JMI Vox "Long Tom" Echo Deluxe MkII (1964 - 1968)



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Popularized by the British guitar legend, Hank Marvin of the "Shadows," the Vox "Long Tom" MkII Echo Deluxe mechanically simulated an echo effect for guitars or vocals using technology
derived from an audio tape recorder. The "Long Tom" Echo Deluxe was designed and manufactured by Jennings Musical Instruments (JMI) of Dartford, Kent, UK and was introduced in the September 1964 Vox product catalog and price list. It last appeared in the 1968 VSEL Vox catalog.

The Vox "Long Tom" Echo Deluxe was the fourth generation mechanical echo device from Vox. It was preceded by the Vox "Short Tom" MkI Echo Standard (see photo at right), introduced in 1963 and offered through 1966. The Vox "Short Tom" and "Long Tom" Echo units shared a nearly identical tape delay mechanism but the "Long Tom" featured a extended cabinet and longer tape loop.

The "Short Tom" and "Long Tom" echo units were nicknamed after Vox founder and president Tom Jennings.

Prior to the 1963 release of the Vox "Short Tom" Echo Standard, JMI purchased mechanical echo units from the Italian manufactuer Meazzi and rebranded them as a Vox product. These used a magnetically treated disk as a recording medium. Vox offered several versions of the Meazzi echo unit from 1959 through 1962.

Vox "Short Tom" MkI Echo Standard


Vox Echo Deluxe Plexiglass Front Panel
Controls
Mixer Section
- The Vox Echo Deluxe included three 1/4" high impedance inputs. Each input was equipped with a volume control. This "three channel" design allowed the Vox Echo Deluxe to serve as both a microphone mixer and an echo effects unit. While Hank Marvin of the Shadows would use just one of these inputs for his guitar, the Dave Clark Five used all three inputs to add an echo effect to their vocal microphones. Rotating the volume control adjusted the level of the input. Pulling the volume control "out" engaged the echo effect for that channel.

"Normal - Echo" Control - Pull the rotary control outward to start the motor, rotate the control to adjust the balance between the "dry" input signal and the echoes generated by the tape.

"Amplif" Jack - Output jack. Connect a cable from this jack to the input of a guitar amp or PA system.

"Remote" Jack - Insert a single button foot switch with a 1/4" plug to remotely disengage the echo effect.

Push Buttons - Four rectangular push buttons configure the playback heads to affect the time period and regeneration of the echo effect. These buttons may be engaged in any combination. Read more about these buttons on the Vox Tape Echo "Under the Hood" web page.

The Tape Mechanism
The Vox Echo Deluxe utilized a ~22" loop of 1/4" wide audio tape. Starting at the motor (lower right corner of photo at right) the tape traveled in a clockwise direction toward the recording head. This head recorded the signal from the inputs onto the tape. The tape then passed over a series of six playback heads, creating the echo effect. The nature of the echo was determined by the combination of the front panel buttons selected and the position of the "Echo-Repeat" slide switch, located near the tape path. An erase head was located after the playback heads, preparing the tape for the next pass over the record head.


Vox Echo-Reverberation "Cliff Richards Model"
The Vox Echo-Reverberation
Vox introduced the Vox Echo-Reverberation unit in 1962. British pop star Cliff Richards was featured in print advertising for this product. It included a "VOX ECHO" badge on the front panel.

Using the term "echo" in conjunction with the Vox Echo-Reverberation unit was a bit of a misnomer. It is presented here for clarification.

Reverberation is the audio delay effect commonly heard in auditoriums and concert halls. As sound is reflected between the walls of a large room, it combines and blends into a smooth delay. This contrasts with echo, the audio effect that occurs when sound is reflected back to the listener from a much larger distance. With echo, individual "slap backs" of the original sound are evident to the listener's ear.

The Vox Echo-Reverberation unit uses a spring based "Accutronics" style delay line to produce reverb. It is incapable of producing a true "slap back" echo as one would hear with the "Long Tom" Echo.





North Coast Music offers schematics and vinyl for the Vox Long Tom Echo.
Schematics for the Short Tom and Long Ton Vox echo
Exact replacement vinyl


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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