JMI COMBO JMI306 TOP BOOST BLUE ALNICO EXTRA ECC83
The Jennings Organ Company was founded by Thomas Walter Jennings in Dartford Kent, England after World War II. Jennings' first successful product was the Univox, an early self-powered electronic keyboard similar to the Clavioline.
In 1956 Jennings was shown a prototype guitar amplifier made by Dick Denney, a big band guitarist and an old workmate from World War II. The company was renamed Jennings Musical Instruments, or JMI, and in 1958 the 15-watt Vox AC15 amplifier was launched. It was successful, popularized by The Shadows and other British rock 'n' roll musicians. Its more famous product, AC30 is launched in 1959.
In 1964 Tom Jennings, in order to raise capital for JMI's expansion, sold controlling interest in JMI to the Royston Group, a British holding company, and sold American rights to the California-based Thomas Organ Company. Displeased with the direction his old company was taking, he left the company in 1967, roughly the same time that Marshall overtook Vox as the dominant force in the British guitar amplifier market. While Royston's Vox Sound Equipment division set up new operations in the Kent town of Erith, Tom Jennings set up a new company in his old Dartford location, joined later by Dick Denney. Jennings Electronic Industries operated for several years, making an updated and rebadged version of the AC30 along with other amplifiers, as well as a new range of organs.
The Tom Jennings-led JMI Company folded in 1968; the brand lay dormant for almost 30 years.
In 1997, Richard and Justin Harrison, then owners of Hiwatt amplification UK and Music Ground Ltd, purchased the "JMI" trademark. The pair then set about reviving the superb work of Tom Jennings and Dick Denney who earned the Vox brand name its reputation and place in history. They decided to use the name JMI because the Vox brand was owned by Korg, and unlike the Korg Vox amplifiers being manufactured at the time, the Harrisons wanted to make amplifiers that were exact reproductions of the original Jennings-Denney designs.
In early days of the new JMI, a small amount of 50W and 100W hand-wired heads were produced as well as cabinets just to test the water to see if the brand could be successfully re-launched onto the market.
As the Hiwatt brand grew larger, the desire to produce the JMI amplifiers grew stronger and stronger; many of the Harrisons' regular customers were asking on a monthly basis when the amplifiers were to be manufactured for general sale.
The pivotal point of the JMI re-birth was the meeting of amplifier engineer and JMI enthusiast Steve Giles and Richard Harrison. Steve had previously built amplifiers based on Jennings’ designs to the high standards of the originals. This impressed Richard Harrison to such an extent that some prototype models were made.
In 2005 the company decided initially to make the following models: JMI 15/4, JMI 30/4, JMI 30/6 and the JMI 30TV Front. The amps were made available in the classic black, smooth tolex and a 100% replica of the original fawn tolex. The re-creation of the latter was not an easy job taking several months and several thousands of pounds to ensure the authenticity and originality, which any JMI collector would be especially particular about. Other specification options included a choice of speakers, either Celestion Greenback or JMI (Fane made) Blue Alnico Speakers. Finally the JMI gold logo adorned the front of the cabinets, completing the perfect product made to the original Jennings/Denney specifications.
After positive feedback from a sample amplifier taken to the Namm show of 2006 the amplifiers were launched for general sale in the March of that year, showcasing at the Frankfurt Musikmesse at the end of March 2006. Also, as an added option, the company offered the option of a rear mounted top boost on all 30W models.
The company was subsequently bombarded by requests to revive other classic models such as the 4W combo, 15 Twin, 50W head, 100W head and cabinets which came into production in 2007 (showcased at the Namm 2007). Since the re-birth the new JMI amplifiers have found their way into the hands such as Noel Gallagher, Billy Gibbons, and many more.
Steve Giles "pulls the plug"
On saturday March 20, 2010, Steve announced on the vintage amp forum that he would no longer be working for JMI,"Hi,Just a little announcement for a few people who may be interested to know that I am no longer building the JMI 30/6 amplifier chassis (or anything else for that matter) for Music Ground.
We had our ups and downs over the years, but it became intolerable to deal with them and I finally pulled the plug yesterday.
I'm proud of the fact that out there somewhere are 350 of the finest amplifiers I was capable of building. Owners can rest assured that I built every one of them as if I was building it for myself.
I'd like to think that JMI 30/6 #30190 wasn't the last AC30 clone I'll ever make, but obviously it may be some time before I can set myself up to supply amps independently.
In late 2008 JMI launched two fx pedals to accompany their range of hand made products. These were the MKII Tone Bender and Treble Booster. The MKII Tone Bender featured a cast chassis as per the original and used New Old Stock Mullard OC-75 Transistors. The Treble booster was to feature a circuit based on the famous Dallas Rangemaster using an OC-44 NOS transistor. Early examples of each pedals are simply spray painted (around 50 Units) the latter were power coated which looked much more authentic to the original. Early packaging was a simple box rubber stamped Tone Bender with a cloth bag also stamped with the same brand. Latter examples have the white box with Dallas Style Tone Bender Stickers on the outer and come with a photocopied leaflet of the pedals.
Inside the pedals the will be marked either SG or NB SG Standing for steve Giles and NB being Nick Browning, JMI Engineers from Doncaster England.