Without getting into too much of the history here (that will be for a later series of posts), VASE (Victory Audiophonic Sound Equipment) was an iconic brand of valve guitar amp made in Brisbane in the sixties and seventies. The founder, Tony Troughton, was an Englishman who emigrated to Australia and set up the boutique company to reflect his own ideas about what quality should be in amp building. Whilst the company folded after Tony’s death, his amps have lived on and have become sought after collectables. Most bands playing in Brisbane, and in other parts of Australia, in during the 60s and 70s either used VASE or knew about them.
Harry Lloyd-Williams, a friend and colleague of mine who runs one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of professional audio products Acoustic Technologies, has for some time wanted to relaunch this brand. He has the factory infrastructure and the experience to do justice to original products and improve on them. The company has now been formed with two other industry professionals and we will be building a range of VASE valve guitar amps for sale in 2007.
As Harry and I are both undertaking our professional doctorates in Creative Industries we’ve decided to combine business with study, and will be charting the redevelopment of the company in terms of community building and cultural renewal. What the new company will produce will be high quality valve amplifiers that combine the best of the original iconic brand with the best of modern manufacturing techniques. These will be built in Brisbane for the world market. We also intend to build and offer a range of bass amps using new technologies.
Our first public outing was last Sunday night when Brisbane’s greatest R&B band, the Purple Hearts, reformed for two shows. We supplied a stage full of VASE gear, the first time in over 30 years anyone has seen a setup like that.