1976 Gibson L-6S Custom, 1978 Guild B302F bass, 1967 Fender Coronado guitar
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Vox Ultrasonic V268

hollow bodied electric guitar with built-in effects

Vox Ultrasonic description | sound clips | Ultrasonic XII

Late sixties sunburst Vox Ultrasonic From behind. The protective pad that clips to the rear of the body covers the access panel
Front and rear views of a late sixties Vox Ultrasonic. The protective pad that clips to the rear of the body covers the access panel

The Vox Ultrasonic, or V268, was one of Voxs late sixties semi acoustic models sporting built in electronic effects. It was modelled on the thinline semi acoustic models such as the Gibson ES335, but without the set neck (it was a bolt-on), and central maple block (it was completely hollow). This made it more akin to guitars such as the Fender Coronado or Hagstom Viking, but with its own unique features - teardrop headstock, and built in effects. From 1962 the necks of Vox guitars were made by Eko in Italy, and post '62 Voxs have a made in Italy decal.

Vox Ultrasonic V268 - A wild new happening from Vox: electronic guitars!
Vox Ultrasonic V268 - A wild new happening from Vox: electronic guitars!
One of the first adverts for the Vox built-in guitar effects. This one features the Vox Ultrasonic The world's first guitars with built-in distortion, Wah-Wah, E or G tuner, bass and treble boosters; even repeat percussion. Puts everything right at your fingertips. Lets you work free from the amp—away from footswitches. Just flick a switch on the guitar for distortion. Flick another to boost bass or treble. Other switches control Wah-Wah, repeat percussion and the built-in tuner. There's never been anything like Vox electronic guitars. Their necks are super fast. Their Ferro-Sonic pickups lay out incredible sounds. There are bass, six and twelve string models — in a gang of shapes; choice of effects. Vox electronic guitars. At your Vox dealer's now. Take the trip. Play Vox: it's what's happening.

They were produced at the E.M.E (Elettronica Musicale Europea) factory in Recanati from 1967. It came in 6 and twelve string versions (the twelve string, Ultrasonic XII V275 had a slightly different shaped headstock, and headstock markings) and in two colours, cherry and sunburst. As a high end model, it featured block inlays, front and back binding and headstock ornamentations not seen on other models.

Latest Vox Ultrasonic posts on the Vintage Guitar forum
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On the search for a Vox Cheetah/Ultrasonic neck
0 replies
last message by degas

Vox Ultrasonic XII in need of ferro sonic bridge pickup
4 replies
last message by degas



Guitar strings suitable for the Vox Ultrasonic

Gibson Vintage Re-issue Strings 09-42 (Gibson Vintage Re-issue Strings 09-42 )

D'Addario EHR360 (D'Addario S/Steel Half Round Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

D'Addario EKXL120 (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Super Light / Soldered Twists)

D'Addario EXL115 (D'Addario Electric Blues/Jazz Rock)

D'Addario EXL110 Nickel Regular Light (D'Addario Electric Regular Light)

D'Addario EJ22 (D'Addario Electric Guitar Strings Jazz Medium)

The built in effects are rather interesting, consisting of an E-tuner (plays a quiet E note), treble/bass boost, distortion (mild overdrive to full blown 60s fuzz), repeater, and palm-operated wah wah pedal. They are powered by a 9V battery accessible through a circular cover under the pad at the rear of the body. An identical model with the exception of having no wah wah was also produced; the Vox Cheetah or V267

These effects are broadly similar to the Vox effect pedals available in the mid to late sixties, and all can be heard on the Vox Ultrasonic sound clips page. Each has an on/off switch, and all (with the exception of the wah-wah) have a control. This sets the speed for the repeater, level of fuzz for the distortion, and bass/treble response for the boost. When combined, an amazing array of psychedelic sounds can be produced without really playing the guitar at all - just letting it feed back on itself. The least useful of all the effects is the wah wah - not because there is anything wrong with it, just that it is considerably more difficult to operate than a foot pedal (you push the triangluar lever with the palm of your picking hand)

