The Vox Clubman bass was a short scale (30"), two-pickup bass, produced in the UK by JMI, primarily for the UK market. It was Vox's least expensive bass model, and sold pretty well to student bassists in the mid 1960s.
It isn't a bad bass, though nothing fancy. The fretboard is flat, unlike the radiused boards of other Vox bass guitars, but it has a comfortable, playable G-plan neck. The board in this example is actually solid sycamore dyed to appear like rosewood. Some earlier examples had a rosewood veneered sycamore board.
Dating this instrument is not difficult; the neck heel is stamped with the date Feb 1965. Furthermore, it has a number of later Clubman features, such as the thicker white escutcheon (scratchplate) with wide black revealed edge, and front mounted output jack. Earlier models had a plain black, plain white, or thinner three-ply (w-b-w) plate, and a side-mounted co-axial output.
One feature that shows this to be a later period Clubman is the thicker scratchplate with black revealed edge, used from early 1964. For 1962 and most of 1963, the Clubman had a thinner black bakelite scratchplate - compare with a 1963 Clubman bass here.
The bolt-on neck is attached via four screws. The neck plate size and precise location varied over the years; this is the latest, larger version.
The Clubman bass was equipped with two Vox chrome covered single coil pickups, part 09-101-0. These Vox pickup casings were often marked with the same Vox logo as on the bridge cover, though not in this instance. The pickups themselves were a fairly simple single-coil design. These are exactly the same pickups as fitted to very many guitar models of the same period; certainly the most widely-used JMI Vox pickup.
Unlike the (very similar) Vox Bassmaster, the Clubman has a volume control for each pickup, and one master tone. These white plastic control knobs were fitted to very many UK-produced Vox guitars and basses circa 1962-67. Early Clubman basses and guitars (in fact most of Vox's less expensive models) were fitted with a co-axial output jack, though towards the end of production a regular jack was used on some models, including the Clubman bass. Vox did, however, continue using scratchplates drilled for the coaxial outputs, leaving unused holes, either side of the jack. These were often covered with a white circle of scratchplate plastic.
Typical to early British made Vox's, this bass has the Green Vox logo. The model name and 'JMI Dartford Kt' are on a separate decal - earlier examples had these details combined on one decal. JMI = Jennings Musical Industries, Kt refers to the county of Kent, UK. These decals are never particularly hard wearing, and damaged/incomplete decals are commonplace.
Machine heads are individual open-gear type, with plastic buttons, part number 09-301-0.
Tuning keys are individual open gear type, with plastic buttons
The five digit serial number is stamped into the reverse of the headstock, just below the tuning keys
The Clubman bass had a one-piece sycamore neck made by a British furniture manufacturer, G-plan, with no adjustable truss rod. The guitars were then assembled in Vox's Dartford plant. Simple open-gear tuning keys like these were used widely by Vox in the early days. Another early feature, only seen in the early British Vox's, is the serial number stamped on the reverse of the headstock (just below the 'E' tuning key); this was the standard location for all UK-produced (JMI) Vox guitars up until early 1966, and on a few models, including the Clubman bass, a little beyond.
This is a lightweight instrument, at 2.58kg slightly lighter than the Bassmaster (around 3kg) and significantly less than the Symphonic bass (around 4kg).
The compensating bridge is a straightforward stamped metal design, with a cover featuring the Vox logo (parts 09-303-0 and 09-304-0 respectively). The bridge is simple but effective, rather like that of an early Fender Precision. It was used widely on low-end solid body Vox basses, including the Bassmaster, (but not on the Symphonic or Phantom models) throughout the period of their production. Effective if a little lightweight.
With the neck removed from the body, the date (Feb 1965) and G (for G-plan, the neck manufacturer) stamps are visible. Codes on the neck base, and within the neck pocket of the body are the simplest way of dating JMI period Vox guitars.
The body itself is simple enough - note the rich brown wood (mahogany) of the neck pocket. Earlier examples had a thinner laminate wood body - compare this bass with a 1963 Clubman bass.
Vox Clubman Bass sound clips
The Clubman is a great sounding bass, and despite simple controls (two volumes, and a master tone) it can get a variety of nice tones.
Recorded through a 1964 Ampeg B15N (volume 5/10, treble 5/10, bass 5/10) mic'd with a Shure SM57, into a M-audio mobile pre USB interface
Both pickups, volumes and tones all at 10/10. First clip fingerstyle, the second with a pick
Both pickups, volume 10/10, tone 5, played with a pick
Neck pickup only, tone 0/10. Fingerstyle
Bridge pickup, volume 10/10 and tone 3/10. Fingerstyle
Got an opinion on the contents of this page? Disagree with something written above? Please comment
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, 35209, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This is the second sunburst Vox Panther electric bass guitar that I've owned and it's the best one I've seen on Ebay. Most of the ones I see fare missing the chrome cover for the bridge, but this one has it. It also comes with the original hard case, the original cord, and a Vox polishing cloth that was in the case when I bought it a few years back. I've had my fun with it so now it's time for someone else to enjoy it. It does have a couple of small nicks to the paint, but you can tell this bass... more
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
1969 VOX Panther Bass -- made in ITALY - PROJECT: body is refinished & has additional routs skinny neck dimensions = easy to play pickguard has shrunken & also has cracks needs bridge, pickups & electronics * body & neck will be taken apart for shipping * SOLD AS IS - NO RETURNS hris ATTENTION! OVER 1000 more GUITARS-BASSES-AMPS-PARTS in our OTHER AUCTIONS !!! CHECK OUR SHOP OUT Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen § 1 Allgemeines 1. Für die Geschäftsbeziehungen zwischen der Firma ... more
Vox 1960s clubman original 4 string bass guitar. Made in England / Dartford Kent by JMI Used condition, working order, aged with marks and scratches red slightly faded. Original untouched condition. Looks amazing on display / interior designers display item / or for use. collect from Gillingham Kent. I would prefer collection from Gillingham Kent.... more
1966 Vox Symphonic bass. JMI UK - made. Nice bass in nice condition. Original finish. Obviously has some wear, but nothing really significant. Very nice condition for a 53 year old bass. Plays really nicely, like an old Precision. Currently strung with flatwounds and sounding great. Will ship in UK and Europe, but collection preferred. Very cool and totally rare bass, especially in white. No original case, but will be exceptionally well packed. Also listed for sale elsewhere, so it could end ... more