V-8 Berkeley Super Reverb Amp
V-8 Berkeley Super Reverb Amp, Rear View
|Vox Berkeley Specifications
||V-8 - 17 watts RMS (tube power)
V1081 - 18 watts RMS (solid state)
V1083 - 35 watts (solid state)
|V-8 - One channel, two inputs. Volume, treble, bass, reverb, tremolo speed and depth controls
V1081- One channel, three inputs. Volume, treble, bass, reverb, tremolo speed and depth controls plus MRB
V1083 - Two channel amp, two inputs each. Channel one: volume, treble, bass, reverb, tremolo speed and depth, E-tuner. Channel two: volume, treble, bass, MRB.
||V-8 and V4081 - 2 Celestion 10" speakers
V4083 - 2 Vox "Gold Bulldog" Oxford 10" speakers
||8.5" H x 27" W x 9" D (head)
17.5" H x 27" W x 9" D (speaker cabinet less trolley)
||cover, chrome swivel stand, foot pedal.
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In September 1965, Thomas Organ inked an agreement with the parent company of Vox, Jennings Musical Instruments (JMI) of Dartford, Kent UK, making Thomas the sole Vox distributor for North America.
The first shipments of British made Vox amps, organs and guitars landed in the Thomas Organ warehouses in Sepulveda California in November, 1964. With the British music invasion now fully in overdrive, the demand for Vox gear in the states exceeded the production abilities of JMI. Vox gear was in scarce supply in the United States.
One of the Vox amps Thomas Organ imported from JMI was the AC-10 Super Reverb Twin. Thomas Organ renamed this UK tube model the "Berkeley" for the U.S. marketplace.
By mid 1966, the inability of JMI to produce Vox gear in adequate numbers to satisfy the US market plus the high costs of importation drove Thomas Organ to renegotiate the distribution agreement they had signed with Vox only a year earlier. Thomas wanted to stop the importation of Vox gear from JMI. They wanted to build their own Vox gear in their organ production facilities in California. After a one time royalty was paid to JMI, Thomas Organ was free to build Vox gear of their own design. Importation of Vox products from JMI ceased almost immediately.
Thomas Organ introduced their first US designed Vox amps in late 1965. The first US Vox amps were the V-1 Pathfinder, V-2 Pacemaker, V-3 Cambridge Reverb, V-4 Essex bass, and the V-8 Berkeley Super Reverb. All of these models were powered by tubes.
The V-8 Berkeley Super Reverb was an all tube guitar amplifier loosely based on the JMI AC-15. The Berkeley Super Reverb had two cathode biased EL-84s along with an EZ81 rectifier, three ECC83 (12AX7) and one ECC82 (12AU7) tubes. The amp featured "top boost" tone controls, tremolo and reverb. It did not have the elaborate Vib/Trem circuitry of the JMI AC-15.
The matching 16 ohm 2 x 10" speaker cabinet for the V-8 Berkeley had English made Celestion speakers and a chrome roller stand.
Thomas Organ viewed tube circuits as old fashioned and archaic. By mid 1966, the original US Vox tube amps were phased out and replaced with similar solid state version. The V-8 "Tube" Berkely Super Reverb was replaced with the transistorized V1081 Vox Berkeley II. The Berkely II featured the same controls and features as the tube model. This model utilized germanium transistors in an 18 watt output section. The pre-amp was hard wired to the power section, making repairs to the Berkeley II a serviceman's nightmare. As many as thirty wires had to be de-soldered and then re-soldered each time a service tech wanted to check the amplifier out for repairs.
The four ohm V4082 Berkeley II speaker cabinet and trolley had two 10" Vox "Gold Bulldog" speakers made by Oxford Speaker of Chicago IL.
The V1083 Berkeley III Super Reverb was introduced in the 1968 catalog and featured a more powerful 32 watt amplifier section. The all transistorized Berekely III also added a second channel and included tremolo, reverb and MRB.
The four ohm V4083 Berkeley III speaker cabinet and trolley was identical to the Berkeley II and also used a pair of the Chicago made Oxford/Vox 10 inch "Gold Bulldog" speakers.
All the Berkeley models were piggyback versions of the Cambridge Reverb.
The V1081 Vox Berkeley II amp and cab retailed for $399.90 in 1966. Adjusted for inflation, the current retail price of the Berkeley II would be almost $3000. Does that explain why your dad wouldn't allow you to buy one?