|The first of the three channel amplifiers developed by Thomas Organ in 1965 was the Viscount. Pictures at left show the "Gold Bulldog" speaker Vox installed in the Viscount. The paragraphs that follow tell the story leading to the "Gold Bulldog."
In 1965, California based Thomas Organ signed an agreement with JMI (Jennings Musical Instruments) in the UK to become the sole US distributor of Vox in America.
Thomas Organ suspected that JMI would not be capable of producing Vox amps in sufficient quantities to satisfy the demands of the American market. As a result, a clause was written into the distribution agreement that would allow Thomas Organ to build Vox amps in America should JMI be incapable of producing enough product for the US market.
Thomas Organ also resented the high costs involved in the importation of amps, organs and parts from the UK. Thomas Organ prefered to use their own manufacturing assets and faclilties in California to produce Vox products for the US market.
As a result, Thomas Organ used the first opportunity of a missed delivery date from JMI to start development of their own Vox amps in America.
Relatively few British amps ever made it to American shores due to this production "escape" clause written into the US distribution contract between Thomas Organ and Vox.
After Sava Jacobson completed the electronic design for the "AC-30 based" Vox Viscount at Thomas Organ, speakers needed to be selected for the amp. If Thomas Organ wished to include the same speakers in the Viscount as used the AC-30, the Viscount would need to be equipped with two English made Celestion/Vox Alnico silver speakers. This posed a problem as Thomas Organ hoped to avoid the importation of any parts from the UK, including speakers.
Thomas Organ turned to the Oxford Speaker Company of Chicago, IL to make the speakers for the Viscount and many other US Vox amps. Selecting an Oxford alnico magnet 12" speaker that was loosely based on the specifications of the Celestion Alnico Silver seemed to be a good solution. Using the Oxford "Gold Bulldog" saved Thomas Organ the importation costs involved in shipping the Celestion speakers from the UK to California. It even reduced the basic price of the speaker itself.