Other Amps

Sleeper” amp alert: tube Thomas Vox Cambridge Reverb V3


I grabbed one of these in Chicago and rode home with it on the El, and then the Amtrak. $700 out the door. It needed very minor cleaning and solder touch up to be in top shape. It's basically a Princeton Reverb front end, and an AC15 power amp. Kinda.

I was put off by the 10" speaker AT FIRST. But in addition to the original gold "Bulldog" Oxford (also from Chicago), there was a very efficient and high power Eminence Ramrod. In blind taste tests, I can't tell it from a 12".

It's no secret that I do 98% of my gigs with a Blues Jr with the full complement of BillM mods and a C12N speaker. (now a Tone Tubby Red) BUT - using an A/B/Y box, I'm thinking this Vox could topple the BJr after 12 years. It's that good.

I did slip a 12AT7 in place of the stock 12AU7 reverb driver. It spiced the amp up just a tad.

As we know, Princeton Reverbs from the 60s are hovering around $3K. (And Lawrenceville Reverbs are worth at least 3X that) But these are still well under a grand for a point-to-point vintage tube amp with reverb and trem. If you're lucky, you'll get a foot switch, but any 2-button 1/4" model will work. Covers are available on eBay. The modern "Cambridge 30 Twin" canvas cover fits great for $20 or so.

Here's an example: https://akroncanton.craigsl...


Very cool find JB. What a day, riding a few trains, and with your new Vox amp.

Just doesn't get any better than that.


That’s nutty!

A couple days ago, I picked up a ‘65 Pacemaker V2. Same as a Cambridge minus the ‘verb. Congrats, brutha.


Nothing sleeper about them -- at least w/ me, but as most know I have a Thomas thing. Plus I am gonna be the only guy with Pacemaker power stuffed on to a Pathfinder chassis.


My first "real" amp was a tube Berkeley. When I first started gigging, I had an old Porsche 944 that I bought cheap and the head and cab laid under the hatch perfectly next to my '62 Tenny. I drove that thing everywhere. At 25 years old, I was on top of the world. Unfortunately, lust for the '90s Korg AC15s took over, and I traded the Berkeley in, even up for a 2x10" AC15. (major regret followed) Years later, a mint tube Berkeley with hang tags and covers came in to a music store for $700. I told the owner I would go get the cash. When I came back, he had sold it out from under me. Now, I have somewhat avenged my 20s. lol

Sam, that's a great score!!

Thomas amps deserve some more credibility. The SS ones sound really good, too!


Yes the solid state vox’s are pretty darn good Nice score those amps are always on my radar, some day I’ll find one but till then my Berkeley 2 will have to do


I have several Vox Thomas tube amps - including this early silver panel Cambridge Reverb. I got it years ago, but just in the last week or so started replacing the electrolytic capacitors, and re-wiring it with a grounded plug. (Aside from that I never played it - it was shocking.) The circuit was untouched. I discovered that one of the bypass caps was installed backwards (+/– were reversed.) Another bypass cap was never installed. Maybe someone was having a bad day at the Vox Thomas factory.


Congratulations! It would be interesting to do a side by side test of a tube and solid state Cambridge Reverb - I wonder how different the voicing is. I'm sure the V3 has smoother overdrive than it's solid state relatives!

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