Vox Ultrasonic - treble/bass boost on/off switch and control Vox Ultrasonic - wah-wah on/off switch and palm control Vox Ultrasonic - headstock ornamentation Vox Ultrasonic - Ferro-sonic pickup


Catfish Collins plays a solo on his Vox Ultrasonic with James Brown and Brother Bootsy (in the back row). Live in Paris 1972. Fantastic! Click the central arrow to play the video

The most famous user is Catfish Collins, brother of Bootsy Collins who can be seen getting down with this funky guitar on performances with James Brown - right (live at Olympia, Paris 1972), and shortly afterwards with George Clintons Funkadelic.

The original Vox literature describes the ultrasonic like this:

A beautiful double cutaway electric acoustic guitar. Has built-in E tuner, distortion booster, treble and bass booster, Wah-Wah, repeat percussion. Has a completely new Vox easy-to-fret fast-neck with the famous Vox double T-bar and adjustable steel rod. Two exclusive Vox Ferro-sonic pickups for wide range high fidelity, Has new positive action adjustable spring tremolo.

Back to the VOX INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

Vintage Vox 846 Wah 1960's Italian Film Can, No Reserve

Current price: $10.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 22h 35m
Vintage Vox Wah Wah Vinyl Carrying Bag

Current price: $16.00
buy it now
Time left: 3d 7h 17m
Vintage Vox Wah Wah with Halo inductor and ICAR pot in pristine condition

Current price: $0.99
buy it now
Time left: 6d 23h 44m
VOX JEN Tone Bender Fuzz Mk1.5 PCB TONEBENDER (DIY Restoration Vintage board)

Current price: $8.50
buy it now
Time left: 5d 14h 20m
VINTAGE 1971 KING WAH BY VOX EXCEL. CONDITION READY TO ROCK Model 95-932001

Current price: $150.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 3h 33m
Vintage Vox Panther 4 String Bass Guitar (Red)

Current price: $199.99
buy it now
Time left: 9d 19h 31m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

VOX MARK VI ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC. 1966. ALL ORIGINAL. VERY COLLECTIBLE. RED. RARE.

Current price: £3103.26
buy it now
Time left: 20d 2h 37m
VOX JMI 1962 PHANTOM IV "FANG" BASS. MADE IN ENGLAND. BEAUTIFUL BLACK..

Current price: £2698.05
buy it now
Time left: 10d 22h 41m
VOX MARK IX. 9 String Guitar. All Original. 1966. A Very Fine Nine. UNIQUE.

Current price: £2360.37
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Time left: 4d 15h 55m
Vintage 1966 Vox Teardrop V252 Mark VI Acoustic Trans Red Guitar w/ OHSC 1960s

Current price: £2195.00
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Time left: 11d 16h 6m
VOX MARK XII. ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC TEARDROP. 12 string. SUNBURST. VERY RARE. 1966

Current price: £2022.69
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Time left: 10d 22h 41m
VOX CHALLENGER GUITAR 1964. ONE OF THE RAREST VOX GUITARS. By CRUCIANELLI ITALY

Current price: £1752.55
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Time left: 10d 22h 42m
1965 Vox Phantom Bass killer cool w/all original White finish !

Current price: £1685.01
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Time left: 18d 18h 5m
Vintage 1960s Vox Teardrop Bill Wyman Signature Tobacco Sunburst Bass Guitar

Current price: £1395.00
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Time left: 11d 15h 7m
VOX SHADOW GUITAR. 1964. ALL ORIGINAL JMI MADE IN ENGLAND. COLLECTIBLE. RARE.

Current price: £1347.34
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Time left: 20d 2h 37m
1963-1966 Vox Consort - Rare and in perfect condition!

Current price: £1159.00
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Time left: 2d 21h 7m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

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

Current price: €1969.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 12h 17m
1963-1966 Vox Consort - Rare and in perfect condition!

