George Harrison's Newly Discovered Vox UL730 Amp to Be Sold at Auction

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martletwy666

I've got a VOX 760 with the name Keith Joy painted on the back. Does anyone know anything about it please?

Thanks

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arthur77

Just heard that one of George's family has now confirmed this was originally his amp, perhaps out of respect for George and what a great guitarist and a great guy he was dissecting his amp on the internet should stop.

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www.beatlesgear.com

Really, which family member?

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arthur77

there were 730s used on Sergeant Pepper documentation shows that, certain sources state that George also used a 730 on Revolver.inparticular on She Said
According to Vox information/Triumph information the 7120s and the 730s were built in 1966, it appears that they were built at the same time but the 730s may not have been sent through to the Beatles until early 1967 although that seems strange as the 730 was more suited for studio work as apparently George Martin complained the 7120s were too loud.All chalk marks on 7120s or 730s are likely to show a 1966 build date they were being phased out in 1967, It certainly makes an interesting debate.

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www.beatlesgear.com

Nothing strange in my opinion about the Beatles receiving UL7120s first, they were used on the '66 world tour because they were loud, which was the point. The loudness of any amp in the studio is irrelevant, they have those dial-knob looking things on the front of them that control that.

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arthur77

not just amplifiers apparently, in the pickup holes under pickups in guitars too, that has come from Apple artists who borrowed equipment off George.

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www.beatlesgear.com

Really, which artists are these?

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jimmartinca

Too many red flags here. There is no documentation George ever owned/used a UL730. I don't believe Vox would "scratch" George Harrison's name on the chassis. All Vox amps of that era have chalk marks inside the cabinet.

The real issue I have is the photo shows Paul's Epiphone Casino leaning against the amp, this is Paul's amp. In the Revolver/Sgt Pepper era George was more likely to use a Fender Bassman. The Beatles did use 7120s live in 1966, the head is almost the same size as the 730..you need to see the rear 7120s used much larger tubes.

This photo that Bohman's is using to verify the amp was taken on June 19th or the 21st of 1967. This was during the "All You Need is Love" session. The auctioneer needs to research what amp George used on that song. On the Live tv broadcast he used a Fender Bassman.

The backing track for ""All You Need is Love" was recorded at Olympic Studios on June 14th. EMI was very anal with moving equipment around, somewhere there must documentation what amps the Beatles had on location...what was in storage.

Every time Vox sent over equipment to Abbey Road someone had to enter it as inventory. I'm sure the staff at Olympic was curious what equipment The Beatles were using. Someone must have more info.

I want to know where are the many Beatle guitars stolen from Abbey Road.

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www.beatlesgear.com

Jim is right about the date on the photo, as well as every thing else he posted.

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www.beatlesgear.com

Well arthur77, my info is based on verifiable fact and photos, not what is improperly listed in an internet website. The info found on the voxshowroom, which was posted there in the mids '90s, is 100% incorrect based on all available photographic proof.

When it comes to reliable info the books can help, namely the Elyea JMI Vox book which you referred to earlier has the most recent complete info and technical data that is available. Not sure why anyone would choose to drop that book into the debate and then ignore what it states in comparison to 15 year old misinformation that is still posted on the internet.

There were no UL730s used on "Revolver", that is obvious. Stating that Lennon moved up to a UL7120 while Harrison chose a UL730 makes zero sense because the UL7120s were used in '66, the year prior to the UL730s showing up.

As I stated earlier, the information in this article is flawed.

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arthur77

taken from a Beatles site

Introduced in 1966, the Vox UL 730 amplifier was used extensively by George Harrison during the recording of the Revolver and to a lesser degree, the Sgt. Pepper albums. "She Said," from the Beatles Revolver album, is a great example of the tone of the 730. Surprisingly, the origin of part of the unique design of this British Vox amp came from America.

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www.beatlesgear.com

This is not from Beatles Site, this is from the Vox Showroom. You've removed "the Beatles" from the original statement and added "George Harrison" in there for some reason, presumably to try and add some type of provenance and attachment to Harrison. The info posted in the Vox Showroom is outdated and incorrect, as it was initially posted in there over 15 years ago, prior to much of what is now known was readily available to the public.

