The Cambridge Reverb: V-3 (tube model) and V1031, V1032 (solid state models)



The rear view of a tube Vox Cambridge Reverb V-3


The rear view of the solid state Vox Cambridge Reverb - V1031


10" Gold Bulldog Speaker, made in Chicago IL
Used in V1031 and V1032 Cambridge Reverb Amps

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Vox Cambridge Reverb Specifications
Output Power V-3 - 17 watts RMS (tube power)
V1031 - 18 watts RMS (solid state)
V1032 - 18 watts (solid state)
Channels,
Inputs,
Controls and
Effects
V-3 - One channel, two inputs. Volume, treble, bass, reverb, tremolo speed and depth controls
V1031- One channel, three inputs. Controls: Volume, treble, bass, reverb, tremolo speed , tremolo depth plus foot switchable MRB
V1032- One channel, three inputs. Controls: Volume, treble, bass, reverb, tremolo speed ,tremolo depth, foot switchable MRB and E-Tuner
Speakers V-3 and V1031 - One Celestion 10" speaker
V1032 - One Vox "Gold Bulldog" Oxford 10" speaker
Dimensions 16" H x 21" W x 9.5" D
Accessories cover, chrome swivel stand, foot pedal.


Fender introduced a wildly popular 17 watt all tube amplifier in 1964, giving it a name that suggested a famous Ivy League university. Fender called the amp the "Princeton Reverb." When Thomas Organ developed their own 17 watt tube amp to compete with the Princeton Reverb, they named it after a university in the UK, calling their new amp the "Cambridge Reverb."

In the two years between 1965 to 1967, Thomas Organ developed three different versions of the Cambridge Reverb. Those three versions are detailed below.

Cambridge Reverb V-3 - Introduced in 1965, the original Cambridge Reverb was an all tube amp with circuitry inspired by the JMI Vox AC-15 amplifier. The seven tube circuit featured three ECC83 preamp tubes, one ECC82 preamp tube, two EL84 output tubes, and one EZ81 rectifier tube. The single channel amp had three inputs and foot switchable reverb and tremolo.

Like the British AC-15, the 17 watt RMS tube output stage of the Cambridge Reverb V-3 was cathode biased. The preamp used a slight variation of the "top boost" circuit from the AC-30. Despite the American lineage of this amp, it oozes with the clean, chimey tone of British Vox amps. When overdriven, the amp breaks into a sweet violin-like tone.

Thomas Organ imported a 10" Celestion speaker from the UK for the earliest version of the Cambridge Reverb V-3. These early models also had a one piece back with an oval shaped cutout behind the speaker. Later versions of the Cambridge Reverb V-3 replaced the Celestion with a 10" "Gold Bulldog" speaker made by Oxford Speaker of Chicago IL. This later version of the V-3 also had a split, two piece back.

The control panel featured two instrument inputs plus volume, treble, bass, tremolo speed, tremolo depth, and reverb controls. The lower control panel included a third instrument input plus external speaker and foot switch jacks. The power switch featured a standby function and dual pilot lamps indicated whether the amp is in "standby" or "operate" mode.

The cabinet of the Cambridge Reverb V-3 was constructed of fir plywood and was covered in a basket weave pattern vinyl. A two spring Hammond Accutronics full sized reverb pan rested on the inside bottom of the cabinet. A horizontal Vox logo, eight one pin corners, and a strap handle with gold end caps were featured.

An amp head and 2x10" speaker cabinet piggy back version of the Cambridge Reverb was additionally offered as the "Berkeley Super Reverb."

The 1965 US Vox price list indicated that the retail price for the Cambridge Reverb V-3 and accessory two button foot switch was $189.90. Adjusting the 1965 retail price of the Cambridge Reverb V-3 for inflation to the 2010 value of the dollar, this amp would cost $1278 today.


Cambridge Reverb V1031 - Introduced in 1966, the Cambridge Reverb V1031 featured all transistorized, or "solid state" circuitry.

The control panel functions of the Cambridge Reverb V1031 were identical to the V-3 tube version of the amp. Unlike the V-3, the V1031 also featured MRB, or "Mid Resonant Boost." MRB was not switchable from the control panel. Rather, a three button foot pedal was included with the amp to remotely control reverb, tremolo, and MRB.

The Cambridge Reverb V1031 18 watt RMS power amp was powered by two germanium power transistors.

Vox dropped the Celestion 10" speaker previously used in the Cambridge Reverb V-3. It was replaced with an American made Oxford 10" "Gold Bulldog" alnico spealer.

The cabinet of the Cambridge Reverb V1031 was constructed of particle board and was covered in a levant grain vinyl. A horizontal Vox logo, eight one pin corners, and a US version of the JMI Vox strap handle with brass plated handle loops were featured.

An amp head and 2x10" speaker cabinet piggy back version of the Cambridge Reverb V1031 was additionally offered as the "Berkeley II."

The 1966 US Vox price list indicated that the retail price for the Cambridge Reverb V1031 with the accessory three button foot switch, cover, and chrome stand was $229.90. Adjusting the 1966 retail price of the Cambridge Reverb V1031 for inflation to the 2010 value of the dollar this amp would cost $1503.00 today.


Cambridge Reverb V1032 - The Cambridge Reverb V1032 was introduced in 1967 and the was the final incarnation of this amp. Like the V1031, the V1032 was a "solid state" amp.

Thomas Organ created the V1032 Cambridge Reverb by adding an "E-Tuner" circuit to the V1031 Cambridge Reverb. To my knowledge, Thomas Organ did not issue a separate schematic service pack for the V1032 Cambridge Reverb.

The 1966 US Vox price list indicated that the retail price for the Cambridge Reverb V1032 with the accessory three button foot switch, cover, and chrome stand was $240.00. Adjusting the 1966 retail price of the Cambridge Reverb V1032 for inflation to the 2010 value of the dollar this amp would cost $1525.00 today.



North Coast Music manufactures many replacement and restoration

parts for the Cambridge Reverb under license from Vox. These parts are
available exclusively at North Coast Music. Some are shown below.



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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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