Other Amps

Sleeper” amp alert: tube Thomas Vox Cambridge Reverb V3

1

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...

3

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.

4

That’s nutty!

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

5

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.

6

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!

7

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

8

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.

9

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!


Register Sign in to join the conversation