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arthur77

There are numerous Internet sources that clearly state that George used 730 head and 2 x 12 with various guitars on Revolver and some tracks on Sergeant Pepper. The same debate as which exact amp was used on which Revolver track seems to also proliferate which guitar was used on which Revolver tracks. The Harrison inscription on the amp chassis. from the picture I saw has obviously been there many years its beneath the tarnishing. Cetrtainly a fantastic amp and cabinet and great debate

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www.beatlesgear.com

Well arthur77, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one, lol.

The information supplied in this article and other similar articles found on the net with respect to this auction is faulty.

There is no evidence anywhere that the Beatles had six UL730s. In fact if you read what is written closely, what is being reported is that Beatles had six series 7 series amps given to them in '66. Which could possibly be true if you're counting the UL7120 bass amp head, the other regular UL7120s that they used on the '66 world tour and during the "Revolver" sessions. As noted below, there appears to be no evidence that UL730s used on "Revolver", the UL730s appear to show up in Feb '67.

There are nearly no text references to George using a 730 other than what I see being posted and reposted over the last few weeks with respect to this auction. As I pointed out it was even left out of the acclaimed "Beatles Gear" book due to the author not knowing the difference between a UL7120 and UL730.

There is no presumption about other amps (Conquerors) being used on top of 730 speaker cabinets, it's a fact.

There has been no suggestion by the seller that this amp has been cosmetically refurbished, in fact, quite the opposite.

You make reference to "Elya's book", I assume you mean Elyea? If you're going to throw Jim Elyea's book into ring as some type of source for provenance, then I suggest you turn to those pages that reference the Beatles use of the 7 series (pages 596-599 and 604-607). Anyone that takes the time to read those pages (without looking at anything else that I have made reference to here) would likely come to the similar conclusion that I have already posted.

While the Elyea book has it's own problems in the Beatles section showing example amps with the wrong diamond grille count, improper logo locations, wrong hardware like casters, etc. This book has a very detailed accounting of technical data that is based on either direct contact with vintage amps from this era or a complete photographic chronology that was checked and rechecked a hundred times over.

As far as someone claiming to be able to verify an amp that they saw in a session 45 years ago and then looking at one today with a "...yup, that's the amp George was using." Really? I mean really? No. Really????

Again, what I'm offering here is just an opinion. I myself have had possession of three 7 series amps (long gone now) over the years and know where about ten others are sitting today. Rare, yes. This is a valuable amp just because there are nearly none out there.

Good luck to anyone throwing 100k at it :)

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arthur77

I've been to see this amp on display at a Beatles exhibition and also seen it on tv earlier in the year and I have looked at many photographs of Beatles gear and there aren't many of the 730 amp and cabinets with George or the Beatles, lots of text references in articles about George using the 730 amp and cabinet and lots of presumptions about different amps later being used on top of 7 series cabinets at Beatles sessions. I think as there were only 25 or so of these amps that survived and the Beatles had six 730s at one point then there is a damned certainty this amp was George's and who is to say grille cloth or badge or corners haven't been changed or renovated at some point I notice certain things look to have been renovated or changed from other pictures of 730s although it wouild seem Vox and it's subcontractors including Triumph who built this range of amps constantly changed slightly types of sockets, corners,and components- look at the Elyas book for all the variations
that turn up. Finally a good friend of George's who was at the sessions says it was his- surefire bet this was one of George's amps.

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h1wystr

Can you imagine the vibes that came from that baby.

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www.beatlesgear.com

As a follow up, I visited the auction website.

There you will find additional photos of the amp, along with a Leslie Bryce Beatles Book Monthly pic from Feb '67. I assume this pic is included as it shows a distinctive "chalk" marking on the inside left wall of the speaker cab, just below the rear mounting screw for the side swivel base used to attach the chrome trolley to the speaker cab.

As reference to those of that you that may not have this info available to you. Swivel chrome trolleys like this were attached to Vox speaker cabs using a two piece unit. One being a base that was mounted to the side of the cab and held in place by two bolts that traveled through the side into the inside wall. The other being a round dial that was twirled into place on to a threaded post in the center of a mounting base.

If you look closely at the both the Leslie Bryce photo and the auction photo of the amp for sale, you can clearly see the rear mounting screw of the base on the inside left side wall of the speaker cab. You can also see below this screw on the inside left wall of the speaker cab, a distinctive "chalk" marking which appears to be a reverse Z with a vertical slash traveling up through it.

