1964 Vox AC30

This 1964 Vox AC30 valve amplifier came to us in a very sorry state. Back boards and base board missing along with most of the important bits. 1964 Vox AC30 The cones on the Blue Alenco Celestion speakers had come away from their chassis. All we know of the history is it was blown up, partly fixed and blown up again in 1979. After this it was given up on and thrown into the back of a garage. There it rested for over 30 years. Degrading into the worst condition VoxAC30 in the world.

Then along came Gerry Pointek who took pity on this poor, sad AC30. Some time early in 2012 he picked up all the bits and brought them to us saying "You said you liked a challenge". Our hearts dropped.

1964 Vox inside 2 1964 Vox inside 3 1964 Vox inside 4

The rebuild

The chassis comes apart into two halves. The aluminium part supports the preamp valves (ecc83) and the controls plus circuitry. This was put aside and would be dealt with later. Some of that looked almost OK. The Steel section supports all the tranformers and the output valves(EL84). This was completely stripped down. Most of the parts were scrapped after testing showed caps and output tranformer to be no longer viable. There was no mains transformer to start with. vox chassis

After a good sanding down, the chassis was painted with silver hammerite. Other parts we had saved, such as the valve holders, were put into a sonic bath for cleaning. Armed with new capacitors, transformers and resistors, we started the rewire. vox rewire Having fitted the new transformers (none of the holes lined up, so had to be drilled ), rewired the main chassis and valve holders (now sparkling after their sonic bath), we turned our attention to the pre amp.

The Vox Pre Amp

High voltages had blown many resistors along with several caps. The main caps faulty were the feed through caps, from the preamp to the the grid resistors on the output tubes. Open circuit resistors were in the tremelo circuit and the anode of the channel valve. Burnt out earth links on the inputs were replaced. vox finished All the valve holders on the preamp were cleaned by hand, then the two chassis were put together again. The amp was run up with a variac on the AC supply, this alowed us to "soft start" the amp whicht was supplied with just 120 volts at first. When nothing got too hot we increased the voltage to 240 and we were playing a guitar through this AC30 for the first time in 30 years.

Next came the rebuild of the speakers, but that is too long a story. Watch the video slide show to see all the shots taken and to hear the Vox with a Gibson SG being played.