History...in the making

History...in the making
Reviewer: telecaster
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Vox Amplifiers:
The JMI Years
682 pages
1st edition
January 01, 2013
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Complete and accurate history of the Golden Age of the Vox amplifier discusses virtually every detail and presenting them in such a way that you can begin reading anywhere in the book.

After twelve years of work,  Vox amp enthusiast and collector Jim Elyea completed this 682 page encyclopedia of all that is Vox JMI-era amps.  If you love these amps then, without a doubt, you need this meticulously researched book.  And, as a bonus, you will get some exercise by hefting this bad boy as it tips the scales at over ten pounds!

Sure this book contains a wealth of information and I will touch on that momentarily.  The first thing that catches your eye though are the outstanding photographs that adorn the heavy, glossy stock.  Yes there are enough vintage AC30 pictures to cause heart palpitations to its fans but, perhaps just as impressive are the unexpected shots:  Dick Denney at a trade show in 1964; a promotional  Vox ashtray; an early Vox ad featuring the Beatles;  a catalog from 1964. You get the idea. 

The history of the company is well documented here and, as for the amps themselves, no detail is left out.  From the cabinets to the speakers to the components on the circuit boards, this is an exhaustive treatment the likes of which has never been seen.  Seriously, have you ever seen an early 60’s red AC10 Twin? You will on page 151…right next to a red AC30.  How about some Wima Tropyfol and Tropydur capacitors? See page 224.  I would say that you get the idea but until you see this book you don’t.  I mean, we are talking about every aspect of these amps shown in detail.  Take a look at that Mullard EF86 preamp tube box on page 240! If only we could be transported in time to 1967 and stand on the assembly line of AC30s shown on page 337. Okay, maybe you do get the point!

Honestly, a brief review cannot do justice to this book.  Suffice it to say that there is something here for everyone who has any interest at all in Vox amps.  From the casual observer to Brian May (who wrote the introduction) – a Vox amp player for over 30 years ! From the company to its construction methods to the amp details to dating a Vox, it’s all here.  The print quality is first rate as well.  Spend the money — buy this book!