Rose Morris Vox AC30 Top Boost and AC30 Top Boost Reverb (1978 - 1984)

AC30 Top Boost Control Panel

AC30 Top Boost Reverb Control Panel

© 1996 - 2023 The Vox Showroom, all rights reserved. No use on online auctions, eBay or Reverb.
The Vox AC30 Top Boost and AC30 Top Boost Reverb shown
on this web page were the first AC30 models offered by Vox under the ownership of Rose-Morris (RM). RM manufactured and distributed Vox using the "Vox Limited" name from 1978 to 1992.

Rose Morris Purchases Vox from Dallas Arbiter
Just as Vox was the predominant English amplifier brand in the mid to late sixties, Marshall amplifiers dominated the seventies and eighties. Rose-Morris was the European distributor for Marshall Amplification throughout the seventies and early eighties.

The relationship between Rose-Morris and Marshall had always been strained. By 1978, Rose-Morris feared that they were about to lose Marshall. Rose-Morris started looking for another amplifier line to distribute should the Marshall deal fall through. At about this same time, Dallas Industries decided to put the Vox brand up for sale.

Dallas Arbiter had high hopes when they purchased Vox from Stolec Industries in 1972. Even though sales had flat lined under Stolec, Dallas hoped to reverse the fortunes of the formerly iconic amp line. Unfortunately, Vox sales never significantly recovered throughout the seventies. To make things worse, Thomas Organ still retained the North American licensing for the Vox trademark, denying Dallas Arbiter the opportunity to sell Vox amplifiers in the US and Canada.

Towards the end of 1978, Rose-Morris purchased Vox from Dallas Arbiter. A few months later, Thomas Organ ceased operations in the US. Whirlpool, the parent corporation of Thomas Organ, sold the Vox US trade rights back to Rose-Morris in 1979.
The First Rose Morris Era AC-30
As Rose Morris had no facilities to build amplifiers at the time they purchased Vox from Dallas, Rose Morris needed to find a subcontractor to produce the AC-30 and other amp models.

The Dallas Industries facility in Shoeburyness, Essex that had manufactured all Vox amps produced from 1973 through 1978 was about to become idle when Rose Morris purchased Vox in 1978. Dallas offered to resume Vox production at Shoeburyness, Essex under sub contract to Rose Morris. This proposal offered mutual benefits to both parties. Rose Morris gained an experienced subcontractor to build Vox amps and the Dallas facility in Shoeburyness would continue to operate.

Dallas had offered the AC-30 from 1973 through 1977 with hand wired, point-to-point circuitry (see Figure A). Building a tube amplifier with hand wired, point-to-point construction
offered a number of benefits. In addition to being incredibly durable, hand wired amps provide ease of service not possible with printed circuit boards. However, hand wiring an amp as complex as a top boosted AC-30 was labor intensive and costly to produce. Rose Morris retired the hand wired AC-30 in about 1977.

Dallas came up with an innovative AC-30 resdesign as a replacement. It exchanged the hand wired tag strips used on prior Dallas AC-30 amps for similar PCB strips. Originally, these PCB strips were a translucent green phenolic, but the printed circuit strips on later RM amps were brown (see figure B above). This style of construction offered Rose-Morris the best compromise between a hand wired and PCB design.

The Rose-Morris AC-30 had a particle board cabinet with two pin corners and three large Rean air vents (see photo below). The Celestion Greenback speakers formerly used in the AC-30 were replaced with a pair of less expensive Fane ceramic "blues." The gray and silver six input control panel was replaced by a teal gray panel with gold silk screened nomenclature. While the GZ34

rectifier tube had been eliminated by Dallas some years earlier, the power supply choke was also eliminated from the Rose-Morris Vox AC-30.

This first generation Rose-Morris Vox AC-30 was offered with or without reverb. The model without reverb was named the AC30 Top Boost. The ten tube circuit mirrored all of the controls and features of a mid sixties JMI top boosted AC-30. Rose-Morris included a single button foot switch to control the Vib/Trem effect.

The AC30 Top Boost Reverb featured a twelve tube circuit and an Accutronics reverb pan. The reverb control was mounted into the panel location normally used for the Vib/Trem "Speed." A new six position rotary Vib/Trem switch offered three speeds

of tremolo and three speeds of vibrato on just one control. A two button foot switch, fashioned from wood and finished in gray hammertone paint with silk screened nomenclature, remotely activated the vibrato and reverb effects (see photo at left).

AC30 Top Boost AC30 Top Boost Reverb
27⅜" x 10⅜" x 20½" 27⅜" x 10⅜" x 20½"
85 lbs 86 lbs
MSRP $1200 (1981)

MSRP $1320 (1981)

Links to Additional Rose Morris AC-30 Amp Topics in the Vox Showroom
  • A Look "Under the Hood" at the 1977 - 1978 Dallas AC30 Top Boost
  • A Look "Under the Hood" at the 1978 - 1984 Rose Morris AC30 Top Boost Reverb
  • 1979 Rose Morris Product Catalog
  • 1981 Rose Morris Product Catalog
  • 1985 Rose Morris AC-30 Top Boost Reverb

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