Vox Bass Guitar

Vox bass guitar is any of the bass guitars bade by Vox, a British musical equipment company, in the 1960s. Vox made a number of bass guitars (along with six string electric guitars) during the 1960s, although they were not nearly as successful as their efforts in amplifiers.

Early basses were built between 1961-1967 by Jennings Musical Industries (JMI) in the UK, with Italian manufacturer EKO being brought in to help with the huge demand from the US market from 1965 until 1969.

Several models of Vox basses featured active electronics powered by a nine volt battery for Distortion ("Dance to the Music") and Treble/Bass Boost ("Happy Jack") effects and a 440 Hz LC controlled "E-Tuner" circuit which crossfades with the Volume Control knob.

The Apollo bass featured a single neck pickup and a single cutaway design similar to the Gibson ES-135 guitar, and the Vox Distortion and Boost active electronics. It was available in Sunburst or Cherry finishes. The Saturn bass is the identical but without the active electronics.

The Panther, Bassmaster and the Hawk were solid body instruments similar in style and neck scale to the Fender Precision Basses (respectively), featuring a rosewood fingerboard on a polished sycamore neck. The Panther was Vox's lowest priced bass, available in black only, and had one single-pole pickup mounted at a 45° angle to the strings. The Bassmaster had two passive pickups and came in red, white or sunburst finishes. Both had the smaller "guitar"-sized machine heads. The Hawk had the active electronics, a thinner neck and the large-ratio "Fender Bass"-type machine heads on a very large ovoid headstock and four "Precision Bass Tuners" on the one up-side.

The Cougar bass was modeled in shape after the Gibson ES-335 guitar. The Cougar came in fireburst (rare), red and tobacco sunburst colors. The necks and scales varied between 1964 and 1967 with Gibson-like 2-on-a-side tuners. "Vox" was inlaid vertically on the large headstock. It had a metal nut and a zero fret. The two single coil pickups were passive, and each had a volume and tone control; on Crucianelli guitars the pickups are floating pickups with metal covers (toasters in 1964, the slots were replaced by holes in 1965) and on EKO made Cougars, the pickups have plastic covers. There was a selector switch to choose either or both pickups. The unsecured floating bridge could be raised or lowered by means of adjustments, similar to a Gibson 'tune-o-matic' bridge of the same era. The pickguard was floating, attached to the body by a metal rod. Some players removed the pickguard, as it served little purpose on an instrument usually played without a pick and almost never strummed, even if played with a pick. The Cougar was first made for VOX by Crucianelli in Italy in 1964 and 1965; the 1964 model has a batwing shaped pickguard and looks identical to the Panaramic brand bass guitar made by Crucianelli in 1963. In 1966 EKO took over the manufacture of the VOX Cougar and EKO Cougars can be easily identified by the white pickup mounts. The Crucianelli made VOX Cougars are extremely rare today as are Panaramic guitars made by Crucianelli.

The Constellation double-cutaway, hollow body bass guitar was slightly smaller than the Cougar, similar to the Hofner Violin Bass. It was used by Larry Graham with Sly and the Family Stone, and also by John Entwistle of The Who. It had a sunburst finish, a very thin, bound mahogany fingerboard, maple neck with "Tee-Bar" truss rod, and a very large ovoid-shaped headstock with raised metal "VOX" lettering. The bridge could be raised or lowered, and had individual, adjustable saddles.

The Constellation had a metal nut and a "zero fret", a floating pickguard, two very aggressive sounding passive pickups, and the active electronics. There is 1 passive tone control for each pickup.

The tone was quite thunderous even though the pickups are single coil. The tailpiece bail was "Mosrite-Bigsby" type and used the "Fender Bass"-type machine heads.

The Violin Bass had two extended range pickups; polished neck with binding; adjustable master bridge channel; rotary pickup selector and precision machine heads, with no active electronics.

The Phantom IV and Delta IV Basses had the "trapezoidal" body of the Phantom IV guitar. The Delta IV had the same features as the Constellation IV, and the Phantom IV had no active electronics.

The Mark IV Bass had the hollow "teardrop"-shaped body like the Mark IV guitar, with two single pole pickups. The Constellation IV model bass guitar had the same neck, hardware and electronics as the Constellation, but with the teardrop-shaped body.

A special edition of the Mark IV, the "Bill Wyman Bass" was designed by Vox for the Rolling Stones's bass player, for which Wyman lent his name under endorsement. The guitar was a electro-acoustic tear drop model with two chromed pickups and pick plates.

Famous quotes containing the words bass and/or guitar:

    How are we to know that a Dracula is a key-pounding pianist who lifts his hands up to his face, or that a bass fiddle is the doghouse, or that shmaltz musicians are four-button suit guys and long underwear boys?
    In New York City, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    Swiftly in the nights,
    In the porches of Key West,
    Behind the bougainvilleas
    After the guitar is asleep,
    Lasciviously as the wind,
    You come tormenting.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)