The Vox V301E "Italian" Continental Organ - Front View



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The Italian made V301E Vox Continental Organ reverted back to the germanium based circuitry originally used in the UK made V301J organs. This is somewhat surprising as Thomas Organ had completed and even manufactured a successful redesign in the V301H Continental that eliminated the troublesome germanium transistors, replacing them with silicon transistors.

The earliest versions of the Italian made V301E Continental Organ had the flat front braces meeting at a single wingbolt on the front body of the organ, as on the original V301J model. For some inexplicable reason, the mounting of these front braces was soon changed so that the braces crossed over each other at a point just below the organ body. Most of the Continental and Super Continental Organs produced in Italy featured this "cross over" design on the front braces.

The parent company of Vox in the UK, JMI, rejected the plan proposed by Joe Benaron of Thomas Organ to move the production of all Vox organs to Italy. JMI already had organ manufacturing facilities for the Continental line in the UK, and saw no need to send their production offshore. Ironically, the JMI organ plant in Erith, Kent, UK burned to the ground in 1967, shortly after the Italian production of the Continental Organ had started. Even with this development, JMI resisted purchasing the Italian organs. This decision made the Continental Organs unavailable in the UK for over a year while new manufacturing facilties were established.

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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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