Aside from the AC-30, no other amplifier model lasted longer in the Vox line than the Escort. The brain child of Vox sales manager Reg Clark, the battery powered B2 Escort was introduced in 1974 while Vox was owned by Dallas Industries in the UK. The Escort survived the change in Vox ownership from Dallas Industries to Rose Morris in 1979 and continued to be produced until 1983.
The B2 Escort was designed to look like a scaled down AC-30 amp. As originally introduced in 1974, the B2 Escort was a battery powered amplifier powered by a pair of UK standard PP9 cells (see photo at lower left).
This amplifier became popular with busker musicians. A busker is a musician that plays on a corner or in a train or subway station for spare change. No electrical outlet would be available to power an amplifier in such situations, so the battery powered Escort was perfect for this type of use.
The only other battery powered guitar amplifier available in the mid 1970s was the Pignose, to my recollection.
Vox soon recognized that many people purchasing the battery Escort amp were using it as a practice amp in their homes. For this purpose, it would be desirable to plug the amp into wall current rather than operate on batteries. Vox responded by developing a second version of the Escort, the BM1 Escort. It could be powered either by battery or wall current.
The Escort had a 3.4 watt RMS amplifier in the form of an integrated circuit chip connected to a single 5.5" speaker. Dual inputs allowed a both guitar and a high impedance microphone to be used simulatneously. Aside from a power switch and a mains supply selector, the only controls were volume and tone.
In 1979, Rose Morris introduced a another Vox amplifier that was quite similar to the Escort. The Vox "Super Twin" expanded on the abilities of the Escort by having two 5" speakers, a 20 watt amplifier, and reverb. However, the Super Twin was not capable of battery operation.
In 2008, Vox introduced the Pathfinder 10 amplifier which was very similar to the Escort in size and performance.
|At a Glance
Vox BM1 Escort
||One 5" Elac speaker
||8" H x 13" W x 5.5" D