Hello humans and valve/tube amp fans out there!
As I have said in the past and referring to the more obscure items….I was really pleased to have this one cross the workbench. The reason being that back in the early seventies, I joined/formed a band with 12 members. There were two drummers, three guitarists, myself on bass, a keyboard (Hammond organ) player, a saxophonist, a trumpeter, a trombonist and two brilliant singers….along with the fact that we all sang back-up vocals/harmonies too! It was a great band and we were doing lots of Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears type stuff. We did a brilliant arrangement of the Ides Of March track “Vehicle”….I still get goose-bumps when I think of it all these years later! Unfortunately the band didn’t last too long (about 6 months) as there were that many mouths to feed….by the time we had paid commission to the agent….paid for the fuel for two vehicles and split the rest between twelve band members well…I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from!
The big connection here with the Beck thing is that one of the three guitarists had this 100 watt Beck PA system….and we use to use this along with a Carlsbro 100 watt PA system which I owned at the time. We had that many vocalists and instruments to mike-up that we needed both systems at the time!
I can remember that the Beck PA amp was like a cube shape (same as the one in this article but the 100 watt version with four EL34’s) and the two speaker columns for it were 4 x 10” drivers and were covered with white Formica (like kitchen work-tops used to be back in the 60’s/70’s when Formica first hit the market). They then had like two big chrome frames around them….really weird and unique!
Other than the above, there’s not much more I can tell you about the Beck gear….other than I think it was made somewhere quite close to Nottingham; or at least in Nottinghamshire but….I do stand to be corrected on this if anybody can help shed some more light on their origins?
If I can think of anything else I will express things on the relative photos.
As always…enjoy the article and photos plus….thanks again for dropping by, cheers, John.
Unique “cube shape” compared to most other amplifier manufacturers.
Miniature Bulgin sockets for the power-in and power-thru.
These always seemed a strange layout and shape but they did work & sound OK.
Note the pre-cut chassis for four EL34’s….the same as the 100 watt version that we used in the band. Also notice the pre-cut holes for either one (60 watt) or two (100 watt) early versions that used either one or two GZ34 rectifiers.
The Aluminium front panel with all Aluminium knobs.
The problems with this one were just a couple of caps & a couple of resistors….other than this she worked fine.
Wiring not too good but alright I suppose!
Another interesting blast-from-the-past!
And to round this article off I thought I'd share this interesting e-mail that arrived recently...
I know you are a very busy guy, but I had to write a few lines to you after reading your article on the Beck PA60. I owned the 100 watt version of this amp with 4 x EL34's in the output stage way back in the mid 70's when I ran a mobile disco.
As far as I remember they were built and sold by a guy called Derek Tompkins, who had a small retail shop in Regent Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire UK: where he sold, built and repaired all kinds of PA and Instrument amplification and speakers. The shop is long since gone and I believe Derek passed away a few years back.
In the 4 years or so that I had my PA100 it proved to be extremely reliable, requiring only a couple of output valves and rectifier replacing.
Thanks for a great site, I always enjoy reading it. Keep up the good work!
Best wishes, Bill