1976 Gibson L-6S Custom, 1978 Guild B302F bass, 1967 Fender Coronado guitar
1976 Gibson L-6S Custom1978 Guild B-302F1967 Fender Coronado
Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search     









pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?
Vintage guitar parts for sale

Vintage guitars for sale

Vox Shadow

Solid body electric guitar

Vox Shadow main page | 1963 Vox Shadow (single cutaway) | 1963 Vox Shadow | 1964 Vox Shadow | sound clips

1963 Vox Shadow
1963 Vox Shadow (single cutaway LG-50 style)
1963 Vox Shadow
The Shadows circa 1961. Hank Marvin with his red Fender Stratocaster is on the left.

The story of Vox guitars is so often told, not from the beginning, but with the introduction of the Vox Phantom; Vox's first 'original' guitar. But really it starts earlier than that, and is intimately linked with a British guitar band of the period: the Shadows. They not only used Vox amplifiers, they appeared in just about all of Vox's early publicity, and guitarist Hank Marvin even designed a tremolo unit for Vox, fitted to high end solid bodies like the Vox Consort and Vox Phantom.

Under the ownership of JMI (Jennings Musical industries), Vox put out three distinct guitars named Vox Shadow. As eluded to earlier, all early Vox guitars were copies of guitars by other brands, and with some connection to the forementioned Shadows. When the Shadows initially started endorsing Vox amplifiers (1958/59), guitarist Hank Marvin was playing a single cutaway Guyatone LG50 guitar (actually, his was branded Antoria, but otherwise the same). And it was no coincidence that two of the earliest Vox guitars were copies of this: the one-pickup Vox Stroller (after the popular 1950s dance the Stroll), and the two-pickup Vox Shadow.

Hank Marvin with Guyatone/Antoria guitar
Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin with his early Japanese Antoria/Guyatone guitar which inspired the earliest version of the Vox Shadow. [Photo credit unknown, please contact if you own the copyright to this image]

These early Voxs were very basic guitars, small and lightweight, with a plywood body, the simplest of tailpieces, a very simple floating bridge and 3 on a plate open gear tuning keys. The scratchplate was simple, just single ply, and the neck had no adjustable truss rod, and no fretboard radius; but perhaps these guitars were not so different from the other guitars available in the UK at this time? They certainly must have appealed to the very many younger Shadows fans in early sixties Britain. Have a closer look at a 1963 LG-50 style Vox Shadow. Note the large scripted Shadow headstock logo.

1964 Vox Shadow
1964 Vox "Precision in Sound" catalogue

Currency restrictions in the late 1950s, and comparitively high prices, meant American guitars were not generally imported into the UK. By the early 1960s though, better quality American guitars did start arriving, often with bands returning from US tours, or visiting American artists. These quickly set new standards in what was expected in an instrument. By 1960, Hank Marvin had replaced the Antoria LG50 with a Fiesta red Fender Stratocaster, (the first in the UK, specially imported for him by Cliff Richard) and the early 1960s Shadows sound was in some ways characterised by his use of the Strat with it's tremolo, through a Vox AC15 or AC30. Jennings became the UK distributor of Fender, outfitting the Shadows with Fender guitars, but there was still little chance of younger Shadows fans (or UK guitarists in general) being able to afford the real thing. This lead Vox to create a substitute, upgrading the Stroller and Shadow models with a Stratocaster-styled body and bright red finish. These still had one or two pickups, and a new 'Vox standard' tremolo (have a look at a 1963 Vox Shadow). Finally, the headstock was redesigned to a typical six-in-a-row Stratocaster-style. This version sold well, and is perhaps the most widely seen version of the Shadow. Soon an extra model was added to the line; otherwise identical to the Shadow, but with a third pickup, the Vox Dominator.

1964 Vox Shadow
1964 Vox Shadow (3 pickup)
1963 Vox Shadow
1963 Vox Shadow (2 pickup)

Finally, by the middle of 1964, the two-pickup Vox Shadow was renamed the Vox Duotone, and the three-pickup Vox Dominator became the Vox Shadow - have a closer look at a 1964 Vox Shadow. The guitar was improving, and many mid sixties onwards Vox guitars had solid bodies (usually mahogany and agba) rather than laminate. Guitars were being exported to the United States, with export guitars having a 'made in England' label on the reverse of the headstock, or a plaque, usually on the back of the body. Note the black plastic knobs that were usually fitted to these three-pickup models.

