The Vox V.G. 12 Guitar 1969, 1971
Vox V.G.12 Guitar
In the years leading up to the introduction of the V.G. 12 guitar in 1969, the number of guitar and bass models offered by Vox had grown to near epic proportions. The 1966 Vox catalog alone offered thirteen different solid body instruments, eight semi-acoustic models and eleven acoustic or "Spanish" guitars.
Some of the guitar models produced by Vox were original designs. These included the Phantom
, Scorpion and Winchester
guitars and basses. The balance of the Vox guitar line was modeled after popular models from Fender, Mosrite and Gibson.
Maintaining this large range of guitar models proved to be a financial hardship for Vox as their parent company, Royston Industries, was looting the profits from all of their subsidiaries to fund the development of the ill-fated "Midas" aviation flight recorder
By the fall of 1967, precious little money was available for Vox to maintain an inventory of finished goods much less meet their current financial obligations. To make matters worse, Royston lost the contract to build the Midas aviation flight recorder. The financial losses sustained in the development of the Midas flight recorder dealt a crushing blow to Royston. By the end of 1967, Royston and all of its subsidiaries (including Vox) were forced into into receivership.
Vox disappeared from the UK market for the first half of 1968. Eventually a deal was struck with the receiver bank that would allow Vox to again reopen as a new, independent company named "Vox Sound Equipment Limited" (VSEL) Reg Clark, sales manager for Vox Sound Equipment, was interviewed about the new company in an article published in Beat Instrumental, a UK music magazine.
Reg Clark mentioned in this Beat Instrumental interview that the previous Vox guitar line had grown too large and he intended to keep only the best of the models previously offered. The results of this downsizing can be seen in the 1969 Vox "Giant Sounds" guitar catalog. All British made Vox guitars were discontinued as were the iconic Phantom and Teardrop models. Only three of the previous electric models made for Vox by Eko survived the cut: the solid bodied Vox Bulldog guitar, the semi-acoustic Vox Lynx guitar and the semi-acoustic Vox Cougar Bass.
In addition to pruning back the number of older guitar and bass models, the 1969 Vox catalog introduced the Gretsch inspired V.G.4 bass
, V.G.6 six string
and the V.G.12 twelve string guitars. These "V.G." guitars were produced in Japan and were significantly less expensive than the guitars that Vox had previously purchased from Eko. The 1969 V.G.12 guitar shown on this page retailed for less than half of the price of a 1967 Vox Phantom XII.
Vox ceased selling Italian made guitars and basses from Eko in 1970. Only Japanese made Vox guitars were offered in the 1970 and 1971 Vox catalogs. The Les Paul inspired V.G. 2 was added in 1970, the SG 200 Guitar and SG 200 Bass in 1971.
The semi acoustic V.G.12 featured two single coil pickups sourced from Welson in Italy, a three position rotary pick up selector, volume and tone conrols, gold plated hardware, painted "f " holes and a bolt on neck. A pair of switches on the upper bout introduced tone capacitors into the signal. The V.G.12 was available in green sunburst, transparent red, triple sunburst and dark mahogany.
The V.G.12 was not included on the 1970 Vox catalog but it reappeared in the 1971.
Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music
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