VOX | BASS

Vox Electric Bass Guitars

1960s Bass guitars by Vox

JMI Vox bass guitars: 1963 Bassmaster, 1966 Symphonic bass, 1965 Clubman bass
JMI Vox bass guitars: 1963 Bassmaster, 1966 Symphonic bass, 1965 Clubman bass

Vox Contour bass
Vox Clubman bass V202
   1963 Vox Clubman (left handed)
   1965 Vox Clubman
Vox Bassmaster bass V204
   1963 Vox Bassmaster
   1965 Vox Bassmaster
   Circuit diagram
   Parts list
   Soundclips
Vox Symphonic bass V207
   1963 Vox Symphonic
Vox Phantom bass Mark III
Vox Phantom IV bass V210
Vox Cougar bass V214
Vox Escort bass V216
Vox Mark IV bass V224
Vox Violin bass (solid body) V232
Vox Panther bass V236
Vox Wyman bass V248
Vox Violin bass (hollow body) V250
Vox Hawk IV bass V263
Vox Delta IV bass V264
Vox Apollo IV bass V271
Vox Sidewinder IV bass V272
Vox Astro IV bass V273
Vox Constellation IV bass V274
Vox Saturn IV bass V281
Vox Skybolt IV bass V282
Vox Spyder IV bass V283
Vox Stinger IV bass V284
Vox V.G.4 bass

JMI Vox bass guitars

1965 Vox Clubman bass

Vox produced bass guitars throughout the 1960s, made in several factories for different markets. Initially solid-body guitars were produced in the United Kingdom by Vox parent company JMI, certainly as early as 1961, and perhaps earlier. The Bassmaster and Contour bass were advertised as early as December 1960.

JMI were the UK distributor for Fender at the time and when the new Phantom IV was launched in late 1961 it was priced approximately the same as the Fender Precision. Simple models like the Clubman and the somewhat superior, and heavily Precision-influenced Symphonic bass, were added to the line fairly soon afterwards. These were followed themselves by the teardrop-shaped Mark IV popularised by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. The entry level models were small and light with no adjustable truss rods and often made from plywood; certainly no comparison to the Fender basses available. But the long scale Symphonic and Phantom basses were actually pretty respectable. Most JMI Vox basses had single coil Vox V1 pickups, though later examples had the white plastic covered V2 with exposed polepieces.

Vox Escort hollowbody bass

Hollow body Vox basses

Vox were more of an electronics company than guitar builders: their amplifiers were better known than their simple guitars, and they were unable to build more complicated instruments, hollow bodies etc, at least in any volume, at their Dartford, UK factory. But with the rise in popularity of semi-acoustic models in the early 1960s, Vox contracted out some guitar and bass building to an Italian maker Crucianelli, who produced the Cougar and Escort basses with Vox branding, alongside a couple similar six string guitar models, the Challenger and Lynx.

Keeping up with demand

By the mid 1960s Vox were massive, and the combined efforts of JMI and Crucianelli were unable to keep up with demand, especially from the USA, where the Thomas organ company were acting as distributors. With the additional help of Eko, a new production plant was set up; the E.M.E. factory in Recanati, Italy, producing well-built Vox guitars for import into the United States, whilst JMI concentrated on the UK and European markets. There were design similarities between the UK and Italian guitars: both made Phantoms, Teardrops etc, but there were also distinct differences, and the differences between JMI and EME Vox's is quite obvious.

1965 Vox advert for the Vox Mark IV bass, as played by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones

Bill Wyman was one of the earliest bass players to have his own signature model, with the Vox Wyman bass complementing the teardrop Mark III used by bandmate Brian Jones.

Basses with built-in electronic effects, but based on older JMI designs, such as the violin-shaped Astro (also favoured by Bill Wyman), the teardrop-shaped Constellation and the Phantom-shaped Delta joined simpler models such as the Panther and Hawk, with less unusal body styles.

The end of the decade, and the end of Vox?

As the 1960s drew to a close, Vox were in trouble. Guitar production ceased in the UK, and later Italy; the only new Vox guitars were of Japanese decent, but these were only available for a short period. The VG4 was the last bass produced for several years, whilst Vox limped on only producing amplifiers. Eventually some new Japanese Vox basses were produced a decade later, such as the Vox Standard and White Shadow; although these bore no relation to the models of the 1960s, and although reasonable instruments, are of less interest to vintage Vox collectors.


Latest Vox bass updates

The most recent content posted to this site on vintage Vox bass guitars:

