Rose Morris Vox AC30 Top Boost and AC30 Top Boost Reverb (1980 - 1985)

AC30 Top Boost Control Panel

AC30 Top Boost Reverb Control Panel

© 1998 - 2017 The Vox Showroom, all rights reserved. No use on online auctions, eBay or Reverb.
The Vox AC30 Top Boost and AC30 Top Boost Reverb shown
on this web page were the second generation AC30 models sold during the Rose-Morris (RM) ownership period of Vox. RM manufactured and distributed Vox using the "Vox Limited" name from 1978 to 1992.

Rose Morris Purchases Vox from Dallas Arbiter
Just as Vox was the predominant English amplifier brand in the mid to late sixties, Marshall amplifiers dominated the seventies and eighties. Rose-Morris was the European distributor for Marshall Amplification throughout the seventies and early eighties.

The relationship between Rose-Morris and Marshall had always been strained. By 1978, Rose-Morris feared that they were about to lose Marshall. Rose-Morris started looking for another amplifier line to distribute should the Marshall deal fall through.

Dallas Arbiter had high hopes when they purchased Vox from Stolec Industries in 1972. Even though sales had flat lined, Dallas hoped to reverse the fortunes of the formerly iconic amp line. Unfortunately, Vox sales never significantly recovered throughout the seventies. To make things worse, Thomas Organ still retained the North American licensing for the Vox trademark, effectively denying Dallas Arbiter the opportunity to sell Vox amplifiers in the US and Canada. By 1978, Dallas was ready to dump Vox.

Towards the end of 1978, Rose-Morris purchased Vox from Dallas Arbiter. A few months later, Thomas Organ ceased operations in the US. Whirlpool, the parent corporation of Thomas Organ, sold the Vox US trade rights back to Rose-Morris in 1979.
Manufacturing Facilities
Prior to the sale of Vox to Rose-Morris, Dallas Arbiter manufactured Vox products at their facility in Shoeburyness, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.

After purchasing Vox from Dallas Arbiter, Rose-Morris was faced with the problem of developing a manufacturing facility for Vox amps. Rose-Morris was a distributor and had never manufactured a product.

A simple solution to the manufacturing problem was reached when Dallas agreed to continue producing Vox amps for Rose-Morris at their Shoeburyness facility.

Developing the Rose Morris Era AC-30
With an agreement with Dallas to continue amp production for Rose-Morris in place, it was time to review the Vox product lineup.

Due to it's popularity in the Vox line, the construction of the AC-30 would undergo close scrutiny by Rose-Morris. They hoped to reduce production costs through increased manufacturing efficiency.

In theory, the easiest and most efficient way to build an amplifier such as the AC-30 would be to construct it on a single printed circuit board (PCB). However, the tough lessons learned from the Stolec era (1970-1972) AC-30 proved that this was not a wise choice. Stolec mounted the tube sockets directly onto the PCB, causing many heat related board failures. This design flaw earned the Stolec AC-30 the reputation as the least dependable version of the AC-30 produced.

The Dallas era AC-30 (1973-1978) replaced the Stolec model. The circuitry was constructed on tag strips utilizing the same point-to-point, hand wired technique employed by Vox in the sixties. The tube sockets were mounted to the JMI inspired chassis design, allowing tube heat to be safely dissipated. This amplifier was dependable but more costly to produce. See Figure A above.
Dallas approached Rose-Morris AC-30 with an innovative redesign of the AC-30. The hand wired tag strips used on prior Dallas AC-30 amps would be replaced with similar PCB strips. Originally, these PCB strips were made of a green phenolic material, but the printed circuit strips on the second generation RM amp shown on this page were brown (see figure B above). This style of construction offered Rose-Morris the best compromise between a hand wired and PCB design.

The secomd generation Rose-Morris AC-30 had a particle board cabinet with two pin corners and three large Rean air vents. The Celestion Greenback speakers formerly used in the AC-30 were replaced with a pair of less expensive Fane ceramic "blues." The gray and silver six input control panel was replaced by a teal gray panel with gold silk screened nomenclature. While the GZ34 rectiifier tube had been eliminated by Dallas some years earlier, the 10H power supply choke was also eliminated from the second generation Rose-Morris Vox AC-30.

The second generation Rose-Morris Vox AC-30 was offered with or without reverb. The model without reverb was named the AC30 Top Boost. The ten tube circuit mirrored all of the controls and features of a mid sixties JMI top boosted AC-30. Rose-Morris included a single button foot switch to control the Vib/Trem effect.

The model with reverb was called the AC30 Top Boost Reverb. It featured a twelve tube circuit and an Accutronics reverb pan. The reverb control was mounted into the panel location normally used for the Vib/Trem "Speed." A new six position rotary Vib/Trem switch offered three speeds of tremolo and three speeds of vibrato on just one control. A two button foot switch controlled vibrato and reverb.

Model Dimensions Weight
AC-30 Top Boost 30
AC-30 Top Boost 30 Reverb
27.375" x 10.375" x 20.5"
27.375" x 10.375" x 20.5"
85 lbs.
87 lbs.

Links to Additional Rose Morris AC-30 Amp Topics in the Vox Showroom
  • A Look "Under the Hood" at the 1978 - 1979 Rose Morris AC30 Top Boost
  • A Look "Under the Hood" at the 1980 - 1984 Rose Morris AC30 Top Boost Reverb
  • 1979 Rose Morris Product Catalog
  • 1981 Rose Morris Product Catalog
  • 1985 Rose Morris AC-30 Top Boost Reverb

  • North Coast Music offers many factory licensed cosmetic replacement
    and repair for the Rose Morris Vox AC30. Some are shown below.

    Chrome plated rigid AC-30 stands

    Vox Logo (NCM-025)

    Two pin replacement corners for the AC30, manufactured by North Coast from the original mold

    Model "Flags"

    Vox replacement handles for the AC-30

    Replacement Vents for the AC30

    Vox cast aluminum "Egg" foot switch

    Brown Vox Replacement Grill Cloth

    Black Vox Replacement Grill Cloth
    Gold Fascia Strip for the AC-30

    AC-30 Amp Covers

    Foam lined plywood road cases for the AC-30, carpeted exterior

    Celestion Alnico Blue Replacement Speakers

    Celestion Green Back Replacement Speakers

    Replacement Vinyl for the AC30/6

    White and gold cabinet piping for the AC-30

    Replacement Feet for the AC30

    Schematics for Rose Morris Era AC-30 Amps



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