This 1979 Guyatone EX1 amp is very rarely seen outside of Japan. It was most likely built and sold for the domestic market only. I found this one in a used music store in Portland, Oregon and suspect maybe a U.S. service man or woman brought this amp over from Japan.
The EX1 is an analog, single channel, solid-state amp with 20 watts of power, a 12-inch speaker, overdrive and reverb. Gain and volume controls, high and low EQ, reverb depth. Normal and overdrive inputs, headphone jack, pilot light.
I had this one serviced by Audio Synapse in Portland, and had a new reverb tank installed, as the original was ineffective.
This amp is bright sounding to begin with, and the 12-inch speaker by Tokyo Sound Co. only makes it brighter. I replaced the original with a Peavey Neo and that added a lot of lower end.
The Peavey Valverb is considered by some to be the best American made, non-Fender, all-tube reverb unit to be made. It was made in the 1990’s and no longer in production. Highly sought after on the used market. Here is one fine example:
This page is a work in progress, but we’re very excited to bring you this historic amplifier!
VOX Berkeley Super Reverb Twin (SRT) electric guitar amplifier
VOX USA (Thomas Organ)
17 Watts RMS, according to the Mfr.
Tube-driven 2-spring Gibbs (Hammond) Tank
VOX tremolo circuit
12AX7 preamps; 12AU7 reverb; 12AX7 tremolo, two (2) EL84’s output
Pair of Weber (USA) 10-inch Blue Alnicos replaced the worn out Bulldogs
1965. The Beatles. Vox. What more can you say?
This 1965 model Berkeley is the original all-valve (tube) powered version that Thomas Organ produced in Sepulveda, California n small numbers from late 1965 through mid 1966. This one was partially restored by its owner “65mosrite,” giving it some fresh outer cosmetics (obtained from North Coast Music, of course), and some re-wiring and replacement of resistors and capacitors where needed.
I was fortunate enough to buy this amp from Richard H. (aka: 65mosrite), and couldn’t be happier.
North Coast Music, who runs The Vox Showroom, has some excellent data and stories related to the famous amplifier. I have provide some links to those pages below.
The Berkeley SRT Gallery
The Beatles and their VOX Amps
The Beatles on Stage – Image Courtesy of The Beatles Bible – www.beatlesbible.com
Here is a video by 65mosrite, who worked to restore this awesome amp!
Update: Just added some new shots of the chassis, tubes, board, Orange Drop caps, Fisher speaker, etc.
The Original 40XL
This page is dedicated to photos of our ’69 Silvertone 1422, also known as the Sears 40XL. We recently acquired this amp and found it to be one of the nicest 40XL’s we’ve seen in many a year. This Made-in-USA amp is totally original, right down to it’s late 60’s dark olive vinyl, green sparkle grille cloth, and a 12-inch Alnico magnet made by Fisher. The only cosmetic damage we could find is a bump (dimple) on the cabinet edge, right side of the control panel, and a chip off one control knob.
The 1422, or 40XL, was marketed by Sears as a 40-watt, 12-inch, combo tube amp for guitar. It features two separate input channels, and built-in reverb and tremolo. The reverb and trem are controlled by a dedicated foot switch. Sears advertised these as 40-watt combo amps. But in reality, the two 7189 power tubes put out around 20-watts or less. In fact, the features and chassis layout suggest that it could be an American copy of a the mid-60’s Marshall Model 1974, which was an 18-watt combo using two 6BQ5’s (EL84’s).
Summer of ’69
This amp was built, sold, and first played in the Summer of ’69. The code on the CTS potentiometers read “137-6919.” Decoded, that means “137” = Mfr’d. by CTS; “69” = Year Mfr’d. (1969). “19” = Week Mfr’d. (2nd Week of May).
How Does It Sound?
Well, it’s a loud 18 to 22 watts, that’s for sure. HUGE in the mid range, solid in the bass range, but not too sparkly or chimey at the high end. Poor speaker sounds like it’s wearing a heavy wool sweater. And there is a noticeable 60-Hz hum. But we will dig into it and find out what’s wrong.
Major improvements! We took the chassis out of the cabinet, cleaned and tightened all the loose connections, and relocated one unshielded cable sitting too close to the transformer (will completely remove that later). Now, the amp is almost silent when idling, the 60-Hz hum is completely gone, and frequency response at the high and low ends have improved!
These photos are little rough, and I hope to upload some better ones in the near future.