Vox Continental

The Vox Continental is a transistorized electronic organ (combo organ) of the British manufacturer Vox, introduced in 1962. Typical of the " Connie " was her thin bright sound. The organ was designed as a portable instrument to replace heavyweights such as the Hammond organ. Although this goal was not achieved, but played in the 1960s, many musicians a Continental and it was probably one of the most famous and popular combo organs.


In addition to the single manual Continental with 49 keys ( four octaves), a type exists with two manuals, which is called the Vox Continental II and Vox Super Continental. Around 1970 came other variants, the easier equipped Vox Jaguar.

The Continental is visually striking with the red cover, the inverse- colored keyboard and the typical Z-shaped steel tube supports ( which are missing in the picture above ) like a harpsichord.

As controls four drawbars are available that regulate the 16' -, 8'- and 4'- register as well as the mixture. Two other drawbars determine the intensity of votes " flute " ( sine wave) and " Reed " ( rectangle). As an effect, there is a vibrato with a constant frequency.


The electronics are equipped with germanium transistors, mainly of type OC71.

For sound generation serve twelve LC oscillators for the chromatic semitones, which can be modulated via the vibrato signal in frequency. A transistor forms the output signal of the oscillators to square-wave signal, which is divided down with six cascaded multivibrators one octave. RC low-pass take the square-wave signals the sonic sharpness. The resultant 84 frequencies (7 octaves) are conducted for each key as subharmonics (16 '), fundamental frequency ( 8') and first harmonic (4 ') and arrive when pressed on the three busbars these footages. A fourth key contact is supplied with the mixture, a mixture of three -, four-, five -, and eight -times-frequency ( footages 2 2/3 ', 2', 1 3/ 5 'and 1'). In the top octave are for the footages 1 3/ 5 ' and 1' some tones above the 84 available frequencies; it will instead be used tones that are one octave lower (Harmonic foldback ). Four drawbars determine the intensity of the four bus bars in eight amplitude levels. Two other drawbars mix the unfiltered sum signal ( Reed ) and the two-stage RC low- pass filtered sum signal ( Flute ).

The Vox Continental sound

The device is commonly associated with classic rock of the 1960s. Famous songs with the "Continental Sound" are House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, Light My Fire by The Doors, In A Gadda Da Vida by Iron Butterfly and I'm Down by The Beatles.

In the video to Summer in the City by The Lovin ' Spoonful John Sebastian playing and bassist Steve Boone two Vox Continental.