Vox were rightly famous for their teardrop (Mark series) and Phantom guitars, but they also produced a lot of other solid bodies in, sometimes unusual, but more often conventional shapes. The Vox Soundcaster, or V211, was one of these guitars, clearly based on the Fender Stratocaster (dubbing it 'American-style'), It was built to a lot higher specification than many early JMI Vox guitars, and was easily on par with the Phantom and Mark, and arguably the Stratocaster itself.
1965 US prices
|Vox Shadow (3 pickups)||$130|
|Vox Super Ace||$150|
|Vox Phantom MK III||$310|
* depending on finish/tremolo
It was available from at least 1962, and, along with the Phantom and Mark, was the most expensive six string guitar produced by Vox - at least in the UK. In America, however, it was less expensive than the Phantom, broadly in line with the Stratocaster as the table (right shows).
The Soundcaster was widely advertised in the early sixties United Kingdom - surprisingly more so than the more famous Mark and Phantom guitars, but this does not seem to have resulted in particularly strong sales. Although a very fine guitar, it was simply too expensive in comparison to the Fender guitars it was emulating - something it had in common with the Symphonic Bass - Vox's version of the Fender Precision. Have a look through some of the original Soundcaster advertising below.
The following description comes from 1964 UK Vox publicity
American-style model. Three-six pole adjustable pick-ups and exclusive built-in balanced tremolo unit. Maximum tone variation, including novel banjo effects. Adjustable reinforced neck in polished sycamore with rosewood fingerboard. Finished in polyester red, white, blue, black etc.
Although not mentioned, the Soundcaster was certainly available in sunburst.
Electric guitar advertisements originally published from 1964 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage Vox advertisements
Vox Soundcaster - Vox sound perfection (1964)
Early sixties UK advert for Vox guitars and amplifiers. Features a Vox Soundcaster solid-body electric.
Pure undistorted sound, superb quality, strength and reliability - these are the qualiti...
Vox Soundcaster - Precision in Sound (1964)
Mid sixties Vox advert for guitars and amplifiers. The guitar pictured is Vox's premium solid-body guitar, the Fender Stratocaster-inspired Vox Soundcaster
Vox Soundcaster - The fabulous new Vox Soundcaster (1964)
Early British Vox advert from the beginning of 1964. The Stratocaster-inspired Vox Soundcaster was very widely promoted at this time.
Latest modifications to this fine VOX instrument result in...
Vox Soundcaster - Vox Soundcaster Precision in Sound (1964)
JMI advertisement for the Vox Soundcaster from July 1964. This is one of the better, and more expensive Vox guitars, with build-quality on par with the Phantom and Mark series instruments.
Vox Soundcaster - Vox - Need We Say More? (1965)
Mid Sixties Vox advertisement featuring the Beatles playing a live concert, and using Vox amplifiers. The Beatles were absolutely huge at this time, and Vox had used them in their publicity on nume...
When Vox production ceased in the UK, there wer considerable volumes of unsold stock. Complete guitars were sold to Dallas Arbiter, who marketedly them very briefly, and spare parts including bodies and necks were distributed to various dealers in the UK. It seems post-JMI 'assembled' Soundcasters (typically with no decal or serial number) are more often seen than those shipped by JMI themselves.