Vox: Jennings

After Tom Jennings left Vox, he formed Jennings Electronic Industries, and produced a few organs under his own name.  Except for the "normal" colored keyboards, they look remarkably similar to the Vox models, and appear to share many common traits.  I believe the model numbers indicate the year in which they were made or sold.


JenningsJ68.jpg (54689 bytes) I saw this J.68 listed on the VEMIA Auction.  The buyer contacted me and was gracious enough to supply the pictures and some of the information you see here.  Since then, I read about it in Peter Forrest's "A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers".  He lists it as a J.70, but it's identical to the J.68 pictured here.  The nameplate on this one, however, clearly identifies it as a J.68.

(J.68 pictures courtesy of Nick Steele)


    Tabs(left side): Mellow, Pulse On, Pulse Slow/Fast, Tone I, Tone II, Tone III

        Bass: Two drawbars, for volume and tone
        Lower Manual: 16', 8', 4', IV, Tone (two, probably "~" and "M")
        Upper Manual: 16', 8', 5-1/3', 4', 2-2/3', 2', 1-3/5', 1', Tone (two, probably "~" and "M")

    Tabs(right side): Mellow, Perc, Perc 8', Perc 4', Perc 2-2/3', Perc 2'

    Left of upper Keyboard: 
        Knobs: Pedal Sustain, Tremolo Speed.
        Rocker switches: Bass 16'/8', Tremolo, Vibrato

    Back panel: Slide switch to select Pedal or Manual bass.

Additional info from Peter Forrest's "A-Z": Bass voice can be either 8' or 16', not both at once.  The "Pulse" tabs control an external rotating speaker cabinet, called the "P.O. I 'Pulsation Unit'".  I think this is probably simlar to the Vox Gyrotone (see the Riviera page for a description of the Gyrotone)

Jennings68NamePlate.jpg (58905 bytes)

And here's a couple of pages from an old Jennings flyer, depicting the J.70, the "P.O.I. Pulsation Unit", and some other cool stuff:

Flyer1.jpg (69359 bytes)Flyer3.jpg (87952 bytes)Flyer4.jpg (63657 bytes)

(Flyers courtesy of Henry B.)


JenningsJ71a.jpg (106898 bytes) This must be one of the only three-keyboard combo organs out there.  It's identical to the J.70, with the addition of the top keyboard and associated voices.

The Flyer says "..identical specification of the J.70, plus a third manual with 3 octaves providing 16' - 8' - and 2' pitch with separate control of tonal effects, i.e. Vibra-harp, Piano, String, Percussion, Sustain, etc. (Repeat Percussion and in-built Wah-Wah as optional extras)".

Here's what Peter Forrest ("A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers") has to say, regarding the extra manual:

"This manual has a rather confusing control system, using six push-buttons and a knob, and obviously shares some of the tone generation of the 'ordinary' upper manual - i.e. the top manual on a J.70.  If one or the other of the Tone drawbars or the Tone control tabs for the second manual aren't being used, 'the Upper Manual will not speak'."

"The principal selling point is the release available on this top manual - 'Finger-Off Sustain', as Jennings called it.  One button switches in an 8' tone which will hang on after the key is released, and another changes the tone of this release.  Other buttons switch in a 2' tone and percussion, and a 16' tone and it's timber.  The amount of 16' tone mixed in is controlled by a knob."

Flyer2.jpg (72740 bytes)JenningsJ71b.jpg (88437 bytes)

Thanks to Joe D. for the following pictures of another specimen:

Jennings71c.jpg (78135 bytes)Jennings71e.jpg (57450 bytes)Jennings71f.jpg (41242 bytes)Jennings71g.jpg (96750 bytes)Jennings71h.jpg (60457 bytes)


A J.70 in a console cabinet.  Sounds like it had some sort of rotating speaker built in.  You can see it to the side of the flyers shown above.  I pasted the two together below:

Detachable keyboard section?  Looks like somebody was hanging out at Vox Sound while the Riviera's were being made - or perhaps it was the other way round?