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale
1963 Vox Symphonic bass guitar The Symphonic bass was one of the models produced by JMI in the UK, primarily for the early sixties British market. It was comparatively high priced, still cheaper in the UK than the Fender Precision that it was emulating, but not by much, and actually more expensive in the USA. It only sold in small numbers in Britain and barely at all overseas. No equivalent model was produced in Italy, and although it remained in UK price lists as late as 1967, it is unlikely many instruments were shipped beyond 1965.
Vox Bassmaster bassThe Vox Bassmaster was one of numerous early Vox guitars styled, at least vaguely, on Fender instruments. As an entry level bass it wasn't bad. It had a very thin neck, and along with it's short, 30" scale, made an ideal students bass. It was British made, but a forerunner to later Italian models. Have a look at a 1963 Vox Bassmaster, and a 1965 Vox Bassmaster, with sound clips.
Vox bass pickups Vox guitar and bass pickups of the 1960s were all of relatively simple single-coil design. The first produced were British-made, and these appeared on all the early British models: The Clubman bass, the Bassmaster, and the Phantom bass. Later models were made in Italy, along with the guitars themselves, and these were largely for the American market, under the distribution of the Thomas Organ company.
1965 Vox Clubman bass1965 Vox Clubman Bass. Vox is better known for it's teardrop and phantom shaped guitars, but in the mid sixties they were also producing a lot of other designs too. The clubman is simple and functional; small and light, with basic electronics and no truss rod. This was completely British-built, assembled at the Vox Dartford factory, and what many bassists cut their teeth on back in the 1960s.
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Vox bass guitars for sale

1960's Vox Phantom Bass Guitar Black

WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA, 94596, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1900

Complete with original case. This bass does have an illustrious history. Complete with case Original pick-ups were replaced in 1978 with Humbuckers. Bridge and nut were changed This bass never had any problems The last photo was taken last year Free Shipping.... more

1968 Italy Vox Skybolt IV Bass V282 Cherry Red EX+ Cond.

DC METRO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2100

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION .. Vintage !!!! 1968 ITALY VOX SKYBOLT IV A TRUE CLASSIC !!! DON'T MISS OUT A VINTAGE CLASSIC LOUD AND PUNCHY V282 VOX SKYBOLT IV !! We present to you a classic Vintage VOX Skybolt IV V282 Bass Guitar. It is a true closet classic, It is in fantastic condition. Works fine and has really great sound! very little fret wear. The finish is excellent, It has a couple of finish cracks on the side and one in the back, nothing major, considered normal for its age. It's a great ... more

60s Vox Cougar bass v214 Crucianelli tuning key

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 98105, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$69

60s Vox Crucianelli stock tuning key for the Cougar bass and other models tuner is bass side in good working condition.... more

vintage Voxton X-215 Electric Guitar 1969 - 70 Vox Gibson REMAKE FREE S / H

MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA, 90292, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

C $537

GOOD CONDITION PLAYS WELL, PLENTY OF LIFE ON FRETS SEE PHOTOS, DOES HAVE A TUNER THAT WAS REPLACED, SOME WEAR IN PAINT / CLEAR COAT SEE PHOTOS . STRIGHT NECK. NO HEAVY / MAJOR DAMAGES... more

1967 VOX APOLLO IV 4 BASS grlc2111

FORT THOMAS, KENTUCKY, 41075, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1695

Click here to contact us directly THE GEARLICIOUS COLLECTION Proudly Presents Call us & well make a deal! (502) 414-GEAR (4327) or shoot us an email We provide a 48 hour, no-questions-asked return policy. 1967 VOX APOLLO IV 4 BASS What a stunning bass. Plays and sounds amazing. Certainly a conversation piece, but even more so, unique tone. An exciting all new 4-string Florentine cutaway electric acoustic bass. Has built-in G tuner, distortion booster, treble and bass booster. All new ... more

Vox Guitar 3504 Standard Double Octave '82-'85 - RARE!! Vintage Electric Bass

OAK RIDGE, NEW JERSEY, 07438, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$980

Vox 3504 standard double octave bass guitar serial number 1070349 -Hardrockmaple body, neck and fingerboard 34" scale length - full specification DiMarzio P bass humbucking pickup series / parallel switch - made from 1982 - 1985 Bass is very heavy. Has normal dings and scratches for 30 year instrument Made in Japan Second hand guitar Please feel free to ask any questions and thanks for looking. Priced to sell and like all our auctions returns are accepted at buyers expense so purchase with ... more

Vintage 1960's Vox Cougar Bass Hollowbody Bass Guitar w / Original Case

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10002, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1595

Vintage Circa 1966 Vox Cougar Bass. A killer vintage Hollowbody Bass for the price. Has a slim neck that is still nice and straight. It has a chunky but narrow profile and plays great in every position. Original pickups sound amazing. They are super warm and thumpy, with a nice woody punch when you dig in. Excellent playing condition with some signs of normal, honest cosmetic wear such as finish checking. Overall it is a very clean example considering it's age. Bass is exactly as pictured. Buyer... more

Vox Panther 1960 Sunburst

MIAMI, FLORIDA, 33186, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$899

bo47 1960 Vox Panther BassExtremely thin neckShort-ScaleClassic toneComes with gig bagWeight: 5lbs 13ozAll our instruments are accurately pictured and described. Buyers are encouraged to ask questions before placing an order. Please do not hesitate to contact the store directly Each guitar is thoroughly examined and setup by our house luthier, before shipping. Special request setups, installations and repairs are also available, please contact before purchasing.... more

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Earthly Being Comment left 11th May 2013 07:07:21 reply
I have a 1978/9, (I am told), Vox Standard Bass. Black body fretted 40" long and really heavy. I cannot find an reference to it on the Web? Any ideas about its peformance as an instrument and while I am here, how much is it worth? I thank you for your time.

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