Fender
Fender Competition Mustang bassGibson Melody MakerEpiphone Granada3
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?

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

Vintage 60's VOX emblem logo

Current price: $25.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 6h 40m
VOX Vintage Acoustic Guitar - Right-handed, 1963 -64??

Current price: $225.00
buy it now
Time left: 6h 41m
1966 Vox Cougar Bass

Current price: $725.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 12h 10m
VOX Vintage Guitar Case, Mid-1960's

Current price: $65.00
buy it now
Time left: 7h 11m
Vintage 1960s VOX Folk 12 String Acoustic Guitar Neck with Plate & Screws

Current price: $74.99
buy it now
Time left: 5d 10h 12m
Vintage 1960's Vox 12 String with coffin case really Kool L@@K

Current price: $195.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 19h 34m
Vintage RARE 1967 Vox Cambridge Reverb Stand Cover Footswitch Sounds Great WOW

Current price: $1299.88
buy it now
Time left: 29d 9h 45m
MYSTERY TO ME.... VINTAGE ACUSTIC GUITAR 12 STRING EKO & VOX Coffin Case ?

Current price: $189.95
buy it now
Time left: 3d 3h 58m
Vintage Vox Buckingham 4 button footswitch

Current price: $249.99
buy it now
Time left: 6d 8h 56m
1965 VOX PHANTOM Vl ELECTRIC GUITAR made in ITALY

Current price: $1799.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 5h 52m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Vintage 1964 VOX DOMINATOR / SHADOW Electric Guitar & Case

Current price: £175.00
buy it now
Time left: 27d 1h 21m
Vox V15 and Dean Markley DMC-40 -two vintage electric guitar amplifiers

Current price: £31.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 23h 31m
1960's Vox Phantom VI (#VOX0101)

Current price: £2052.70
buy it now
Time left: 15d 2h 53m
Vox Celestion 1967 Silver Bell 12" 8ohm Alnico Speaker T1088 Cone

Current price: £436.08
buy it now
Time left: 29d 5h 18m
Vintage 1965 Vox Mark XII 12 String Electric Guitar Teardrop Sunburst w/ case

Current price: £684.65
buy it now
Time left: 15d 1h 50m
Vox Vintage Coiled Cables | Guitar Lead

Current price: £16.50
buy it now
Time left: 19d 5h 11m
VOX PHANTOM GUITAR CASE Original VINTAGE

Current price: £80.98
buy it now
Time left: 15d 5h 7m
Vintage VOX SPITFIRE Guitar NECK

Current price: £93.44
buy it now
Time left: 1d 22h 15m
ORIGINAL VINTAGE VOX CONTROL PLATE

Current price: £16.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 18h 59m
Vintage 1960s Vox Guitar Tuners Phantom Teardrop Mark VI Spitfire LEFT HANDED

Current price: £67.90
buy it now
Time left: 20d 4h 17m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Jennings-Vox-Basscabinet 1x15" Baujahr 1969 England

Current price: €1.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 54m
1969 VOX SPITFIRE

Current price: €695.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 19h 59m
** VOX Wah Wah Carrying Bag - Vintage **

Current price: €27.85
buy it now
Time left: 7d 19h 44m
Vox E-Bass "White Shadow" fretless, schwarz, selten

Current price: €450.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 21h 5m
1968 VOX STARSTREAM / MARK VI SEMI TEARDROP CASE -- made in ITALY

Current price: €399.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 2h 37m
1969 VOX VIOLIN BASS CASE

Current price: €285.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 4h 51m
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 - just to prove you are a real person

How many legs does a tripod have?