In my opinion the vertical slash shown on the chalk marking shown in the Leslie Bryce pic is located on the side wall, forward to the rear mounting screw for the swivel base. While the vertical slash on the marking shown in the auction photo of the actual amp is located farther towards the back. This appears to be out by some distance, not just a little.

I layman's terms, the marking shown on the amp for sale appears to be located too far back on the side wall, it's in the wrong spot compared to The Beatles Book Monthly pic taken in '67.

Based on these two photos provided by the auction house, my opinion is that these are not the same. Again, this is just an opinion.

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www.beatlesgear.com

The following comments are my opinion only, take them for what they are and use your own powers of deduction to determine what your opinion may be on this matter. And, for the record, I have no dog in this race/fight.

Let me start by saying that anytime a cool vintage amp like this shows up, it's a real find no matter what. A complete vintage UL730 with matching speaker cab is about as rare as it can get.

First off, just to straighten out some Beatles usage facts. The first time a UL730 or UL430 (the bass version) can be seen in use by the Beatles is the beginning week of February 1967, they are last seen a year later the first week of February 1968. Most of the studio photos available show either Lennon or McCartney using a 730. So the article here in my opinion is somewhat misleading in nature by saying that Harrison preferred this amp during this time period. However, you do see a 730 positioned near George Harrison during the television taping of "All You Need Is Love", so at least for on day we know for certain he sat beside one.

If you're hunting through your copy of the book known as "Beatles Gear" for your own reference, you might as well forget it because the author completely missed this amp's existence while doing his research. He unknowingly refers to it as a 7120, likely because he didn't know the difference between the two, which is primarily an easy spot due to the tube size difference and layout between a 7120 and 730. I can only assume this is why this article lists the Beatles as receiving 730s in early 1966, this is far from accurate going on reliable photographic, by at least 12 months. No 730s on "Revolver", they are clearly identifiable as 7120s due to the massive KT88 tubes seen in the rear of these.

The first thing anyone should likely do if they are going to bid on this amp, is to look at all the available scientific data for comparison, namely photographs or film.

Start from the ground up.

The speaker cab.

Best front photos of the Beatles using these is in the "Hello Goodbye" promo clip seen in the film "Magical Mystery Tour". The Beatles are seen using these speaker cabs with Vox Conqueror Heads (misidentified as Defiant heads in the Beatles Gear Book). Best rear/side photos come from the beginning of Feb '67. So, look closely at the casters, a match. So that's one down. Two pin plastic corner protectors, a match. So another one down. T1088 speakers, a match. So another good sign, things are looking decent. Then look at the grille cloth placement and also Vox logo placement, not a match, not even close in fact. Which of course is a biggie to consider. Then we have alleged chalk markings, a tough sell for anyone that may be considering dropping a large sum of money at auction.

Then we have the UL730 head.

The thing to consider here is that the UL730s seen being used by The Beatles are standard production units, meaning, they are exactly like those anyone could have purchased new from any UK Vox dealer back in '67-'68. Single handle, 4 vents, 2 pin corner protectors, wooden skid feet, etc. This a biggie because unlike the UL7120s that The Beatles used in 1966, there are no clear visible distinguishable differences between those they used and any other that where sold to the public at the time. One additional thing here to note is that this can't be the head McCartney is seen being used for bass (thought to be a 430) because that headcab had 1 pin corner protectors.

Other available resources?

A scratched in "George Harrison" on the top of the chassis, obviously this is absolutely unverifiable in my opinion. Then we have an eyewitness account from a member of the Merseybeats stating that this is the amp he saw Harrison using back in the day, 45 years ago. Again, in my opinion, this really is unverifiable.

So in the end, if it's your wallet, what would you do?

Cheers!

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arthur77

Well BeatlesGear.com I think there are lots of confusing facts here and the books don't help. I contacted the vendor and he has no idea whether the amp and cab setup was ever refurbished in its 40 plus year history as he has not owned it for all of that time. Research back to someone who is writing a book on Neil Aspinall, the Beatles roadies and Beatles Gear confirmed that George did have his name scratched in a lot of his amplifiers and was also for ever lending them out to Apple and Nems artists and information suggests that the Beatles did initially have 6 730s and later John certainly changed his for 7120s whereas George certainly kept his 730 or 730s for Revolver and most of Pepper
it certainly makes for interesting debate

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www.beatlesgear.com

Harrison had his name scratched in a lot of Amplifiers? What is the source of that info? Which amps?

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