Up for sale, a 1969 Vox Beatle V1143 vintage solid state amplifier head in excellent condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original five-button footswitch. Freshly serviced by our techs here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this vintage amp head was produced by Vox's USA distributor in the '60s, Thomas Organ.
The final evolution of the Super Beatle/Beatle design and a top-tier model replete with features, the Beatle V1143 was rated at 120 watts and designed for a 2ohm load. The V1143 Beatle head expanded and refined the abilities of the previous Super Beatle models, and the amp only lost its "Super" moniker purportedly at the request of the Beatles themselves
The Beatle boasts three distinct channels (Normal, Brilliant, and Bass), with built-in Reverb, Tremolo, Fuzz, Repeat Percussion, and Midrange Boost functionality. These heads do have a very cool clean sound and overdriven grit, with a chime and percussive tone that sounds decidedly vintage, yet within the realm of the solid state circuitry that Thomas Organ was pioneering in the USA.
The Tremolo is exclusive to the Normal channel, while the Reverb effect can be assigned to either the Normal or Brilliant channel and has its own dedicated Blend knob. A rotary tone control labeled "MRB" (Mid Resonant Boost) boosts specific frequencies for the Brilliant channel at either 450, 600, or 750 hz. The Normal channel includes a Top Boost rocker switch, while the Bass channel features a sweepable frequency tone control called "Tone-X." The Repeat Percussion effect is exclusive to the top-tier Beatle model, offering a more drastic spin on a tremolo-style effect (actually pulled from a combo organ where it had been previously labeled "banjo").
Unlike previous Super Beatle heads, the Beatle V1143 featured a new 25-5373-2 circuit which used FET signal transistors in the preamp to minimize noise and hiss. FET switching transistors in the Distortion Booster and MRB circuits also replaced the electro-magnetic relays used for effects switching in prior Super Beatle models. The amp connects to a speaker cabinet via a three-pin XLR connector, and the necessary cabling can be purchased via North Coast Music.
The trapezoidal cabinet retains its original black tolex and diamond lattice grillcloth, with raised Vox logo, one-pin corners, plastic vents and stock molded handle. All of the original chrome-plated metal knurled knobs are intact, and the faceplate is notably well-kept. The Vox model badge on the back of the chassis has a "12" prefix, indicating production in 1969. The screw-in bracket to connect the head to a Vox trolley is also present on the bottom of the enclosure.
The original (and notably rare) five-button footswitch is included. Each of the five effects accessible via this switch has a corresponding letter next to its switch, and a small colored washer beneath each switch matches the color of the indicator lamp.
The pedal controls Reverb (R), Tremolo (T), Fuzz (D for distortion), Mid Resonant Boost (M) and Repeat Percussion (P). The pedal is also a true extension of the control panel on the head, as the Repeat Percussion and Fuzz can only be accessed by the footswitch. The Mid Boost feature is also unique, as it's a latching momentary-style switch that must be held down for the effect to engage (when you release the switch, the effect is disengaged).