The Vox "TC" or V301J Continental "Milkcrate" Organ - "Under the Hood"



Here is an "under the hood" view of a Vox TC or V301J "milkcrate" Continental organ. It is called a "milk crate" organ due to the way the twelve tone generator boards were stacked on edge into a metal cage, similar to how milk bottles are stacked into a milk crate.

The serial plate, shown at left, reveals some interesting information about the "milk crate" Continental organ. The serial number is noted as #1417. As Vox serial numbers normally start at 1000, this would suggest that this organ was the 417th Continental produced, a very early serial number. The serial plate also states that this single Continental organ was manufactured by the "The Jennings Organ Company." Over time, the name "Jennings Organ Company" was replaced by "Jennings Musical Industries," better reflecting the shift at Jennings from home organs to combo gear. Finally, the serial indicates the organ was specifically designed for European mains voltages of 200/250VAC, built prior to 1964 when exportation to 120VAC based North America was not yet an issue.

What's Under the Hood
The ~8 VDC power supply is enclosed in a steel case and located in the upper right side of the photo. The vibrato circuitry is also located inside of the power supply case. Twelve tone generator boards, one for each note in a the musical scale, were mounted at a slant, in a "milk crate" metal frame, across the front of the organ. A large bundle of distribution wires connected the tone generator boards to both the power supply and to a set of four contacts under each key of the organ. Hammond style drawbars adjusted the tone of the organ. A preamp boosted the audio signal for use with an external amplifier.


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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