The Shadow sold well up until the mid 1960s, with the vast majority in the UK, although many were also exported. Instruments produced for the United States were distributed by the Thomas Organ company. These guitars were typically labelled 'Made in England', either with a circular plate on the reverse of the body, or a sticker on the headstock; they often had upgraded hardware, such as metal control knobs, rather than plastic control knobs and a standard jack input. Production continuing into 1966 and perhaps in small numbers into 1967. Later examples of the Vox Shadow can be characterised by the solid wood body (mahogany) and thicker scratchplate (with wide black edge).

The Shadow had a UK model reference number 234, although the Thomas Organ company gave it a code V-2-8, or V208 in the US. Have a look at the 1966 Vox Shadow parts list produced by Thomas Organ for American dealers.

Back to the VOX INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

Vox Wyman Bass Made In Italy 1965-1969

Current price: $1600.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 12h 28m
1968 Vintage Vox Aristocrat with Hardshell Case - All Original

Current price: $999.99
buy it now
Time left: 12h 26m
1x12 Celestion Speaker Cabinet G12M-70 Vintage 30 g/w fender,marshall,vox,peavey

Current price: $40.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 17h 37m
VOX Vintage 1960s WYMAN BASS guitar w/ ORIGINAL hard case

Current price: $1899.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 10h 58m
1960's Vox Hurricane Neck with neckplate and screws. L@@K

Current price: $75.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 16h 58m
VOX DISTORTION *Rare Vintage

Current price: $69.00
buy it now
Time left: 12h 59m
Vox Cambridge Reverb from the 1960's

Current price: $199.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 20h 38m
VOX VINTAGE COIL GUITAR CHORD, WHITE, 9 M. BAG

Current price: $29.99
buy it now
Time left: 2d 11h 44m
1960s Vox Ampliphonic Stereo Multi Voice Mdl 95-910311 +3 button Footswtich RARE

Current price: $249.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 11h 5m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

VOX JMI 1962 PHANTOM IV "FANG" BASS. MADE IN ENGLAND. BEAUTIFUL BLACK..

Current price: £2758.22
buy it now
Time left: 14d 2h 49m
VOX MARK IX. 9 String Guitar. All Original. 1966. A Very Fine Nine. UNIQUE.

Current price: £2413.01
buy it now
Time left: 10d 2h 8m
Vox 2/12 Speaker Cabinet 1964

Current price: £1035.63
buy it now
Time left: 8d 12h 31m
Vintage Late 60's Vox Phantom IV Bass Guitar Made in Italy - White HSC

Current price: £883.73
buy it now
Time left: 21d 17h 3m
1967 Vox Ultrasonic Vintage Guitar Body Loaded w/ Working Effects & Vibrato

Current price: £828.49
buy it now
Time left: 27d 16h 10m
VINTAGE HAGSTROM VIKING 1960 SEMI ACCOUSTIC GUITAR. WEM VOX WATKINS ERA.

Current price: £699.00
buy it now
Time left: 25d 8h 1m
VINTAGE HAGSTROM VIKING 1960 SEMI ACCOUSTIC GUITAR. WEM VOX WATKINS ERA.

Current price: £650.00
buy it now
Time left: 22d 6h 1m
EARLY 1960'S VOX CLUBMAN VERY NICE CONDITION NO CASE MADE BY JMI IN ENGLAND

Current price: £410.80
buy it now
Time left: 29d 13h 7m
Vintage 60's Vox Spitfire Guitar Italian EKO Made Crucianelli Strat + Hard Case

Current price: £399.99
buy it now
Time left: 18d 10h 41m
Vintage 1960s EKO Florentine Semi Acoustic Electric Guitar 60s VOX Italy

Current price: £400.00
buy it now
Time left: 14d 1h 9m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

1969 VOX VIOLIN BASS - BUILT IN EFFECTS - DISTORTION - BOOSTER - TUNER

Current price: €1850.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 25m
Vintage Vox T60/ 100 Bass Cabinet 2+15 Beatles Chromestand

Current price: €1200.00
buy it now
Time left: 16d 22h 25m
1969 VOX SPITFIRE

Current price: €695.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 4h 37m
Revelation Vintage Weiß Vox VTX-63/12 12 Saiten Elektrisch Gitarre

Current price: €384.74
buy it now
Time left: 14d 15h 22m
Revelation Vintage White Vox VTX-63/12 12 String Electric Guitar RRP £349.99

Current price: €363.92
buy it now
Time left: 7d 6h 14m
1968 VOX APOLLO / SIDEWINDER SEMI BASS CASE

Current price: €245.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 3h 44m
See more results on eBay here

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
imhankmarvin Comment left 20th April 2013 21:09:05
Good to see some detailed information on these guitars. You don't find too many people that know Vox did anything other than phantoms and teardrops. I do have a soft spot for a lot of these early UK designs I must say.

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Name
Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - to catch web robots

How many legs does a cat have?