VOX | SOLID BODIES | SHADOW | 1963 SHADOW

1963 Vox Shadow

Solid-body two pickup electric guitar

1963 Vox Shadow
Model: 1963 Vox Shadow
Pickups: Two single-coil Vox V1 pickups.
Scale: 25 1/2"
Body: Laminate body. 16 3/4" long, 12 1/4" wide, 15/16" thick.
Neck: Sycamore bolt-on neck. Rosewood fingerboard. No adjustable truss rod. 19 frets. Width at nut 1 11/16"
Hardware: 2 volume and 1 tone control, white plastic knobs. Co-axial input. Vox standard tremolo. Open gear strip tuners.

The mid 1960s Vox guitar range was extensive; and always changing. However, many guitars and basses were similar; pickup and hardware differences defining many models. Given names were fluid to some extent, and it is not hard to find otherwise identical Vox guitars with different model designations. The Vox Shadow is a good example - see more about the different versions on the Vox Shadow main page

This Vox Shadow is from late 1963/early 1964 - at the time the biggest Vox endorsees were the Shadows (The Beatles were just on the rise). Lead guitarist Hank Marvin was famous for his red Fender Stratocaster, and this inspired both the look and the name of this guitar.

1963 Vox Precision in Sound catalogue

From the 1963 Vox catalogue

A new moderately priced guitar with a fine specification of two slim-line pickups and a roller bearing smooth action tremolo unit. Single side machine heads, polished slim hardwood reinforced neck. Separate tone and volume controls. Rosewood fingerboard.

Controls

Controls are very simple for this guitar: two volume knobs, one for each pickup and one master tone control. Knobs are typical JMI white plastic type.

Similar Models

This Vox Shadow, like many early UK-made Vox guitars, has a co-axial input situated on the bottom edge of the body. These inputs are awkward in use, and require a non-standard cable. Later (see a 1964 Vox Shadow) these were scratchplate mounted. The body itself is very thin - just under one inch (15/16") and made of a wood laminate. Again, later UK models improved on this with thicker, solid wood bodies. The bolt-on neck is sycamore, and although it has a truss rod, this is not adjustable.

Vox Shadow with Vox V1 pickup
This Vox Shadow has two single-coil Vox V1 pickups
Vox Shadow with Vox V1 pickup
Not all V1 pickups had the Vox logo on them; both branded and plain pickups were common at this time.
Vox Shadow controls
The Vox Shadow had three volume/tone controls (see above), with white control knobs.
Vox Shadow with Vox standard tremolo
The Vox standard tremolo, marked "Vox Pat. App For"
Vox Shadow coaxial input
The coaxial input is on the side of the guitar. Later these would be mounted on the scratchplate.
Vox Shadow neck joint and neck plate
Italian-built Vox guitars usually have serial numbers on their neck plates, but early UK models had them on the headstock reverse.
Vox Shadow headstock
Vox Shadow headstock. Tuning keys are plastic button, open gear part number 09-114-0.
Vox Shadow reverse heastock
Reverse headstock - note the serial number just below the tuning keys, to the right.
Vox Shadow logo
The model name is a decal, quite in contrast to the later Vox guitars - see a 1964 Vox Shadow

The body laminations can be seen in the neck pocket below. Later Shadows had solid wood bodies - see a 1964 Vox Shadow with a mahogany body. Note also the date stamp - 7 November 1963 - body stamps are not unusual, although dates on necks are more common, although by no means universal; this guitar has no neck date. Neck dates are usually on the heel, and therefore concealed when the neck is attached.

Vox Shadow
Vox Shadow wiring - a look under the scratchplate

1963 Vox Shadow video clips

This video shows the 1963 Vox Shadow played through a 1965 Vox AC4. It's got a great biting bridge pickup and a wonderfully mellow neck, with the tone rolled down. Recorded with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and Shure SM57 (right), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - all highly recommended gear!

Subscribe to our youtube channel for more vintage guitar and bass demos. Also, check out the longer, high definition demo of this guitar/amp here

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