Hi guys, I was given a referral to you folks, as I'm running out
At the risk of heresy to you folks, I have an old (maybe 1968) Vox
Westminster Solid State bass head that has been dead for some time now. I would
like to get it up and running again for sentimental reasons (it was my first
ever real bass amp), but can't seem to find a repair shop willing to take it on.
I know you guys are the tube amp guys, but I'm wondering if there is any
chance you guys would be interested in taking on a possible repair of my old Vox
Jack - Boise ID
Regarding the Vox bass amp . . .
In 1968, many transistorized amps used germanium transistors in their
outputs. These have been considered obsolete for the last 25 years and finding
the proper replacement units is a big pain in the behind. I'll bet you a
sugar-glazed doughnut that the reason nobody wants to work on your amp is that
it contains germanium transistors. In principle, it is possible to modify the
original Vox circuit to use silicon transistors but this would be a big,
thankless, and very tedious job so I would not recommend it.
Now, I have been a bass player since 1970 and can testify that those old
solid-state Vox circuits were actually pretty crappy even by 1970 standards.
While I realize the power of nostalgia and the coolness of retaining
connections with one's past, I myself would never want to go back to playing
through the pieces of junk that I used as bass gear back then. So let me propose
an alternative or two to you.
One: clean up the Vox and sell it off on ebaY as-is to a collector, as a
nonfunctioning amp in need of restoration. You might find someone who has an amp
chassis and needs a cabinet to mount it in, and would pay you an insane sum of
money for the privilege. Don't laugh- I am amazed at what people will pay for
stuff on ebaY .
Two: remove the chassis and sell it on ebaY (see above). You keep the
cabinet, grille cloth and whatnot and we show you how to install a replacement
amp that retains the look of the original, but functions properly, sounds good,
and uses modern and commonly-available materials. I myself do this sort of thing
all the time, to furnish inexpensive bass amps to my friends.
By the way... the bass loudspeakers that often went into those old amps were
themselves barely adequate to the task unless you were lucky enough to have one
that had Jensen's in it. I would strongly recommend pulling the originals out,
setting them aside for a collector to drool over, and installing something that
will not blow up the first time you romp on it.
Best regards - Niels