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.
Got an opinion on the contents of this page? Disagree with something written above? Please comment

Gibson leather/suede strap

Gibson leather/suede strap

The perfect strap for your vintage Gibson guitar. 2019 Gibson quality


Vox bass guitars for sale

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

1960s Vox V210 Phantom Mk IV Bass UK Britain OHSC Fang Paul Revere and Raiders

KENMORE, WASHINGTON, 98028, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2239

Early British made Vox Phantom bass like Fang of Paul Revere and the Raiders. I am the second owner of this, I purchased it from its original owner in the early 1990s. It is in nice condition and plays well. I currently have half round strings on it. The finish has crazing as is typical of old Vox guitars, I have owned 4 of these 1960s Vox guitars. A few small chips in finish, the Phantom decal came off before I got it but you can still see its shadow in the headstock finish. Original ... more

Vintage 1960's Vox Bass Harness Pots Knobs Effects Hawk Cougar Phantom 1966 1965

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60657, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$150

60's Vox bass electronics 500k x 2, 100k, 50k LESA Italian made Vox pots All original stuff, knobs, effects, name plates, etc Effects have not been tested, so throwing them in for free! They were not connected when i received it so i have no idea if they work. Pots do work fine though From a Hawk bass Check my Rating Bid with Confidence... more

Vintage 1960's Vox Bass Bridge Hawk Cougar Phantom 1966 1965 1968 1967

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60657, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$115

60's Vox bridge Original screws, measure 2 1 / 4" between farthest screw holes From a Hawk bass Check my Rating Bid with Confidence... more

1960's Vox Apollo IV Vintage Bass Guitar

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA, 30909, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$600

1960's Vox Apollo IV Vintage Bass Guitar . Condition is Used. Shipped with USPS Parcel Select Ground. Overall in decent condition for the year and has that wonderful vintage sound and feel, has the typical cracks in the body from age all the knobs volume boost Distortion and tone work and operate freely without issues, has great stage presence as well as would make a good addition to a collector... more

Vintage 1960's Vox Bass Neck Plate Hawk Cougar Phantom 1966 1965 1968 1967

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60657, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$125

60's Vox neck plate Original screws From a Hawk bass Check my Rating Bid with Confidence... more

1965 Vox Model V-232 Solid Body Electric Violin Bass Guitar 100% Stock w / ohc

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, 98117, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$899

Up for sale, a 1965 Vox V-232 Violin Bass in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. An uncommon and early Vox bass made by Eko in Italy, this solidbody bass clearly takes its cues from Paul McCartney's Hofner, yet with a body design that eliminates unwanted feedback and keeps the tone particularly punchy and round. Strung with high tension flatwound strings on the 30" scale, this bass has ample thump and fullness, and the pair of original single coil pickups are ... more

Vintage 1960's Vox Bass Body 1960's Hawk Cougar Phantom 1965 1967 1966

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, 60657, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$275

Solid 60's Vox Hawk bass body Comes with original back cover. No pad though Nice original rare white finish No issues, works great Check my Rating Bid with Confidence... more

Find more vintage guitars for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

Comment on this article

Name
Email address
Anti-spam question - to catch web robots
How many legs does a spider have?
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.

Guitars and Parts for Sale


Gibson leather/suede strap

Gibson leather/suede strap

The perfect strap for your vintage Gibson guitar. 2019 Gibson quality

Related Forum Posts
new post


Latest Forum Posts
new post

Contact
info@vintageguitarandbass.com

Follow

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Google+

Other Great Sites