Current price: €1499.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 20h 8m
ITALIAN VINTAGE SEMIACOUSTIC CRUCIANELLI/VOX LYNX WITH ORIGINAL CASE

Current price: €450.00
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Time left: 1d 21h 56m
1968 VOX APOLLO / SIDEWINDER SEMI BASS CASE

Current price: €279.00
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Time left: 18d 11h 58m
VOX DELAYLAB GITARREN EFFEKT LOOPER EFFEKT MODELING VINTAGE EFFEKTE 30 SPEICHER

Current price: €229.00
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Time left: 14d 11h 8m
Vintage Vox Wah

Current price: €100.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 8h 4m
See more results on eBay here

There are 10 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Vox parts wanted Comment left 29th July 2012 20:08:18
Hi I am restoring a late 1960s Vox. It plays, but I need some spare parts. I need an E tuner circuit, a set of the cream control knobs, and the neck plate. Can't wait to gig this. Can anyone help me out?
jownzy Comment left 11th December 2012 18:06:01
Anybody have a source for the poppers that screw onto the body and hold the back pad? Doesn't have to be original Vox, just need a working equivalent.
Jason Combs Comment left 25th October 2013 20:08:05
Nice littel review. I dosagree though, with your assessment of the wah. I loved hte wah on my Vox. It was easy, responsive, I could operate it a lot more carefufully than a foot pedal. The e-drone was not quiet. It was loud. A lot of fun. The tuners were great, the neck was perfect, a fine guitar, adn what a great deluxe case! Only hitch, the pickups were horrible. Little crappy microphones, you could sing into them. At anythiong like one tenth of stage volume, it fed back horribly. It was only good for recording or practice, so I gave mine up. I could kick myself. My Untrasonic will always be missed. A guitar like it would cost at least $3800 today, but it'd have Filtertrons and would sound much better.
Brian Atkinson Comment left 9th October 2014 06:06:11
Hi any one got info on the THOMAS version of the ulta sonic ? same as the Vox but with the Thomas logo.....
Michael Comment left 1st February 2015 21:09:40
I'd played one of these for a while back in the late sixties. I'd forgotten the name, but a little web search led me here. I can tell you one of the possible reasons this instrument didn't stay around long. Playing the wah-wah with the heel of the hand wasn't hard and in some ways it beat having a floor full of pedals. But the little triangular control tended to rotate and would get stuck under the whammy bar--always in the maximum treble position. This in turn would cause a terrible squealing feedback. Audiences (then and now) generally know that if there's a bad sound, it must be the guitarist's fault. I endured many a dirty stare while I tried to get that wah-wah unstuck.
Sean smith Comment left 4th August 2015 18:06:20
Is the logo on the vox ultrasonic a decal or is it ingraved ECt I'm looking to reproduce one for my project guitar and I was seeking where I could find one ora direction to get one made thanks so much
Tom Mauthe Comment left 5th October 2015 08:08:05
I have a Vox Ultrasonic V268 I bought back in 1967 when I was in 9th grade and in love with music. Today I,m 62 years old and still have the guitar. From over the years I have some electronic problems with the guitar and haven,t fix them. Have played the guitar in many years. I would like to sell my guitar with it,s original case as is hoping someone would fix it for themselves and enjoy it as I did. If your interested in buying this Beautiful guitar let me know on my e-mail
Joe H Comment left 24th October 2015 16:04:29
Hi Tom Mauthe- Im interested in your vox hollow body-what is your email? mine is [email protected] thank you for sharing your post!
gabriel Comment left 4th December 2015 06:06:53
Hi Tom, did you sell your ultrasonic?
corey Comment left 21st June 2016 05:05:19
I have one of these but am missing the wah triangular palm controller. If someone has one, could the please send me some decent pics of it? I am planning on machining one out of aluminum. Thanks. -C

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