Other Amps

Vox AC30 — Interesting History


Found this interesting bit on the history behind the AC30.....


I’ve watched that about a dozen times. Wonderfully done doc.


Anybody seriously interested in Vox amps needs Jim Elyea's definitive work: https://www.amazon.com/Vox-... I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb saying it's the most comprehensive gear-related book ever published. And if you're technically inclined, definitely spring for the deluxe edition, with a box of schematics on heavy vellum and other goodies.


I love this thread. Only had one AC 30 I ever ran across that was clean and affordable; mercifully, Y'All talked me out of it and said it would blow my windows out. But, I still wonder.


I really enjoyed this. I knew some of this history from reading Beatles Gear but it was fun to learn Vox's perspective.


What about the Jennings amps? Did they carry on the VOX vibe or are they a total different amp?


This was really informative. The comments on youtube are pretty good, too. Thank you for posting.


What about the Jennings amps? Did they carry on the VOX vibe or are they a total different amp?

– blueflame

They started out focusing on solid state, but when they did release tube amps, they were very similar to earlier Vox models.


Every time I log on and see this thread I mean to post my interesting Vox/Denny story, but never seem to have the time. I have the time now, so here is my interesting Vox/Denny story.

I always wanted an AC30 when I was a kid. The Vox factory in Dartford was only about 10 miles from where I grew up and by the time I was aware of that it was an amp sale and repair shop run by an ex-employee of Vox by the name of Alan Pyne. Alan was a real character. He always gave the impression that he hated musicians, but it was just a front and he'd do anything for anyone. He even opened up on New Year's Day once so I could grab a bass amp I was desperately needing.

Anyhoo, Alan always had a variety of amps available, mainly Vox of course, and I ended up buying a 1966 AC50 that had been put into an AC30 cabinet. Outwardly no different from an AC30 (except the control panel was a little different), but almost twice the power. £185.00, and I guess this was around 1987ish. My dear mum actually put it on her credit card for me as I had no cash (again).

Fast forward 3 or 4 years and my oldest friend and long time bass player was working in Dartford in a butchers' shop and somehow got chatting to one of his customers about amps and that amp in particular. A small smile came on the customer's face as he said "my dad designed that amp". Yep, it was Dick Denney's son. When Tim told me this later I cheekily asked him to get the guy's number as the amp needed a bit of work. I never thought it would happen, but he said yes, dad would be glad to have a look at it.

So it was that a couple of weeks later Tim and I were in Dick Denney's kitchen on the South coast of England with my old AC50 in pieces and Dick in his element. When he was done I asked him how much I owed him and he frowned, wrung his hands and said "Would ten pounds be OK?". I seem to remember I gave him £20 and still felt like I'd rooked him.

I still have that amp and I smile every time I think about that day. Dick was an absolute gentleman and a pioneer in his field.

That was my interesting Vox/Denney story.


That is a cool story, Deke!


Very nice story, Deke! Always feels good to learn that someone who is alleged to be a good guy really IS a good guy! Thanks for sharing!


I did some research online today and it appears they've put a blue plaque on the property. That's pretty cool. The shopfront that says ADS Business Centre is Alan's old shop and the Vox offices were upstairs.

News item

This article says the Vox factory was down the road where a petrol station now stands, but I think in truth it was where the EuropeCar rental place is now. Street view in Google Maps shows it better.

Street View

Reading between the lines I assume Dick and Tom started at 119 (Alan's shop) and then moved next-door when business started booming.


that was a very cool story, Deke. thanks for sharing.

as far as the video, I saw it sometime back. it was a very informing video. I enjoyed it very much.


Great stuff - seen it before, but always worth a watch.

Used to go to Alan Pyne's shop (AMPyne) during lunch break at school - no idea then about the Vox/Jennings heritage, which is a shame.

Appeared to be a crusty old sod, but was prepared to put up with a small gaggle of schoolkids in his shop over and over again.

I think Burns were in Burnham Road, the other side of Dartford for a short time, and I once spoke to an old boy at an engraving shop around Crayford (?) who said his company had made the fret dots, milled-edge knobs and engraved laminate 'BURNS LONDON' scratchplates in the 60s.


RE-AN/Rhino had a place in Burnham Road, I worked there for a few weeks in the 80s. There was a Burns connection, but I’m not fully knowledgeable about that. I know I found an old Shergold pickup in the store room once.

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