on/off switch), and a speed control for the foot-operated tremolo. The pointers are Bulgin brand chicken-head knobs. These are white, but in other examples they are black.

Fuse of a UK-built Vox AC4 guitar amp
The fuse can be position for either 230v (UK), or 110v (US) operation. These are often cream/white if not red.
The 8" speaker fitted to a 1965 Vox AC4 guitar amp
The 8" speaker is unbranded on this example, but most likely made by Elac in Germany.
Aluminium identification plate from a 1965 Vox AC4 guitar amp
Serial number an model designation stamps from a 1965 Vox AC4 amplifier

'Vox Amplifier - manufactured in England by Jennings Musical Industries Ltd'. The JMI serial number plate is quite distinct from the earlier examples - compare with this 1964 AC4. This is aluminium plate - still 82mm x 101mm, but much thinner. It naturally still contains the model designation (AC4) and serial number (04766) stamped in the designated boxes.

Plastic Vox branded grill vents from a 1965 Vox AC4 amp

One 1965 feature, again quite distinct from older examples (again, compare with this 1964 AC4), is the black plastic Vox branded vents - as opposed to the brass unbranded type used previously.

1965 Vox AC4 black diamond cloth
Black diamond lattice cloth is another 1965 characteristic - replacing the brown cloth used previously. Although somewhat faded, this cloth has the same green and red threads weaved into it as the older brown cloth; but with white replacing the yellow.
Vintage Vox AC4 footswitch
The tremolo on/off footswitch is simply an unbranded aluminium egg style control with one switch.
1967 Vox Stroller with mid-60s Vox AC4 guitar amp

1967 Vox Stroller with 1965 Vox AC4 - check out the video clips below and in the supporting members area

Vintage Vox AC4 demo clips

Here are a selection of demo clips of various vintage guitars using this amplifier. This truly is a sweet sounding amp!

1966 Epiphone Granada - 1965 Vox AC4

This is a great playing guitar: 1966 Epiphone Granada played here, through a 1965 Vox AC4. Although the body style really limits access to the top of the fretboard, it really has a great feeling neck, and is a lot of fun to play. A beautifully built instrument. Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and Shure SM57 (right), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - all highly recommended gear!

1963 Vox Shadow - 1965 Vox AC4 (2:12)

This video shows the 1963 Vox Shadow played through a 1965 Vox AC4. It's got a great biting bridge pickup and a wonderfully mellow neck, with the tone rolled down. Recorded with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and Shure SM57 (right), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface

1967 Vox Stroller - 1965 Vox AC4

Two great pieces of British musical history: 1967 Vox Stroller played through a 1965 Vox AC4 - a great combination! The Stroller is as simple as it gets. Single pickup at the bridge with just a tone control and no tremolo. The AC4 is a very small amp with a great tone - too quiet for most accompanied performance, but great for home use and as a recording amp. Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and Shure SM57 (right), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - all highly recommended gear!

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