The Vox V205 Ace Guitar - 1960-1966

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Vox V-II Pickup as used on the third generation Ace guitar

First Generation Ace Guitar 1960
JMI produced three generations of the mid-level Vox Ace guitars between 1960 and 1966. The 1960, or earliest, version is shown at far left and in the advertisement near the bottom of this page.

Like the LG50 "Shadow" guitar produced for Vox by Guyatone in 1960 and 1961, the first generation Vox Ace guitar featured a slab body with a natural finish, binding on the front edge, dual pickups, a volume and tone control and a translucent pearloid pickguard with a screened Vox logo. It seems likely that the Vox Ace was either built for Vox by Guyatone or assembled by Vox from parts supplied by Guyatone.

This first generation, 1960 Vox Ace guitar retailed for £35.

Second Generation Ace Guitar 1962
The second generation Vox Ace guitar appeared in the 1962 "Vox - The Choice of the Stars" catalog. See this guitar at far left. This body and neck of this early version of the Ace was shared with the single pickup Vox Soloist guitar, the dual pickup Vox Duotone guitar and triple pickup Vox Super Ace guitar.

The 1962 Vox Ace featured a ~25½" scale, two VI single coil Vox pickups with chrome covers, a three position pickup selector, a white, single-ply pickguard, the Vox DeLuxe tremolo arm system, a tone control and a volume control. The 1962 Ace guitar was offered in a low-gloss red or low-gloss sunburst finish. The 21 fret sycamore neck was topped with a rosewood fret board. Rather than offering an adjustable truss rod, the neck of the Ace guitar was reinforced with two embedded steel rods. Six open gear tuner keys mounted to an elongated head stock.

The bodies and necks of these early Ace guitars were originally produced in the UK by Stuart Darkins & Co, a furniture maker in Shoeburyness England under contract to Vox. Final assembly and inspection was probably completed in the JMI facilities in Dartford Kent UK.

Third Generation Ace Guitar 1963 - 1966
The third generation Ace guitar appeared in 1963 through 1966 Vox catalogs. Like the Vox Soundcaster and Consort guitars, the offset body shape and contours of the third generation Ace were inspired by popular Fender instruments.

The hardwood body for the third generation Ace guitar was shared with the three pickup Super Ace model. The new for 1963 Ace guitar included two single coil Vox VII pickups with exposed pole pieces (see photo at lower left), an upgrade from the VI pickups offered in the earlier model. The third generation Ace retained the three position pickup switch and controls of the earlier model. It was offered in red, white and sunburst low-gloss finishes.

Like it's predecessor, the third generation Ace featured a non-adjustable sycamore neck with a ~25½" scale and a rosewood fret board. The nineteen fret neck was 1 5/8' wide at the nut and 2" wide at the twelfth fret. A single connected strip of six tuner keys were mounted to the rear of the head stock (see below). Rather than utilizing an adjustable truss rod, the removable neck was reinforced with two embedded steel rods.

Body and neck production was shifted in 1963 from Stuart Darkins and Company to G-Plan of Hemel Hempstead, another UK based furniture maker.

The third generation Ace guitar retailed for about £38. While the Ace guitar was never offered in America, the three pickup Super Ace retailed for $169.90 in the 1965 Thomas Vox price list.


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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