The V251 Vox Guitar Organ





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© 1998 - 2017 The Vox Showroom, all rights reserved. No use on online auctions, eBay or Reverb.
The Vox Guitar Organ was one of the most complicated and innovative products attempted by JMI Vox in the 1960s. The brain child of Vox lead engineer Dick Denney, the Guitar Organ added solid state organ circuitry derived from the Vox Continental organ to a Vox Phantom guitar. This allowed the Guitar Organ to be played as a guitar or an organ, either separately or combined.

The Vox Guitar Organ had six organ tone generator circuits built into a cavity in the guitar body, one generator for each of the six strings. The contacts that trigger the organ circuits to play were found in the frets of the guitar. Each fret on the guitar neck had six electronic contacts, one under each string. The circuit to the organ tone generator was completed when any of the guitar strings, which were grounded, were depressed to touch their respective fret mounted contact.

The organ tone generators developed different pitches based on the number of ohms separating the organ tone generator input signal from ground. The higher the electrical resistance, the lower the tone.

To facilitate the production of the correct organ pitch for each location on the neck, a series of twenty one resistors interconnected the twenty one fret contacts under each string, one resistor per fret. Depressing a string on the first (or lowest) fret would cause the signal to travel through all twenty one resistors before triggering the organ tone generator. Hypothetically, if each resistor was 100 ohms, the total accumulated resistance from the first fret contact to the tone generator would be 2100 ohms. This high resistance would make the lowest tone. Depressing the same string on the twelfth fret would require the signal to travel through only 9 resistors, or 900 ohms. This lower resistance would make a much higher tone. Playing on the highest fret would eliminate all but one resistor, and make the highest tone.

A remote power supply (seen at lower left) provided the necessary voltages to operate the organ circuitry and connected to the instrument with a multi pin connector cable.




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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music


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