The Vox V.G.2 Guitar 1970 - 1971

Vox V.G.2 Guitar
In the years leading up to the introduction of the Vox V.G. 2 guitar in 1970, the number of guitar models offered by JMI 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, Teardrop, Apache, 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, including 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 "Giant Sounds" catalog introduced the Gretsch inspired V.G.4 bass, V.G.6 six string and the V.G.12 twelve string guitars. The "V.G." series Vox guitars were produced in Japan. They were significantly less expensive than the guitars that Vox had previously purchased from Eko.

Vox ceased offering 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, shown above, was added in 1970. Vox introduced a guitar and bass resembling the iconic dual cutaway, cherry red Gibson SG in 1971. Vox named these instruments the SG 200 Guitar and SG 200 Bass.

The 1970 Vox catalog described the V.G.2 guitar as follows: "This is the best selling Vox semi-solid. It has a twin pick-up lead and separate tone volume controls. There is a three way selector switch that gives real sound. And for fine playing there's an adjustable bridge."

Unlike the Gibson Les Paul which had a "set" neck, the neck of the Vox V.G.2 was removable. While the guitar pictured above did not have a Vox logo on it's headstock, it had a pair of triangular inlays that created the iconic diamond shape featured on Vox grill cloth. The V.G.2 was available in black, white, sunburst and red sunburst finishes. The retail price of the Vox V.G.2 guitar in the 1970 price list was £42.00.

1971 Magazine Advertisement Including the Vox VG2 Guitar


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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