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I'm sure Burns were making transistor amps pre 64... but very established for the time.

Never Heard of B.E.L. but from a an 'out of the blocks' start looks impressive!

 

Slightly off topic, I remember an amplifier, looked very similar to a AC30 in size and weight, had what I can only describe as a small oscilloscope next to the volume, treble etc, can't remember the manufacturer, first letter possibility C, and sure it was British.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Belonged to my friends dad, was very tatty, definitely not badged..I was sure that 'eye' was on top, but a very long time ago! The shape, style of the knobs and layout ring major bells!

Thanks Manorcom..youv'e solved what was for me... a forty three year old mystery!

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Hi manorcom,

I've just been reading this thread with great interest.

In the mid 60s I played in a band with a lad called Charles aka Tony Dickens who lived on Gawthorne St. Tony joined Bendix in 1966 and had a Cavern Deluxe which sounded great. He worked with an electronics engineer called Joe Green who helped our band out a lot with his knowledge.

Tony knows quite a bit about the Bel amps. He's posted on here as tony1 in the past but is also on FB as Charles Dickens. I've got an email address for him too which I can send as a PM if you'd like

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If you're interested in old valve amps you should checkout http://www.chambonino.com/

John is Nottingham based and I came across his site when I was researching Linear amps.

Linear were cheap and cheerful valve amps from the early 60s which lots of lads bought when they started out on electric guitar. They were definitely “no frills” but they've become sought after over the years and command decent money now if you can find one.

John's website is full of information and pictures of those pioneering valve amps such as Selmer, Vox, Bird, Watkins etc. A great read if you were in a band in the 60s.

BTW our band’s rhythm guitarist had a Selmer 30 watt all transistor amp back in 1965. The amp was just a small rectangular box perched on the top of a 2 x12” speaker cabinet. It looked punny after the big heavy valve tops but it was much lighter and  bleddy loud. Like all solid state electronics it came on instantly without the warm up delay.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/22/2020 at 11:14 PM, Mess said:

Hi manorcom,

I've just been reading this thread with great interest.

In the mid 60s I played in a band with a lad called Charles aka Tony Dickens who lived on Gawthorne St. Tony joined Bendix in 1966 and had a Cavern Deluxe which sounded great. He worked with an electronics engineer called Joe Green who helped our band out a lot with his knowledge.

Tony knows quite a bit about the Bel amps. He's posted on here as tony1 in the past but is also on FB as Charles Dickens. I've got an email address for him too which I can send as a PM if you'd like

Only just spotted your reply sorry Mess. Yes please.

Regards...Keith

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On 8/4/2019 at 7:47 PM, manorcom said:

Hi there,

 

I am researching BEL guitar amplifiers which were made at the Bendix factory in around 1964/5. Very little is known about them.

I am looking to find people who worked on them, any pictures that you may have. Anything would be helpful. Even contacts you may know who are not on the web.

 

Thanks for looking

Keith

 

Keith, I just bought a 4/60 recently and am trying to find out what I can about them so if you can share anything you've picked up that would be great? I messaged you on here last week but unsure if you've seen it or not?

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On 4/21/2020 at 9:46 PM, Philip gratton said:

Hi I worked for Bendix as a service engineer from 1966 through the name changes a move to bulwell 1987

Worked on all the type of amp's always wanted a 4 60 fixed many got none 

I did my apprenticeship at thorn automation... Later thorn emi..... Later jasmin.... Later redundancy..... I was the welder there.... When we moved to sellars Wood bulwell there was only a handful of us moved that bloody factory... Me.... Don Waltham... John Osborne.... Brian Appleby.... and a truck driver from outside called Sid Eastham..... I loved working there until pee poor management let us down

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I worked in the New Basford factory from 1967 til 1975 and left before the company moved to Blenheim Ind Estate but I did pop in there to see old work colleagues just once.   I remember a lot of names but only Don Waltham of those you mention.  
I worked for 2 Chief Engineers (Don Joyce then Noel Scott) and then Wally Biggs (Personnel Manager ...... HR these days of course).  Wonder if I knew you?  I really enjoyed working there, lots of fun and banter and all decent people.  Being the only girl in the Engineering Department on the top floor was great, loved it and have really great memories. 

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Here's a picture of a real, live BEL amp.

 

BEL-Amp.jpg

 

This was taken in 1967 (courtesy of Socram), full picture and the story behind it coming soon on 'Gedling School & Beyond..........'

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I think the BEL was a transistorised amp and so was fairly lightweight compared with the Selmer, Vox etc.  The sound was also very clean/clinical in comparison.

 

On the photo, sitting on top of the BEL is most likely a WEM (Watkins Electical Music) Copycat echo unit which used a tape loop.  A far cry from todays digital sound effects.

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5 hours ago, LizzieM said:

 I really enjoyed working there, lots of fun and banter and all decent people.

The Christmas do's were summut else.... Being a young apprentice among all the those shop floor girls....who needed mistletoe ????!!!. 

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