60’s Jen Repeater

Until fairly recently, I had no stompboxes. That’s because I preferred to rely on amps for most of my overdriven sounds, and racks can do time-domain effects as well or better, and more consistently than than floor-mounted metal boxes. This personal view led me to programme rack devices and switch them via midi for a long time.

’60s Jen Repeat Percussion unit

This box was an exception. When I was at school one of the other kids had a funny-shaped Vox guitar with onboard effects – bass, mid and treble boost, fuzz and ‘repeat percussion’. I really envied that guitar and especially the ‘repeat percussion effect, which sounds like a tremolo with a sharp square-ish wave.

Years later I found out its name – a Vox Marauder, immortalised by Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, who plays one (http://www.voxguitar.net/gpage5.html). I got near to buying one when UK guitar guru Paul Day told me that I didn’t need to buy one of these pretty crappy guitars to get the effect as it had also been offered as an outboard plug-in.

A few well-chosen emails later and I had the choice of an original Vox one or a Jen. Both were made by the British Jennings Electrical Company, so I opted for the Jen. It’s a unique effect, if used sparingly, and hard to replicate accurately even with powerful modern kit.

2 Responses to 60’s Jen Repeater

  1. Taylor says:

    Hello there, I just purchased one of these vintage Jen Repeat Percussion units, and I think it may be broken but have no way of knowing for sure because it is impossible to find a clip of one of these in operation online. Here is what mine does, I’m wondering if you had the same experience or if this is a sign that something may be wrong with the pedal…

    As soon as the box is turned on, the percussive effect begins. It continues pulsating whether or not a note/chord is being played. It pulsates when the guitar is turned to zero, and the sound even continues without a guitar plugged into the box. This is not at all what I was expecting – from reading about these and watching videos of the similar Vox units, I had anticipated that the percussive effect would activate in direct response to the guitar. Mine does this – meaning my guitar signal ends up modulating at the same rate as the standard background pulse – but as soon as the note/signal fades, it reverts back to the non-stop trem sound. Any info you are able to provide is much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Rockbeare says:

    The effect should only come on if the swtich on the unti’s panel is engaged.

    When engaged, you can hear the pulsating in the background at whatever raate you have set on the control on the top edge. It’s a 50 year-old old effect, so understandably a bit noisy by modern standards.

    When you play guitar through it, the guitar sound should pulsate like a steep-fronted triangle trem at whatever rate you have selected. Like many tremolos, it will be quiter than the direct/bypassed sound.

    That’s all there is. Be careful to plug the unit in the right way round. I made a fool of myself by getting it serviced twice only to reaslise that it plugs into the guitar and not the amp like an old Electro Harmonix treble booster did. Felt very sheepish when the engineer politely pointed that out to me.

    Hope this ehlps ans that you enjoy the quirky old thing.

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