1963 Vox Consort

Solid-body three-pickup electric guitar

Vox solid body guitars | Vox Consort main page | 1963 Vox Consort

1963 Vox Consort
Model: 1963 Vox Consort
Pickups: Three Vox V1 pickups
Scale: 25 1/2"
Body: Laminate wood body. Total length 40", Body length 18", 13 1/2" wide, 1 1/2" thick
Neck: Sycamore neck joins the body at 15th fret. Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays. Adjustable truss rod, at the body end of the neck. 21 frets. Width at nut 1 5/8". Attached to the body with four screws
Hardware: De Luxe tremolo, Van Gent closed gear tuning keys. 3 volume and 1 tone control, on/off switch for each pickup, two tone switches.
Weight: 3.8 kg

The Vox Consort, or V212, was produced in relatively small numbers by JMI in the UK, over the period 1962-1967. This was one of Vox's higher end models, and along with the Soundcaster, offered a decent alternative to Fender, at a time when American guitars were somewhat unobtainable for the average player in the UK. Parent company JMI had been Fender's UK distributor, and had clearly studied the instruments. They had primarily been an electronics company in the 1950s, and innovative circuitry would prove to be one of the exciting features of Vox guitars in the decade to follow. The first version of the Consort was one of the earliest attempts at going beyond the simplest guitar controls, although these were neither especially sucessful in terms of use or sales figures. In actual fact the controls were not overly complicated, but neither intuitive or particularly effective.

The Consort was an altogether more substantial instrument than many of the better known Vox Fender copies; it shared the same pickups, but was generally a far superior guitar. Thicker, heavier; this example weighs as much as (even a shade more than) a typical Stratocaster, has the same 25 1/2" scale, adjustable truss rod, and nice curved rosewood fingerboard, but the styling of the then-new Fender Jaguar and Fender Jazzmaster guitars. Available in Red or Sunburst nitrocellulose finish.

1962 Vox "Choice of the Stars" brochureFrom the 1962 'Choice of the Stars' brochure
This quality guitar has three pick-ups, ensuring that full beauty of tone is captured. There are four tone and volume controls and five switches giving every possible variation of tone from bass to sharp brilliance. Fitted with the famous VOX Tremolo Arm de Luxe. The body is of handcrafted selected hardwood with satin finish cellulose in Sunburst or Red. The neck is steel reinforced

This guitar is equipped with three Vox V1 single coil pickups - as used on all solid bodies at this time. The controls consist of five switches and four pots. The diagram below describes specific useage; the pickups and related controls are colour-coded: red = neck, green = middle, blue = bridge. Each pickup has an on/off switch (up = off, down = on) and a volume pot. The two 'in between' switches consist of a tone choke, each only affecting one pickup. The second switch from the right acts as a bass boost for the neck pickup (down position), the second from the left a treble boost for the bridge pickup (down position). This is not strictly correct, the down position is actually the pickup alone, whilst the up position has the tone choke. These pickups certainly don't lack brightness. See the wiring images further down the page for a more in depth look. Finally there is a master tone pot - the only control to affect all three pickups. Even though this guitar has a fairly wide range of sounds, changing from one to another mid-song would have been very difficult indeed!

1963 Vox Consort controls
1963 Vox Consort controls
This Consort is fitted with the standard white plastic control knobs also fitted to numerous other models. Controls are as described in the text above.
Vox Consort bridge/tremolo detail
Early versions of the Consort were equipped with the same De Luxe tremolo as fitted to the Vox Ace and Super Ace models. It is shown here with it's chrome cover, marked VOX PAT. APP. FOR.
Vox V1 pickup closeup
This guitar has three identical Vox V1 pickups; simple single coils with a 'Vox' engraved chrome cover.
Vox V1 single coil pickup detail
Close up of the engaved logo on the V1 pickup cover. These scratchplate-mounted pickups were height adjustable, via the mounting screws above and below the pickup.
Vox Consort input jack
A standard jack input, plate-mounted on the lower side of the body.
1963 Vox Consort reverse view
Vox Consort reverse view, showing it's Jaguar-style silhouette and body contouring. Chrome neckplate, sycamore neck attached with four screws.
1963 Vox Consort reverse headstock/tuning keys
Individual closed gear tuning keys. Although hard to see, the five digit serial number is stamped next to the E-tuner.
1963 Vox Consort serial number and tuning keys
The tuning keys (most likely Van Gent) have the Vox logo on the covers. The odd orientation of the high E string adds a touch of quirkiness to this generally conservative design.
1963 Vox Consort neck pocket, heel and neck plate
The headstock decals on JMI-produced Vox guitars were somewhat prone to damage; this one is more complete than many! It reads: Vox Consort JMI Dartford Kent.
Vox Consort neck pocket and shim details
The neck pocket of older Vox guitars is typically unpainted, which clearly shows the body wood - in this case, and despite the catalogue description of 'selected hardwood', a series of laminations of two woods. Vox guitars often left the factory with a neck shim of thin mahogany, as is the case here.
Vox Consort truss rod adjustment nut
The view from the base of the neck shows the truss rod adjustment nut and the curvature of the rosewood fingerboard. As with Fender guitars, this nut is positioned in such a way as to require removal of the neck in order to adjust it.
Vox Consort neck joint
Bolt-on neck, attached with four screws 1 1/2" screws. This is the larger 'metric' neck plate used by Vox at this time, measuring 5cm x 6cm.
1963 Vox Consort without neck and hardware

The body itself has had extra routing to accomodate the tone switches, performed after the finish had been applied. The prcise wiring can be seen below. Click the image for a larger copy. Potentiometers are quite typical of early Vox guitars: all Morganite, 3 x 1M ohm volume controls and 1 x 500k ohm tone. All had a code 361 - unusual in Vox guitars - which might represent March 1961?

Under the scratchplate - pickups and associated circuitry

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mfournier Comment left 9th January 2017 08:08:40 reply
I have inherited a Vox Consort similar to the one pictured on this page. Could you give me an idea of it's value please?
vintage guitar and bass Comment left 9th January 2017 18:06:40 reply
These guitars come up for sale relatively infrequently. As spare parts are hard to source condition is more important than usual (and condition is always important when selling vintage guitars). In good, complete condition you could pay as much as £500-£600.