Vox V125 Lead and Bass Stacks - 1981 - 1983
Rose Morris Era

V125 Lead Amplifier with 2x12 Speaker Enclosure

V125 Bass Amplifier with 1x15 Speaker Enclosure

© 1996 - 2023 The Vox Showroom, all rights reserved. No use on online auctions, eBay or Reverb.
In 1966, things were beginning to slip backward at Vox.

Vox in England dedicated itself to the development of solid state amplifiers and hoped to phase out their tube models. Thomas Organ, the manufacturer of Vox amps sold in the US, had all but abandoned vacuum tube amps, and encouraged JMI Vox to do the same.

The small "Marshall Music" store in Hanwell, a London suburb, was a Vox dealer. The proprietor, Jim Marshall, started making amps in the basement of his store, borrowing heavily from Fender amp designs of the era. However, Marshall's amps added another preamp tube for higher gain and a smooth overdriven tone. By 1967, Marshall's amps caught the ear of many of the leading guitar players in London, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix. This new guitar tone was very unlike anything Vox had offered in their amps.

Tom Jennings, managing director and founder of Vox, made a trip to Marshall's shop in Hanwell, and was not very pleased that one of his dealers was building amps to compete with his new solid state Vox amps. Angry words were reportedly exchanged between Jennings and Marshall, and as a result, Marshall set out to compete with Vox on a larger scale.

This rivalry between Vox and Marshall continued throughout the years, with Vox emulating the signature Marshall stack several different times. The Vox V125 Guitar and V125 Bass stack, both introduced in a 1981 Vox catalog during the Rose Morris ownership period of Vox, were two such examples.

The electronics for the V125 were an adaptation of the circuits used in the AC-120 that Vox had introduced in 1973.

Although Vox literature showcasing this amplifier states that it had "pure valve power," that is not totally correct. Two 2N3819 transistors were used as an initial gain stage in the V125.

After the transistors, two ECC83, one ECC82, ome ECC81 and a quartet of EL-34s made up the tube complement.

The reverb circuit from the AC120 was not included in the V125.

The V125 amp design included Gain, Volume and Master Volume controls, as would a Marshall amp from this same period.

A five band EQ with rotary controls was featured in the V125. The EQ frequencies of the V125 Lead were 100hz, 250 hz, 500 hz, 1600 hz and 2300 hz. The EQ frequencies of the V125 Bass were 50hz, 100 hz, 250 hz, 500 hz and 1600 hz.

The V125 speaker enclosures had a large exposed bass reflex port. The V125 Lead cabinet featured two 12" 80 watt Celestion speakers, rather than the four 30 watt 12" Celestions one would expect in a Marshall 1960 cabinet. The V125 Bass had a single 15" Celestion speaker.

The V125 heads and cabs were covered in traditional Vox black basket weave vinyl. The Vox grill cloth used during the Rose Morris era (1979 - 1992) had a rather coarse weave and overly bright colors. Everytime I see this Rose Morris/Vox grill cloth I am thankful that modern Vox amps have grill cloth that is very similar to the cloth used in the 1960s.

Features - V125 and V125 Bass
Output Power 125 watts
Tube Compliment 6 - 7025, 1- ECC81, 1 - EL34 Quartet
V125 V125 Bass
two inputs two inputs
Gain Gain
Volume Volume
EQ1 - 100 hz EQ1 - 50 hz
EQ2 - 250 hz EQ2 - 100 hz
EQ3 - 500 hz EQ3 - 250 hz
EQ4 - 1500 hz EQ4 - 500 hz
EQ5 - 2300 hz EQ5 - 1600 hz
Master Volume Master Volume
two 12" 65 watt Celestion one 15" 100 watt Celestion
Size (head) 26" W x 10" H x 10" D
Size (spkr cab) 27½"W x 27½"H x 13"D
MSRP (1981) V125 Lead Head - $950
V125 Bass Head - $1050

North Coast Music offers a selection of replacement parts for the Vox V125 amplifier.
Some are shown below.


The VOX Showroom!

Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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