The Vox 7120 and the Beatles (1966)



Figure 1

Figure 2


Figure 3


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JMI was putting the finishing touches on their new UL7120 amplifiers in the spring of 1966. JMI was aiming to send these amps along with the Beatles for their 1966 summer world tour but the final design of the 7120 head was still under development. Consequentially, John, Paul and George took delivery of prototype Vox 7120 amps in mid April 1966.

These prototype 7120 heads and speaker cabinets made their first public appearance with the Beatles in a promotional video for "Rain" shot on May 19, 1966.

The 7120 amps appeared at the following Beatle shows in the 1966 summer tour:

June 24, 1966 Munich, Germany Circus Krone
June 25, 1966 Essen, Geramny Grugahalle
June 26, 1966 Hamburg, Germany Ernst Merck Halle
July 2, 1966 Tokyo, Japan* Nippon Budokan
July 4, 1966 Manila, Philippines Rizal Stadium (afternoon)
July 4, 1966 Manila, Philippines Rizal Stadium (evening)
*The 7120 amps failed to arrive in time for the July 1 and 2 shows in Tokyo.

The Beatles finished the 1966 summer tour by visiting thirteen cities in the US. The 7120 amps were sent back to the UK, Thomas Organ provided Super Beatle amps to the Beatles for the final leg of the tour.

Here are some observable differences on the prototype 7120 amps provided to the Beatles:
  • The backs on the Beatles 7120 heads were removable, fastened with four screws (see Figures 1 and 2). The backs on most production models were not removable.
  • The backs on the Beatles 7120 heads had only horizontal webs. The backs on production models had horizontal and vertical webs.
  • The Beatles 7120 head cabinets were somewhat smaller than the production model, perhaps similar in size to the 730 head cabinet.
  • The KT88 output tubes on the Beatles 7120 amps were installed at a slight angle, probably to provide removal clearance due to a smaller cabinet (see Figure 2).
  • The Beatles 7120 head cabinets had one strap handle, centered on the top of the cabinet. (see Figure 3) Production 7120 heads had two strap handles, located on the top left and top right of the cabinet.
  • The Beatles 7120 amps had one-pin corners (see Figure 1). Production 7120 amps had two-pin corners.
  • The logos on the Beatles 7120 speaker cabinets had gold letters. The logos on production cabinets had white letters.





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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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