The AC-30 Super Reverb Twin Top Boost...1965 - 1967


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Serial plate and rear mounted reverb controls


A view of a JMI AC-30 hand wired tag strip






UK JMI Vox (upper) and US Thomas Vox "Super Reverb Twin" badges






Vox used the term "Super" to identify amplifiers that had a separate head and speaker cabinet. The term "Twin" indicated the number of speakers in the amplifier. Vox introduced the first version of the AC-30 "Super Twin" with a separate head and 2x12" speaker enclosure in 1961.

The AC-30 "Super Twin" Amp Head
The original version of the AC-30 Super Twin head used a standard AC-30/6 amplifier chassis installed into a rectangular head cabinet. From 1961 through 1963, most of these amps were covered in fawn (or light tan) vinyl. Amps produced in 1963 would most likely have smooth black vinyl while those produced from 1964 through 1967 would have black basket weave vinyl. The front panel would most commonly be covered in brown Vox diamond grill cloth and feature a small. -V-O-X- logo.

When introduced in 1961, the AC-30 Super Twin was offered by Vox primarily as a bass guitar amp. Vox felt that separating the head from the speaker cabinet would improve dependability over the combo version of the amp by isolating the chassis from the direct vibrations emanating from the speakers.

The AC-30 "Super Twin" Speaker Cabinet
The Super Twin speaker cabinet was an adaptation of the original AC-30 combo amp cabinet, less control panel cutout. The number of handles was reduced from three on the combo amp to one on the speaker cabinet.

Vox product catalog descriptions from the early to mid 1960's indicated that Super Twin speaker cabinets normally had closed backs, or were "pressurized," using Vox marketing speak. Closed backed cabinets enhance low end response, thus improving the performance of the AC-30 for bass guitar. However, not all AC-30 Super Twin speaker cabinets had closed backs. Some shared the same split open back configuration as the combo amp.

Two 8 ohm Celestion/Vox 12" alnico speakers, wired in series to 16 ohms, powered the cabinet.

The Redesigned 1965 - 67 AC-30 "Super Twin" Amp
Vox ramped up the appeal of the AC-30 Super Twin amp series in 1965 by adding an optional chrome plated tubular steel swivel trolley, installing Top Boost circuitry in the main control panel, incorporating a reverb circuit and converting the head cabinet to a trapezoidal, or "slant sided" shape. This new amp was known as the AC-30 "Super Reverb Twin."

In his 1993 book, "The Vox Story," written by David Petersen and Dick Denney, the authors picture and mention the slope sided AC-30 Super Twin on page 39. They call it "the ultimate in AC-30 development." Electronically and cosmetically, I could not agree more with this assessment.

Click here for an in-depth presentation of the 1965 Vox AC-30 Super Reverb Twin amp head.

Click here for a look "under the hood" of the 1965 AC-30 Super Reverb Twin amp head.

Let's jump over to American Vox for a moment. Thomas Organ hired a brilliant engineer and former Fender employee, Sava Jacobson, to develop a transistorized version of the AC-30 for the US market. I suspect that Sava took a long look at the AC30SRT when he was working on his design. Comparing the AC30SRT with the US equivalent Buckingham amp, one can notice many obvious similarities. Each amp had three channels. Each had reverb, and each had a reverb selector switch that toggled between the Normal and Brilliant channels on the rear control panel. Each head had a trapeziodal head cabinet. A "Super Twin Reverb" badge was in the lower right hand corner of each amp. Both amps had a nearly identical swivel trolley and 2x12 speaker enclosure. Both amps used locking XLR jacks for speaker connection.




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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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