Other Amps

Thomas Vox Cambridge Reverb - alive!

1

Back in September I got a 1967 Thomas Vox Cambridge Reverb in decent working shape. Played it a bit that way, but various issues needed to be addresses so I took it apart to fix.

Well, nearly seven months and a complete circuit rebuild later, and it's alive! I also added a couple of features from the "big" TV amps - top boost, distortion booster and foot switch lights - so I call it the Cambridge Reverb BMOC (Big Man on Campus)

Here's a link to a quick video sound clip: Link

2

Congratulations on the rebuild. Some great sounds there and very much 'of a time'. Really interesting little amp.

3

Yes -- you must be near genius level then. All the techs who hate working on the big ones, or just won't anymore say the single channel ones are ok. Also solid state Cambridge and Pacemakers are cheap and plentiful. Even super clean ones are under $400.

This guy RG Keen is almost THE Thomas Vox dude, but you are second.He has some books on their repair

http://www.geofex.com/

Me, I have no skill at all sort of minor soldering ,etc. I just think the whole scene was cool back then.

4

No genius here - I really don't understand electronic theory beyond safety. Thanks to R.G. and other actual geniuses at the Music Electronics Forum I learned how to troubleshoot. Beyond that it was a matter of comparing the pre-amp circuit schematics of the CR and the Beatles and seeing what I could "cut and paste".

The solid state Cambridge Reverb is a real sleeper - it overdrives well, it's got great reverb and tremolo and it weighs only 35lbs. I installed a Warehouse ET-10 high efficiency speaker and it gets plenty loud.

The small TV amps only have two dozen or so wires going to and from the PCB so they're much easier to handle than the big amps which have 70+ wires. That's next for me, as my V1121 Buckingham has developed noise issues on one channel. Wish me luck!

5

Well there's a guy in VA who works on the single channel ones and a guy in CA who recaps the big ones, altho he's not cheap. But for even taking in that fearsome task... it has to be worthwhile.

I'm considering a V 1182 Westminster Bass head if I can find a super clean one... then would spring for the recap job. It's really a Super Beatle without the effects channel of trem reverb MRB and fuzz.

6

A Westminster should be more affordable than a Beatles, too. On the other end of the bass spectrum, I picked up a basket case Kensington that I plan to restore. Apparently it was dropped during shipping and the power transformer fell off the chassis and took a bunch of the power section with it. Only 22W, but hey.

7

Believer or not, and we have tested this, the 22 watt Kensington is louder than the 35 watt Essex bass. A friend read the schematics and figured out why. About 10 year ago I had a ratty Kensington and we cut it down to a head which was great. I love Tone X and it was the deepest bass sound you could get back then.


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